Safety and security
The political situation in Angola is reasonably stable but there can be occasional outbreaks of social unrest.
Please be especially vigilant for these in the context of general elections which are taking place on Wednesday 24 August 2022 and over subsequent weeks.
If you’re travelling in the country, you should avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational. Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. Please also follow any security-related instructions that may issue from local law enforcement authorities.
Although the threat from terrorism in Angola is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Unexploded mines and ordnances are still a hazard outside Angola’s capital city, Luanda. Don’t stray off main routes in rural areas and always take local advice on the current situation from the United Nations or an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) on the ground.
Crime, particularly in Angola’s capital, Luanda, can be an issue and you should always take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together – leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations
- Be aware a high proportion of the civil population is armed
In the capital, Luanda, criminal violence including muggings, car-jackings and armed hold-ups can happen in any area at any time. Muggings, particularly to steal mobile phones, as well as armed car-jackings appear to be on the increase. We advise against walking around Luanda after dark.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Angola, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Lisbon if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Angola, you should be extremely careful. Road conditions are poor, travel is usually in convoy, and travelling outside Luanda can be difficult and dangerous.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driving licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security.
If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Travel outside Luanda can be difficult and dangerous. There’s widespread poverty, social exclusion and disease; a shattered infrastructure and large numbers of mines and unexploded ordnance throughout most of the country. If you travel outside Luanda, you should only do so in the company of people or organisations who are experienced in dealing with the local conditions.