Lubango – Best place to relax in Angola
Lubango is one the most beautiful regions in Angola and probably the world…We have been to many countries, most of them are very touristic, and they don’t have the impressive views of Lubango. It is a place that makes you wonder about what other fantastic and remote places can exist in Angola.
Lubango is the capital of Huila. It was named after an old “Soba” (chief) of the region but during the Portuguese rule it changed to “Sá da Bandeira”. The first settlers were Portuguese from the island of Madeira and there are still traces of Portuguese architectural in some buildings. The city surroundings are green, mountainous and very scenic! We always remember it with a smile in our faces.
The temperature is milder than in Luanda, it’s a more pleasant temperature 🙂 but at night it can be chilly. The region is very rich in agriculture and livestock. So you can find good meat and even places that sell local cheese. Within Angola, Lubango is the ideal place to rest some days, enjoy the view, eat fantastic food and be adventurous. We stayed there 3 days , and loved every hour of it.
Lubango has an airport that receives daily flights from Luanda and from Windhoek, Namibia. We went by plane from Luanda in TAAG , which took 1h30 to get to there. From the airport, the hotel provided for the transfer.
Going by car is also an option but be aware that it isn’t easy to drive in Angola. The roads are full of potholes and to put it simply: they are dangerous and full of traffic accidents. If you prefer, there are buses from Luanda to Benguela and then to Lubango, but it is a tiring voyage and it takes a lot of time to reach you destination.
The best way to travel around the city and go to the attractions, is by car. So if you can, rent a car or you will be very limited.
Where to stay in Lubango
One of the most spectacular part of the trip was staying in Pululukwa. It is a resort and animal park that has lakes, tails, fruit and vegetable farm, and even animals. For nature lovers it is a splendid place to have long pleasant walks. It is the best resort we ever been! Inside or outside of Angola! It is a bit expensive but it is a magical place and well worth every penny we spent.
Lubango has many breathtaking places to check out, starting with the most spectacular:
Serra da Leba
Serra da Leba is a mountain range with 2650 mt, 50 km from Lubango. The most stunning part of the mountain is the mountain pass road. It was built during the Portuguese administration and connects two important cities Lubango and Namibe. The pass has 56 curves, one of the curve is called “curve of the Cubans” because of the frequent accidents that took place. It was built by a team of engineers led by the Portuguese Maria Alice Leba, thus the name of the road. We think the images speak for themselves.
Don’t forget to go to the viewing point of Serra da Leba, where you can see the hole picture of the mountain and take photos. After passing the police check-point, turn left in the first street you see, it is before descending the pass. On your way back, keep your distance of trucks and buses, they need space to do the maneuvers.
Fenda da Tundavala (Tundavala Gap)
Fenda da Tundavala or Gap of Tundavala is an enormous abyss in the mountain of Serra da Leba located 18 km of Lubango. The mountain plateau has 2200 mt of altitude and suddenly falls 1000 mt creating an abyss between the mountain. It looks like somebody cut a slice of the mountain. This natural abyss promotes stunning views. It is one of the seven wonders of Angola.
On your way to Tundavala you come across some rock formations on top of each other with different forms. They are a bit peculiar rocks.
Cristo Rei (Christ the King)
The most famous Christ the King statue know is the Brazilian one in Rio do Janeiro, but it isn’t the only. Apparently this is a Portuguese thing, we have a “Cristo-Rei” in Almada, Lisbon and so does Angola, a former Portuguese colony, in Lubango. The statue is 30 meters high and is situated on top of the hill overlooking the city of Lubango.
On top of the hill, you also have an fantastic viewpoint to the city of Lubango and its surroundings. Next to the statue you can find the giant letters saying LUBANGO in the Holywood style 🙂 .
Moçamedes (yes the city’s name is Moçamedes again), is a coastal city in the Namibe province. It is 185 km from Lubango, so it is relatively close in African standards. The Namibe province is an extension of the Namib desert from Namibia. On the way to Namibe province you will have to pass Serra da Leba. The road to Moçamedes is almost new, so the trip is pleasant. On the way you will be able to enjoy the semi-desert landscape with some natives selling charcoal and fruit on the way.
Moçamedes has the 3rd largest port of Angola. We didn’t like the city as many buildings were vandalized and closed. The only part that was in better shape was the seaside. We actually saw dolphins swimming in the sea, which was very nice! Unfortunately we didn’t have a 4WD, so we couldn’t go actually into the desert to see the Welwitschias.
Pululukwa means rest in Umbudo. As the name says it is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the scenery and nature. We loved staying there and we recommend trying to stay there at least one night. Yes it is expensive, but it is a fantastic experience. Even if you don’t want to stay there one night, you can visit the park and the wild animals, or even enjoy a meal in there fantastic restaurant. We still talk about the delicious food we ate in the Pululukwa.
The resort is divided in different regions, representing different ethnic groups of Lubango. The 60 huts (bungalows) represent different ethnic group style. The huts are stylish, they have an African vibe, very comfortable with air conditioned.
Through out the park you will find wild animals. Zebras run wild through the park, you can pet them if they let you, don’t worry they are very pacific and docile. You will find Ostrich, crocodile (not running loose, lol), Antelopes (we weren’t able to find any in our stay), Angolan Chicken and different kinds of birds.
With 100 acres and remarkable treks, you have a lot to explore: wooden paths, several lakes, different resting points and even fruit farms. On the way you will find the different huts of the resort. Moreover the resort is child friendly with a playground for kids to play in. A family or a couple can easily stay the whole day in Pululukwa just relaxing.
We need to mention the restaurant of Pululukwa because it is fabulous. One of the best meals we ate, the “Chateaubriand steak” and the ice cream of Avocado is worthy of a last meal choice. The service is very professional, and everyone is very friendly.
We wish everyone could have the opportunity to go to Lubango and fell amazed. Hopefully we were able to inspire you to do it!
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