Boat to Mossolo
Although Mossolo is not really an island, being a thin strip of peninsula attached to the mainland, the only way to get there is by boat. There are boats around Benfica, in the southern suburbs of Luanda, that can take you there. One has to bargain with the boatman as prices can be high. Make sure you form a large group to save money. One can also hire these boat for an entire day, especially useful when you want to explore Mossolo, which is quite a long penisula.
There are no proper taxis with meters in Luanda. So if you do not have a car in Luanda, you are stuck. However, you can travel around with a Kangongeiro, a "taxi" van that is painted in blue and white and can carry up to about 12 passengers. These kangongeiros do not have signs of their destination. However, they have a written side on the side that says "particular"which means ""privately owned". A tout shouts the destination, so you must know Luanda's geographical location before you board this mode of transport. They are an inexpensive way of travelling around Luanda, but it is not the most comfortable way of going around town.
Good Rent a Car
Moving around in Luanda is unthinkable without a car. Taxis do not legally exist, and they charge 25 usd$ for any traject, short or long.
Better you rent a car with a local driver. Cost of driver is only 20 usd$ per day, and he will save you the burden of driving through an exasperatingly slow heavy traffic. Also, he will know directions, difficult to get in a town without panel information.
Best Rent -a-Car company that I have used in Luanda is AVENTOUR. Better prices than Ecuador or Avis. Nice drivers and manager (Ms Isabel Rodrigues)
Blue Vans - private business for public service
To move around Luanda, local people use these Blue Vans private service.
At sight all the times, these Vans should numbered by the thousands in the whole city.
Maximum capacity of each vehicle is unknown (I'm kidding here) since one never knows how many people may fit inside :-)
Each Van is managed by a 2-man team: the driver and the ticket-seller.
The deal goes likes this: at the en of each day the 2-man team is obliged to pay the Van's owner the amount of $100 USD. So, since each ticket is 50 Kwanzas (approx $0.62 US cents), the Van needs to ride about 160 people just to even the payment deal with the owner. Anything behind that amount will make this 2-man their profit or salary.
This deal explains why those Vans are always rush driving and also why the ticket-seller really makes an effort calling customers trying to bring them in.
The 2-man team is responsible for washing the vehicle and also to pay for the Van's minor reparations when needed.
This is the most inexpensive way to move around Luanda (50 Kwanzas per ride) and service pretty much reaches all areas.
However, my guess is visitors might find it unsafe and are likely to avoid its service.
- Budget Travel
A couple of things I learned about the S-76.
It has two engines, normal operation is to run on both at half-power. It can run on one engine at full-power, if running on one engine, the chopper can still fly. But it can't do a controlled vertcial landing. Nor can it take off. So it has to land on a runway or highway and have the engine replaced.
We are using a construction site in a city called Lobito - about 500 km south of Luanda. For various reasons, we use a helicopter to transit between Luanda and Lobito. It is a Sikorsky 76 - not the newest but a fairly average workhorse for this type of journey.
The taxis must be spoken about. They are minivans painted blue and white, and most if not all are treacherous, unfit for the roads, and driven by insane people. It is not advisable to even use them, but also, if you are driving around Luanda, keep an eye out for these taxis, as they have no sense of self-preservation or any interest in your's.
These buses are everywhere in Luanda. To get one you just stand by the road and flag it down. Soon one of these buses will come to a screaching halt blocking the road for a couple of minutes while you get on board. Using these buses could be classified as an adrenaline sport!
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