Geography of Angola


Terrain shapes and bedrock

The greater part of Angola’s land area, with an average height of 1,220 m above sea level, belongs to the great South African plateau. In the north, however, there is a transition area between this high plateau in the south and the Congo Basin. A striking water divider in the form of a horst Ridge, with Môco (2,620 m above sea level) as the highest point, runs from the southern part of the country in a north-easterly direction. As a result, about half of the numerous rivers will be drained towards the Congo River, while the others, including Kwando, will flow south towards Zambezi. Only a few larger rivers, Kunene, which forms a border with Namibia, and Kwanza, have their course to the west performing the steep and mountain-like plateau, which they erode and divide into isolated mountains, after which they overlook the coastal plain and fall into the Atlantic.

The bedrock is in the western part of Precambrian rocks, belonging to one of Africa’s gondwanas shields. The inner parts, on the other hand, are built up by tertiary and the north to a lesser extent by Mesozoic sedimentary rocks.


According to COUNTRYAAH, Angola has a tropical climate with an average temperature of 20-25 °C in most of the country except in the south, where during the colder part of the year it is around 15 °C. The rainfall is high in the north, 500–1 500 mm per year, but low in the south (100 mm), where part of the Namib Desert penetrates. According to BRIDGAT, on the coast to the south, the average temperature is lowered due to the cold, northbound Benguela current, which also gives rise to coastal desert formation and a lot of fog.

Plant-and animal life

The vegetation consists mainly of savanna. In the north, this seals, by and large, into continuous forests. In the south there are areas with thorny shrubs. The coastal strip in the southwest consists of desert. Many of Africa’s savannah animals are found in the country, e.g. elephant, african buffalo, lizard rhino, lion, leopard, spotted hyena and hyen dog. In addition, several large antelopes, e.g. moose antelope, larger cudu antelope, giant sable antelope (endemic breed) and horse antelope. Because of the nutritious Benguela stream, the abundance of fish and birds off the coast is very rich.

Nature conservation

Angola had six national parks in 2010 and a dozen other reserves. About 10% of the country’s area is protected, but supervision of existing protection areas is generally poorly developed.