The Angolan capital of Luanda has long had a reputation as one of the world's most expensive cities for expats. While this was certainly true just a few years ago, these days life in Angola has become much more affordable.

For several years running, Luanda's cost of living was ranked alongside or even above that of global economic giants such as Singapore and Tokyo. Now though, the Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2020 ranks Luanda as only the 115th most expensive city to live in out of 209 cities on the list. A number of African cities rank much higher on this list than Luanda, Ndjamena in Chad (15th) and Lagos in Nigeria (18th) to name just two.

Still, although life in Luanda is much more affordable than before, it is still far from the cheapest place on the continent. Other African cities with much lower costs of living include Windhoek in Namibia (208th) and Tunis in Tunisia (209th).

The largest expenses facing expats will likely be accommodation and, if they have children, private schooling. Those moving to Angola for work purposes often have these costs either partially or fully subsidised by their employer, which eases the burden somewhat. Expats without such an arrangement will need to budget carefully to ensure they can afford these essentials.


Cost of accommodation in Angola

The cost of accommodation in Angola is high due to a notable undersupply and overdemand. Low capacity and a lack of the kind of secure housing that can be used to entice expats to the country have increased rental prices. Nevertheless, most expats will find that their housing is provided and paid for by their company. If not, it’s important to factor this cost in and ensure that one's salary is proportionate to the high rental costs.


Cost of food in Angola

The amount of money an expat will spend on food will generally depend on their lifestyle and preferences. Fresh local produce is available at a reasonable price, but most expats shop at the bigger supermarkets where many of the products are imported and are thus more expensive than they would be in other countries. Eating out is also quite expensive and not something that most people do regularly.


Cost of schooling in Angola

For expats with children, the cost of living in Angola will be even higher. As the standards of local public and private schools are far from adequate, outrageously priced international schools are the remaining option. Annual tuition fees are extremely pricey and often don't include essentials such as textbooks, uniforms and extra-curricular activities.


Transportation costs in Angola

Personal transport costs must also be taken into consideration. Although hiring a driver can be done quite cheaply, this can often be an unforeseen expense for many expats moving to Angola.


Cost of living in Angola chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Luanda in February 2020.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

AOA 1,000,000 - 3,000,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside city centre

AOA 800,000 - 1,500,000

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

AOA 300,000 - 500,000

One-bedroom apartment outside city centre

AOA 200,000 - 400,000

Food and drink

Milk (1 litre)

AOA 1,200

Rice (1kg)

AOA 2,200

Dozen eggs

AOA 2,000

Loaf of white bread

AOA 2,200

Chicken breasts (1kg)

AOA 6,500

Eating out

Three-course meal in restaurant for two

AOA 45,000

Big Mac Meal

AOA 5,000

Cappuccino

AOA 2,800

Coca-Cola (330ml)

AOA 2,000

Bottle of beer

AOA 1,000

Utilities (monthly)

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

AOA 140

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable)

AOA 21,000

Utilities 

AOA 50,000

Transport

Taxi (rate per km)

AOA 450

One-way ticket (local transport)

AOA 270

Petrol (per litre)

AOA 160

Expat Health Insurance

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