July 10, 2014
Valley of salt looks like snow.
Back to the Salt Mines! Saturday and Sunday July 26 & 27, an overnight camping field trip to Ngunza, about 1 hour southwest of Muxima inside the greater Quicama National Park, to explore the ancient and historic salt mines of the Quicama tribe. In 2012 we had a field trip to re-discover the Salt Mines mentioned in historic documents as far back as 1593 (see last year’s post here). We found a large salina but didn’t have time to properly explore. We are now going back to spend more time hiking around the surrounding area.
Land of Baobobs, the Road to Quicama Park via Muxima.
1. This trip requires several hours of hiking mostly on level ground.
2. Participants must be self-sufficient in terms of camping.
3. A 4 wheel drive vehicle with high wheel base is required.
4. We will be camping in tall grass, capim, so take along a machete or shovel to level an area to set up your tent. This is the kind of grass that has burrs that attach to clothing.
Field group hiking to the salt flats in 2012. Potential salt domes loom in background.
We will leave the city at 6:30 AM, drive via Catete and then right before Muxima we will head south west to Ngunza. We will be accompanied by Angola Field Group member Serafim Quintino who is a native of Quicama.
Meeting point and further details will be provided once you are confirmed for the trip. As with all our field trips, there is limited space. Sign up at the Angola Field Group presentation on July 10 or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org and state: 1)your cell phone number 2)names of all participants including drivers 3)whether you have room for passenger/s (keeping in mind space occupied by camping gear) 4)whether you are travelling 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 documents with you.
We will be camping in grass this high.
June 24, 2012
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: email@example.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 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.