Field Trips


catoca-mine

The Catoca kimberlite pipe in Lunda Sul is one of the largest diamond-rich rock formations on Earth in terms of surface area. Kimberlite pipes are vertical tubes of igneous rock which can contain diamonds.

The VIKING CLUB, in cooperation with the CATOCA DIAMOND MINE, is offering a one-day air charter excursion to Catoca. We have a full day itinerary planned that includes visiting Saurimo, the capital city of Lunda Sul where we have the honor to meet with the province’s Governor. Then it’s on to Catoca to see the workers’ Residential Project, Hidrochicapa Power Station and a primary school. We will then visit the Catoca Mine, the world’s fourth largest kimberlite diamond mine. The tour ends in the Exhibition Room where you can get a close-up look at real diamonds extracted from the mine. We are invited to join the Catoca mine staff for one of their excellent lunches.

When: Saturday, March 4th, 2017
How: Catoca’s private plane Embraer ERJ 145
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 4th and back in Luanda by approximately 17.45 the same day.
Costs: AKZ 90.000,00 (ninety thousand AKZ).
Signing up: If you are interested, and serious about going, please send an e-mail as soon as possible with your name, your company’s name, your position in the company, nationality, electronic copy of passport showing picture and visa, email address and cell phone number to: Boniswa Vaz Contreiras bvazcontreiras@gmail.com cell:+244-923485308.

For additional information contact:
Leif Biureborgh – leif_biureborgh@hotmail.com – cell:+244 912 506938
Konstantin Grave – kmg.catoca@gmail.com – cell:+244923514827

The number of seats is limited and will be ‘first-come-first served’. You will receive a confirmation. Provided we receive a sufficient number of confirmed participants in the next few days, cash payments will take place at the Viking Club, Rua Marien N’Gouabi 118, Maianga on Tuesday 28 February at 19.00. Please no small notes!!

catoca

Participant at a previous year’s field trip gets a close-up.

 

children

Irma Domingas, second from right, runs Casa da Criança. Photo by Estelle. M


From the Viking Club:
The ongoing oil crisis brings difficulties that not only worry governments and large corporations but also dramatically impact many people, both Angolan and expatriates. When privileged conditions of life are under threat or come to an end, it is normal to feel fear and sorrow, and knowing that many people are more miserable, does not help. But what if those individuals display genuine smiles and joy for life? How can someone keep courage and faith after life takes everything from him or her?

You are invited to gain an insight with Sister Domingas Loureiro who will present “Casa da Criança Santa Isabel” where orphans try and succeed in standing and moving ahead after losing their parents. Ninety children in the orphanage, ninety different stories. We will listen to three of them, Teresa, Juliana and Monica and discover how life can sometimes be cruel. We will learn that accusing children of witchcraft is still practiced in Angola despite being denounced a decade ago.

But above all, we will understand that no matter how tough life can be, taking up the challenge is the only way to grow and sometimes, change conditions. Our two testimonies, Mila and Lembra, will share their passion for music and will play some classic pieces. We promise to display a great lesson in humility, courage and hope and look forward to meeting with you and your friends.

Everybody is welcome to attend this presentation at the Viking Club on Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 pm, offered free of charge. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Bar, which opens at 7:15 PM. Coupons must be purchased. You can download a map showing the location on the Angola Field Group Join Us page. The Viking Club is on the main floor of Prédio Maianga, Rua Marien Nguabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the Panela de Barro restaurant.

Click below for further info on Irma Domingas and Casa da Criança Santa Isabel:
www.slateafrique.com/99131/calvaire-enfants-accuses-sorcellerie-angola-orphelinats-eglise
 www.irinnews.org/report/48287/angola-children-victims-of-witchcraft-accusations

​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.

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.

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UPDATE: THIS TRIP IS NOW FULL. Since 2004 the Angola Field Group has joined members of the Agostinho Neto University team of biology students who patrol the beaches of Angola during turtle nesting season, September to March. This year the Kitabanga project has invited us to Praia Kissemba, north of Ambriz. in Zaire Province. Last year we were very fortunate to watch a female leatherback, the largest of all turtles, come ashore to lay her eggs on this beach.

We will leave on January 31, Saturday morning at 6:30 AM and return Sunday afternoon. The location is about 25 KM north of Ambriz. It takes about 4 hours to reach the beach from the outskirts of Luanda.

Requirements – you must be self sufficient in terms of camping and food. 4 wheel drive required. We will be leaving Luanda on Saturday morning at 6:30 AM, with the students who need to get there early. Saturday night we will patrol the beach with the team looking for turtles.

To register for this trip, you must have valid documents since the trip crosses two provincial borders. Email: Henriette Koning at angolafieldgroup@gmail.com and please indicate:
    •    names of participants
    •    cell phone number
    •    do you  have room in your vehicle for an extra passenger?  keeping in mind camping gear takes up space
    •     will you be leaving from the city or from Luanda Sul  

Final trip details including our meeting location will be given once you’ve signed up and are confirmed for this trip. All Angola Field Group trips are at your own risk.

Architect Angela Mingas explaining building materials used in very old structures, a few still exist today.

Architect Angela Mingas explaining building materials used in very old structures, a few still exist today.

Walking Tour – Sunday, November 30, meeting downtown at 8:00 AM. Take a close-up look at the history of Luanda’s oldest downtown structures with Architect Angela Mingas, who is a specialist in cultural heritage, and teaches in the Architectural Department at Lusídas University. This is a walking tour (not strenuous) about 2.5 hours long. Open to members of the Angola Field Group.

To sign up send an email to angolafieldgroup@gmail.com giving your name and phone number. Limited space so please only sign up if you seriously intend to go. Final details will be emailed when you are confirmed. The tour costs 2500 AKZ. Proceeds go to Campanha Reviver, a campaign to preserve Luanda’s heritage and is part of the Lusídas Architectural Department. All Angola Field Trips are at your own risk.

Chicala in the foreground looking across at the Forteleza de Sao Miguel, the first structure the Portuguese built in Luanda, in 1575.

Chicala in the foreground looking across at the Forteleza de Sao Miguel, the first structure the Portuguese built in Luanda, in 1575. Both photos are from around 1960.

The National Bank visible on the Marginal that runs to the port. Both photos are from around 1960.

The National Bank visible on the Marginal that runs to the port. Photos from the book “As mais belas cidades de Angola”.

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