Luanda Carnival Angola by Fir Z FlickrLuanda’s three-day carnival takes place in March © Fir Z, Flickr


Colourful carnival

Wild costumes and even wilder dancing and music. Luanda’s three day carnival takes place just before Ash Wednesday each year. Carnival is also celebrated in most of the provincial capitals across the country. It’s the biggest cultural event in the country and has now shaken off its political shackles to become three days of wild entertainment. The music’s deafening and the colours wild. Despite the fun, Angolans take Carnival very seriously and its very competitive.


The Feast of our Lady of the Hill in Lubango

A month of celebrations in this pretty town high in the Central Highlands. Beauty pageant, fashion week, motor racing, candle-lit pilgrimage, agricultural show, sports and lots of eating. What’s not to like about Lubango at this time of year?



The music festival of Angola that just gets bigger and better each year. The Festisumbe International Music Festival takes place in Sumbe, a couple of hours drive south of Luanda. Hotels are jam packed weeks in advance but it’s worth trying to book just to experience the best of Angolan music. The festival also attracts musicians from Portugal, Brazil, Cabo Verde and the occasional international stars such as UB40.


Running into the New Year

The Sao Silvestre is a 15km run through the streets of Luanda that takes place on 31 December each year. The roads are closed the day before and thousands of runners from around the globe including big names from Kenya and Ethiopia compete. There’s also a mini family run of around 4km.

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