Angola is slowly opening up new areas for tourists to explore with the upgrading and rebuilding of roads and cities. Angloa offers a variety of different climates, landscapes, cultures and colors. This self-drive camping tour starts in Rundu and ends at Ruacana and will take you through several of Angola’s southern and central provinces. Some of the highlights you will visit include Pedras Negras, the Kwanza River, Leba Pass and Calendula Waterfall.
You will drive over high mountains, across vast open plains, see wide white beaches and be engulfed by thick tropical rainforests. It is not often that you will encounter huge baobab forests, mighty rivers, the legacy of Portuguese culture, impressive waterfalls and secluded little beaches along the Atlantic all on one tour.
Your tour price includes select meals, experienced guides, camping, and concession fees. This is a self-drive camping safari so your own vehicle is essential or we can assist you with vehicle rental.
Please note this tour starts in Rundu and ends at Ruacana, make sure you calculate your days. Please note that this itinerary is an adventure and serves as an indication of the route.
Pre-departure: RUNDU – NAMIBIA
Meet at Semanya River Lodge, tonight’s accommodation is not included in the tour price. You meet your guides and fellow travelers and have a chat bout the tour. Please ensure that you have filled up on fuel, wood, and water before arriving at Semanya Lodge.
Day 1: BORDER CROSSING – KUBANGO VIEW
Have an early morning departure for the Katwitwi border post as crossing the border can be time-consuming. After crossing the border, the route leads northwards along the western banks of the Kubango River and the road is a challenging drive with potholes galore! You will have some fun with an interesting drive through which you will get to know the ways of the locals better, e.g. you will be stunned by the weight locals can carry on their heads with no assistance … it is just amazing.
Wild camping in Kubango area. Included: Dinner
Day 2: MUMBWE CAMP
The second part of the road towards Menonque can still be challenging, but after a while reach a tarred road and the driving should be smooth towards Menonque. Make your way to Mumbwe Camp after a quick drive through Menonque where you are able to see the remnants of the buildings that were affected by the war. Interestingly enough people still live in these buildings.
Mumbwe Camp Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
Day 3: WAKU KONGO
From Mumbwe to Huambo the roads cater for a comfortable drive. Huambo is the second-largest city in Angola and was formally known as Nova Lisboa. From here you will start to encounter more traffic on the road and for this reason, you will by-pass the town. On the way, you should also be able to see white and red markers on trees which indicates the possibility of minefields beyond the trees. These are the remainders that demining teams left when cleaning the area. There are still demining teams working on removing some of the last mines that can still be found in parts of Angola.
Camping at Waku Kongo Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 4: COFFEE FARM
From Waku Kongo travel to a traditional deserted Coffee Farm. Travel through old coffee plantations. Coffee is one of Angola’s most important agricultural products. Prior to independence in 1975, coffee production in Angola reached about 230 000 tons per year, making Angola the fourth largest coffee-producing nation in the world. You will have the chance of buying some local coffee, subject to availability.
Camping at a Coffee farm Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 5: PEDRAS NEGRAS
Today leave the coffee plantations behind to travel to Pedras Negras. Here you will find a series of mysterious rock formations called the Black Rocks. Many of these rock formations are shaped in the form of animals, standing high above the flat African Savanna. Hike the short distance up a hill to have a beautiful view of the surroundings. On the way to the camp, stop to see the footprints imprinted in the stones. This supports the myth of a princess that bathed and when soldiers approached her, she fled.
Camping at Pedras Negras Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 6: CALANDULA
Continue your journey to the north towards Calandula. The Calandula Falls is an awe-inspiring sight and said to be Africa’s third-largest waterfall. The 105-meter-high waterfall is located 85 km from the provincial capital of Malange. The waterfall is a spectacular site and takes one’s breath away when looking at the mighty force with which water plunges down to form mist giving the area a mystical feel. From here travel west towards the coast.
Camping at Calandula Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 7: BARRA DO DANDE
A full day’s drive lies ahead of you, but will be filled with interesting things such as the visit to the botanical garden. Ready to go? Depart Calandula heading for Luanda, the capital of Angola. Use the ring road to by-pass the city. The campsite for the night will be in the vicinity of Barra do Dande just north of Luanda … the most northern turning point of the route. Set up camp and relax after a long day on the road and some serious focusing while driving the ring road and getting used to Angolan city traffic.
Camping at Barra Do Dande Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 8: BARRA DO DANDE – DRIVING SOUTH
At Barra do Dande you will find a shipwreck graveyard. There are two myths regarding the reason for the shipwrecks, an Angolan version and one by the Portuguese. The Angolan version is that the ships were not seaworthy and had to be left where they were. The Portuguese version is that they stranded the ships when they were forced to leave them behind once they were forced to leave the country. Spend some time taking photographs and then head to Luanda. There will be an opportunity to fill up on supplies. Then leave the city behind, drive about 115 km, and then set up camp for the night.
Bush camping Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 9: SELES
Working your way south via Sumbe, crossing the Keve River, reach the Kumbira Forest. Kumbira Forest is under government protection and serves as an educational example to the locals of how to live in harmony with the forest and not to destroy it. This is a must-see. Set up camp high on top of a mountain, promising to deliver quite a sight.
Camping at Seles Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 10: LOBITO
From Seles travel to Lobito which dates back to 1905 and owes its existence to the bay of the same name, having been chosen as the sea terminus of the Benguela Railway to the far interior. Lobito is a very modern part of Angola with accommodation, many ships, and oil rigs at the harbour. The peninsula with its nightlife and variety of small restaurants makes it ideal for a stopover. Here you will get a chance to relax on the beach and enjoy the atmosphere.
Camping at Lobito Included: Breakfast.
Day 11: KLOFIE
Leaving the boundaries of the city life, head deeper into the Namib Desert. There will be an opportunity for the angler to wet their fishing lines if the tide allows. This area is bare, but still carries beauty and natural wonders as you will soon discover at camp, Klofie. Here you will be able to enter a cave-like structure through a narrow tunnel while still being able to see the sky.
Klofie – beach camping Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 12: SHAMBASANA
Today travel from Klofie in the desert in a southerly direction to Namibe. The city was founded in 1842 and until 1985 had the name of Mocamedes. Namibe has the third-largest port in Angola, after Luanda and Lobito. It is also the terminus of the Namibe Railway. The town has a gigantic market where you can buy nearly anything and you will have the opportunity to spend some time shopping here.
Camping at Shambasana Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 13: TUNDAVALA
Your journey to the border begins when you head to Lubango, driving via the spectacular Leba Pass with its awesome hairpin bends and waterfalls. The road rises from the coastal plain to an altitude of over 6 000 feet in just a few kilometres. It is believed that the pass was designed by a Portuguese lady who passed away on the day that the construction of the road was completed. Humpata is 20 km from Lubango. It has a strong South African connection as it was here where the Thirstland Trekkers settled in 1881. The Monumento do Christo Rei keeps a watchful eye over the city of Lubango. The white marble statue is 30 meters high and situated on a hill near the city. The statue is a smaller version of the one in Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon.
Camping at Tundavala. Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 14: RUACANA
Today turn south towards the province of Cunene at a more leisurely pace. Crossing the Cunene you will be back in Namibia and it is time to say sad farewells. We will cross the border late afternoon and we suggest that you stay either at Ruacana Eha Lodge or in an area that is within 2 hours drive as crossing back into Namibia can be time-consuming.
Price from $1,045 PP
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