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A map of AngolaA map of Angola Decades of civil war have left Angola one of the poorest nations on Earth. In the west, the Atlantic coast is bordered by a narrow strip of lowlands. Inland, the land rises steeply to the mountains of the Bié Plateau (Planalto do Bié), where some peaks soar to heights of over 2500 metres (8200 ft). Much of the rest of Angola is high plain. Scrublands cover the north of the country, while further south, the land merges into the arid Kalahari Desert. Angola's territories include tiny, oil-rich Cabinda to the north, separated from the rest of Angola by the mouth of the River Congo. Lying just south of the Equator, Angola has a tropical climate. Ocean currents keep the coastal plains cool and dry, while the north is hot and humid nearly all year round. The south is drier, with a rainy season between October and May. 

A map of AngolaA map of Angola
Angolan fishermen with their catchAngolan fishermen with their catch


Nearly all Angola’s people are Bantu, whose Central African ancestors arrived in the region about 1500 years ago. Most people live along the coast, where the climate is cooler, and in the humid north. In cities, people speak Portuguese, but in the countryside Bantu languages such as Umbundu, Kimbundu and Kikongo are more commonly spoken.

Mother and child in LuandaMother and child in Luanda

Few houses in rural areas have running water and electricity. People here live traditional lifestyles, farming and keeping animals. In the capital, Luanda, millions of people live in shantytowns, known as musseques, around the edge of the city.

Angola has a very young population: nearly 70% of Angolans are 24 years old or younger.

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