Stretching his hand out to catch the stars, he forgets the flowers at his feet. – Jeremy Bentham
A lot of us are flying off soon, either to spend some time in our home countries or to explore new places in countires far away. Sadly, it seems few of us living in Luanda, for one reason or another, manage to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and explore the beauties of our host country. LBW member Amanda recently did manage to do just that, and we’d like to share her travel story:
Travel around Angola has always seemed a bit of a hassle to us – what with no chance to use the company transport system putting up barriers to access and wanting to use annual leave for Zambia, Malawi, Mauritius etc… So when my daughter qualified for a gymnastics competition with Petro Atletico in Malanje – it seemed like a great opportunity to combine a bit of sightseeting with cheering on the squad. And I am so glad we did – because as everyone says, the Angola outside of the Luandan borders really is a very different Angola.
We travelled with Eco-Tur and cannot fault them for their professionalism and flexibility (including a last minute 24 hour extension) as the competition schedule changed on a daily basis – and over the three nights that we stayed in Malanje we visited the Pedras Negras, Kalandula Falls and the Rapidos de Kwanza. But for me it wasn’t so much about the big name sights that we managed to tick off – but about the journey there and back. Travelling through different landscapes with the chance to see a little bit of rural Angola; watching the produce on the side of the road vary in line with the landscape and just seeing an Angola that is just not possible from the city.
Of course if I hadn’t have gone – I wouldn’t have known what I was missing. And I would have just continued to nod as my driver insisted how different the rest of Angola is. But I am so glad that I got this chance to have my eyes widened and to see something of this country that we are temporary residents of. If you haven’t already done so – then you really must go.
For those of you leaving for the summer, we wish you safe travels, and please share your travels stories, one liner recomendations or tips with fellow members here on the website when you return – we’d love to hear fom you. And for those you staying in Luanda, we hope Amanda may have inspired you to travel out of the city and see some of the beautiful countryside.