UPDATE: This field trip is now full. Due to logistics, all our field trips have limited space. Priority is given to Angola Field Group members. Want to join? Check the Join Us link above.
Saturday, July 07, we will have a field trip to ‘Re-discover the Old Salt Mines’, mentioned in historic documents that talk about the Kisama salt mines which the Portuguese attempted to conquer beginning in 1593. The salt is an ancient (early Cretaceous) salt layer which has pierced its way up the the surface; thus the salt which was mined was solid rock salt.
“It seems likely that before the Portuguese attempted to make the Kwanza their high road into Africa, it was already an important trading artery. On the south side of the river, not far from its mouth, there are important deposits of rock salt. These were exploited in pre-Portuguese times and may have formed the basis of an important commercial system. The salt was quarried in slabs two feet long and used as a currency unit at least in the Angolan kingdom of Ndongo if not further afield. The Jesuit Gouveia, writing in about 1563, said that rock salt was the main richness of Angola and that traders came from many nations in the interior to buy it.” from The African Response to Early Portuguese Activities edited by Chilcote.
We will leave the city at 6:00 AM and drive via Catete to Muxima where we will meet the Soba who will provide us with a guide. The trip requires a hike in of about 6 kilometers and out again so we will be hiking for about 12 kilometers. You should have a 4 wheel drive and take food and drinks for the day. There will be a small fee levied for the guide. We plan to be back in the city limits between 5 and 6 but because we have never done this trip before, we cannot guarantee our return time. We will be accompanied by Angola Field Group member Serafim Quintino who is a native of Quicama and will introduce us to the Soba.
Meeting point and further details will be provided once you have signed up and are confirmed for the trip. Sign up by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 5)whether you are travelling from Luanda Sul or downtown Luanda.
All Angola Field Group trips are at your own risk and there is a provincial border crossing so you must carry valid documents with you.