Although 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. And the increase in the number of flights to Luanda is testament to that fact.
In fact, today Luanda is largely unrecognisable from the city it once was. It’s had a complete facelift, and the result is something both beautiful and exotic. It’s 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 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.
Known back then as São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, these influences are still visible today in the city’s 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.