Safety in Angola

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Expats are often concerned about their personal safety in Angola – which is warranted in light of the country’s war-ravaged past and present high levels of crime. Though years of intense civil strife officially came to an end in 2002, there are still concerns around poverty, disease, shattered infrastructure and land mines littered throughout the countryside.

Crime in Angola

safety in angola
The ‘resource curse’ of wealth disparity that affects so many resource-rich countries has instigated a culture of banditry and armed hold-ups in many of Angola’s provincial areas.
Safety in Luanda is a concern too. Muggings and robberies can happen at any time, and expats are advised against travelling alone at night or travelling through areas that are known to be crime hotspots. 
Areas popular with foreigners are often targeted, so expats should be especially cautious when moving between nightspots on the Ilha do Cabo and perusing the city’s marketplaces. Other high-risk areas in Luanda include Serpentine, Sembezanda and the Roche Pinto slum area south of the city.
Most international organisations in Luanda have strict safety regulations for their employees, which should be adhered to. In the same vein, most companies provide secure accommodation and workplaces monitored by 24-hour guards.

Terrorism and conflict in Angola

Several political groups in the northern Cabinda province actively target foreigners and there have been a number of kidnappings in recent years, and the much publicised 2010 attack on the Togolese national football team. Due to the insecurity in the region, a number of foreign governments advise their nationals against travelling to the Cabinda enclave, although Cabinda city is considered safe enough to visit.
With the exception of Cabinda, the threat of terrorism and conflict in Angola is low.

Protests in Angola

Protests and demonstrations take place occasionally in Angola. Despite the country's oil wealth, most people live in poor conditions, and these have been catalysts for protests. It's best to avoid political gatherings and keep abreast of developments.

Road safety in Angola

While major networks around Luanda are improving, road conditions are still poor and a four-wheel drive vehicle is needed for longer distances – which should be done with at least two other vehicles. Drivers should make sure they have spare tyres and replacement parts.
Driving is especially dangerous during the rainy season from November to April. Roads and bridges can be washed away by floods, which can leave travellers stranded for considerable amounts of time. 
Landmines left over from the civil war are also an ongoing concern in rural Angola. Landmine clearance projects are still underway and areas with suspended landmines are usually clearly marked. Expats should stick to main roads and avoid driving off the beaten track as much as possible.
Driving to Angola’s northern and southern Lunda provinces should only be done if absolutely necessary. The Angolan government is extremely sensitive about entering these diamond-producing areas, and failure to produce the right documentation can result in detention.
Most expats living in Luanda have private drivers. Taxis and public transport are mostly informal, and are rarely used by foreign nationals.
Expats who drive their own vehicles should be suspicious of slow-moving cars or those that try and coerce them into pulling over; these are often pretexts for robbery or hijackings.

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