Travel Gone fishing in Angola

By Clar Ni Chonghaile

Posted on June 17, 2011 11:26

As Angola’s sport ­fishing reputation spreads to Europe, tour operators hope its newfound fame will help reel in other ­tourists too.

After years of isolation following nearly three decades of civil war, Angola is becoming a hot destination for anglers. Angolan angling is already popular among Southern Africans, but Paul Wesson, who founded his company Eco Tur in 2005, says the country has begun to attract tourists from Europe.

“There is a high level of expertise here in Angola, particularly in the area of competitive big game fishing,” explains Wesson. “There is also good tarpon and threadfin fishing available at the Kwanza River mouth.” ?

From November to April, large numbers of tarpon – a prized catch among sport fishermen – are found in the Kwanza, just south of Luanda. In ­August, shoals of Atlantic threadfin visit the lower reaches of the river.?Other Angolan hotspots include Kalandula Falls in Malanje Province, unspoilt wildlife parks, the mysterious rock formations of Pedras Negras and the Namib desert that straddles the border with Namibia.

“Angola is an amazing country, in terms of variety of geographical systems and landscapes. We have desert in the southwest, savanna, a high coastal plateau. We have fantastic beaches and many forests, including tropical rainforest in Cabinda,” said Wesson.

Getting around is still an issue: the civil war devastated the country’s infrastructure and although roads are being repaved, it is a slow process. More five-star hotels, such as the Victoria Garden and Talatona, have gone up in Luanda, and the Ministry of Tourism has said it plans to develop tourism sites fr­om 2011, which could help to reduce the very high prices.

Anglers can stay in the Kwanza River Lodge about 70 km south of Luanda. To explore the Namib desert, check out Flamingo Lodge on the beach at the northern extent of the desert.

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