From Cazombo to Luacano via Luau, Moxico Province, Angola

We left Cazombo in the Moxico Province of Angola at about 9 o’clock in the morning – we first had to get clearance from immigration and customs in Cazombo – and the office only opens at 8:30.

Drive from Cazombo to Luau – change money in Luau – we took the dirt road driving alongside the Benguela Railroad.

This is challenging and very difficult 4 x 4 route – not to be done in the rainy season (there is an alternative route which is on a tar road to Saurimo in the Lunda Sul Province – the other road takes you on a dirt road alongside the railway line – and skirting the Cameia National Park and wetlands.

There is major construction work outside of Luacano – a small town where we slept on the school’s front veranda. Massive road being built from Zambia to Luena via Luacano – the train passes through the town of Luacano

The Benguela railway line in the Moxico Province of Angola forms the northern boundary of the Cameia National Park in Angola. The Cameia-Luacano road is wedged between the railway on the right, and the wetlands of Cameia National Park on the left.

Cameia National Park is about 1100m above sea level. Covering a surface area of close to 14.450 km2 it shares its name with the nearby municipality of Cameia.

The Chifumage River forms the southern portion of the eastern boundary and the Lumege and Luena Rivers the south-western boundary.

Much of the park consists of seasonally inundated plains that form part of the Zambezi River Basin, with the northern half of the park draining into the Chifumage river. There are also extensive Miombo Woodlands, similar to those in the Zambezi basin of western Zambia.

Two lakes, Lago Cameia and Lago Dilolo (the largest lake in Angola) lie just outside the parks boundaries and both have extensive reedbeds and grassy swamps that are rich in aquatic bird species.

We slept in Luacano on the veranda of the local primary school. We arrived in Luacano at sunset. There is no accommodation in Luacano.

The town’s police stopped us in a roadblock. They were concerned about our safety that our permits were not in order. After a long debate and conversation in Portuguese among each other, they eventually took us to a councillor’s house where we could put up our tents. Later they said we could sleep in the house but there was no electricity so the police chief decided that it will be safest to sleep on the veranda of the primary school.

*Note: There are banks in Luau where you can change money. It is best though to withdraw Angolan Kwanza from the ATMs in town. Make sure you know the current exchange rates. Angola is well covered with telecom signal and Vodacom/MTN roaming except in the very remote regions far from major towns and villages.

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