Luanda Travel Blog› entry 12 of 17 › view all entries
Jan 6, 2014
Flight: Cabinda, Angola (CAB) to Luanda, Angola (LAD), TAAG, economy
Hotel: Inn Luanda; Luanda, Angola; 22500 AOA ($231)
We had an 8:30 AM flight to Luanda this morning. We wanted to leave at 6:30 and had the hotel call us a taxi. 7AM rolls around and still no taxi.. so we decide to try our luck with one of the unofficial ones. Much cheaper than an official one would be as he only wanted $5 to the airport. As we are on our way to the airport, there is a loud BANG as the taxi has a blowout. Having no time to lose we grab our bags then flag down another taxi, paying him $2. The next taxi only wanted $2 but there were already two other people in the car so it was a bit of a tight squeeze.
The flight from Luanda hadn't even arrived yet when we'd made it through security. Eventually the flight arrives and we walk out to the plane for boarding. The flight is a 737-700 so a pretty new looking plane. Jason was in business for the short hop and I was just a few rows back in economy. After takeoff we curved out west over the ocean, I'm guessing to avoid overflying DRC airspace. They served a box with pastry and juice during the 45-minute flight down to Luanda.
We arrived and went to the domestic terminal, collected our bags then went to find a taxi. Jasons hotel was closer to the center so we went there... traffic was bad but not horrible and it kept moving. Took maybe 20 minutes to go the 5kms to the hotel, and $28 for the meter. I wasn't exactly sure where my hotel was, the taxi driver did not know the address so had to look it up on the hotel wifi. Turns out it was only 2kms away.. and I decide to walk it. Probably not the best idea as I'm wearing a big backpack and it ended up being mostly uphill at least for the first slog. No hassle though surprisingly. I find the hotel which is in a quieter neighborhood than the main street.
Back to Jason's hotel.. this time I caught one of the blue and white share taxis that ran down the main road, for $1 that's a much better deal. The trick is finding which routes you need. We set off and walked down to the Marginal waterfront. Downtown Luanda was a flurry of construction activity.. the Marginal road is now 3 lanes in each direction and has a bike path, skate park, etc setup along its length. Crossing over a bit towards the Ilha gives a great view back over the Luanda skyline. Next we went by a church, Our Lady of Remedies built in the early 1600s.
There wasn't a lot else we could do or see without our own transport. For sunset and dinner we headed off to the Ilha (another $30 ride), the long peninsula that forms Luanda harbor. There are many restarants, clubs, etc out there. It was Monday night so some places were not open. We found one, the Esplanade Grill. It was pretty decent, a capirinha, large bottle of water, chicken+potatoes, and chocolate mousse was about $56 so not horibbly expensive. We had them call a taxi for our ride back, dropping Jason off first then attempting to find my hotel. The road it was on was one-way (wrong way) so we had to call the hotel to get the right routing there.