Worldwide Photographic Journeys

Angola Tribal Photography: Behind the Scenes with Wild Images

26th June 2019

A beautiful Mucubal girl in the market at Virei (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Recently Wild Images manager Inger Vandyke returned from a fascinating journey through southern Angola where she visited and photographed some of southern Africa’s most beautiful tribal people.

Bringing in the catch at Cabo Negro, a remote fishing village north of Tombwa (Drone image by Inger Vandyke)

Unlike the more curated experiences you might have with similar tribes over the border in Namibia, Angola is a lot wilder, inaccessible and quite expensive. For lovers of tribal Africa, however, the cost and effort is truly worth it.

Portrait of Marikondjo. In Namibia the tradition of wearing Ondatu is quickly being lost by Himba men. Over the border in Angola it is still alive and well (Image by Inger Vandyke)

A smiling, beautiful Muhimba girl in remote Angola (Image by Inger Vandyke)

We are preparing to release the details of our 2021 Angola tour in the coming month but we wanted to share some glimpses from Inger’s trip to whet your appetite before we publish this trip on our site.

Portrait of Muhimba girl Tchikacha with her incredibly long Ozondatu plaits (image by Inger Vandyke)

Visiting remote Muhimba villages in southern Angola can sometimes be as entertaining for them as it is a special experience for you (Image courtesy of Joao Garcia)

Ngwafyapo and her baby in remote Angola (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Angola is a very different type of photography destination in comparison to other tribal photography areas of Africa. The style of photography is very spontaneous and natural. A lot of it takes place in African markets, villages and beautiful landscapes.

Portrait of Mwandombekela, a traditional Mukwana girl in Angola. Mukwana women wear a headdress called a Kapapo made of beads, batons and leather. It sits atop a hairstyle fashioned from animal fats and charcoal (Image by Inger Vandyke)

It is very different, say, from the Omo Valley of Ethiopia, where people will dress up for you for photos and paint their bodies etc. In Angola the people you will meet dress like this all the time and while some of them are settled in small towns and villages, a lot of these tribes are semi-nomadic people who will move across their incredible landscape searching for food and water.

Almost culturally extinct, the traditions of the Nyaneke Handa people in southern Angola are being kept alive by only a small group of ageing women (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Our coming tour will focus principally on the tribal people of Angola and will be the most comprehensive tour offered in the country, visiting no less than seven different groups, two of whom are classified as anthropologically extinct.

The strikingly beautiful Nguendelengo people of southern Angola. A sub-culture of the larger Mucubal people, the Nguendelengo are considered anthropologically extinct due to their reluctance to intermarry (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Given the stunning beauty of Angola’s landscapes, a tour extension will be offered to the eroded cliffs of Curoca, the otherworldly archway of Arco, the remote fishing villages north of Tombwa and the deserted island of Baia dos Tigres, one of the most wild and fragile landscapes in southern Africa.

The stunningly beautiful eroded landscapes of Curoca in Angola (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Curoca by drone almost looks like lines of frilly skirts (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Exploring Curoca by 4WD is a real adventure (Image by Inger Vandyke)

For lovers of drone photography, Angola is a superb destination with its beautiful eroded landscapes, salt pans, wild coasts, rock deserts and fishing villages.

A drone’s eye view of the salt works at Tombwa in southern Angola (Image by Inger Vandyke)

As with all of our photography trips that visit remote tribes, we will take gifts of food and other supplies to the families we will meet and stay with along the way.

A beautiful Mumwila woman in her local millet field (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Spontaneous photography on the roadside near Chibia in Angola (Image by Joao Garcia)

Beautiful Mampatchio with her multi stranded Vilanda necklace and gold Nontombe braids indicating that she is married (Image by Inger Vandyke)

If you would like to join us on a truly remote and little visited photography destination, the details should be on our website in July.

Portrait of Pipia, a Vatwa girl in southern Angola. Similar in appearance to the Muhimba people, Vatwa dress slightly more simply (Image by Inger Vandyke)

A walk out in to the dust as we join Mucubal children taking their goats out to graze (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Enjoying a campfire at dusk with a family of nomadic Mucubal people (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Portrait of a Mundimba mother and baby in Oncocua (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Markondjo on the move in Angola.  His bedding is slung over a pole so it can be more easily carried (Image by Inger Vandyke)