An­gola is rich with nat­u­ral re­sources – di­a­monds, iron ore, cop­per, phos­phates, ura­nium – and a seem­ingly end­less sup­ply of petroleum mak­ing it the sec­ond-largest oil pro­ducer in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa.Yet its peo­ple are among the con­ti­nent’s poor­est.

Much of An­gola’s poverty stems from a long and trou­bled history. The coun­try gained its in­de­pen­dence in 1975. Un­for­tu­nately, that didn’t trans­late to peace; a re­lent­less and de­struc­tive civil war that raged for 27 years fi­nally ended in 2002.

As a re­sult, much of the county’s in­fra­struc­ture is still dam­aged or un­de­vel­oped. Still, An­gola is re­build­ing, thanks to grow­ing po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and ris­ing oil prices, the back­bone of its econ­omy. CITIES: Luanda is the na­tion’s cap­i­tal city and the eco­nomic cen­ter of ac­tiv­ity, along with a rep­u­ta­tion as one of the world’s most ex­pen­sive cities for ex­pats. The main air­port in An­gola, Luanda’s Qua­tro de Fevreiro In­ter­na­tional Air­port, was up­graded in 2010.

De­spite these im­prove­ments, fa­cil­i­ties are still some­what lim­ited, and this air­port will be re­placed in the next two years by the new An­gola In­ter­na­tional Air­port cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion. The new air­port will have two dou­ble run­ways, one ca­pa­ble of han­dling the Air­bus A380. HO­TELS: A num­ber of new ho­tels are be­ing built and have re­cently opened, but de­mand still ex­ceeds sup­ply. As a gen­eral rule of thumb, the costs for a sin­gle room with bath start at $300 for 3-star ac­com­mo­da­tion and in­crease to about $500 per night at a 5-star ho­tel. There’s not much room for ne­go­ti­a­tion, as most ho­tels run at very high oc­cu­pancy rates.

The na­tional cur­rency is the An­golan kwanza. An­gola is a cash so­ci­ety – credit cards en­joy only lim­ited ac­cep­tance through­out the coun­try.

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