Although it has been witness to civil unrest, in recent years Luanda has basked in the glory of foreign investment and has benefitted from the country’s natural resources—namely, its oil reserves and mineral wealth. The increase in the number of flights to Luanda is testament to that fact.
In fact, today Luanda is largely unrecognizable from the city it once was. It’s had a complete facelift, and the result is something both beautiful and exotic. The change has created a palpable sense of excitement in the city.
Most visitors will agree that Luanda’s best days are still to come, with much-needed funds going into construction and building restoration projects. Yet for all that, the history of Luanda is what gives it its character today. It’s been almost 500 years since the city was first populated by the Portuguese, and apart from a brief era of Dutch rule, they ran the city until 1975.
The city was known back then as São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, and these influences are still visible today in its foods, forts, museums, and culture.
Luanda boasts beautiful natural beaches. And now a growing marina and even a beach club scene—Tamariz Beach Club is one of the most popular—have made this a popular spot for sun-seekers from beyond the borders.