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Driving in Angola

Traffic in Angola drives on the right. Since the end of the civil war in 2002, overland access to the interior of Angola has improved considerably. Nonetheless, highways in some areas remain poor and infrastructure for travelers is poor or non-existent.

Road travel can be dangerous, especially during the rainy season (October to March), which can cause large potholes and erosion. Land mines remain a problem on some secondary roads in more remote areas. Road conditions vary widely outside the capital from acceptable paved surfaces to virtually impassable dirt roads, particularly secondary routes. Many secondary roads, including secondary roads in urban areas, are impassable during the rainy season. Overloaded, poorly marked, and disabled vehicles, as well as pedestrians and livestock, pose hazards for motorists. Ground travel in rural areas should be undertaken during daylight hours only. Areas with suspected land mines are generally clearly marked and travellers should heed these warnings. Primary roads are considered to be landmine free in most provinces, but travelers should not venture far from the margins of the road. Extensive government, commercial and NGO demining projects continue throughout the country.

Traffic in Luanda is heavy and often chaotic, and roads are often in poor condition. Few intersections have traffic lights or police to direct vehicles. Drivers often fail to obey traffic signals and signs, and there are frequent vehicle breakdowns. Itinerant vendors, scooters and pedestrians often weave in and out of traffic, posing a danger to themselves and to drivers. Angola has little public transportation. Most inter-city transportation in Angola is done by small blue and white vans called candongueiros or large buses. Many drivers of these vehicles have little training and the majority of the candongueiro drivers are not in possession of a driver licence and the vehicles are poorly maintained. The candongueiros often drive at high speeds, and they are the principal vehicles involved in the many deadly single and multi-vehicle accidents along Angolan roads.

An International Driving Permit is recommended (or translation of national licence), although, in theory, visitors may drive with a national licence for up to 30 days.





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