Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

“In my beautiful neighbourhood” – Tommy Smith.

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Before you even think about getting a visa for Angola, make sure you have all your documents ready, including having proof of accommodation for every night you are here and even bank statements. Budget hostels and cheap hotels are actually quite tricky to find in Luanda when you search online and because you need it booked in advance (for most nationalities), turning up and chancing it isn’t an option. With no clear Backpacker Hub or Hostel, I resorted to Google, then Booking.com. I usually hate those sites but they were a last ditch as I sought the lucrative Angola visa…The latest Lonely Planet on Angola, claims no tourists are coming here, it is unsafe and unstable and there are not many sights to see. This is all wrong, whether dated or not, it is wrong on so many levels.

Dining out in Luanda, Angola

That is when I stumbled upon this gem of a place. I was sold on Afilux Residencial for a few reasons – price, randomness and location and so here are some reasons why I think this is the place to sleep when backpacking Luanda, the chaotic capital of Angola.

Palanca neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

1.Cheap and Cheerful

As I was, you might be shockwhacked to hear that Luanda is dear!! Yes, this city often tops lists for the dearest city in Africa, perhaps even the world. How and why it is seen as expensive baffles me as this was not clear from the ground level.

Angolan Kwanza – NOT a cheap country for a tourist!

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

For that reason, hotels are outrageously overpriced. We are talking well over $100 US Dollars a night just for a bed for a tourist. Non excremental Creek.

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

2.Airport Pick Up option

I know that most hotels and hostels offer airport pick up but here it is currently essential as you will otherwise get lost, waste time or be overcharged. There are no easy buses from the airport to anywhere near Rua L in Palanca (where Afilux Residencial is). There doesn’t seem to be any public transport from the airport to this district at all!!

Arrange an airport pick up

Afilux Residencial offer an airport pick up, which was $25 US Dollars in February 2020 (paid to the hotel in US Dollars or Angolan Kwanza). This is handy, easy and fast, if overpriced.

Luis and Mario who drove me from the airport to my hotel!

There was also a bit of confusion at the airport as my driver wasn’t here when I arrived, as expected with a card bearing my name / the hotel. As I don’t travel with a working mobile phone network, my onky contact was WiFi. Luckily the airport bar had WiFi which trebled up as an opportunity to have my first beer, spend my first Kwanzas and get online.

Arrival at Afilux Residencial in Palanca, Luanda

3.Life in Palanca!

I loved living for a few days in the Palanca Neighbourhood!! It felt so crazy and unique. I was the only tourist around here – everyone said hello and was happy to see me – some of them had to double take! By day I visited the local shops, streets and bakeries. By night I was welcomed and invited out on the rip with locals. There were loads of bars, cafes and restaurants nearby – in fact even the building next door was a make shift bar with cold beers.

Life in the Palanca neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola

Life in the Palanca neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola

Life in the Palanca neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola

Life in the Palanca neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola

Life in the Palanca neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola

Almost everyone I walked past said hello to me, stopped to chat. Kids asked about football, girls flirted (some more than flirted – was propositioned a few times!), local bars invited me in for a cold Cuca. My local for two nights was Josimar Ramos bar.

Life in the Palanca neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola

Life in the Palanca neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola

Life in the Palanca neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola

Life in the Palanca neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola

Night on the rip at Josimar Ramos, Bar in Palanca, Luanda, Angola

4.Very welcoming hosts and new friends

On arrival in Luanda, I met Luis (my driver) and his mate Mario who was in the lift back to Afilux Residencial, collecting me from the airport. It was already crazy and welcoming.

Luis and Mario who drove me from the airport to my hotel!

Then at Afilux Residencial itself, I had a warm welcome from Lucas, the boss. We were drinking beers together, chatting, watching the football.

Beers with Lucas

Relaxing in the evening with Lucas and Elizabeth

At Afilux Residencial, I also met Lucas’s best friend Barobsa, and locals Benito and Elizabeth.

With Lucas

With Lucas, his best friend Barbosa and Elizabeth

I also met Benito who gave me a lift to the beach on the first day (just after I arrived).

A lift with Benito

5.City View of Palanca

The view from my hotel room balcony here was a backpackers dream. Afilux Residencial towers higher than every building on Rua L, and eclipses most in Palanca! I was on the top floor in the first room on the right in Andrea A wing.

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

I savoured the views at dawn, by day, at dusk and in darkness.

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

My city view of Palanca from Afilux Residencial

6.Air Conditioned Rooms

I am definitely not a weather or temperature gimp on my travels. Things like that don’t bother me unless people die.

My room at Afilux Residencial

My room at Afilux Residencial

My room at Afilux Residencial

My new Petro Luanda football shirt

However, I started taking anti malaria tablets again on this trip due to the risk still being rife here in Angola, and in other neighbouring countries that we would visit. My room had air conditioning and was on the top floor in the right hand room of Andrea A.

My room at Afilux Residencial

The corridor

The bathroom

In my entire time in Angola, I counted just a hat-trick of mosquito bites. Yes I wore longs at night and used insect repellent but still, this was a low number. This was a short and sweet trip and one that totally surprised me – Luanda was really good and this was made all the more special by my friendly hosts here in Palanca. If I ever go back to Luanda, I will be staying here again. In Angola, I toured two national stadiums, the sights of Luanda city the capital, and a crazy trip north to Panguila Shipwreck Graveyard beach. Here are some more photos from the hotel and around Luanda.

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Sleeping in Palanca Neighbourhood at Afilux Residencial: The Best Place To Stay When Backpacking in Luanda, Angola

Luandina Beer – the local drop on draught!

A top notch fish dish in central Luanda

Luanda beach and seafront

The football stadium where Rivaldo once played (before the security chased me out!!!)

Central Catholic Church

Angola’s equivalent of AFC Bournemouth

Easy and safe lunch option – cheese on toast and a local can of Luandina

Here are the details for booking a room at the Afilux Residencial in Palanca Neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola :

Afilux Residencial on Facebook
Afilux Residencial on Agoda
Afilux Residencial
Rua L 42
Palanca
Luanda
Angola

Here are some videos from my time staying at the Afilux Residencial in Palanca Neighbourhood, Luanda, Angola:

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