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This is the greatest fishing centre of Angola, the province of Namibe is named after the desert which occupies the majority of its area. It is famous around the world for a rare plant which is found here, the Welwitchia Mirabilis. Its capital is in an enormous bay which deadens the fury of the Atlantic waves, creating some of the finest beaches in the world. The Moçâmedes railway (CFM) leaves the port of Namibe, connecting the coastline to the iron mines of Jamba in Huíla. The main cities are Namibe and Tômbwa.

Located between parallels 13.33° and 17,15° southern latitude, the average temperature in this province ranges from 17° to 25°C, the climate being humid and moderately rainy and desert-like, due to its nearness to the sea, with the Benguela cold current and the Namibe Desert, a precursor of the Great Kalahari Desert in Namibia. A major tourist attraction, the Namibe Desert is a veritable box of surprises, due to its great variety of fauna and the unique Welwitchia Mirabilis, the province's calling card. Many visitors see mirages caused by the hot air of the desert.


It is a very primitive settlement region where one can still find bochimane with intact customs and traditions as well as shepherds and breeders people that were so difficult to conquer during Portuguese colonisation. This region was firstly touched by a European – Diogo Cão – in 1485. It was named of Moçâmedes and was the first district to be created in the South of Angola. In 1840, the occupation has begun by men in the exile and by fishermen from Algarve. The organised exploitation of the region’s richness began in 1849 with the arrival of the first settlers coming from Brazil.

Namibe is undoubtedly the third harbour of Angola and it has conditions to become one of the most important of all Western Africa. It serves mainly the export of fish as well as agricultural goods from Huíla. It is at the same time a commercial and fishing harbour. There are in Namibe maritime industries (fishing, production of flour, oils and cannery) always in continuous exploitation, creating incredible activities with sea products and with the increase successively achieved of material means of work and progressive values of exports.

The Province has asphalt roads that link the capital to Tômbwa, Lucira and Lubango. The Harbour of Namibe includes in its global dimension of economic development of Southern Angola, the commercial port which purpose is connected to loading and unloading goods and shipment of passengers, and also the mineral port for activities such as bulky-minerals and fuels.

The commercial port is divided in different areas for long course navigation and local traffic. The port itself is served by 15 km of railway that links it to the railway road until 756 km from the coast to the East.

The mineral port was finished in 1967 and represents an engineering work to a world scale, almost only for the loading of iron ore and it is also used for the unloading of fuels. It has exceptional conditions to be considered one of the best mineral ports in the world allowing the mooring of ships of 150000 ton., at any moment. It has also an airport with international characteristics, 7 km from the capital.

The main economic activity is fishing. Salines, extraction industry of adornment stones (marbles and granite) and farming are other activities with good present and future potential.

Presently, the majority of the captured fish is to salt and dry and the rest is freezed, used to make farines, oils and for cannery. Besides the fish, there are other sources of proteins, of great value that can and must be dully used. There is also famous crab and mussels for national consume and export. The Province of Namibe is one of the most privileged points in the country. There, the sea, desert and savana paint an amazing picture and the climate is even considered as the best of all the country’s coast. Between Namibe and Tômbwa lives the Welvitchia Mirabilis – unique species in the world of a plant similar to a giant octopus, symbol of resistance and survival of wild and vegetable life in the desert of Namibe.

The magnificent desert of Namibe offers a set of exceptional conditions for hunting lovers and several ethnographic characteristics worthy to be studied and observed. Along the coast, the Atlantic gives us wonderful beaches. Medicinal waters of Montipa flow in an excellent place for rest in the country of Bibala, about 150 km from the capital.

The centre is included in a singular area adapted to the practice of hunting for its great number and variety of animals that make of it their natural habitat.

The National Park of Iona, about 200 km from Namibe, was before an animal paradise, rich in big animals. Unfortunately today, its fauna has lost the richness due to furtive hunters. There are however, well-organised movements aiming to the recovery of the greatness of before. Tômbwa is placed 45 miles from Moçâmedes by sea and 100 km by land.

This inlet was discovered by Diogo Cão in 1485, in his third voyage along the African coast. The discoverer named it Angra das Aldeias because he found there big fishermen’s villages.

The first name – Porto Alexandre – came from the name of the British explorer James Edward Alexaner that came to Benguela (that was then formed by the present county of Namibe) officially authorised in 1834. After independence, the name changed to Tômbwa – name by which the natives called the Welvitchia Mirabilis.


Useful information

Police: Tel.: (064) 61014
Municipal Command Centre: Tel.: (064) 610149
Fire and Ambulance Service: Tel.: (064) 60869
Hospital Municipal do Namibe: Tel.: (064) 32767

Hospital do
Tômbwa: Tel.: (064) 30003
Telecom: Tel.: (064) 60308


Namibe offers its visitors splendid beaehes, exeellent loeations for water sports or seuba diving, with a variety of speeies of fish. The bestknown beaches are: Miragens, Praia Azul, Praia Amélia, Praia das Barreiras and Flarningos.


How to get There
By air

There is an international airport in the province's capital. There are daily flights by TAAG - Linhas Aéreas de Angola.

By road
From the south, coming from the
Republic of Namibia, going down the Serra da Leba in Huíla; from the north, along the main road from Benguela, following the coastline. Ali the municipalities of Namibe can be reached by road.

Natural Attractions
: 15 150 km2 in area, Iona is the 1argest in the province. Set up as a reserve in 1937, it was upgraded to national park in 1964. The main species in this park are the mountain zebra and the Guelengue.

Namibe: Set up as a Special Reserve in 1957, it has an area of 4450 km2. There are ostriches, black rhinoceros, the mountain zebra and Guelengue. Generaly speaking, the fauna of Namibe is very varied, from lions to e1ephants to suricata, a rare mammal 30 to 40 cm. tall, living in holes, often standing on its hind legs, using its tail to balance.

Places of historical interest

Archaeological remains: Pinda Military Barraeks, Kapangombe Military Barraeks, Capa da Capraia and Fumas do Kapangumbe.  

Monuments: Palácio do Governo, Fortaleza do São Fernando, nowadays the Command Centre for the Angolan Navy, Namibe Port Captainey, Tribunal do Comarea do Namibe (Central Court), Correios e Telégrafos (post Offiee building), CFM Railway station and Fortaleza do Capangombe. Morro da Torre do Tombo, Bentiaba (Prison centre) and Tehipopilo-Caraculo rock engravings

Religious Monuments: Churches: São Adrião, N.S. Fátima, Praia Amélia Chapel, Nossa Senhora do Mundo (Bibala), Quiploa Chapel.

“The most incredible bays of the country – Moçâmedes, Porto Alexandre and Baía dos Tigres – are all of excellent quality but the last two, for their wideness and excellent conditions, compete with the best ports in the world: I don’t know any Port in the world like Porto Alexandre.” - said a 19th Century famous navigator. Tômbwa is the second demographic centre and the first fishing port of the country. It is situated at 45 miles South of Namibe, in a splendid cut of the coast, famous for its safe shelter and fishing quality of its sea. 

The settlement began by fishermen coming from Algarve in 1860, starting afterwards the export of goods from their industries to Northern ports and near countries: Ambriz, Congo, S. Tomé and Gabon. Some of the best shelter ports of the African Coast are situated in the Angolan coast.

In the region, Salinas, Namibe, Tômbwa and Baía dos Tigres; from the four ports, the best its Tômbwa.

It is a wide and magnificent port protected from the coastal undulation forming a Southern shelter with several miles of length. Tômbwa can shelter in his interior and exterior ports a fleet so big that probably does not exist. Its magnificent natural conditions and specialised aspect – fishing – do not need big works. The several cannery industries placed there, have the necessary means for their functions. Tômbwa is today the most important fishing port in Angola.