Tag Archives: Luanda

THE NEW CITY OF KILAMBA

“What’s that?” I asked my driver, pointing to lines of apartments I saw from the express way.

“It’s China Town.”

“What is it called?”

“KILAMBA”

I was really surprised to see the blocks of apartments. I was even more amazed when I saw a big announcement saying that KERO (a brand of hypermart) just opened in Kilamba. There must be lots going on there, I thought to myself.

Few days later, I decided to pay this new city a visit. Though I did not know what to expect, I couldn’t help wishing that somehow I would find myself surrounded by small red shops, filled with smell of incense, selling some cheap things. Well at least, I could visit the new KERO (who knows, they might sell Dorado less than USD 36/kg there).

Following the sign of the new KERO, turning right from the express way, I passed the new KERO, passed the guard and entered (right again) to a long tarred road and found myself in….. NOT Angola. My speech was overwhelmed by my sight that for a while my jaw just hang open with no sounds produced (which was a really rare occasion).

My driver finally broke the silence, “Muito bonito Madame…, muito grande. Todos pode viver aqui”.

There were no red small shops, there were no incense. There were buildings, big buildings and more buildings. I saw (what I thought) tens  (if not hundreds) of apartment buildings. Each block had different color. Each block had its own primary school and middle school (with 2 basketball courts each). Every building had wheelchair access. Plenty of parking spots in between building. Green parks for kids to play in. There were even (what looked like) bus stops for the shuttle bus.

It was a sunny day that day, the sky was blue and with the contrast of the green (well kept) grass, I really felt like I was transported to another world.

The only thing missing was…. the people.

It was empty. Except for the workers watering the grass, cleaning the pavements.

After almost an hour roaming the “city”,  we headed for the new KERO. As expected there were less than 20 customers inside the hypermart. The branch that was only opened 10 December 2011 was really nice, except that it’s lacking people. Still, if they’re confident enough to build a hypermart in the middle of nowhere, it meant that this place might be “jammed packed” one day. Though the fact that the cashier lady told me that a 3 bedroom apartment would cost more than USD 250,000  sort of telling me that it might not be anytime soon.

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CHINESE FARM – ZANGO

Gong Xin Chai…. Gong Xin Chai….

I kept on chanting those words making sure that when I finally got to the Chinese Farm I could utter them. Gon Xin Chai is chinese for water spinach or dearly known as KangKung in my mother tounge.

This 10 cent/bunch veggie (back home) did not exist in Luanda. Or when (in super rare) occasion that they did (after a secret mission to Sao Paulo), I needed to pull all my guts cleaning them as I might have to get (really) up close and personal with caterpillars still attaching themselves to the leaves.

Ready with 2 cars, 2 local drivers, 5 passengers, 1 phone number, vague memory of the location from Google Map and lots of guts and determination (ANYTHING FOR KANGKUNG!!!!), finally we went ahead to the unknown land called Zango.

The trip from Talatona to Zango was pretty smooth (the fact that it was AM and the traffic was going to the opposite direction). There were lots of “Oooh” and “Aaah” along the way looking at the fast pace construction on both sides of the express way. From the main road, we could eye the new city of Kilamba that (to me) looked like mainland HongKong with its strips of apartments with different heights and color hiding behind the green trees.

I first heard of this Chinese Farm from a friend that then shared a post about it in  LBW Blog.  Finally now (a year later), I  decided to take the journey the unknown. I had the phone number of a person that worked there and spoke English, and what was clear to me was it’s right after Zango  4 (Zango quatro) and once we got there I should ask my driver to call him so he could further explain.

Like said, getting to Zango was no problemo, it’s basically just taking the express route (passing the new 11 Novembro Stadium – on your left) until we reached big apartment blocks and turned right to Zango. We passed Zango 0, Zango 1, Zango 2, Zango 3 and finally Zango 4 (how did we know you may ask, we stopped and asked). Then, our adventure began.

So, we pulled over and made the call to know exactly where we’d be going next. The guy on the phone said “After Zango 4, you’ll see a board with 4 Chinese letters, then just turn right”. The thing was, there were many boards with Chinese letters there, so we just followed our guts. The dirt road then  lead us to super dirt road and we were sandwiched by big Chinese trucks carrying…. more dirt. Out of safety reason (the floating dirt made it really hard to see beyond 2 meters ahead), I told my driver that it’s NOT the right path and ordered him to turn around. After we made more phone calls (and asked every single soul around) finally we reached the farm.

So, this is how;

  • After Zango 4, you’ll see the board with 4 Chinese letters (see picture – the one in red paint). Turn right.
  • Keep straight until the road split into 3.
  • The left one goes slightly down and filled with trash, DON’T take that one.
  • The middle one (the biggest one) goes slightly down and makes you feel like it should be the road to take. DON’T take that one
  • The right one goes slightly uphill, smaller and does not look like the one you should take. TAKE that one.
  • Then you’ll go through a bumpy (like you’re riding a horse) road, fits only one car. Don’t worry, it’s the right path.
  • Then the road got bumpier and you can see nothing but mango trees on the sides and you feel like you should go back. Don’t worry, you’re on the right path.
  • Just keep going and fight the urge to go back. Just hang in there.
  • Then you’ll start seeing cactus trees (sort of almost scratching your paint job), don’t worry, you’re almost there.
  • Then you’ll see a big red painted metal gate (you can already take a peek of lines of veggies inside).
  • You’re there!

This is the price list per kilo (as of few days ago)

  • Celery KZ 1000
  • Bean sprout KZ 300
  • Long string bean KZ 400
  • Green bean KZ 600
  • Spinach KZ 1500
  • Chili KZ 400
  • Egg plant KZ 250
  • Water spinach KZ 250
  • Water melon KZ 300


Finally… I had my caterpillar-free KangKung….. ^_^

Chinese Farm
Contact: Wilson 935 631 112

WARNING!
It is a farm and (I think) they use cow dung as fertilizer, might take few minutes for your nose to tolerate the smell.

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KANAWA – MUSSULO

When my parents (grandly) announced that they wanted to visit us in Angola (after last year cancelled and thought that visiting South Korea would be a better idea), we were overwhelmed with mixed feelings. Happy, excited and anxious.

One of the reasons that I was anxious coz I was clueless where to take them. You might think of hundreds of places that worth visiting, but these were my parents. They both had heart problems, with my Dad already had his by-pass 5 years ago. They had their version of food restriction (not the religion-reason one, as that I one I totally get, but the ones that they made up based on their encounters with thousands of strangers).

When my husband threw the idea of spending the night in Mussulo, I was unsure as that was the first time we decided to spend the night there. After doing (not that much of) research, we found this place called Triangulo Kanawa. There was a (non-working) website and a (working) phone number on the flyer. Asked around and nobody could give me a clear clue how the lodge was. So, I gathered my guts and booked. The only info that I got over the phone was the bungalow would cost me USD 300/night and an extra bed was USD 50, the price included breakfast and they had a swimming pool.

With that info, we packed few clothes, lots of (cooked) food, fruits, snacks, 7 big bottles of water, few cans of soda, packs of coffee, tea and sugar and an electric kettle.  We also packed our own toiletries and towels. We took a boat ride to the lodge and walked over a knee deep of sea water to the shore carrying our bags. No one was to be found, but we saw buildings that looked like the ones on the flyer.

We managed to locate the reception and finally met the nice lady that I spoke to over the phone. She said the room was ready including the extra bed. We went to our room and it was pretty nice. So here were the things that they had;

In the living room

  • Futon folding bed (it was the extra bed), with linen, blanket and 2 cushions
  • A 17 inch flat screen TV
  • A small table with 2 chairs
  • A mini fridge
  • A standing lamp
  • 2 rotan stools
In the bedroom
  • A double bed (140 cm x 200 cm), complete with (super clean) linen. The mattress was firm, just the way we liked it. With 2 pillows, 2 cushions and a blanket.
  • A mosquito net
  • 2 night stands and lamps on each side of the bed
  • An open cupboard for clothes and towels

They had separate shower room and toilet with a sink and mirror, 2 rolls of toilet paper,  no toiletries but plenty of clean towels and a bathroom mat. The shower had hot and cold water.

Lunch and dinner were a la carte, but bringing your own was completely okay.

The lodge also had a swimming pool, a children play ground, an open grill (for everybody to use), many beach beds and outdoor sitting area. It had a dedicated indoor breakfast room and a disco on the second floor (which -thankfully- was not functioning when we were there, I suppose you had to make a prior arrangement of some sort).  They had an outdoor bar and when asked to turn down the blaring music, obeyed to do so.Truly cherished those moments where I could just read my book (had the perfect chick-lit picked for the occasion) on the beach with the faint music on the background.We spent our first day on the beach, doing nothing. Perfect.

The next day, we went to the breakfast room and it was really pretty and clean. The menu was humble yet enough. Loaves of sliced bread, cheese slices, butter, a cake, a caramel pudding, cereal, orange juice, hot milk, hot water with DIY coffee, hot choco and tea. After that we just spent the day playing card on the beach while ordering stuff from the outdoor bar.
At around 10-ish AM , people started arriving in small boats. I noticed that they came just for lunch and some sun and was informed that it’s pretty common on Sundays.
Net, net it was a really nice and relaxing experience. The only glitch was, water. Running water was not available 24/7. On the first day we arrived (Saturday) they water stopped running from 2 PM until 6.30 PM and it was on all night (at least till we went to bed).  The next day water was only back on at 7 AM. Like I said, it was a glitch but was not a major turn off. Will I ever return? Very likely.
Though I may bring some empty bottles (or buckets?) with us next time.

KANAWA MUSSULO (ANGOLA)
Reservation: 922 399 858
1 room bungalow USD 300
3 room bungalow USD 900
Extra bed (double size) USD 50
Price is inclusive of breakfast and boat-ride to and from the lodge

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