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Angola

Driving Directions Angola

ANGOLA situated on the Atlantic coast of southern Africa, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east and Namibia to the south. Cabinda, a small enclave of Angola, is enclosed by the two Congos a few kilometers north.

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The enclave of Cabinda has importance disproportionate to its size due to the discovery of offshore oil. An inland plateau makes up most of the country. This averages 1,000-1,500 meters or 3,280-4,920 feet in height with Mount Mocothe highest point at 2,620 meters or 8,595 feet. The plateau is separated from the coastal plain by a strip of hills and scarps which varies from 30-150 kilometers or 18-93 miles in width. The country becomes more arid to the south where it merges into the Namib Desert.

There are tropical rainforests in the north while in the south are grasslands and poor desert vegetation. In between, is a mix of trees and grasslands. This provides a good, habitat for a typical mix of African wildlife, including elephant, rhinoceros, zebra, hippopotamus, and lion. The climate is tropical, and the rainfall is heaviest in inland areas where there are vast equatorial forests

Around 70 percent of the workforce is engaged in agriculture. The country is rich in minerals although deposits of manganese, copper, and phosphate are as yet unexploited. Diamonds mined in the northeast and oil is produced near Luanda. Oil production is the most important aspect of the economy, making up about 90 percent of exports which have traditionally included diamonds, fish, coffee and palm oil.

The Angolan economy has been severely damaged by the civil war of the 1980s and 1990s.

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