I just came into Luanda again (did someone say “masochist”?) and the left hand lane went the fastest, as it was feeding into three desks.  Yes, I know, it’s a bit sad to get excited about things like this, but it keeps me going).

If you’re travelling with other people, elect the biggest one of you to get the arrivals forms, and the rest of you go and queue. Your large colleague can take all the vaccination certificates to wave one at a time, or just use one, result should be the same.

Fill in the form best you can – avoid filling in “masochism” as the reason for entry to Angola, just in case the immigration official knows the word, and has a sense of humour failure. The consequences don’t bear thinking about.

Baggage seems to arrive recently efficiently, but I can’t speak for experience. Me? Check in luggage? Don’t be silly.

After customs, and before you leave the building, there’s a Unitel mobile phone shop on the right – they’ll stiff you on the price and on the exchange rate, but who cares, if like me your UK line (O2) doesn’t roam in Angola* (except in the far north, when you can often roam onto a DR Congo network!), then with a local SIM card you’re back in the wired world. There’s a bank there for buying local currency, too (although most places in town accept dollars). No particular hassle from touts and other ne’er-do-wells when you exit, but I have always been met, so no tips about taxis, sorry.

(BREAKING NEWS February 2009 – O2 now roams in Luanda, ).