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.

Women and girls are targets for kidnapping and sexual abuse during war.

Women and girls are targets for kidnapping and sexual abuse during war.

March is Women’s Month in Angola. The Angola Field Group invites you to a presentation “Women in Conflict Angola“, Thursday, March 12th, 7:45 PM at the Viking Club. More than two thirds of Angolan families living in certain parts of the country had their home destroyed, and they lost at least one member of their immediate family during the civil war which devastated the country between 1992 and 2002.  Learn more about how the conflict affected women, as well as children, from research conducted during and immediately after the war. Our presenter, Dr. Mary Daly, former Country Director of Christian Children’s Fund, is an Irish medical doctor who has worked in Angola since 1981, specializing in global health and child protection.

 Even young children are haunted by the memories they carry after war has ended.

Even young children are haunted by the memories they carry after war has ended.                  Photos: H. Koning

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 7:15 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.

There were 673 Olive Ridley Turtle nests and 2 Leatherback Turtle nests recorded on Kissemba Beach as of mid February, 2015. Pictured is a baby Olive Ridley Turtle. Photo by H. Koning.

There were 673 Olive Ridley Turtle nests and 2 Leatherback Turtle nests recorded on Kissemba Beach as of mid February, 2015.

Last month, the Angola Field Group was invited to visit Project Kitabanga at its location in Zaire province. Here we joined some university students patrol the 3 kilometer stretch of protected beach. There were 673 Olive Ridley Turtle nests and 2 Leatherback Turtle nests recorded on Kissemba Beach fr0m September 2014 to mid-February, 2015. The Science Faculty at Agostinho Neto University has been running its research project at Kissemba Beach since 2011. Project Kitabanga started in 2003 at Palmeirinhas Beach, south of Luanda. The Angola Field Group began its annual Turtle Trips in 2004.

View a video titled “A Weekend Away on a Turtle Research Trip” produced by Robyn Fox, February 2015.

There were 673 Olive Ridley Turtle nests and 2 Leatherback Turtle nests recorded on Kissemba Beach as of mid February, 2015. Pictured is a baby Olive Ridley Turtle. Photo by H. Koning.

Pictured is a baby Olive Ridley Turtle. Photos by H. Koning.

UPDATE: This trip is now full. Angola is known for its vast reserves of diamonds, the greatest part of which remains yet to be discovered. Now you can see for yourself, a working diamond mine. The visit to the Catoca Diamond Mine in Lunda Sul is now confirmed!

Angola´s largest diamond mine, the Catoca Mine, is located 30 km. from Saurimo, capital city of Lunda Sul province. Between 6 to 6.5 million carats are extracted per year  Photo taken 2014, courtesy of Konstantin Grave.

Angola´s largest diamond mine, the Catoca Mine, is located 30 km from Saurimo, capital city of Lunda Sul province. Between 6 to 6.5 million carats are extracted per year Photo taken 2014, courtesy of Konstantin Grave.

Discovered in 1965, it was ´blessed´by the local sobas in 1995. Despite the years of war, work at the mine continued. Taken from Catoca website www.catoca.com/empresa_historia.asp

Discovered in 1965, it was ´blessed´by the local sobas in 1995. Despite the years of war, work at the mine continued. Taken from Catoca website, http://www.catoca.com

Today the Catoca kimberlite pipe is considered the fifth largest diamond-rich rock formation on Earth in terms of surface area. Over 600 Kimberlite pipes, vertical igneous rock tubes of various sizes which can contain diamonds, have been discovered throughout Angola but less than a dozen are commercially viable. Photo 2012, courtesy of Konstantin Grave.

Today the Catoca kimberlite pipe is considered the fifth largest diamond-rich rock formation on Earth in terms of surface area. Over 600 Kimberlite pipes, vertical igneous rock tubes of various sizes which can contain diamonds, have been discovered throughout Angola but less than a dozen are commercially viable. Photo 2012, courtesy of Konstantin Grave.

When: March 14, 2015
How: Catoca’s private plane
Who: Members of the Viking Club and their invited friends
What: One-day-excursion, check-in at the Airport – Domestic Terminal – at 06.00 on Saturday March 14 and back in Luanda by approximately 17.00 the same day.
Costs: AKZ 51k. Mr. Joseph Okito, Treasurer of the Viking Club, will be coordinating the issuing of travel receipts at the Viking Club together with Lena Boniswa Vaz Contreiras and Emelie Sandberg Aparicio.

Signing up: If you are interested, and serious about going,please send an e-mail to: Lena Boniswa Vaz Contreiras (bvazcontreiiras@gmail.com) cell:+244 923485308 and Emelie Sandberg Aparicio (emelie.sandberg.aparicio@gov.se) cell:+244940394360.

Please note that foreigners, including diplomats, MUST have their passport and visa in order because of emigration Controls both in Luanda and Saurimo. Receipts or letters are definitively not acceptable. You cannot go on this trip without proper passport and visa. This Viking Club excursion to Catoca is carried out at your own risk.

The last months of 2014 saw some interesting visitors to Cangandala National Park and the Luando Reserve, the two protected terriitories of Angola’s Giant Sable.

An evening storm visits  Luando Reserve

The storm arrived before sunset; A tempestade chegou antes do por-do-sol.

The storm arrived before sunset; A tempestade chegou antes do por-do-sol.

A python! visits one of the salinas in Cangandala Park

Incredible scene: a python on the ambush, and a very nervous hybrid female!!! Cena incrível: uma jibóia emboscada, e uma fêmea híbrida muito nervosa!!!

Incredible scene: a python on the ambush, and a very nervous hybrid female!!! Cena incrível: uma jibóia emboscada, e uma fêmea híbrida muito nervosa!!!

Two young females visiting together

Two young girl calves; Duas jovens crias fêmeas.

Two young girl calves; Duas jovens crias fêmeas.

It is well known that calves tend to stay most of the day in crèches, but even as they grow a young sable seems to prefer the company of same sex and age individuals than to follow his/her mother.

And a warthog who just visited his favourite mud hole!

Warthog male after his daily mud bath; Macho de facochero depois do seu banho de lama diário.

Warthog male after his daily mud bath; Macho de facochero depois do seu banho de lama diário.

And Mercury came for a visit back home! Now “a mighty imposing black bull with massive horns”, who after one year of adventurous dispersal outside of the sanctuary, has returned.

And Mercury again!; E o Mercúrio novamente!

And Mercury again!; E o Mercúrio novamente!

His (Mercury’s) behavior suggests that he is more interested in establishing a territory inside the sanctuary than escorting females on a permanent basis, leaving that task for the subdominant Eolo. If confirmed this may provide new insights into dominance and territorial behavior of sable bulls.

Read biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s full Fourth Trimester 2014 Report with photos from Angola’s Cangandala Park and Luando Reserve, in English and Portuguese on our Giant Sable page.

Taken from Upstream/Rytus Daukantas.

Taken from Upstream/Rytus Daukantas.

​Some of estimated 200 attendees, Angola Field Group presentation at the Viking Club.

​Some of estimated 200 attendees, Angola Field Group presentation at the Viking Club.

Thursday’s Angola Field Group presentation had a record setting attendance as participants, some fearing loss of jobs, heard Geologist Tako Koning say that the new technology of fracking for oil is a huge game changer in the oil industry and predicted that low oil prices could continue for the next half a decade or so. IMF Country Representative Nicholas Staines talked about the impact of the new technology on Angola’s economy and stated that Angola needs to raise taxes and eliminate fuel subsidies in the wake of the oil shock. He reiterated that Angola has to get away from the boom-bust cycle, spending when oil prices are high and cutting back when prices are low.

Click here to download Nicholas Staines’ presentation PDF or visit his website www.imf.org/luanda.

Click here to download Tako Koning’s presentation PDF.

​Taken from Upstream/Rytus Daukantas.

​Taken from Upstream/Rytus Daukantas.

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