Angola is a country in southwestern Africa. The country’s name derives from the Kimbundu word for king. It was first settled by San hunter-gatherer societies before the northern domains came under the rule of Bantu states such as Kongoand Ndongo. From the 15th century, Portuguese colonists began trading, and a settlement was established at Luandaduring the 16th century. Portugal annexed territories in the region which were ruled as a colony from 1655, and Angola was incorporated as an overseas province of Portugal in 1951. After the Angolan War of Independence, which ended with an army mutiny and leftist coup in Lisbon, Angola’s independence was achieved on November 11, 1975 through the Alvor Agreement.
Angola takes in a broad variety of landscapes, including the semidesert Atlantic littoral bordering Namibia’s “Skeleton Coast,” the sparsely populated rainforest interior, the rugged highlands of the south, the Cabinda exclave in the north, and the densely settled towns and cities of the northern coast and north-central river valleys. The capital and commercial centre is Luanda, a large port city on the northern coast that blends Portuguese-style colonial landmarks with traditional African housing styles and modern industrial complexes.