We knew it would be difficult... We knew Angola isn't easy for travelers...
We didn't know anyone who had done it before... but we had a plan, and we really wanted to do it! We were visiting the Black Sable National Park and watch Angola's National animal in the wild! Did we manage to see the Black sable live?
This park isn't signed, there's no entry checkpoint... we were told that we had to go to the tribal chief (Soba) and ask permission! So we did, we went to the nearby village asked to see the soba. The Soba says this is a very important matter and we should ask for an audition with another tribal chef, another soba, the big Soba! When we arrived at the bigger village, to ask for an audience with the big soba we are received by the whole village. Chairs are placed outside, we are sitted and asked to wait. The Soba is preparing himself to meet us. We thought, this is good, he is going to help us. We were right, he was going to help us, but he only could take us to the politic administrator in charge. Only her could grant an entry to the park. He had no power over who could go to the park. Though we would take us to the right person... We gladly accepted his offer.
Third time is the charm, right? Now we needed to go to the house of the administrator, in a Sunday... We arrived and nobody was there, after asking around we were told to wait because had gone to the church. After a few minutes, the administrator arrives hears our story and very politely says that we can't go to the park. The Black Sables are too few and the area too big. We would never find it. Though she gives us her contact ask suggested we call her in a few months because they are installing GPS in the animals so they track them. If we really want to see them that would be our best chance!
It is difficult... Angola isn't easy for travelers... We didn't see the animals, but we got a nice travel story in Angola...the plan was good, but what happened was better...
PS: We ended up seeing a black sable in Chobe, Botswana.
Jorge Bastos is an economist, ex-expat in Angola and the editor of the travel site travel drafts