Though not the most conventional expat destination, Angola has plenty to offer with its wonderful tropical climate, miles of picturesque beaches and welcoming locals. The lifestyle and nightlife that expats can experience in Luanda – the capital city and beating heart of this central African country – is another plus.
Although the country is still recovering from many years of war and struggling with inequality, Angola is rich in natural resources and is fast cultivating a dynamic business environment with plenty of opportunity. For expats working in the lucrative oil industry, this often translates to high salaries.
There are, however, some negative aspects for expats moving to Angola. Traffic in the capital is extremely congested, as antiquated road networks struggle to cope with the volume of vehicles and cargo trucks. Safety in Angola has greatly improved but expats should still be wary and, by default, foreigners often find themselves living in the insular environments of expat compounds.
Expats concerned about their children's education will be glad to know that there are international schools in Luanda, which are generally well supported by the companies that helped found them. However, the standard of these schools varies, tuition is pricey and waiting lists can be long.
Healthcare is available and has improved markedly in recent years, but still isn't up to the standard many expats are used to. Most expats seeking complicated medical procedures travel to South Africa or further abroad for treatment.
While expats moving to Angola will likely face many challenges, those who approach the country with an open mind and adventurous spirit are sure to be richly rewarded with an exciting and unique cultural experience.
Population: 32.8 million
Capital city: Luanda (also largest city)
Neigbouring countries: Angola is bordered by Namibia to the south, Zambia to the east and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the northeast
Geography: Angola is a southern African country with a varied terrain that encompasses tropical Atlantic beaches, a labyrinthine system of rivers and Sub-Saharan desert that extends across the border into Namibia.
Political system: Unitary dominant-party presidential constitutional republic
Major religions: Christianity
Main languages: Portuguese (official)
Money: The Kwanza (AOA), which is divided into 100 centimos.
Tipping: Standard 10 percent, unless service is included in bill.
Time: GMT +1
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz. Round-pin Euro plugs are standard.
Internet domain: .ao
International dialling code: +244
Emergency contacts: 113 (police), 112 (ambulance), 115 (fire)
Transport and driving: Cars drive on the right-hand side. Much of the road infrastructure was destroyed and neglected during years of conflict, and despite efforts to rebuild, many of its roads are still riddled with potholes and few of them are paved. Most expats hire local drivers who are accustomed to local driving conditions. Public transport in Angola is poorly maintained and unreliable.