For the past several years, the world has been watchingAngola– but for all the wrong reasons: prevalent poverty, a bloody 27-year civil war, and political instability.

And like a well-plotted drama, this southern African country along theAtlantic Oceanstill holds the attention of its audience as it slowly, painstakingly peels itself away from its violent past. Since after the ceasefire in 2002, resurrection has been taking place; and with peace comes foreign guests, who are comprised not only of volunteer workers but also of intrepid travelers interested in witnessing the country’s new beginning.

The imagery ofAngolais varied. Infrastructures are being rebuilt and roads are being improved, but amidst the busyness in the redevelopment activities and the rubble that’s yet to be tackled, the beauty of Angola stands out.

Once unseen by the world, Angola’s natural wonders – the Calandula Waterfalls, the Miradouro da Lua, and the Baia Azul, to name a few – are now showcasing their own kind of splendor. The national parks, although not as densely populated as the parks in other parts of the world, boast of untouched, isolated ambience.

The culture ofAngolais something else. A Portuguese colony for 400 years,Angolabears influences fromPortugal. The country’s official language – Portuguese – attests to this.

But although there are Portuguese traces in the Angolan culture, it’s still very much African in substance, with Bantu as the main cultural influence. The Angolan society remains to be primarily composed of ethnic groups, which have their own languages and cultural traditions.

The country, with a population of over 18 million, is predominantly Roman Catholic, and a small part of the population follows the Protestant denomination. Yet despite the Christian faith, many Angolans still believe in diviners and healers.

You may need to bring adapters for your electrical gadgets. Electricity inAngolaruns at 220 volts, and plugs with two round pins are used.

Before packing your bags, please check travel advisories.