Terminal Drop-Off Charge

From 1 November 2021, a £5 charge will apply for vehicles dropping off passengers at the designated drop-off zones, located directly outside the terminals. Discounts and exemptions will apply. Free drop-off will be available at the Long Stay car parks.

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Changes to entering the UK using EU ID cards

From 1 October 2021, most EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to use a valid passport to travel to the UK. ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document to enter the UK, though some exemptions will apply. 

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  • Overview

    Angola's capital Luanda is a lively, gritty city where construction cranes and luxury cars abound, while the shantytowns at the city's periphery grow larger every week. It is the country's main seaport, its administrative and residential centre, and it is home to a surprisingly well-connected airport, offering direct flights to many major international destinations.

    Luanda tourist infrastructure remains underdeveloped however, and is mostly visited by businesspeople and expat workers who shuttle between their project sites and five-star hotels. This is a pity, as it is certainly not short of exciting sightseeing opportunities. Founded by Portuguese colonists in 1575, Luanda became an important seaport and export base for both minerals and foodstuffs, and infamously for the slaves who were sent in their hundreds of thousands to the Portuguese colonies in Brazil. Many of these slaves spent their last night in the distinctive Fortaleza de São Miguel, dating from 1576. This structure was the colonial heart of the old city, a well-defended citadel that was home to the Portuguese garrison and its merchants.

    The nearby National Museum of Slavery houses artefacts and images from this terrible time. There are also beautiful, ancient churches and interesting museums to spend time in; a welcomed respite from encounters with the city's grim history of slavery. Luanda also has a number of good restaurants and cafés on offer, and sun-worshippers should visit the best beach in town, Mussulo, which can be accessed by boat from the main harbour. Also, visitors shouldn't miss a shopping trip to Benfica market where everything from Tupperware to good quality African crafts is sold in a vibrant, cacophonic and richly scented environment that only an African city can provide.

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    Luanda has a mildly tropical climate with little variation in temperature throughout the year. Summer (October to May) averages 77°F (25°C), and is Angola's rainy season; the heavy rains can make roads impassable and conditions decidedly uncomfortable. Some popular tourist attractions close for the rainy season. Winter (June to September) is slightly cooler and much drier, with temperature averages between 65°F (18°C) and 72°F (22°C), and is considered tourist season.

    Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport
    Location: The airport is two miles (4km) from Luanda.
    Time: GMT +1.
    Getting to the city: Visitors can take a bus from the airport to the city or hire a local taxi service. Payment for a taxi will usually be in cash (kwanza or US dollars) unless travellers book transport through Allo Taxi, which provides a similar service to Uber and accepts credit card payment. Rail services are erratic, and tickets difficult to purchase. Visitors are advised to make advance arrangements to be met by their sponsor, hotel representative or business colleagues at the airport.
    Car Rental: Budget and Avis have car rental facilities at the airport.
    Airport Taxis: There are several taxi companies operating around the airport and taxi payment is by cash only (drivers will also accept US Dollars).
    Facilities: Airport facilities include a restaurant, bar, post office, currency exchange, and 24-hour medical facilities.
    Parking Parking is available at the airport.

    Public transport in Luanda is limited and the best means of getting around the city is by private car. Car hire is available from the airport; it's possible to also hire a car with a driver, which is a safer option than trying to navigate the city's chaotic streets alone. Minibus taxis (Candongueiros), recognised by their pale blue and white colouring, are the most popular means of transport for the local population; they generally offer a safe and fast means of transport around Luanda. Buses and trains are also available, but are not the most reliable transport in the city and are not recommended. Uber alternative, Kubinga, operates in the city.

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    Companies flying to Luanda