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Angola – Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Angola due to high levels of crime throughout the country, as well as the presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance on roads and bridges in certain areas.
Provinces of Cabinda and Lunda Norte – Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the provinces of Cabinda and Lunda Norte due to security concerns. Because these areas are not easily accessible, the ability of the High Commission of Canada to Mozambique, in Maputo, and the Consulate of Canada in Luanda to offer assistance is severely limited or non-existent.
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Safety and security
COVID-19 – Preventative measures and restrictions
COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.
These could include:
- curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
- mandatory mask use
- required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces
Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.
Foreign Representatives in Canada
Province of Cabinda
Militant groups claiming independence are active in this province and clashes with security forces are possible.
Murders, kidnappings and sexual assaults occur and foreigners have been targeted. These militant groups have indicated their intention to continue to conduct attacks on foreigners.
Access to basic goods and services in Cabinda is restricted.
Risk levels for Angola
Province of Lunda Norte
The presence of foreigners in diamond-producing Lunda Norte may create tension. Security forces engaged in the expulsion of illegal diamond miners may be suspicious of foreign observers.
The presence of diamonds increases levels of crime. Travellers may be asked for a letter from their employer, an organization or an individual explaining the reasons for their travel.
Access to basic goods and services in Lunda Norte is restricted.
Risk levels for Angola
Crime is a concern throughout the country, including in the capital, Luanda, where it is a regular occurrence. Areas frequented by foreigners are often targeted.
Violent crime has been on the rise since the beginning of 2018. Do not walk around Luanda after dark.
Muggings (particularly for mobile phones) and armed robberies occur. Don’t show signs of affluence. Don’t withdraw large sums of money from an ATM, an exchange bureau or a bank. Groups of criminals may watch you withdraw money, possibly from inside the building, then use cellphones to coordinate a robbery, even in broad daylight.
Carjackings, usually of four-wheel drive and luxury vehicles, occur. Be vigilant when travelling after dark, particularly to and from the airport. You should not resist if threatened by carjackers or robbers. Do not make eye contact with assailants or indicate that you might be able to identify them.
Incidents of rape have taken place. Due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.
Pickpockets are active outside the arrivals and departures gates at the Luanda airport.
There’s a risk of kidnapping, particularly in Luanda. Foreigners are a preferred target. Criminals seeking ransom often take victims from their car. Be on the alert for ploys to stop your vehicle and use varied and unpredictable routes and schedules of travel.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report – International Maritime Bureau
Demonstrations and elections
Demonstrations occasionally occur.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
There is a high risk from landmines and unexploded ordnance, especially near bridges and on unpaved roads outside major cities. Many areas of the countryside, including secondary roads, are heavily mined. Even frequently travelled roads that are thought to be landmine-free may be unsafe.
Roads, particularly secondary and tertiary roads, and bridges are generally in poor condition.
Incidents of drivers under the influence of alcohol are common, especially on weekends. The return trip to Luanda from beach outings can be particularly hazardous due to reckless driving habits. Be extremely careful of unexpected hazards on the road, such as pedestrians and animals.
Always drive with the doors locked and the windows rolled up. Keep your valuables out of sight.
Only undertake overland travel outside of urban centres in convoys of at least two vehicles, ideally four-wheel drive vehicles.
Door-to-door taxis are scarce and expensive, so you should try to hire a car with driver. Local drivers can overcome the problem of few parking spaces and can negotiate heavy traffic and the idiosyncrasies of local traffic flows, including any accident.
Avoid using public transportation, including buses and van taxis.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
General safety information
Shortages of food, lodging, medicine, transportation, electricity, fuel and water occasionally occur in most parts of the country. While Luanda does not experience shortages of food, lodging is scarce and tourist facilities are very expensive. The cost of living in Luanda is very high.
Poisonous snakes are a potential danger in the countryside.
Shortages of fuel, municipal water and power may occur. Drinking water and some food items can be difficult to find sometimes. Plan accordingly. Ensure that your emergency kit is complete.
Be careful at all times and carry locally certified copies of the identification page of your passport as well as original travel documents issued by Angolan authorities, such as resident or work permits, visas and a driver’s licence. Make sure your documents are up-to-date. Police checkpoints are common in both urban and rural areas. You should be prepared to present copies of your identification documents. Do not challenge the authority of requesting officials. Failure to produce identification documents can result in a large fine.
When travelling in the provinces, always carry original documentation. If photocopies are to be used in place of originals, the copies must be notarized by an Angolan notary public. Note that notarized photocopies are not acceptable for travel outside Luanda.
Foreigners travelling into the interior of Angola sometimes require an internal travel document. This may be provided by the Angolan organization or individual that invited the foreigner to Angola.
Interruptions in telecommunications are common. International calls are difficult to place from outside the capital. Most personal cellular phones are incompatible and must be reprogrammed for use within Angola.
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Entry and exit requirements
COVID-19 – Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:
- entry or exit bans
- mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
- suspensions or reductions of international transportation options
Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.
- verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
- consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
- monitor the media for the latest information
- reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator
The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.
- Travel restrictions and health requirements – United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA)
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from Angolan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Angola.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
- Canadian passports
You must be in possession of a visa and an onward or return ticket to enter Angola.
To obtain a visa, you must first get a Canadian criminal clearance certificate, which can only be obtained while in Canada from your local police or the RCMP, before travelling. The police clearance must be submitted, along with your visa application, in both English and a Portuguese translation, which must be notarized.
The length of stay on your tourist visa may not exceed 30 days, but the visa can be renewed once, for a maximum of 30 days.
Angolan visas take an entire page in your passport and are preferably followed by one blank page. Ensure you have enough pages remaining in your passport, as additional pages cannot be added to a passport and issuing a new passport may take several weeks. While in Angola with family members, including children, ensure that their documentation is up-to-date at all times.
Airport and road check procedures have been reinforced. Any issue relating to documentation or identification, including visas and vaccination cards, can lead to delays or denial of entry. Ensure that you have obtained the appropriate visa before arriving in Angola. You cannot obtain a visa at the airport.
If you arrive in Angola without the required visa, you could face arrest and/or deportation. Travellers who overstay their visa are subject to heavy fines and possible arrest.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Employment visa: Required
Transit visa: Required
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
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Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Punishment for drug-related offences can be severe.
Illegal or restricted activities
Involvement in black-market currency conversion could lead to arrest.
Some handicrafts considered of cultural value may be retained by customs. It is illegal to remove turtle shells and ivory from the country.
Avoid photographing airports, major roads, bridges, communications installations, military personnel and government buildings. Taking photos of urban areas may be frowned upon by police.
Angolan law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.
LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Angola.
Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Angola.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Angola, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you’re there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Angola.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Angola by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Angola to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
You should carry an international driving permit.
More about the International Driving Permit
The currency in Angola is the kwanza (AOA).
The kwanza is not convertible on the international market. Dollars can be converted into kwanzas, or vice versa, at the few exchange bureaus in Luanda or at local banks. Receiving foreign currency is often very difficult due to present scarcity (even for those with foreign currency accounts). Kwanzas cannot be taken out of the country. No more than US$15,000 can be taken into or out of Angola, unless an official declaration is made upon entry.
Newer U.S.-dollar bills are preferred, due to the ease with which the older bills are counterfeited. Credit cards are accepted at only a few of Luanda’s largest hotels and restaurants, and it varies as to which cards are accepted. VISA is the most commonly accepted credit card. Leave a copy of your card information with a trusted family member or friend in case of emergency.
ATMs dispense kwanzas only. Some ATMs in Luanda accept VISA cards, but only to withdraw kwanzas. Note that machines often malfunction or run out of cash. Debit cards do not work.
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Natural disasters and climate
The rainy season extends from November to April. Heavy rains can cause sudden flooding throughout the country and may damage infrastructure. Expect delays and allow for more time to reach your destination, as roads may be affected.
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