Valley of salt looks like snow.

Valley of salt looks like snow.

Back to the Salt Mines! Saturday and Sunday July 26 & 27, an overnight camping field trip to Ngunza, about 1 hour southwest of Muxima inside the greater Quicama National Park, to explore the ancient and historic salt mines of the Quicama tribe. In 2012 we had a field trip to re-discover the Salt Mines mentioned in historic documents as far back as 1593 (see last year’s post here). We found a large salina but didn’t have time to properly explore. We are now going back to spend more time hiking around the surrounding area.

Land of Baobobs, the Road to Quicama Park via Muxima.

Land of Baobobs, the Road to Quicama Park via Muxima.

Please note:
1. This trip requires several hours of hiking mostly on level ground.
2.  Participants must be self-sufficient in terms of camping.
3. A 4 wheel drive vehicle with high wheel base is required.
4. We will be camping in tall grass, capim, so take along a machete or shovel to level an area to set up your tent. This is the kind of grass that has burrs that attach to clothing.

Field group hiking to the salt flats in 2012. Potential salt domes loom in background

Field group hiking to the salt flats in 2012. Potential salt domes loom in background.

We will leave the city at 6:30 AM, drive via Catete and then right before Muxima we will head south west to Ngunza.  We will be accompanied by Angola Field Group member Serafim Quintino who is a native of Quicama.

Meeting point and further details will be provided once you are confirmed for the trip. As with all our field trips, there is limited space. Sign up at the Angola Field Group presentation on July 10 or by emailing: angolafieldgroup@gmail.com and state:    1)your cell phone number   2)names of all participants including drivers  3)whether you have room for passenger/s (keeping in mind space occupied by camping gear)    4)whether you are travelling from Luanda Sul or downtown Luanda. All Angola Field Group trips are at your own risk. There is a provincial border crossing so you must carry valid documents with you.

We will be camping in grass this high.

We will be camping in grass this high.

Kayaking the Kwanza River, Angola's longest river, which stretches for almost 1000 kilometers from Bie to the Atlantic. Photo courtesy Christian Stolte.

Kayaking the Kwanza River, Angola’s longest river, which stretches for almost 1000 kilometers from Bie to the Atlantic. Photo courtesy Christian Stolte.

Kayaking the Kwanza“, a recent three day adventure from Muxima to the Atlantic… The Angola Field Group invites you to drift down the Kwanza River, Angola’s biggest river, with ‘the kayak guys’. Take in their travelogue Thursday, July 10th at 7:45 PM at the Viking Club. They will offer kayaking tips for Angola and have on display one of their boats! (Please note our new starting time).

Water taxi, tranquilo. Photo courtesy Christian Stolte.

Water taxi, tranquilo. Photo courtesy Christian Stolte.

Baby alligator. Every year there are reports of humans, especially women and children, dragged into the river by alligators. Courtesy Christian Stolte.

Baby alligator. Every year there are reports of humans, especially women and children, dragged into the river by alligators. Photo courtesy Christian Stolte.

Glistening waters of the Kwanza River hold many secrets. Queen Nzinga's sister was reputedly drowned in the river by the Portuguese for spying in the 1640's. Photo courtesy Christian Stolte.

Glistening waters of the Kwanza River hold many secrets. Queen Nzinga’s sister was reputedly drowned in the river by the Portuguese for spying in the 1640′s. Photo courtesy Christian Stolte.

In addition, we will also be showing some clips of the historic and culturally rich Luandos region, south of the Kwanza River, home of the former Quicama warriors. Field Group members are invited to the annual Festas Populares dos Luandos , a time for those who left Luandos, to come back to the village and enjoy its traditions, September 12, 13, 14. Representative Serafim Quintino will be on hand to register people and answer questions.

Villagers welcoming visitors to the Luandos Festival.

Villagers welcoming visitors to the Luandos Festival. Photo courtesy http://kudisanza.wordpress.com

Everybody is welcome to attend. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Beverages and snacks are sold, coupons must be purchased. The Viking Bar opens at 7:15 PM. The location is: main floor Edificio Maianga, Rua Marien Nguabi, No 118, Maianga, across from Panela de Barro restaurant. You can download a map showing the location of the Viking Club at angolafieldgroup.com/find-us

For Sale: Wild honey and artisanal peanut butter from the Mutti Farm in Moxico. Handwoven baskets from the Zambezi Women´s Cooperative. Natural medicine including Artemesia Tea from ANAMED in Bie. Books about Angola.

Area known as Luandos, located just outside the southeast zone of Quicama National Park.

Area known as Luandos, located just outside the southeast corner of Quicama National Park. Map courtesy http://kudisanza.wordpress.com – click map to enlarge.

Within a joint Nordic programme organized by the Norwegian and the Swedish Embassies, the Viking Club invites you to attend the screening of two Nordic documentary films.
 22 May at 8pm – a film about Olof Palme, the former  Prime Minister of Sweden (English with Portuguese subtitles) – see below for details about this film.
29 May at 8pm – a film about the world renown Norwegian painter Edward Munch (English with Portuguese subtitles) – scroll down to the next post for more details about this film.

The Viking Bar will open at 7:15 PM and the movies will start rolling at 8:00 PM. You can download a map showing the location of the Viking Club on this website’s Join Us page. The Viking Club is on the main floor of the former Swedish Building at Rua Marien N”Guabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the new Panela de Barra restaurant.

Olof Palme

PALME –A 20th Century Tale, a film about Olof Palme, the former Prime Minister of Sweden.

Synopsis: In 1986 Olof Palme was openly shot to death on a February evening on the streets of Stockholm. In one night, the country of Sweden was transfigured.The film PALME is about his life, his times, and about the Sweden he had created. Olof Palme was a boy from the upper-class who ended up creating the world’s most equal society. He was the tactician who was driven by his passion for social justice. Worshipped and hated beyond parallel. Neither before him nor after him has any othe politician resembled Olof Palme. Through Olof Palme, a minor country like Sweden affected major international politics.

This film about Olof Palme is a journey through time, in pictures and experiences.The film uses never shown private footage as well as interviews with family members and former colleagues. The film was directed by the award winning filmmakers Kristina Lindström and Maud Nycander.

PALME premiered in Swedish cinemas in September 2012. The film is 103 minutes long and will be shown with English narration and Portuguese subtitles.

All are welcome to attend!

The Scream, painting by Edvard Munsch

The Scream, painting by Edvard Munch

The Viking Club, on behalf of the Norwegian and Swedish Embassies, invites members of the Angola Field Group to the screening of the documentary Let the Scream be Heard, in celebration of “Norwegian-Swedish-Month”, Thursday May 29, at 8:00 PM.

Let the Scream be Heard is an international documentary film focusing on an artistic investigation to reveal the secret behind the universality and timelessness of Norwegian Painter Edvard Munch’s extensive creation, spanning over 60 years and 18,000 works of art.

This film is an attempt to understand that in a world where 15 minutes of fame or even 15 seconds of fame are the deeply satisfying and much sought after rewards, why are we celebrating an artist named Edvard Munch even after 150 years?

To find the answer, we journey back into the mind of Munch himself, traveling through the process of his creation, listening to his own words, learning from his values and philosophies, witnessing the tests of his survival, experiencing life’s mysteries resolved and resonating in his works, and understanding what artistic integrity eventually amounts to in an ever-changing scheme of existence.

Using interviews from various Munch experts and contemporary artists alike, borrowing from elements that influenced Munch, and those which he influenced, our effort is to create an audio-visual collage on celluloid which may enable us to sense why Edvard Munch is relevant to us today and will remain so for years to come…

The Viking Bar opens at 7:15 PM and the movie will start rolling at 8:00 PM. You can download a map showing the location of the Viking Club on this website’s Join Us page. The Viking Club is on the main floor of the former Swedish Building at Rua Marien N”Guabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the new Panela de Barra restaurant.

Click to enlarge.

Click poster image to enlarge.

 

 

 

Angola is one of the countries in Africa with the highest bird diversity – 938 native species – including a high number of endemic and threatened species. Despite its richness, Angola is still one of the least known countries for birds. This lack of knowledge is mainly a consequence of both the Portuguese Colonial war and the Angolan civil war which together lasted 41 years (1961–2002), halting scientific studies and expeditions.

Click here to read this recent paper on historical data on birds of Angola based on the Angolan ornithological collection held by the Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical (IICT) in Lisbon, Portugal.

Bird and nature conservation in Angola needs public input. The Angola Field Group invites you to a presentation at the Viking Club, Thursday May 1st at 7:30 PM with Conservation Biologist Michael Mills, the foremost expert on Angola´s birds. Michael will highlight the challenges and problems facing Angola´s birds/wildlife and discuss what the priorities are for a Bird Conservation NGO. (Please note, due to the holiday the presentation will kick off half an hour earlier than usual.)

Michael Mills has been working in Angola for more than 10 years. His work has included improving knowledge of birds and their habitats and running practical, community-based conservation at Mount Moco in Huambo province, central Angola (www.mountmoco.org). He has led outings for and delivered talks to the Angola Field Group. Currently his work represents the BirdLife network in Angola,  (www.birdsangola.org) and now he and a group of concerned individuals are seeking the formalisation of an Angolan NGO to take forward and expand on this work.

Everybody is welcome to attend. The talk will be in English. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Beverages and snacks are sold at the bar, coupons must be purchased. The Viking Bar opens at 7:00 PM! You can download a map showing the location of the Viking Club on this website’s Join Us page. The Viking Club is on the main floor of the former Swedish Building at Rua Marien N”Guabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the new Panela de Barra restaurant.

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Shore birds on Musssulo Bay.

Shore birds at Mussulo Bay. Photos courtesy Michael Mills.

UPDATE: This field trip is now full. Calling all birdwatchers! Did you know that we have an internationally recognised ‘Important Bird Area’ right in our back yard?  Mussulo Bay, just south of Luanda, is significant due to being a vital feeding site for large numbers of waterbirds including birds migrating south from the Arctic.

Angola Field Group members are invited to join the foremost expert on birds in Angola, conservation biologist Michael Mills, in a morning of bird watching in the Saco dos Flamingos area of Mussulo Bay on Thursday, May 1st (public holiday). We will meet at 7:00 AM at the new big fuel station (it’s either a Pumangol or Sonangol, we’re not sure which one it is?) on the southern outskirts of Ramiros, on the right hand side of the main road. Take along binoculars, telescopes and your bird book.

 Important, there is a limit to the number of participants that can join this excursion. You must book your spot -  please email Michael: birdsangola@gmail.com  

For any trips outside of Luanda, you must have valid passport with you and car documents. All Angola Field Group trips are at your own risk.

Common Redshank.

Common Redshank at Mussulo Bay.

 

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