Biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s full Second Trimester 2015 Report with photos from Angola’s Cangandala Park and Luando Reserve, in English and Portuguese, is now up on our Giant Sable page.

The major defining component in the Park and Reserve during this trimester is, “grass, lots and lots of grass”.

mercury              Mercury, now you see him…

just horns         … now you don’t!

“Mercury has now fully matured, and his behaviour is what would be expected from a master bull, calmly arrogant and imposing.”

005-0027-028-1-0-Mercury marking the territory at salina 19


The birds and the bees of Cangandala National Park (slideshows)

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Survival of the fittest in the park

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And the unknown

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Visit our Giant Sable page to read Pedro Vaz Pinto’s full report and previous reports.

Former Cidade Alta train station. Photo by H. Koning.

Former Cidade Alta train station. Photo by H. Koning.

UPDATE: Please note that Reviver with Architect Angela Mingas has had to postpone this tour till further notice. In lieu of, Reviver is offering another Walking Tour of the Slave Route this Saturday, August 15th. To register phone: 934 631 713


There is still time to sign up for the REVIVER Bus Tour of Historic Luanda, sponsored by NEAAUD, an organization working to protect, preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Angola´s capital city. You must register in advance. Space is limited so sign up asap.

Who: Anybody is welcome to join
When: Sunday, August 16, at 8:30 AM
Where: Departing from Lusíada University, across the street from Cha de Caxinde, next to the old BESA bank which is now Banco Economico, in downtown Luanda. DOWNLOAD A MAP – CLICK HERE.
Cost: 2500 Kwanzas per person
To Register: Call Gilce at 935-356290 or email: passeios.campanha.reviver@gmail.com

The tour will stop at various locations including the Jesuit Church which is tucked away in Cidade Alta, the old train station in Cidade Alta and the National Bank (Banco Nacional de Angola), the iconic pink building on the Marginal. The tour lasts approximately 3 hours. 

The Train Master’s house located just across the street from the station. Photo by H. Koning.

The Train Master’s house located just across the street from the station. Photo by H. Koning.

A Campanha Reviver parceria entre o CEICA (Centro de Estudos e Investigação Cientifica de Arquitectura) e KALU (Associação dos Naturais, Residentes e Amigos de Luanda), coordenada por Ângela Mingas e Cristina Pinto tem como Tema a DIVULGAÇÃO, DEFESA E PROTECÇÃO DO PATRIMÓNIO DA CIDADE DE LUANDA.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

Now available to download, 2014 Annual Report of the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature, in English and in Portuguese.

Click to download PDF.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD PDF.

This year saw good progress with our two main projects: at Mount Moco tree planting was accelerated and the nursery expanded, and 80 fuel efficient stoves were finally delivered to the community at Kanjonde, to reduce their reliance on fire wood.

A highlight of the year was delivering 80 fuel efficient stoves for the families at Kanjonde.

A highlight of the year was delivering 80 fuel efficient stoves for the families at Kanjonde.

At Kumbira, a forest in Kwanza Sul province, seven weeks of field study were undertaken by Aimy Cáceres and colleagues, where a detailed study of Gabela Akalat range sizes and habitat use was undertaken, and tree biomass evaluated.

Aimy Cáceres radio tracking (left) a tagged Gabela Akalat (right).

Aimy Cáceres radio tracking (left) a tagged Gabela Akalat (right).

Additionally, good progress was made with the registration of the Associação Angolana para Aves e Natureza (the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature) with the registration certificate now issued. Other highlights? The bilingual book on The Common Birds of Luanda was completed and will be launched with the launch this year, 2015, of the NGO.  Several peer-reviewed publications were produced.

“A shocking development that we need to report in Cangandala relates, once more, to poaching activities. There is little doubt that we have at least one team of two armed poachers, who have been operating the area at least for the past three years.”

The young roan that was transported on a poacher’s bike; A jovem palanca-vermelha que foi transportada na mota dum caçador.

The young roan that was transported on a poacher’s bike; A jovem palanca-vermelha que foi transportada na mota dum caçador.

Ranger placing a trap camera high to monitor poacher trails; Fiscal colocando uma câmara alto para monitorar passagem de caçadores.

Ranger placing a trap camera high to monitor poacher trails; Fiscal colocando uma câmara alto para monitorar passagem de caçadores.

How safe from poachers are the giant sable like this young male, even though they are inside a fenced area?

Eolo is a handsome young boy, yet to turn black but already with an impressive presence.

Eolo is a handsome young boy, yet to turn black but already with an impressive presence.

Our Toyota was the first car to cross the Luando river in 27 years; O nosso Toyota foi o primeiro carro a atravessar o Luando em 27 anos.

Our Toyota was the first car to cross the Luando river in 27 years; O nosso Toyota foi o primeiro carro a atravessar o Luando em 27 anos.

“And in Luando Reserve poaching is rampant. We found plenty of poaching tracks, active and inactive traps, recently used cartridges, animal carcasses in traps, poacher’s camps…”

Collecting cable snare traps; Recolhendo cabos de armadilhas de laço.

Collecting cable snare traps; Recolhendo cabos de armadilhas de laço.

A poacher eaten by the Luando Lion?! It’s all there in our Giant Sable page. Read biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s Third Trimester 2014 Report with photos from Angola’s Cangandala Park and Luando Reserve, in English and Portuguese.