Excited and anxious about what Angola had in store for us, we got an early start in order to arrive early at our first destination. We were headed to a much talked about waterfall in the province of Malange, about a 7 hour drive from Luanda. After we left dusty, brown, flat Luanda there was a gradual, but significant change in landscape. By the time we reached Malange, we were amongst bright green foliage and rolling hills spotted with small villages of adobe houses.
We arrived at the falls mid-afternoon and had a magnificent view from a lookout point on the left bank of the river Kwanza.
Kalandula Falls is the second largest waterfall in Africa at 344 feet high on the Lucala river. What a treat, it really was beautiful!!! We spent some time taking pictures and exploring a bit and then hiked down to the bottom of the falls for another view.
On the hike down we had several local companions. We had a guide, an older Angolan man who maintained the lookout area near the falls. However, we were also followed by a group of several teenage boys who were hanging out at the falls and interested in our every move. After the hike, we set up camp and started dinner. Unfortunately our teenage friends would not leave and were obnoxiously implying that we owed them money since they escorted us down to the base of the falls. Now, we had already paid our guide his fee and did not feel obligated to pay the boys, who went along uninvited. Finally, just before sundown the boys took off and left us to making dinner. We had a barbeque and hung out for a few hours.
Later on, Rodrigo got up to go brush his teeth and walked over near the tents. He heard some rustling around behind the tent and pointed his flashlight towards the tents. He saw someone jump up and run away behind some rocks. We were all quiet surprised to find one of the tents slashed down the side, most definately with a knife.
That was most unsettling! So at about 8:30 at night, we packed up and had to find another place to camp. The only option was going back into the small town of Kalandula about 3km away. We stopped at the police station, not to report anything because that doesn’t do any good here in Angola, but to find a new place to camp. Luckily, they had a nice flat plot of land next to the station and that’s where we spent our first night camping.