Salary levels

Salary levels

Postby Ebbie1000 » Sat 19 Mar 2011 20:18


I am a British expat living in Barbados - I have been offered a job in Luanda - on reading the, very limited, info on Angola and Luanda that is on the net, I am starting to realise that the fairly reasonably sounding 'package' that I was offered may have been anything but - and that even my initial proposal in the salary negotiations may have been on the low side.

The deal is for housing, medical, two return flights per year and car paid (I assume fuel as well but not mentioned specifically) - plus a US$6,500/month net of tax salary with some mention of 'a 13th month' at the end of each year.

I should say that I am a surveyor with thirty years experience, ex.pat experience, plus an MBA and a lot of unusual specialist knowledge. Had no idea of the cost of living but Angola sounded like an adventure - a small drop in income into what I imagined to be a lower or similar cost location seemed a fair trade for the experience - but if the horror stories about cost that I am reading are true I do need to be pre-armed!

I should also mention the $15/day food allowance which seems to be sufficient for half a lunch so far as the info posted on the forums suggest.

The most worrying thing was mention that the housing costs US$4,500/month - he in luxurious and expensive Barbados I pay less than half that for a nice place on the beach - go seemed ok - now looking at these boards I see mention of $10-12,000/month for somewhere reasonable (apt) and houses around $24,000/mth. The company is paying but I do have concerns about exactly where they plan to have me living if they are paying rent at less than half the level I have seen mentioned as being "bottom" of the market.

Any reasurance that can be offered would be gratefully accepted!
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Postby dangermouse » Wed 20 Apr 2011 06:42

I've been living in Luanda for 3.5yrs now so I can probably comment fairly accurately on your questions!

No doubt that you are right to be worried with the figures that you have given I'm afraid.

Luanda is widely known to be the most expensive city in the world in which to live as an expat, the scarce availability of just about anything you would consider as a normal staple means that costs are astronomical.

Taking your points in some sort of order....a car is nice to have, however you really don't want to have to drive yourself in Luanda - a foreigner in a car is an easy target and the traffic is appalling....most expat companies provide a car and driver.
Fuel is dirt cheap, but queues of 2hrs+ to get fuel are normal.

$15 a day for lunch won't buy you anything apart from a basic sandwich and a can of coke.
if you want a spaghetti carbonara or something like that, you're looking at $35 minimum.... my company pays $80 a day allowance.

Housing for $4500 a month is possible, but you'll be in a "locals" concrete tower, with no security, backup power (the power here is a joke, you must have UPS devices for everything as if it's not power cuts then it's huge voltage spikes!) or water tanks (domestic water supply is usually off more than it's on!)

If you want to live in a half decent apartment in town then $9,000 a month is realistic (rents have actually dropped recently)
if you're happy to live in Luanda Sul (much nicer area but 2hrs+ each way each day to Luanda itself) then you're looking at between $7k and $10k a month
we have a 5 bedroom house in town that costs us $34k a month and 3 x 2 bed apartments in Sul that are $10k each a month.

If you want some more detailed advice regarding questions to ask etc then mail me through the profile.

Good luck, the above may sound a bit negative, but Luanda is a great place and Angola in general is an experience that I enjoy greatly.
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Postby Buggy51 » Tue 23 Aug 2011 02:50

Thanks for your sage advise dangermouse. I am in the process of moving from Lagos, Nigeria to Luanda. I don't know if you have a comparison in that region so as to compare Luanda with.

Lagos is such a dreaded city for so many expats, traffic is really awful, things are also expensive there, but I have not been able to see anywhere the real prices in Luanda so I can compare.
f someone was able to give real up to date prices on electronic items, food items, what is in short supply 'generally' and what is really outrageous would be so helpful.

I'm already committed to Luanda for the next number of years so I can only go on what I experienced in Nigeria. I lived there for over 9 years, had my furniture made locally and bought locally, but it is expensive. Perhaps the fact that they spoke English helped with negotiating.

Hope you can help as I am sure there are others out there with questions also.

Thanks for your input. Best regards Buggy
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Postby dangermouse » Tue 13 Sep 2011 12:59

In all honesty, you can buy most of the things that you might need in Luanda nowadays, there are a couple of decent supermarkets and even one shopping mall (well I say a mall, it has about 10 shops in it mostly selling very expensive clothes!)

In terms of what's in short supply... this is a list of what I bring with me from the UK

razor blades and shave foam
squash (juice to dilute with water)
pasta sauces
bacon and sausages

I've also brought out all my kitchen utensils, pots and pans etc.

The majority of this stuff is available in Luanda, but the prices are ridiculous (you won't find decent sausages though!)

Electronic items are regularly 4 times the US price and at least one generation behind.
Clothes are either cheaply made Chinese knock-offs sold at a huge price or genuine items sold at an even huger price. (as a guide, I used to work with a man who brought in 2 suitcases of trainers when he flew from the UK, the profit from selling them covered the cost of the trip and then some)

Lagos is actually quite similar to Luanda, though Angola in general is safer than Nigeria and there are more decent restaurants here... Luanda is more expensive though.

If there's anything in particular you're worried about obtaining then let me know and I'll see what I can advise!
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Postby Kay » Wed 14 Sep 2011 20:08

Excellent posting, thanks.
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