Overland Angola Travel
West Africa > Angola
Currency to display:
- 1 Visiting Angola
- 2 Entering Angola with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Angola
- 4 Gas price in Angola and Diesel price in Angola
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Angola
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Angola
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
Angola is an extremely diverse and large country that is ready and willing to welcome tourists now the civil war is so far behind them. From jungle in the North to beaches in the West and mountains and deserts in the South, Angola really does have it all.
NOTE: Angola's currency, the Kwanza, fluctuates a lot. Because of that there is a thriving black market rate that is usually around 50% better than the official rate. Bring US Dollars in cash with you to exchange on the street - the bigger notes get a better exchange rate ($100 is preferred).
Because the rates change so much, prices listed on this page are indicative only. It's entirely possible things will cost half (or twice) as much during your visit.
Entering Angola with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: June 2017
Travel Visa for Angola
The travel visa for Angola has long been regarded as the hardest to get on the entire West Coast route, though this has changed significantly in the last few years. When going South many choose to get the visa in Accra Ghana, though this means you only have eight weeks to travel through all the countries between Ghana and Angola, which is far too short.
Lately many, many Overlanders moving south are getting a one month multi-entry visa in Pointe Noire, Congo without problem. The cost is $140.00 USD, to be paid in Central African Francs. The visa takes a few days to issue.
A visa on arrival is possible by applying for a pre-approval letter online and collecting the physical visa on arrival for 120 USD. The visa is valid for 30 days from date of arrival at the border, and it's multiple entry.
- Passport of registered owner.
- Drivers license of registered owner.
- Original vehicle registration.
- Proof of vehicle insurance - they might not ask for it, but it’s better to have it.
- (OPTIONAL) Carnet de Passage
(no copies are required)
Process at border
- Get yourself stamped in at Immigration.
- Go to Douane to get a temporary import for the vehicle. Using the vehicle registration the officer will write out an import form, valid for one month. You can request a two month entry no problem, you just pay twice as much
- If you have a Carnet de Passage, you don't need the import form and you pay nothing.
- If crossing at the Santa Clara border with your vehicle, first visit the small office you pass while entering the parking area in from of the 2 large warehouse type buildings. This is the visa office and they will stamp you in. Next, visit the small office at the exit (between the 2 warehouse buildings), this is where you will receive your TIP and complete all the necessary road tax paperwork. THey will give you an account number you have to make a payment to at one of the banks in the large building beside the office. You may need a photocopy of the following documents - visa in passport, passport info page, photo of vehicle showing side/front/rear. If you need to make photocopies there is a small chinese run photo shop just after the roundabout when entering Angola you can walk to.
Cost of entry
Entry with a Carnet de Passage is free, the Temp import costs $9.00 USD per month.
Permitted length of stay
The standard temp import permit is one month, though you can simply ask for two months at the border.
Extension of stay
Can be done quite easily and cheaply. Even extending your own personal Visa for another month is cheap and straightforward in any large city.
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Uncertain, though it seems if you came back before the temp import expired nobody would be the wiser.
Exiting with a vehicle
- Get yourself stamped out at Immigration.
- Get your Carnet de Passage stamped out if you have one.
All should be free, do not pay for this.
Driving in Angola
Recommended books for Overlanding in Angola
Travel insurance for Angola
Vehicle insurance requirements
Insurance does not seem to be required, Police never seem to ask for it for people just transiting through, though you might want to have something to show anyone looking for a bribe.
Cost of vehicle insurance
Where to purchase vehicle insurance
Unknown within Angola - an International Policy from home is probably best.
Anything from your home country will be accepted.
Driving side of road
RHD vehicles are allowed without problem.
Mandatory items in vehicle
You probably need two safety triangles, first aid kit, and fire extinguisher. It's a good idea to have them to avoid bribery.
General Road quality
Roads vary greatly in Angola. There are many, many new highways that rival those anywhere in the world. There are also lots of old broken-up roads with massive potholes and make for some very slow going. In the Namib desert in the South the sandy tracks are extremely primitive.
Road signs do exist and usually show the distances to the next few upcoming towns. These are improving quickly.
Bribery in Angola
Bribery is quickly getting less and less common, though it does still happen. The easiest way to avoid this is to be polite, but don't speak Portuguese. Smile a lot and be sorry about it, but you simply don't understand.
See the bribery tips page for general advice.
There are checkpoints and random stops where Police, Military and Customs will check your paperwork. Don't pay at any of these. Stay friendly and polite. Never use your mobile phone or camera at check points.
Traveling with pets
No issues crossing with dog from Namibia to Angola. Only document requested was proof of vaccinations. There may be official import forms but unknown and never asked for.
Gas price in Angola and Diesel price in Angola
Last updated: June 2017
Currency and unit to display:
|Unleaded||$0.49 USD per Liter|
|Diesel||$0.39 USD per Liter|
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
Stations are becoming more common as Angola rebuilds after the civil war, especially in the North. Stations seem to always have gas, though frequently diesel is in short supply because the government is using it all to run much-needed generators. You should carry as much gas/diesel as possible, and fill up whenever you can.
Typically fuel availability near border crossings is difficult - with either long queues or closed stations.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Angola makes it's own, so the quality should be good.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Driving at night is not recommended due to the risk of violence or bandits. There can also be armed robbery on the roads in remote places and some even place bogus road blocks. Also watch out for cars without lights, animals, people and everything else you can imagine on the roads.
Vehicles can be parked on the streets and usually are safe. At night try to park in compounds or other known safe zones
Special driving considerations
As with all of west Africa, expect the unexpected at all times. Literally anything is possible.
Also Angola has one of the highest concentrations of land mines in the entire world. NEVER drive off road unless you follow lots of tire tracks and never walk through long grass or simply wander around in the wilderness.
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Angola - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Angola
Camping is slowly getting more common in Angola, with a few campsites here and there.
Wildcamping is very possible in remote areas. See places in iOverlander for the ones that exist.
Camping guide books
List and link to books specifically for camping.
It's not recommended to drink tap water - filter it or buy bottles.
Reise Know-How are among the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Angola
GPS Maps of Angola
- Garmin Open Street Maps has excellent coverage of all roads - highways and cities.
- Tracks4Africa is an SD Card for Garmin GPS, and contain Routable turn-by-turn maps with 809,000 kms of roads and over 129,000 points of interest.
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Angola
- iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.
Special Overland Travel interests
- There are quite a few great spots listed in iOverlander - check there.
- Don't miss the free camping on the waterfront in Luanda at the Yacht club. iOverlander has the co-ordinates!
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Angola
Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.
Add any helpful external links here.