Discovering Luengue-Luiana Park, a jewel in the Angolan town of Rivungo

11 06 2024 | 07:20Benoit-Ivan Wansi

Angola is best known for its heavenly beaches and culinary secrets. But this Central African country is also a bastion of wildlife, particularly in the municipality of Rivungo. Immerse yourself in the Luengue-Luiana National Park, home to a luxuriant biodiversity that is unique on the continent.

It is one of Angola’s most dynamic natural areas. The Luengue-Luiana National Park continues to attract tourists, researchers (biologists, zoologists and botanists) and other biodiversity enthusiasts from all over the world. This sanctuary of Angolan flora and fauna is the pride of the southern municipality of Rivungoe.

It’s a distance worth travelling for many tourists, as Luengue-Luiana National Park is one of the few places in Africa where hyenas, lions, rhinos and hippos still roam freely. The site covers an area of 42,000 km2 between the Cuando Cubango provincial forest and the Okavango River on the Namibian border. These animal species can be seen by visitors through ecotourism activities such as hiking and safaris.

In terms of floristic potential, Luengue-Luiana is home to burkea, baikiaea, pterocarpus, erythrophleum and other plants used in the pharmaceutical industry. However, the tranquillity seen in Luengue-Luiana Park today is only recent.

You only have to look back at Angola’s history, particularly the civil war (1975-2022) which devastated the wild animals in particular. The excessive hunting and poaching that marked this post-independence period remain bad memories for environmentalists, particularly African Parks. The nature conservation organisation signed a memorandum of understanding in 2021 with the Angolan authorities for the rehabilitation, management and financing of the Luengue-Luiana National Park.