Angola is a beautiful and diverse country located in Southern Africa. It has a lot to offer visitors, from wildlife safaris to stunning beaches. However, as with any destination, there are certain times of the year that are less ideal for travel to Angola. In this article, we’ll discuss when the worst times to visit Angola are and what factors contribute to making these periods less than optimal.
The rainy season in Angola lasts from November through April. This brings frequent and heavy rainfall across much of the country. Angola has a tropical climate, so thunderstorms are common during these months.
Flooding and Transport Disruptions
The heavy rains often lead to flooding, especially in low-lying and urban areas. This can cause damage to infrastructure like roads and bridges. Transport and travel around Angola gets disrupted frequently during the height of the rainy season. Sections of roads become impassable or bridges get washed out.
Limitations on Activities
Many outdoor tourist activities in Angola revolve around its natural attractions. However, the rainy season puts a damper on things like wildlife safaris, hiking, swimming, and beach trips. Parks may close or activities be limited due to poor weather conditions. Visibility is lower for viewing wildlife.
Risk of Disease
The increase in standing water from flooding raises the risk of contracting diseases like malaria or dengue during Angola’s rainy season. Rural areas with poor sanitation can see outbreaks occur. Visitors need to take extra precautions with mosquito protection and vaccination before travel.
High Season for Tourism
June through August is considered Angola’s peak tourist season. This coincides with the dry season when rainfall is minimal and temperatures are comfortable.
Crowding at Tourist Sites
During these months, popular attractions like Cabo Ledo, Kissama National Park, and urban areas like the capital Luanda get very crowded and busy. It can be difficult to secure accommodation or access desired activities.
Due to increased demand during the high tourist season, prices on things like hotels, tours, flights, and activities go up significantly. Visiting Angola during these months means paying premium rates.
Booking sightseeing tours, safaris, guided hikes, and other activities in advance is essential if visiting during peak tourism season. However, limited availability can still be an issue. Visitors might not get to partake in desired experiences due to sell-outs.
Major holidays in Angola like Carnival, Christmas, and New Year’s mean most businesses are closed and public areas are very crowded.
Closures & Disruptions
Many museums, national parks, restaurants, stores, and public transportation options shut down for several days around major holidays. This can limit activities and make travel around the country more chaotic.
Hotels and flights raise their rates substantially during Carnival, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays in Angola. Visitors need to book well in advance to have the widest selection of affordable options.
Challenging Travel Conditions
Congestion on intercity highways and public transit systems strains to the maximum during holidays as Angolans travel to visit family. Travel takes much longer than normal and safety concerns are elevated with the celebratory atmosphere.
Tips for Visiting Angola
-Aim for the dry winter months of May, June or September
-Book hotels, flights and activities as early as possible to get better prices
-If coming during rainy season, pack for all weather types and have medication/protection from mosquitoes
-Avoid travel during the peak holiday periods if crowds, closures and congestion aren’t appealing
-Consider visiting lesser-known parts of the country to avoid crowds of the popular tourist regions
-Check weather forecasts regularly and have flexible plans to accommodate changing conditions
While Angola is a remarkable travel destination, visiting during the rainy season, peak tourism times or around major holidays has its challenges. By planning your trip to avoid these periods, you’ll encounter far more ideal circumstances for enjoying Angola’s natural wonders, cities, culture and warm hospitality. Careful preparation also allows making the most of a visit to Angola no matter the timing.