TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.




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  1. #1
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    Default TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    It was just three weeks ago that we returned from our Angola self-drive trip. I have compiled this trip report in the hope of providing more information on this relatively poorly publicized regional destination. In view of the promises from the Angolan authorities to make visas more readily accessible I think more members will begin to look at this destination.

    I would like to sincerely thank the other members of our group for making this expedition the success it was and you must please feel free to contribute. This was my first trip to Angola and I would welcome corrections and comments from members with more insight into this destination.

    PS. Best viewed in the unprotected view. Click on the "enable edit" button.
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    Last edited by Stan Weakley; 2016/07/25 at 10:52 PM.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Thanks for this
    Not easy to get through while trying to work
    Are you a touch typist or do you use a voice recognition program?

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Hi Stan, great trip reports with your usual excellent attention to detail. In part 3, you ask for an ID on a succulent (spiky with brownish flowers): It is Hoodia Gordonii, the plant used by the San to suppress appetite when food is scarce, and to which they won the patent rights as a slimming medicine (landmark intellectual property case some 10 or so years ago).
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Thank you for this great report Stan,swambo and i really enjoyed it and would like to see Angola in the near future.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Thanks for another informative report.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Great trip report Stan. We have done almost the same trip in May and enjoyed it just as much.With your report,one can do the trip un-guided.
    jc

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Thanks Stan again for a brilliant report.

    I also would like to know what flower this is. Photographed in Mahango GR, Okavango.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Thanks for the fantastic TR Stan. Like you beforehand, I have my doubts about Angola mainly stemming from time needed to tour the country, barriers to entry and lack of wildlife. But I've not heard of many people returning that didn't love it, so maybe one day.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Thank you Stan. As usual, a very informative entertaining report!! Well done!!
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Hi Stan

    Thanks for an excellent TR; very interesting reading.

    I think that the red flowered plant is a Combretum microphyllum or Flame creeper.

    The slogan on the wall translates approximately to: "V.I.Lenin wrote to construct a new army, we have to select the cadres (?) from the hard working/industrious masses." "Quadros" means picture or frame in European Portuguese but "cadre" is an alternative translation suggested by Google.

    "Fechado para nobras" means literally "closed for work" - probably meaning renovations.
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Excellent Report.

    Me and my wife did a very similar one solo in 2009. We did not go to the Kunene mouth but also went through Iowa Park to Lake Arco, Tombua, Flamingo, Namibe, Leba Pass and camped at the place of Queiroz at Cabo Ledo. Was surprised when he called his wife and here in Angola is a coloured lady speaking perfect Afrikaans with us. He and Koos Moorcroft served in the miltary together so Koos used to use his place to stay with his tours.

    We then went past Lusaka, up to the Kongo River mouth at Soyo, back to Lusaka, Kalandulla Falls, Pedras Negras and back over Lubango. Was fantastic. Pity about your tour leader with Flamingo Issues, we spend 2 nights at Flamingo out of courtesy as they also supplied our letter of invitation. They however was extremely expensive, they had to open a bungalo for us to shower as the camping facilities did not work and fishing was also very bad. It was shortly after Neil and Ursula left so everthing was a bit deurmekaar. Next time I camp on the beach, facilities will be as good as theirs.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Pierre, in fact we did not have issues with the facilities at Flamingo. Their shelter they have at the campsite is a lifesaver with the persistent cold wind. I suspect it would have been very miserable on the beach, shelter is what we needed.
    They now have 2 campsites, the smaller old one which is what I think you used and then a newer larger site next to it. The new site is exposed and dusty, I think a little more so than the older one and this shelter is very cosy.
    Because of the poor fishing and the weather we felt as a group that there was little point in spending an extra night at Flamingo. Friends of mine arrived on a fly-in fishing trip a few days later and murdered the fish. We had no problems with Flamingo Lodge per se.

    Phil thanks for identifying the Combretum or Flame Creeper and also the Cuban slogan. It all adds to the interest.

    It is good that members are enjoying the report. Whether the detail is warranted or not is debatable but hopefully it will help those planning an Angolan sojourn.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Quote Originally Posted by philth View Post
    Hi Stan


    I think that the red flowered plant is a Combretum microphyllum or Flame creeper.
    Thanks Phil for putting me on the right route. Something bugged me about the ID. Microphylium occurs further east and panniculatum is a forest creeper. The flowers are different as well, more cllustered than microphylum. It seem this might be combretum platyphylum, also known as Flame creeper and occurs in Zimbabwe and Angola.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Stan, another great report. Thanks for taking the trouble to share it with us.
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Well written report Stan.
    A pity about the wildlife and non existent on conservation.

    Angola truly have a lot of different veldtypes in one country and a vast fauna and flora species.
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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Having been to Cuito 3 times when I was a tourist with a SANDF visa

    That area - stuff just grows
    If it wasnt for the war and now the land mines
    Amgola , south of Luanda could feed Africa - easily

    I have been fighting with my want to go back , starting at the Eenanha base , and my heart saying dont bring back things that are / is or should be dead

    There is / was a place on the cutline with Angola called beacon 25 / 22 / 28

    I am damn sure I could still dig up stuff I buried for retrieval by other forces

    In cuito or rather nearby
    in about 86 or 85 or 87 the SAM 8 configuration was captured for the first time

    I didnt capture it but as backup when that 3 vehicle convoy got going nothing else mattered

    It was I think sent to the USA very quickly

    We used to pick up operatives fairly frequently in that area

    I was trained in explosives

    Those operatives taught me how PE7 is the best fire lighter ever - despite my initial misgivings

    We shot any and all game we saw

    To stop the terr's from getting food - supposedly

    I want to go back
    But I dont want to go back

    It will eventually happen though

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Thanks Stan, good to know that the facilities improved at Flamingo. We were lucky with good weather so a shelter was not important.

    We bush camped all the way except for at Flamingo and at Queiroz. At the time we could find no other official camping so it is with interest that I note the places where you camped.

    At some stage we want to go back again, I am interested in trying a track/route from Soyo east to one or 2 places on the Congo River. There is nothing on T4A but on Google Earth it seem as if there is a track. Only wish they scrap the Visa story, to get that is a schlep. Next time I want at least one other vehicle to join us, solo is good but you miss your own people.

    Our tracklog in green:
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    Last edited by PierredW; 2016/07/28 at 07:42 AM.

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Ross, if you are ever considering revisiting the military relics in Angola you need to do it fairly soon. They are steadily being removed. This must be one of the few places in the world where you can see this sort of thing thirty plus years after the event.
    The areas of the major battles around the Longa River and Cuito Carnavale are now more accessible to self-drivers although land mines are still a problem. Some time spent with the Halo Trust people in Cuito should enable exploration of the area in a little more depth than we managed. Wessel vd Merwe in Menongue is also a good contact. I am sure that with your background you will find much of fascination. I am not sure what Koos Moorcroft with his military background is able to offer in this area these days.

    Thanks for the info Pierre. When/if you go again you will find the fuel situation vastly improved since 2009 as well as access to supplies. Also many more roads are now tarred. When the oil price improves again I suppose many of the stalled projects will take off again.
    Of course, not having visited the Congo, this area has become a topic of interest to me. I am not sure about the roads up there but potentially they might have improved. Other members may know.
    When you state that you may want to explore the Congo River further east of Soyo, how much further east are you considering? Towards Pedro Feitico or even further east towards the more frequently traveled border crossing near Noqui. As you say there appear to be no linking roads but this may have changed. What about the activities of the FLEC rebels here?
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    TransAfrica 2015/2016 blog www.slowdonkey.com

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    Default Re: TRIP REPORT ANGOLA: June 2016.Slow Donkey and friends.

    Stan, have a look at my trip report at:

    http://www.overland.co.za/travel_rep..._Sept_2009.pdf

    I am sure you will recognise many places.

    Yes, fuel was an issue, especially over a weekend in Luanda where we had to buy on the black market.

    The road to Soyo was terrible in 2009 but I am sure that it is tar now. At the time the Chinese was working like ants while the locals just sat in the dust.

    Look at the attachments, on the map in pink to Soyo is my tracklog, the rest in pink is already logged tracks on the latest Beta T4A for October 2016.

    Now view this in Google Earth as per the other attachment and zoom in a lot. You will see a track more to the north closer to the Congo River which seem to go through to the road going to the Congo border post. I marked one place with a red flag. By writing down many waypoints one can set yourself up a route via this track and see where you end up. Will be interesting plus there is quite a few places we missed on the previous trip I would like to see.

    I also want to drive from Menongue to Rundu or vice versa and see some places more to the east which was very much unaccessible in 2009.
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    Last edited by PierredW; 2016/07/28 at 12:22 PM.

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