Famous for its oil and diamonds, Angola sits on the Atlantic coast of West Africa. Most visitors come for business but whilst here find time to explore the capital Luanda, with its colourful street vendors and ubiquitous minivan taxis blasting out kuduru music. See giraffe, elephant and zebra on a day safari to the Kissama National Park or spend sunny days swimming at the sandy beach in the bay of the southern town of Lobito.
If you're planning a leisure or business trip to Luanda, note that the British Embassy advises against non-essential travel to the interior of the Cabinda Province and to North and South Lunda Provinces because of the high risk of civil unrest. Contact your embassy or consulate in advance for up-to-date travel information and heed local advice on safety.
Pastel-pink colonial architecture, vivid blue and white decorative tiles, anarchic driving and of course the language are all evidence of 500 years of Portuguese influence. The scars of the 30-year armed struggle for independence from Portugal and the subsequent civil war are visible in most towns but the troubles ended in 2002 and huge efforts are being made to rebuild the country.
Make the most of Luanda's former Portuguese influence in its restaurants and bars. With its international airport, the city is the gateway to the country and its leading business destination. Cabinda, in the northern enclave is home for oil workers. In the port of Benguela, stroll along crimson acacia-lined streets and admire colonial architecture. In Namibe haggle with fishermen over their freshly-landed catch or enjoy mountain air in Lubango while visiting the huge white marble statue of Christ overlooking the city.
Small towns and coffee plantations pepper the rolling countryside of the central highlands (Planalto) which cover much of the country and includes Mount Moco, Angola's highest mountain at 2636 metres high. To the south the Namibe desert excites with its wild Atlantic coastline, ancient rock carvings of animals at Tchitundo-Hulo and fossilised dinosaurs.