Musseques, informal housing, also called slums or shantytowns.

Musseques, informal housing, also called slums or shantytowns.

Almost three quarters of the people in Luanda live in musseques, the peri-urban informal settlements which sprung up as safe havens for those fleeing the war. What are the challenges and problems facing the musseques where today the birth rate is higher than ever? The Angola Field group invites you to a presentation, “Musseques, from Survival Strategies to Sustainable Development”, at the Viking Club, Thursday April 10, at 8:00 PM with Willy Piassa, a Community Development Specialist with Development Workshop, a local NGO that has worked in Angola since 1981. Willy has been the Senior Manager of the Luanda Urban Poverty Program and has wide experience building the capacity of Angolan civil society organizations. He graduated from the University of South Africa and completed Postgraduate studies in Governance at the University of Glasgow.

  Less than half the households have on-site sanitation. Photo courtesy DW.

Less than half the households have on-site sanitation. Photo courtesy DW.

Everybody is welcome to attend. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar which opens at 7:30 PM. Coupons must be purchased. For Sale: Natural honey and home made peanut butter from the Mutti Farm in Moxico. Handwoven baskets from the Zambezi Women’s Cooperative as well as books about Angola, and Natural Medicine including Artemesia Tea from ANAMED Bie.

Less than 30% of Luandans have access to running water in their homes. Photo courtesy DW.

Less than 30% of Luandans have access to running water in their homes. Photo courtesy DW.

You can download a map showing the location of the Viking Club on our Join Us page. The Viking Club is on the main floor of Edificio Maianga,  Rua Marien Nguabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the Panela de Barra restaurant.

Photo courtesy DW.

Luanda musseque. Photo courtesy DW.

Nursery workers in the process of planting some of the 42 newly planted trees in a recently cleared area.

Nursery workers in the process of planting some of the 42 newly planted trees in a recently cleared area.

The challenge to prevent deforestation on Mount Moco, Angola’s highest mountain, continues in Huambo province. A total of 181 trees have been planted to date and there are 500 seedlings in the nursery, waiting to be planted. Click here to read Michael Mills’ latest report.

 Driving down the Leba Pass.

Driving down the Leba Pass.

From March 27 to March 30, a field trip to visit the little known Pediva Oasis in southern Namibe province. We plan to hike and explore this beautiful area with its wide savannah and herds of Springbok.

27th, Thursday evening: Meet in Lubango, make camp close by
28th, Friday: Drive to Pediva via Serra da Leba pass and Namibe town (approx 6hrs)
29th, Saturday: Explore Pediva area/ afternoon, drive to Argo (approx. 3hrs, camp)
30th, Sunday: Return direction home.

There are daily flights from Luanda to Lubango arriving at 8.40 AM and daily departures out of Namibe to Luanda at 4pm. Camping gear and equipment is available for hire, prices on request.

If you are driving, it is a 12 to 14 hour drive from Luanda to Lubango via Benguela city. From Namibe city returning to Luanda via the coastal road of Namibe and Benguela provinces takes approximately 12 to 14 hours as part of the way is gravel road. May be some space available in vehicles.

To sign up or for further details, email Henriette Koning at: angolafieldgroup@gmail.com

Click to enlarge.

Click map to see a larger version.

Poaching continues to threaten Angola’s Giant Sable…

An awareness poster. Um poster de sensibilização.

An awareness poster. Um poster de sensibilização.

“FAA, the Angolan Military Forces (army and air force) deployed teams patrolling the Luando Reserve, making local villagers aware of the importance to protect the giant sable, sending the message that from now on, the military will be watchful to protect the national symbol.”

“Nevertheless, a few weeks later we received worrying reports that many armed poachers were still active in Luando, and as compelling evidence the shepherds found a freshly killed roan carcass. It was a yearling male and had been shot by poachers near the diamond areas along the Kwanza River.”

Setting the poacher's camp on fire. Queimando o acampamento dos furtivos.

Setting the poacher’s camp on fire. Queimando o acampamento dos furtivos.

“In the last site visited the shock was even bigger when we burst into the scene and surprised a poacher calmly drying up meat around the fire on a camp situated less than 200 meters from the water hole… Two absent poachers had gone in pursuit of a giant sable bull that had visited the site during the night… The plan was shooting antelopes for a few days, drying up the meat, and then take the product to Malanje and sell it in the market… Unfortunately and much to our shock and disappointment, we learned later, that our poacher escaped detention within 24 hours of being arrested and delivered…”

The tree pangolin is a special and rare resident. O pangolim arborícola é um raro e especial residente.

The tree pangolin is a special and rare resident. O pangolim arborícola é um raro e especial residente.

Even in Cangandala National Park, where the Giant Sable and other rare creatures like the tree pangolin live, there is evidence of poaching.

Visit our Giant Sable page to read biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s Final Report of 2013 with photos from Angola’s Cangandala Park, in English and Portuguese.

 

Cruising the streets of Caxito, the quiet and calm capital of Bengo province.

Cruising the streets of Caxito, the quiet and calm capital of Bengo province.

UPDATE: This trip is now at full capacity. Come ‘Carnaval’ in Caxito, Tuesday March 4th. The Angola Field Group will escape Luanda and travel to Caxito, the capital of Bengo Province, 60 km northeast of Luanda, to take in some small town Carnaval festivities.

The old sugar factory.

The sugar factory as it is today.

Besides the afternoon Carnaval parade,we will visit a few cultural sights:
* Enroute we will stop at Panguila Bridge where the decisive battle for Luanda was fought in November, 1975.
*Caxito used to be the biggest sugar producer in Angola thanks to the Fazenda Tentativa. We will see the remains of the sugar factory, supposedly dismantled by the Cubans during the war, and visit the new Tentativa Museum.
* In the town center we will visit the Sanctuary of Santana, a Catholic Church, with Sister Jovita
*Just outside of Caxito we will stop briefly at the Sassa waterfalls on the Dande River before going to the NGO, ADPP’s Escola Professoras do Futuro (a Teachers Training School) to get a first hand look at their recent solar installation, reputedly the biggest in Angola.

Some colonial homes still remain in the area of the sugar factory

Some colonial homes still remain in the area of the sugar factory.

This field trip is open to members of the Angola Field Group; must have valid passport with visa in hand.
We will depart from a downtown meeting point at 7:30 am. Pack a picnic lunch and all snacks and drinks. We plan to leave Caxito around 5:00 pm. Please do not sign up for this trip if you are on a tight schedule. It is impossible to guarantee exact times and when we will be back.

The new Igreja Santana, downtown Caxito.

The new Igreja Santana, downtown Caxito. Photos courtesy Henriette Koning.

 Sugar factory, Fazenda Tentativa 1974, courtesy Luís Marques.

Sugar factory, Fazenda Tentativa 1974. Photo courtesy Luís Marques.

The meeting point details will be provided after you have been confirmed for this trip. All Angola Field Group trips are at your own risk.

How to sign up: Send an email to angolafieldgroup@gmail.com with: 1. the names of all the passengers in your vehicle and cell phone numbers. 2. Please state if you have room for any car-less individuals that want to join this field trip.

148 solar panels provide energy for ADDP Teacher's Training complex. Photo courtesy ADDP Caxito.

148 solar panels provide energy for ADDP Teacher’s Training complex. Photo courtesy ADDP Caxito.

A shipment of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) leaving the plant at Soyo in Zaire province. Angola's first LNG shipment was in July 2013, delivered to Brazil. Photo courtesy of Angola LNG

A shipment of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) leaving the plant at Soyo in Zaire province. Angola’s first LNG shipment was in July 2013, delivered to Brazil. Photo courtesy of Angola LNG

Few places in the world measure up to the ongoing oil exploration significance of Angola, according to oil experts. This country is the second biggest oil producer in Africa after Nigeria and eventually it may surpass Nigeria. What is it about Angola’s geology that favors so much oil production and what is the long term future of the oil industry here? The Angola Field Group invites you to a presentation: Everyman’s Guide to Angola’s Petroleum Geology and Oil Industry at the Viking Club, Thursday February 20, at 8:00 PM with Geologist Tako Koning who will explain in layperson’s terms the subsurface geology that has led to the success of the country’s oil industry and what it means for the future. Tako, a Holland-born and Canada-raised geologist has over 40 years experience in the oil industry, including 18 years in Angola. He worked with Texaco for 30 years in Canada, Indonesia, Nigeria and Angola; he retired in 2002 and continues to work in Angola as an oil consultant.

Everybody is welcome to attend. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar which opens at 7:30 PM. Coupons must be purchased. You can download a map showing the location of the Viking Club on our website’s  Join Us page here. The Viking Club is on the main floor of Edificio Maianga,  Rua Marien Nguabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the Panela de Barro restaurant.

 

Download the 2013 Annual Report (Relatório Anual) of the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature (Associação Angolana Para Aves e Natureza), in English and Portuguese, compiled by Michael Mills, and read about bird conservation and research activities in Angola:

Click on cover to download.

CLICK ON THE COVER TO DOWNLOAD

Summary - This year saw good progress with our two main projects: at Mount Moco tree planting was accelerated and the nursery expanded, and at Kumbira seven weeks of field study were undertaken by Aimy Cáceres. Additionally, the first official meeting of the Associação Angolana Para Aves e Natureza (the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature) was held to commence the registration of an NGO, a first annotated birder’s checklist of Angolan birds with English and Portuguese names was published, and during a field trip a new species of primate (bushbaby) was confirmed by members of the Nocturnal Primate Research Group, Oxford Brookes University, U. K. Other highlights of the year were the publication of several papers and the start of field surveys in the northern escarpment forests (part of a project funded by BirdLife South Africa).

Resumo – No decorrer deste ano os nossos dois projectos principais avançaram a bom ritmo: no Monte Moco a plantação de árvores acelerou e o viveiro foi aumentado; em Kumbira, a Aimy Cáceres levou a cabo uma expedição de sete semanas. Para além disso, teve lugar o primeiro encontro oficial da Associação Angolana Para Aves e Natureza com o objectivo de iniciar o processo de registro da Associação como ONG, foi publicada a primeira lista das aves de Angola, e uma nova espécie de primata (galago) foi confirmada por membros do Nocturnal Primate Research Group (Grupo de Investigação de Primatas Nocturnos da Oxford Brooke University, Reino Unido). Vários artigos científicos foram publicados e iniciou-se o trabalho de exploração/inventariação das florestas da escarpa norte (parte de um projecto financiando pela BirdLife South Africa).

Seven weeks of field study were undertaken by Aimy Cáceres in Kumbira Forest, pictured here with the Endemic Gabela Bush-shrike.

Seven weeks of field study were undertaken by Aimy Cáceres in Kumbira Forest, pictured here with the Endemic Gabela Bush-shrike. Photo courtesy Henriette Koning.

Ricardo Lima spent 4 weeks radio tracking endemic Gabela Akalat and Bush-shrike in Kumbira.

Ricardo Lima spent 4 weeks radio tracking endemic Gabela Akalat and Bush-shrike in Kumbira. Photo courtesy Henriette Koning.

Logging the Kumbira Forest, a biodiversity hotspot poses a threat to endemic species. Photo, A.Cáceres from http://kumbiraforest.blogspot.pt

Logging the Kumbira Forest, a biodiversity hotspot, poses a threat to endemic species. Photo courtesy A.Cáceres from http://kumbiraforest.blogspot.pt

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