After decades of devastating civil war, oil- and diamond-rich Angola is bouncing back – and no more so than in its port capital, Luanda. One could even describe the crane as its new national flower: shiny high rises, luxury apartments and condominiums are changing Luanda’s skyline rapidly.
As one of the world’s most expensive cities attracts developers and business from around the world, space is at a premium – and the city is battling to cope. With its gap between extreme wealth and dire poverty ever widening, Luanda is not an easy city to digest. Nevertheless, when it all feels a bit too much, the capital conjures moments of surprising beauty – along its wide, palm-fringed promenade, on one of its islands or at Kissima, its revitalised national park just outside the city.