Known for being the most expensive place in the world, Luanda is a city that doesn't do anything by halves. Not only is it the capital city of Angola, Luanda is also the principal port of the country and one of the most important industrial, cultural and urban centers in West Africa.
This thriving metropolis is the third largest Portuguese speaking city in the world, behind Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The primary and official language of Luanda is Portuguese, however traditional tribal languages including Umbundu, Kikongo and Kimbundu are widely spoken throughout the city.
The strong population of five million consists mainly of people from the Ambundu and Bakongo ethnic groups. Thanks to the city's ever increasing popularity with expats seeking a new life in Luanda, there are also sizeable communities of European and Chinese residents. Angola's bustling capital covers an expansive 113 square km in size and is situated on the western coast in the north of the country.
The climate of Luanda is generally mild and semi-arid and the weather is rarely severe. It is consistently hot throughout the year and almost always dry, due to the Benguela current of the southern Atlantic which prevents moisture from forming in the air.
The hot season reaches its peak during the months of March and April, when average temperatures reach around 30°C. The city receives twelve inches of rainfall per year and experiences a short rainy season between November and January.
Everyone who intends to be living in Luanda, or any other part of Angola, must be in possession of a valid visa.
As well as a passport with at least six months validity, the applicant must supply their relevant Angolan embassy with two signed visa application forms; it is essential that these forms are completed correctly with no mistakes and only hand-signed signatures. The application form must have two attached photographs, that are both recent abd clear, with the applicants name written on the back. The Angolan consulate is particularly strict about these photographs, men must be dressed in a suit and tie and women must be smartly presented with complete covering from the neck down.
To live permanently in Luanda, expats must also have one of two letters: either an official letter of invitation from an individual sponsor or host company, which explains the reason for moving and a guarantee of the applicant’s financial security, or a business letter from a company or sponsor in their home country. These letters must be in Portuguese and addressed to the local Angolan embassy. For more information and advice, visit the Angolan ministry of foreign affairs website.