Benguela is a city in Central Angola.
Founded by Portuguese general Manuel Cerveira Pereira in 1617. Benguela was long the centre of the slave trade to Brazil and Cuba.
- 1 Benguela Airport (BUG IATA Aeroporto de Benguela - 17 de Setembro). Benguela's airport is borderline defunct, with all commercial passenger flights routed through nearby Catumbela airport
- 2 Catumbela Airport (CBT IATA) (to the north right between Benguela and Lobito.). with regular service from Luanda and Lubango.
By road, it is about an seven-hour drive from Luanda, once you clear Luanda's traffic.
Travelling by rail is once again an option, but trains are infrequent and slow. There is a daily commuter train from nearby Lobito and at least a once-weekly overnight train from Huambo, with connections from Luao next to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. 3 Benguela station is located on Rue 31 de Janeiro.
There are some pretty colonial buildings in Benguela. A few are pictured in this article.
There are several beautiful beaches around Benguela, including one right in the city center! The best beach resort hotel, though, is in Lobito. The beaches outside the city are close by and easy to reach by car, either your own or a hired taxi. They're really beautiful too, with the bluest water, the whitest sand, and most are flanked by dramatic cliffs. But remember that tourist facilities are limited and beaches are not well-maintained. A visit with high expectations of a tropical paradise vacation risks disappointment.
- 1 Baia Azul (Baia Farta). This is the most famous beach in Angola. If postcards were a thing in this country, this would crop up frequently. It is named for its exceptionally blue waters. There are only a few restaurants, and few people as well — it's a nice, quiet retreat. There is at least one hotel here (see Hotel Duas Faces below).
- 2 Caotinha Beach. This is a series of little beach inlets just south of Benguela, some of which are totally deserted. You can hike from one to the next.
- 3 Praia Morena. This is the city's main beach, right near the center. On holidays it can get extremely crowded, but it's usually empty. It's a fairly narrow stretch of sand between the road and the ocean, but the water is and sand are both nice.
- Caotinha is on a peninsula west of Benguela.
- Lobito is 33 kilometres north of Benguela.