Flights to Benguela Founded initially as a colony of the Portuguese in 1617, Benguela is now one of the largest cities in the independent Angola. It is located in the central part of the country, on the coast. Portuguese is still the official language, and most people do speak it in Benguela, though Umbundu is also common.
The Benguela Airport (airport code: BUG) only services flights to Benguela travelling to and from Luanda with SonAir. So if you can arrive at the Quatro de Fevererio Airport (code: LAD), then you can get a local flight to Benguela from there. To Luanda, you can fly non-stop from South Africa with either South African Airways or Angola Airlines. Air Namibia will have one connection in Windhoek, and Ethiopian Airlines has one stop-over in Addis Ababa.
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The Tourist Attractions of Benguela:
The north-western edge of Benguela is on the Atlantic coast, and the whole length is filled with sandy beaches. Some of the nicer ones are Praia Morena, Baia Azul and Prais Kaota. Aside from walking along the water and sunbathing, you can enjoy the beaches further with some scuba diving. There are also boats you can charter to get out on the ocean for deep-sea fishing.
Buffalo Partial Reserve
The small Buffalo Partial Reserve is a short drive outside of Benguela, and it’s made up of hilly forests for most of the park. Needless to say, you’ll find populations of buffalo here as well as herds of several antelope species and sometimes wildebeest as well. It’s quite a small park but a good option if you do not have the time to drive across the country to get to the other larger parks in this part of Angola.
Quicama National Park
Sometimes in English it is spelled “Kissama” National Park instead of the Portuguese spelling. At any rate, this is a wildlife game reserve that is farther north up the coast from Benguela and it will take a few hours by car to get there. It is an open grassland park with a lot of coastline, but the wildlife population is low due to poaching during past conflicts in the region. The park is being restocked and rebuilt, and you can see eland, antelope and buffalo through the area. Manatees are sometimes spotted in the water and there are still hundreds of species of birds present.
Bicuar National Park
A similar distance to the south from Benguela, and farther inland, you can find the Bicuar National Park. The mix of hilly forest and low grassland is home to many Angolan animals, such as the wildebeest, cheetah, leopard, buffalo and eland. Elephants are occasionally seen but they are not common.
When Should You Visit?:
Though Benguela can be hot for most of the year, there are some cooler months that would be more suitable for sight-seeing. That would be in July and August when it will be just 23C (73F) in the daytime. Most of the rest of the year will be over 28C (82F), with a hot peak in February through April that is a few degrees warmer. Rains are minimal, and they are the heaviest during the hotter months.