192-PART GUIDE TO THE WORLD

PART 4 ANGOLA

OFFICIAL NAME

The Republic of Angola.

POPULATION

About 12 million.

SIZE

About 40 times larger than Belgium.

ENVIRONMENT

Much of the country comprises a highland plateau. The long coastal region ranges from virtual desert in the south beside Namibia to jungle in the far north on the Zaire (Congo) River.

BEST MONUMENTS

Due to the ongoing civil war tourism has not had much of a chance to develop, but the Cidade Alta - the old Portuguese colonial heart of the capital city Luanda - is still atmospheric and attractive, despite the crowds of homeless refugees driven from their homes by fighting. Down in the south, the pleasant town of Lubango is famous for its large statue of Christ.

MOST FAMOUS CITIZEN

Like most things in Angola, this honour is divided down the middle between Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the President of Angola, and Jonas Savimbi, the leader of the Unita opposition. The two men have been slugging it out for decades and no end is in sight.

NATIONAL DISH

Muamba is made of chicken or fish, with palm oil, okra and sweet potato leaf. It is usually eaten with a helping of cassava flour.

BEST MOMENTS IN HISTORY

Discovery of oil in Cabinda.

WORST MOMENT IN HISTORY

Back in 1575, the Portuguese set up their first slave trading-settlements and things have been getting steadily worse ever since.

ESSENTIAL ACCESSORY

Water purification tablets; mosquito repellent; first aid kits.

HOW NOT TO BEHAVE

Do not take photographs of public places, public buildings or public events. In short, do not take photographs.

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