Luanda, Angola Report of what it's like to live there - 06/13/19
Personal Experiences from Luanda, Angola
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
No. I have also lived in Italy, Beijing, and Congo.
2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?
Home country United States of America. From the USA to Luanda was 18 hours with a one stop. There are about 8 international flights a day, and prices tend to be expensive as there is no real competition.
3. How long have you lived here?
1 year so far.
4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
Embassy housing doesn't reflect "normal" living conditions. Traffic isn't too bad outside of rush hour.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
You can find cheap goods as long as your willing to go to four or five different places. You can find almost anything you want, maybe not the brand you are used to but an equivalent.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
You don't have a variety of food choices as in other big cities and the exotic options are a little more expensive.
5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
Mosquitoes are everywhere.
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
No local post here unless you use DHL or FedEx.
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
There seems to be a surplus of household help, it can range from ~US$30 to ~$50. You can always negotiate cheaper.
3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?
There are a few nice gyms in the hotels. They are very expensive compared to what you get.
4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?
Credit cards are not used. Cash based society. You can talk to the banks about opening a local account to use there form of debit card here.
5. What English-language religious services are available locally?
Don't know, but with the lack of English in the community I can assume that is not available.
6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
You need Portuguese to make life easier.
7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
Yes, there isn't much accommodation for handicap or disabled people.
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
Nope and Nope.
2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?
To leave the city as the road are not in the best shape and pot holes can easily swallow you car I'd recommend a high clearance vehicle and 4x4.
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
Yes it is the speed is enough to stream Netflix. You can get faster speeds but it will cost you. it can take a couple weeks after arrival if not already set up.
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
I use a local provider. Data is pretty cheap compared to the US.
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:
1. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?
Yes, local orphanages are always looking for help.
Health & Safety:
1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
Yes, security issues are plentiful here. I would not leave the house at night unless you're going car to building and building to car. People have been robbed, physically assaulted, and stabbed. Cars have been broken into even while people were stuck in traffic. Always keep your eye out.
2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
Medical here is not the best. Most serious things would require you to go to South Africa to get it looked at.
3. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?
I'd say the weather is amazing year round in the city.
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
Very small with the oil crash. Overall morale is good, many have house parties and events.
Words of Wisdom:
1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?
I would not have, life is hard here.
2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:
Sense of safety.