Exploring Tourism in Angola
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Kalandula Waterfalls

Malanje, Angola

Depending on which source we check, the waterfalls on the river Lucala at Kalandula are either the second or third tallest in Africa. Irrespective of ranking, at 105m high and about 400m wide they are spectacular and well worth making the effort to visit them. For best effect, try to visit during the rainy season from September to April (the rains are heaviest between November and January). Until recently the closest place to stay was Malanje, some 85km to the east, but a good quality hotel has now opened directly overlooking the falls. The falls are reasonably well signed in both directions from the main N’dalatando to Malanje road, but look out for the colonial name of ‘Duque de Bragança’ rather than Kalandula on the broken white signposts

The drive across the green and undulating countryside is not so good, as the road passes through many settlements that were destroyed in the war. Heavy fighting broke out here in 1984 and Kalandula was occupied by UNITA several times and for long periods. Most of the town’s infrastructure was destroyed and the majority of the municipality’s population moved to the relative safety of Malanje, Cacuso and Luanda. Driving through the town of Kalandula is particularly sad with its bombed-out cinema, houses and shops. Fortunately the impressive mission church (Igreja de São Miguel) built in 1958, a few kilometres from the town, survived.

You can also find other falls, about 20 km from Kalandula, but of smaller dimensions, the Musseleje Falls.

This hidden sigh of water until a few years ago slowly begins to capture attention and visits. It does not compare in size to the oldest Kalandula, with its impressive 400 meters wide and 105 cliffs. But it has in essence what makes this place something special: steps of hot and humid rock, transparent water shot in several directions and an exuberant green that gives peace.

More than an alternative, Musseleje has a soul of its own. As it is not yet part of the traditional itineraries, it is a remote place with a tranquility that Kalandula does not always offer. Musseleje is contemplation, a private waterfall for those who visit it and want to get away from it all in a simple and engaging setting. Bucolic and beautiful.

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