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Serra Da Leba Road

Lubango, Angola

Located 36km southwest of Lubango, the excellent tarmac road that links Lubango with Namibe plunges 1,000m down the Serra da Leba Escarpment in a series of hairpin bends. Even if you are not travelling on to Namibe, it’s worth going to the top of the Leba Pass to get breathtaking views of the valley below. At the top, turn left immediately after the security barrier/toll station and head for the communication masts. At the end of the track is a viewpoint where you can see the steepest part of the road descend and disappear into the lush vegetation below.

The road that comes like a serpentine from above, began to be built in the colonial era, in the late 1960s. But this route began to be thought of almost four decades earlier, at the time of the consolidation of Portuguese power in southern Angola. The idea of ​​building a road that would facilitate the transport of food, troops and essential goods between the center and the south of the country came from General Pereira de Eça. The same that gave the name to Ondjiva administered by the Portuguese. The projects started then, but it was not until much later that the current road was completed. Today it still serves as a winding bridge between Huíla and Namibe, and it is covered daily by dozens and dozens of trucks and buses.

The result is 20 km, 30 curves and a difference of 1,000 meters. To get a real idea of ​​the slope, if we draw a straight line between the start point and the end point of the Serra da Leba road, we reach a scant 100 meters! A masterpiece of architecture, therefore, framed in a spectacular natural setting. The best place to enjoy the snake that descends the hill is the Leba viewpoint, from where you can see this perfect and joint action between man and nature. Discover the place and its secrets. Like the underground river that flows through the rocky massif and ends in a waterfall hidden in Leba, during the rainy season.

And where is Serra da Leba? The question seems pointless, but it is a common doubt. Everyone wants it - Huíla and Namibe - but only the municipality of Humpata can fill their chests with pride. Serra da Leba is Humpatense and, as such, one of the ex-libris of Huíla, just 50 km from Lubango, on the way to the port of Namibe. Intermediate point between the Plateau and the Desert.

Leba's space is in permanent reconfiguration. The project “Murais da Leba - 40 anos” was one of the most striking in the celebration of Angola's independence. The result is spectacular. In total, there are 800 square meters of murals painted by 40 artists such as Thó Simões, Isaac André, Fábio da Lomba or Aldaír and Leandro Costa. Sound colors bring mucubal or mumuila women to life, heroes and national symbols such as the inevitable Queen Njinga or the country's flag, with her machete, star and cogwheel on a black and red background.

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