Moving to Angola
More and more expats are moving to Angola in search of adventure and the generous salary packages attached to life in one of Africa's largest oil-producing countries. Although still rife with poverty and struggling to recover from many years of war, Angola is rich in natural resources and is fast cultivating a dynamic business environment with plenty of opportunity.
The tropical climate, beaches and countryside are spectacular. And the nightlife in Luanda, the capital city and the most common expat destination, is as lively as any major metropolis.
Angola’s economy has steadily grown for more than a decade. International relationships with countries like China, Portugal and South Africa are becoming more solid, and oil rights are actively being exchanged for infrastructural improvements that will benefit the country in the long-term.
There are, however, some negative aspects for expats moving to Angola. The most glaring drawback is that the cost of living in Luanda is amongst the highest in the world. Traffic in the capital is also extremely congested, as antiquated road networks struggle to cope with the profusion of luxury vehicles and cargo trucks.
Safety in Angola has greatly improved but expats must still be wary and, by default, often find themselves living in the insular environments of expat compounds. Foreigners are cautioned against travelling to areas outside of Luanda, especially the Cabinda region.
Expats with children will be glad to know that there are international schools in Luanda, which are generally well-supported by the companies that helped found them. However, the standard of these schools varies, tuition is pricy, and waiting lists can be long. Those moving to Angola with children should first secure a place at a school of their choice.
Healthcare is available and has improved markedly in recent years, but still isn't up to the standard many expats are used to. Most expats seeking complicated medical procedures travel to South Africa or further abroad for treatment.
Overall, expats moving to Angola will likely face many challenges, but will also be richly rewarded with an exciting cultural experience and financial benefits.