Animals and Plants
What is growing in Angola?
In Angola you will discover a lot of different plants. While only a few plants can survive in the area around the southern Atlantic coast, where the land merges into the Nabib desert, tropical mountain forests and an extremely diverse flora can be found in the highlands and in the north.
The interior of Angola is defined by savannahs and rainforests. Umbrella acacias and baobabs are typical here. Mongrove forests determine the landscape on the coasts.
A recorder made of red wood
Another interesting tree is the padouk tree, which can grow up to 20 meters high. Its wood is red and is used in the manufacture of recorders, among other things. Maybe your recorder was made out of such a tree? The wood is also used for the production of high-quality furniture or boat building. It is also great for making jewelry.
Which animals live in Angola?
Many different animals live in Angola. Unfortunately, the long civil war had dire consequences here too. There are fewer large animals like elephants or rhinos today than before the war. Some of these had to be reintroduced from other African countries and settled in Angola’s national parks.
You will see antelopes or giraffes more often. Water buffalo are mainly kept as livestock and carry heavy loads. Many species of monkeys cavort in Angola: baboons, chimpanzees or even gorillas count among many others. White and red colobus monkeys are cute to look at.
The giant saber buck occurs only in Angola, it is endemic here. Hippos and crocodiles can be seen in the numerous waters. Armored crocodiles live mainly in the rivers of the savannah. The leopard tortoises, which can grow up to 70 centimeters, also have a shell. But leopards, zebras and the fast ostrich also live in Angola. In the steppes of Angola you will discover honey badgers, warthogs and porcupines. Termites feel very comfortable in the savannah and build their huge artistic mounds here.
And the poisonous animals?
As everywhere in Africa, there are poisonous animals in Angola. These include the scorpions. Scorpios have a venomous sting that they can sting with. Healthy people do not die from a scorpion sting, it can be more dangerous with children. But scorpions are shy animals, they only sting when they feel threatened. But you should still be careful, because scorpions like to hide and above all love the dark, sometimes in a shoe.
Poisonous snakes also find it cozy in the Angolan savannas and rainforests, especially the various python species. Of course there are not only poisonous snakes in the country, but also a great many non-poisonous ones.
1000 species of birds
1000 species of birds live in Angola or at least linger here. They include the largest heron in the world, aptly called the Goliath heron and reaching a size of 1.40 meters. Its main food is fish.
Storks also appreciate Angola as a home. The marabou is also one of the storks. The cuckoo brings it to Angola in 20 different ways, there are also pigeons and parrots. A bird that is also known as a noisy bird is funny to listen to. It really makes a lot of noise and you can recognize it by its feather crown.
Angola: rich country with poor people
Angola is quite a rich country. It’s hard to believe when you know how many poor people live here. But wealth for a country or political system does not mean wealth for the local people at the same time. Mineral resources such as oil, diamonds or gold can be found in the soil of the country and the soil itself is very fertile and could be used for agriculture.
But the civil war almost completely destroyed Angola. The government has initiated reforms and the economy has been growing since the end of the civil war in 2002, but the rural population in particular is still very poor. Angola, for example, had the greatest economic growth in all of Africa and still remained a country in which there is a lot of poverty. What are the causes of this poverty?
Mines in the fields
One of the main causes of poverty is the civil war, which lasted more than three decades (see also History and Politics) and destroyed so much in the country. A major problem still exists today in the mines, which are spread over large areas in the fertile arable soils. And the mines are not all cleared yet. So the farmers cannot use large areas for agriculture at all.
But 80 out of 100 people work in agriculture, that is two thirds of all residents. The residents grow a lot for themselves. The main exports are coffee, sisal, sugar cane, bananas and cotton. Many people do not even want to go back to their destroyed farms. The traffic routes that were destroyed by the war have not yet been rebuilt and should of course also be expanded.
Petroleum and fish
Angola exports a lot of oil, but since the price fluctuates, the country’s income always depends on the world price. If the prices are low, the income is also much lower. The country is also trying to find other sources of income, but it is still dependent on oil. 90 percent of the exports and thus 80 percent of Angola’s income come from oil. After Nigeria, Angola is the second largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Many people also make a living from fishing. Angola is right on the Atlantic Ocean and there are some rivers in which many fish live. The Tourism could become even more important in the future, because Angola is a beautiful country that, with its long beaches and offshore islands, can also be of interest to tourists.