Angola - Consular Information Sheet
September 18, 2000
WARNING: The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against
travel to Angola because of continued military conflict in the
interior provinces and increased violent criminal activity, including
kidnapping and the threat by criminals and rebel insurgents to
kidnap foreigners. Travel within Angola remains unsafe due to
high intensity military actions, bandit and insurgent attacks,
undisciplined police and military personnel, and land mines in
rural areas. Foreign nationals, especially independent entrepreneurs,
are subject to arbitrary detention and/or deportation by immigration
and police authorities.
Americans who find travel to Angola necessary are strongly urged
to contact the U.S. Embassy for up-to-date information. Travel
outside Luanda is inadvisable. American citizens traveling outside
Luanda, despite this warning, should always contact the U.S. Embassy
for the latest information on security conditions in the provinces
to which visits are planned.
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Angola is a large, developing African
country that has been engulfed in war and civil strife since independence
from Portugal in 1975. A peace accord signed in 1994 brought a
temporary halt to Angola's civil war, but in late 1998 fighting
returned the country to war, making travel to and within Angola
extremely unsafe. Facilities for tourism are non-existent. Severe
shortages of lodging, transportation, food, water, medicine and
utilities plague the capital city of Luanda and other cities.
Shortages cause unsanitary conditions in many areas, including
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa, which must be
obtained in advance, and an International Certificate of Vaccination,
are required. Persons arriving without visas are subject to possible
arrest and/or deportation. Travelers whose international immunization
cards do not show inoculations against yellow fever and cholera
may be subject to involuntary vaccinations and/or heavy fines.
Visitors remaining in Angola beyond their authorized visa duration
are subject to fines and possible arrest. Current information
on entry requirements may be obtained from the Embassy of Angola
at 1615 M Street, N.W., Suite 900, Washington, D.C. 20036, tel.
(202) 785-1156, fax (202) 785-1258.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: The security situation in Angola
remains extremely volatile. Large crowds and demonstrations should
be avoided. Travel in the interior is unsafe because of high-intensity
military actions, bandit attacks in villages and on major highways
and land mines. The Government of Angola and the National Union
for the Independence of Angola (UNITA) resumed armed conflict
in late 1998. There has been heavy fighting in many provinces
and a heightened potential for increased military action in all
CRIME INFORMATION: Violent crime occurs regularly throughout
Angola. Street crime is common in all areas of Luanda, at all
hours. Foreigners, including U.S. citizens, have been the targets
of violent robberies in their homes and hotel rooms. Because of
the high incidence of armed robberies and carjackings, travelers
are cautioned against airport arrivals after dark. Before arrival,
please ensure that you have arranged for reliable transportation
from the airport. Only unregulated taxis are available at the
airport and in Luanda. They are unsafe, a high crime risk and
should not be used.
City streets are patrolled by soldiers and police who normally
carry automatic weapons. The soldiers and police are unpredictable,
and their authority should not be challenged. All motorists should
stop at all police checkpoints if so ordered. Police officers,
often while still in uniform, frequently participate in shakedowns,
muggings, carjackings and murders.
There have been police operations against illegal aliens and
private companies that have resulted in the deportation of foreign
nationals and the loss of personal and company property. Some
foreign business people have been forced to sign statements renouncing
property claims in Angola before being deported. Independent entrepreneurs
in Angola should carry all relevant immigration and business documents
at all times.
Travelers should be alert to a number of scams perpetrated by
Luanda airport personnel. Immigration and customs officials sometimes
detain foreigners without cause, demanding gratuities before allowing
them to enter or depart Angola. Airport health officials sometimes
threaten arriving passengers with "vaccinations" with instruments
that have not been sterilized if gratuities are not paid.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's
Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a more trouble-free
journey. The pamphlet is available from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Adequate medical facilities are virtually
non-existent throughout Angola, and most medicine is not available.
Chloroquine-resistant and cerebral malaria are endemic to the
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide for payment of medical services outside the United
States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment
for health services. Uninsured travelers who require medical care
overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you
incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available
via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202)
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax, 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299); or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions which differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Angola is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Destinations in the interior are accessible safely only by private
or chartered aircraft. Civilians have been killed by bandits or
land mines exploding while traveling overland. Overland routes
to neighboring countries are generally not open. For additional
information about road safety, please see the Department of State,
Bureau of Consular
Affairs home page road safety overseas feature
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
air service by local carriers at present, nor economic authority
to operate such service between the U.S. and Angola, the U.S.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Angola's
civil aviation authority for compliance with international aviation
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit
Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S.
Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air
carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: U.S. dollars can be converted to
local currency at exchange houses authorized by the Angolan government.
Rapid fluctuations in the value of the Angolan Kwanza and shortages
of U.S. dollars are widespread. Currency conversions on the parallel
market are illegal, and participants are subject to arrest. In
general, only the newer series 100 (US) dollar bills are accepted
due to widespread counterfeiting of the older style.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Angolan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Angola are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail
sentences and heavy fines.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information
on international adoption of children and international parental
child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: U.S. citizens are encouraged
to register with and obtain updated information on travel and
security from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda
located at the Casa Inglesa Complex, Rua Major Kanhangula No.
132/135, tel. 244-2-396-727; fax 244-2-390-515. The Embassy is
located on Rua Houari Boumedienne in the Miramar area of Luanda,
P.O. Box 6468, tel. 244-2-447-028/(445-481)/(446-224); (24-hour
duty officer tel. 244-9-501-343); fax 244-2-446-924. The Consulate
may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated September
9, 1999, to revise theTravel Warning, to reflect changes in the
paragraphs Medical Facilities, Medical Insurance, Other Health
Information, Traffic Safety and Road Conditions, to delete the
information on Y2K, to correct the Embassy telephone numbers and
to provide the Embassy's e-mail address.