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Angola

Moving to Luanda

Moving to Luanda

Postby Jigs » Sat 14 Nov 2009 13:59 GMT

Hi Folks,
I am about to move to Angola (Luanda) in 3 months...I have a 6 yr old son...I am really concerned about so many things...I read few discussions in the forum and got many useful info... But I have following questions if anyone can pls pls help:

1) How much does a monthly house hold (food etc.) cost in Luanda...I heard place is damn expensive for eg. tomatoes cost $20/kg?

2) Which place is good to stay if u have a family? I heard about Luanda Sul...Is it near to International school? How costly is that place? And availability of nice apartment in Luanda Sul?

3) How good is International school? Does anyone have children of 6 yr age studying there, pls let us know...

4) Any good places for family entertainment? Does it have Cinema?

5) Any latest information on security and safety

Really looking for help to make decision whether to accept the offer...

thanx
regards
Jigs
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Jigs
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Postby dangermouse » Sun 22 Nov 2009 12:34 GMT

As I've said in other posts on this forum, there's no point trying to sugar coat the pill, Luanda is known as the most expensive city in the world for ex-pats for a very good reason.... it is!!

Domestic shopping for a family of 3 will easily cost you $150 a week, if you like your luxury items then you can double that. (as an idea, we made pizza yesterday, mozzarella cheese $10 for 25g) tomatoes will cost about $2ea or so, a litre of UHT milk about $4

If you have a youngish family then Luanda Sul really is your best option - it's far cleaner, safer and more friendly than the city itself.
Transit time to the city can be an issue (2hrs each way isn't uncommon, but more roads are being built which should ease that.

There are 2 international schools in Luanda, one in the city and one in Luanda Sul.
As I understand it, both have waiting lists for all years, so admittance is not automatic -
I have a friend here with a 6yr old girl who they have been unable to get into a school for nearly a year now.
Contact the school first to make sure.
www.lisluanda.com
The school is very expensive, I've heard about $30k a year, but I'm not certain.

There is a decent, western style shopping centre in Luanda Sul that has a number of eateries and an 8 screen cinema showing all the new releases in English. It's not expensive and makes a nice evening out.
Other than that, if you live in Sul then there will be things going on on your compound etc etc, there are also a number of ex-pat get-togethers in the city that can be attended.

Apartment availability is good right now, I know of 2 very nice 2 bed apartments on a secure compound in Sul for rent at $10 - $12k a month
There are also any number of new build places available if your budget will stretch a little higher ($10k a month is the lower end of the market for sure)
The only rental agency that I know of with a website is www.casa.sapo.ao

No further updates on safety and security, the situation here is pretty stable right now, petty crime is really the only thing to worry about.

If you're considering coming here, make sure that you have thrashed out all aspects of the package before arriving.
You really don't want to have to drive yourself here.
Make sure evacuation medical insurance is included.
Housing costs are massive - make sure your employer gives you a sensible budget.
On a compound, security will be included, if you're in a house in town make sure you have security provided.
Water and power are often off for long periods, make sure you have a reliable generator and water storage.
If you can get the employer to agree to a certain number of flights home per year then do so, there's very little in the way of "amenity shopping" here, most wealthy Angolans travel to Portugal, Brazil or SA to shop.

Lastly, learn some Portuguese, many people here speak a little English, but your life will be so much easier if you can speak Portuguese.

Hope this helps, I've been here 2 years now and still love the place!
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Postby Jigs » Sun 29 Nov 2009 23:16 GMT

Dangermouse, Thanx a lot for taking out time and writing detailed reply to our queries...Your details are really very helpful ...

Few intersting things I noted...You said new roads are being built, that will ease the traffic....Is there any time next year that travelling to Luanda Sul will be easier?...
Also u said, $150 can be household cost per week, is it per person cost?...

The site for rental accomodation did not give much information on availability of rental places...How do people normally search house for rent?

Would really appreciate more reply from you...Thanx again for information.

regards
Jigs
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Postby dangermouse » Tue 1 Dec 2009 08:02 GMT

According to the general that owns the apartment complex that one of our managers stays in, the new roads should be completed by the end of 2010.
Travel time into the city really depends on what time you leave. Our manager leaves at 6.10am and is in the office less than an hour later, he then leaves at 3.30 and is home by 4.45 - you need to flexible unless you want to sit in traffic! A good driver will also know various back routes through the musseques that will reduce the time taken.

$150 was the total cost, but that's living really frugally - I would buget $200 - $250
There's not much available here in the way of ready meals, most of your purchases will be raw ingredients to cook with.
Many of the apartment compounds in Luanda Sul will have a restaurant on site - our manager's one costs around $40 a head per meal.

Most rental property is by word of mouth, as I mentioned previously, the only agency I know is Sapo
When we were looking around, we viewed 10 or so apartments, all were through word of mouth.

If you can decide on the sort of thing you are looking for then I can ask around. We found our most recent place through the head of facilities for one of the other oil companies here.
The other thing to remember is that paying 12 months rent up front is normal - I've not heard of any places for rent without this.
This makes it very expensive - we've just spent $120k for a years rent on an apartment and we're about to spend $240k on a years rent for a house.

You may find that the company you are coming here with has someone in charge of finding accommodation - depends on their size I guess - do you know how many people they have here?
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