world map

Angola

Shimmering petrodollars and devastating poverty side-by-side

date of entry 20/06/2013
mileage 854,940

capital Luanda

area 1.246.700 km²

population 20.900.000

GDP 100,9 Bill. US-Dollar

official language Portuguese

This country on the Atlantic coast of southern Africa, which is rich in natural resources, was ravaged by a civil war for decades. Land mines were laid in parts of the country. The situation has only begun to resolve itself in the last few years, largely because of the billions of dollars of oil revenues flowing into the country. The money is not distributed fairly. It all goes to a few families on the coast. In the hinterland, Chinese companies are hunting for raw materials and discovering deposits of precious metals, diamonds and rare earths.
  • Otto passed through many marshy areas and, on occasions, a crocodile crossed his path.
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  • When Gunther Holtorf visited Angola with his travelling companion Elke Dreweck in 2013, in the capital Luanda the traces of the civil war had largely disappeared thanks to the huge oil revenues. On the right is the old post office.
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  • The streets are lined with glittering office buildings. For business travellers, Luanda is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Otto was the first foreign vehicle to be allowed to travel freely in the country for four weeks.
    2  of  15
  • A magnificent boulevard runs along the coast. According to Gunther Holtorf, the bay is similar to that in Rio. Construction work is going on in the background.
    3  of  15
  • The prosperity that came from the discovery of oil deposits only benefited a small part of the population, but it was still enough to fill the streets with cars.
    4  of  15
  • The people who can’t afford a car live in slums on the edge of the city.
    5  of  15
  • Here they are crammed together in a dirty, waste-strewn environment.
    6  of  15
  • Sewage runs untreated into foul-smelling channels where black sludge winds its way between heaps of rubbish.
    7  of  15
  • People have to go to the rivers outside the city to wash their clothes.
    8  of  15
  • The markets sell the essentials: tomatoes, onions, lemons.
    9  of  15
  • The people in the villages on the route towards the border with Zambia gave Otto a friendly reception.
    10  of  15
  • Dozens of traders often wait at bus stops selling everything that travellers could need.
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  • Meat, vegetables and…
    12  of  15
  • …fried chicken.
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  • Otto travelled right across the continent towards the east coast of Africa on breathtaking hairpin roads. These date back to the Portuguese colonial era, but have often been improved with Chinese money to allow the raw materials to be transported out of the country more efficiently.
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  • Video: Angola – home to one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Otto was here before ...

Zambia

date of entry 10 July 2013
mileage 859,406

Zimbabwe

date of entry 18 July 2013
mileage 860,505

Zambia

date of entry 01 August 2013
mileage 862,869

Malawi

date of entry 08 August 2013
mileage 864,288

Mozambique

date of entry 15 August 2013
mileage 865,010

Lesotho / Swaziland

date of entry 02 September 2013
mileage 869,171

South Africa

date of entry 03 September 2013
mileage 869,321

Lesotho / Swaziland

date of entry 05 September 2013
mileage 869,973

South Africa

date of entry 06 September 2013
mileage 870,253