Paleontologists at work north of Caxito.

Paleontologists at work north of Caxito. Photo courtesy Projecto PaleoAngola.

Dinosaur footprints in diamond mines… the oldest marine turtle in Africa … a 90 million year old new species of sauropod… These are just some of the discoveries unearthed in Angola in the last decade. The Angola Field Group invites you to Ten Years of Exploring Angola’s Paleontological Heritage at the Viking Club, Thursday, August 6, at 7:45 PM, with palaeontologists Dr. Louis Jacobs of Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas and Dr. Octavio Mateus, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. Their paleontological fieldwork, which started in May 2005, is carried out annually as part of Projecto PaleoAngola: www.paleoangola.org

Angolatitan, first dinosaur discovered in Angola, 2005. Photo courtesy Projecto PaleoAngola.

Angolatitan, first dinosaur discovered in Angola, 2005. Photo courtesy Projecto PaleoAngola.

The results of the fieldwork in Cretaceous sites in Angola has been extraordinarily spectacular with the discovery of the first dinosaurs of Angola dating from the Early Cretaceous and also the discovery of various reptiles including monosaurs, pleiosaurs, ammonites, and fossilized turtles and whales. Dr. Louis Jacobs is internationally recognized as a dinosaur expert and six fossil species have been named after him. He calls Angola a fossil museum in the ground. Dr. Octavio Mateus, also well known in his field, heads up the  Museu da Lourinha in West Portugal which houses an extensive collection of paleontological specimen.

Angola field group guest presenter Dr. Louis Jacobs.

Angola field group guest presenter Dr. Louis Jacobs. Photo courtesy Projecto PaleoAngola.

Everybody is welcome to attend. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. The talk will be in English. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar which opens at 7:15 PM. Coupons must be purchased. 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.

For Sale: Photo books, Natural Medicine books and other books about Angola and Huambo Dolls.

The palatial home of Angola’s famous slave trader Dona Ana Joaquina, 1788 to 1859. At the time it was one of the largest houses in Luanda. Today Luanda’s provincial courthouse stands on the site of Joaquina’s ‘palacio’.

The palatial home of Angola’s famous slave trader Dona Ana Joaquina, 1788 to 1859. At the time it was one of the largest houses in Luanda. Today Luanda’s provincial courthouse stands on the site of Joaquina’s ‘palacio’.

THIS TRIP IS NOW FULL. But note that Reviver still has space on their bus tour on Sunday, August 16, a Historical Tour of Old Luanda. Phone 934-631713. Space is limited to 50 participants.

This is a walking tour of parts of Old Luanda that tell the slave trade story, a heritage hidden but not forgotten. The tour is approximately 3 hours and will be in English, with Arquitecta Angela Mingas, who is a specialist in cultural heritage, and teaches in the Architectural Department at Lusíadas University. Maximum 20 participants. Open to members of the Angola Field Group.

When: Saturday, 08 August, meeting at 8:30 AM

Where: Meeting Point is front entrance (brown doors) of Lusíada University, which is across the street from Cha de Caxinde, next to the old BESA bank which is now Banco Economico, in downtown Luanda.

Cost: 2000 Kwanzas (includes a map of the route and bottle of water). The proceeds go to Campanha Reviver, a movement working to preserve Luanda’s cultural heritage. See flyer below.

To Sign Up: (in Portuguese please) call Gilce at 934-631713. Or email (in Portuguese or English): passeios.campanha.reviver@gmail.com

See flyer below for future tours open to the general public. Spread the word and support Reviver as they battle to protect the heritage of Angola´s capital city. Follow them on Facebook here.

Flyer 2015

Mercury has established himself as the Master Bull

Mercury has long attained a jet-black color.

Mercury has long attained a jet-black color. All photos, Pedro Vaz Pinto.

Instead of constantly following one female herd, he now spends most of his time alone marking and patrolling his territory, and only occasionally bursts calmly amidst a group of immediately-turned submissive females, to claim his bounty. His leadership is now naturally enforced and totally unchallenged. All young males, including the next-in-line Apollo, disappear or keep a safe distance his approach.

Young females are the future of Cangandala; Jovens fêmeas são o futuro da Cangandala.

Young females are the future of Cangandala.

We have at least two good breeding herds, totalling about 30 animals and with a good number of young breeding females… in this regard the prospects in Cangandala are encouraging. On a sad note, many poaching incidents were reported … In Cangandala armed poachers were detected inside the sanctuary and shots were exchanged with the poachers, before they eventually escaped. Also yet another trap camera was stolen, highlighting the lack of security in the park. In Luando Reserve, although it wasn’t possible to access the area because of the rains, we were informed by the rangers that poaching is rampant and one of our trap cameras was destroyed by poachers.

Ending on a bright note, colouful Cangandala… 

Removing a tree that fell over the fence.

Colorful grasshopper in the park.

A male Holub's golden weaver.

A male Holub’s golden weaver.

Read biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s full First Trimester 2015 Report with photos from Angola’s Cangandala Park and Luando Reserve, in English and Portuguese on our Giant Sable page.

Less than 3% of small farms have land deeds.

Less than 3% of small farms have land deeds (photo courtesy Tobias)

Rural land ownership in Angola has always been complex, from the time that the Bantu forced out traditional hunter gatherers, to when the Portuguese moved thousands of Angolans from their traditional lands, to present day questionable land acquisitions by various vested interests. Today, less than 3% of small scale Angolan farmers have deeds for their land. The Angola Field Group invites you to hear What’s Happening to Angola’s Rural Land? at the Viking Club, Thursday July 23 at 7:45 PM.

Most land is held communally with the soba in charge or is owned by the state (photo courtesy  S. Borges)

Most land is held communally with the soba in charge or is owned by the state (photo courtesy S. Borges)

Our presenter, Paulo Filipe, born in Luanda, published his book Nós e a Nossa Terra, in March this year. He graduated from the Africa University in Zimbabwe in 1994 with a major in Agriculture and Natural Resources. He has also studied in the USA and in South Africa but his main interest remains researching the pursuit of ensuring that all Angolans are able to access sufficient, affordable and nutritious food.

Food security is a looming issue in southern Africa

Food security is a looming issue in southern Africa (photo credit S. Borges)

Everybody is welcome to attend. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. The talk will be in English. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar which opens at 7:15 PM. Coupons must be purchased. 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.

 Do all Angolans have access to affordable and nutritious food?

Do all Angolans have access to affordable and nutritious food?

Basic First Aid Treatment of African Snake Bite and Snake Safety Awareness  – click here to download Word document.
 
 The Most Common Venom / Dangerous Snakes of Angola:
All photos are courtesy of  Wildlife Advisor and reptile expert, Warren Klein.
Scroll down for more details of presentation he gave to the Angola Field Group in April 2015.

African Rock Python / Python sebae

African Rock Python (Python sebae)

Burrowing asp  (Atractaspis sp.)

Burrowing asp (Atractaspis sp.)

Black necked spitting cobra (Naja nigricollis)

Black necked spitting cobra (Naja nigricollis)

Boomslang Dispholidus (typus punctatus)

Boomslang Dispholidus (Typus punctatus)

Black tree snake (Thrasops jacksoni)

Black tree snake (Thrasops jacksoni)

Forest cobra  (Naja melanoleuca)

Forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca)

Forest vine snake (Thelotornis kirtlandi)

Forest vine snake (Thelotornis kirtlandi)

Jamesons mamba  (Dendroaspis jamesoni)

Jamesons mamba (Dendroaspis jamesoni)

Puff adder Bitis arietans WKlein

Puff adder (Bitis arietans)

 

Puff adder Soyo

The most dangerous snake in Africa, Puff adder (Bitis arietans) here in defensive posture, can be found around the outskirts of Luanda in suitable habitat

Snakes in Angola.  The diversity of Angolan reptiles is poorly known. Due to the war and difficulty traveling in the country, very little research has been conducted here. There are no field guide books on reptiles specific to Angola; the count of Angolan species diversity remains unknown. But venomous snakes do exist. The Angola Field Group invites you to a presentation, Snakes in Angola and Africa, at the Viking Club, Thursday April 23rd at 7:45 PM with reptiles specialist Warren Klein who will talk about reptiles in general, venomous snakes of Angola and explain basic First Aid treatment of a snake bite.

​Presenter Warren Klein handling a large female python for data collection. The African python, (Python sebae) is the biggest/longest snake in Africa.

​Presenter Warren Klein handling a large female python for data collection. The African python, (Python sebae) is the biggest/longest snake in Africa.

Warren has been the head curator of herpetology at various reptiles parks in South Africa and since 2006 he has been working as the Wildlife Advisor and Reptile Specialist for the Angola LNG project in Soyo, focusing on the identification, safe capture and relocation of snakes and other wildlife. Warren maintains a large captive breeding group of snakes and other reptiles from all around the world at his breeding facility in South Africa.

​Venomous Black necked spitting cobra (Naja nigricollis) in Zaire province.

​Venomous Black necked spitting cobra (Naja nigricollis) in Angola’s Zaire province.

Everybody is welcome to attend. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. The talk will be in English. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar which opens at 7:15 PM. Coupons must be purchased. 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.

For Sale: Pure raw honey from the Zambezi Valley in Moxico. Photo books, Natural Medicine books and other books about Angola also for sale.

​A Forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca) found in residential area.

​A Forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca) found in residential area in Angola.

​Warren Klein relocating a beautiful forest cobra specimen in Soyo.

​Warren Klein relocating a beautiful forest cobra specimen in Soyo, capital city of Zaire province.

​Massangano village with the church perched on the hill. When Livingstone visited in 1852 he said the place was in a state of decay and contained little more than a thousand inhabitants. Today there appear to be even less.

​Massangano village with the church perched on the hill. When Livingstone visited in 1852 he said the place was in a state of decay and contained little more than a thousand inhabitants. Today there appear to be even less.

UPDATE: THIS TRIP IS NOW FULL. Sunday March 29, the Angola Field Group will visit Massangano, the site of one of Angola’s oldest forts, built in 1582 to use as a way station for slaves being traded from Kwanza Norte. During Holland’s brief occupation of the seat of government of Angola, from 1641 to 1648, the Portuguese took refuge in the fort. The Massangano fort is located on the banks of the Kwanza River 20 km east of Dondo. A stone’s throw from the fort is the restored Church of Nossa Senhora da Victoria. On our return home we will visit the remains of Novo Oeiras, the iron foundry on the Lucala River which was erected in 1768 by the Portuguese government. They brought in experienced Swedish miners who unfortunately quickly succumbed to the oppressive climate of the low lying area. Today the foundry is an Angolan heritage site. Trip Details:         -We will leave the city at 6:30 AM prompt and plan to be back in the city limits by 6pm.         -4 wheel drive recommended, full tank of gas, no fuel stops will be made.         -Take food and liquids for the whole day. No food stops.         -Meeting point and further details will be provided once you have signed up and are confirmed for the trip. We accept a limited number of participants. Field trips are open to Angola Field Group members. There is no fee.         -Sign up by emailing: angolafieldgroup@gmail.com and state: 1)your cell phone number   2)names of all participants  3)whether you require transport or not 4)whether you have room for passenger/s and if so how many extras can you take?  5)whether you are traveling 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, original up-to-date documents with you.

​Almost 450 years old, the small but sturdy Massangano Fort looks out over the Kwanza River. It still contains some ancient guns.

Almost 450 years old, the small but sturdy Massangano Fort looks out over the Kwanza River. It still contains some ancient guns.

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