Angola travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
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- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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Angola - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Angola due to high levels of crime throughout the country, as well as the presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance on roads and bridges in certain areas.
Provinces of Cabinda and Lunda Norte - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the provinces of Cabinda and Lunda Norte due to security concerns. Because these areas are not easily accessible, the ability of the High Commission of Canada to Mozambique, in Maputo, and the Consulate of Canada in Luanda to offer assistance is severely limited or non-existent.
Safety and security
Province of Cabinda
Militant groups claiming independence are active in this province and clashes with security forces are possible.
Murders, kidnappings and sexual assaults occur and foreigners have been targeted. These militant groups have indicated their intention to continue to conduct attacks on foreigners.
Access to basic goods and services in Cabinda is restricted.
Province of Lunda Norte
The presence of foreigners in diamond-producing Lunda Norte may create tension. Security forces engaged in the expulsion of illegal diamond miners may be suspicious of foreign observers.
The presence of diamonds increases levels of crime. Travellers may be asked for a letter from their employer, an organization or an individual explaining the reasons for their travel.
Access to basic goods and services in Lunda Norte is restricted.
Crime is a concern throughout the country, including in the capital, Luanda, where it is a regular occurrence. Areas frequented by foreigners are often targeted.
Violent crime has been on the rise since the beginning of 2018. Do not walk around Luanda after dark.
Muggings (particularly for mobile phones) and armed robberies occur. Don’t show signs of affluence. Don’t withdraw large sums of money from an ATM, an exchange bureau or a bank. Groups of criminals may watch you withdraw money, possibly from inside the building, then use cellphones to coordinate a robbery, even in broad daylight.
Carjackings, usually of four-wheel drive and luxury vehicles, occur. Be vigilant when travelling after dark, particularly to and from the airport. You should not resist if threatened by carjackers or robbers. Do not make eye contact with assailants or indicate that you might be able to identify them.
Incidents of rape have taken place. Due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.
Pickpockets are active outside the arrivals and departures gates at the Luanda airport.
There’s a risk of kidnapping, particularly in Luanda. Foreigners are a preferred target. Criminals seeking ransom often take victims from their car. Be on the alert for ploys to stop your vehicle and use varied and unpredictable routes and schedules of travel.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau
Demonstrations and elections
Demonstrations occasionally occur.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
There is a high risk from landmines and unexploded ordnance, especially near bridges and on unpaved roads outside major cities. Many areas of the countryside, including secondary roads, are heavily mined. Even frequently travelled roads that are thought to be landmine-free may be unsafe.
Roads, particularly secondary and tertiary roads, and bridges are generally in poor condition.
Incidents of drivers under the influence of alcohol are common, especially on weekends. The return trip to Luanda from beach outings can be particularly hazardous due to reckless driving habits. Be extremely careful of unexpected hazards on the road, such as pedestrians and animals.
Always drive with the doors locked and the windows rolled up. Keep your valuables out of sight.
Only undertake overland travel outside of urban centres in convoys of at least two vehicles, ideally four-wheel drive vehicles.
Door-to-door taxis are scarce and expensive, so you should try to hire a car with driver. Local drivers can overcome the problem of few parking spaces and can negotiate heavy traffic and the idiosyncrasies of local traffic flows, including any accident.
Avoid using public transportation, including buses and van taxis.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General safety information
Shortages of food, lodging, medicine, transportation, electricity, fuel and water occasionally occur in most parts of the country. While Luanda does not experience shortages of food, lodging is scarce and tourist facilities are very expensive. The cost of living in Luanda is very high.
Poisonous snakes are a potential danger in the countryside.
Shortages of fuel, municipal water and power may occur. Drinking water and some food items can be difficult to find sometimes. Plan accordingly. Ensure that your emergency kit is complete.
Be careful at all times and carry locally certified copies of the identification page of your passport as well as original travel documents issued by Angolan authorities, such as resident or work permits, visas and a driver’s licence. Make sure your documents are up-to-date. Police checkpoints are common in both urban and rural areas. You should be prepared to present copies of your identification documents. Do not challenge the authority of requesting officials. Failure to produce identification documents can result in a large fine.
When travelling in the provinces, always carry original documentation. If photocopies are to be used in place of originals, the copies must be notarized by an Angolan notary public. Note that notarized photocopies are not acceptable for travel outside Luanda.
Foreigners travelling into the interior of Angola sometimes require an internal travel document. This may be provided by the Angolan organization or individual that invited the foreigner to Angola.
Interruptions in telecommunications are common. International calls are difficult to place from outside the capital. Most personal cellular phones are incompatible and must be reprogrammed for use within Angola.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from Angolan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Angola.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
You must be in possession of a visa and an onward or return ticket to enter Angola.
To obtain a visa, you must first get a Canadian criminal clearance certificate, which can only be obtained while in Canada from your local police or the RCMP, before travelling. The police clearance must be submitted, along with your visa application, in both English and a Portuguese translation, which must be notarized.
The length of stay on your tourist visa may not exceed 30 days, but the visa can be renewed once, for a maximum of 30 days.
Angolan visas take an entire page in your passport and are preferably followed by one blank page. Ensure you have enough pages remaining in your passport, as additional pages cannot be added to a passport and issuing a new passport may take several weeks. While in Angola with family members, including children, ensure that their documentation is up-to-date at all times.
Airport and road check procedures have been reinforced. Any issue relating to documentation or identification, including visas and vaccination cards, can lead to delays or denial of entry. Ensure that you have obtained the appropriate visa before arriving in Angola. You cannot obtain a visa at the airport.
If you arrive in Angola without the required visa, you could face arrest and/or deportation. Travellers who overstay their visa are subject to heavy fines and possible arrest.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Employment visa: Required
Transit visa: Required
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers from all countries.
- Vaccination is recommended.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to arrange for vaccination.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring
Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is a risk of chikungunya in this country. The risk may vary between regions of a country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly. Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.
Zika virus is a risk in this country.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.
Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
- Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.
For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas of Central Africa, like Ebola, rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Medical services and facilities
Medical treatment is very expensive, and payment in advance is required. Medical facilities are very poor throughout the country, including in Luanda.
Many doctors and medical staff do not speak English or French, including in Luanda; they speak Portuguese.
Serious medical emergencies should be treated outside the country.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Punishment for drug-related offences can be severe.
Illegal or restricted activities
Involvement in black-market currency conversion could lead to arrest.
Some handicrafts considered of cultural value may be retained by customs. It is illegal to remove turtle shells and ivory from the country.
Avoid photographing airports, major roads, bridges, communications installations, military personnel and government buildings. Taking photos of urban areas may be frowned upon by police.
Angolan law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Angola.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Angola.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Angola, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Angola.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Angola by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Angola to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
You should carry an international driving permit.
The currency in Angola is the kwanza (AOA).
The kwanza is not convertible on the international market. Dollars can be converted into kwanzas, or vice versa, at the few exchange bureaus in Luanda or at local banks. Receiving foreign currency is often very difficult due to present scarcity (even for those with foreign currency accounts). Kwanzas cannot be taken out of the country. No more than US$15,000 can be taken into or out of Angola, unless an official declaration is made upon entry.
Newer U.S.-dollar bills are preferred, due to the ease with which the older bills are counterfeited. Credit cards are accepted at only a few of Luanda’s largest hotels and restaurants, and it varies as to which cards are accepted. VISA is the most commonly accepted credit card. Leave a copy of your card information with a trusted family member or friend in case of emergency.
ATMs dispense kwanzas only. Some ATMs in Luanda accept VISA cards, but only to withdraw kwanzas. Note that machines often malfunction or run out of cash. Debit cards do not work.
Natural disasters and climate
The rainy season extends from November to April. Heavy rains can cause sudden flooding throughout the country and may damage infrastructure. Expect delays and allow for more time to reach your destination, as roads may be affected.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 113
- medical assistance: 116
- firefighters: 115
Luanda - Consulate of Canada
Maputo - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada to Mozambique, in Maputo, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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