Cangandala National Park in Angola

Also known as Malanje National park, Cangandala national is the smallest national park in the Republic of Angola. It covers an area of approximately 600 square kilometers and it is positioned between the river of Cuije on the northern boundary and the 2 unnamed territories of Cuanza River in the east and west. The park was established as a game reserve in 1963 under the Portuguese rule in Angola and later in 1970, it was proclaimed to a national park.

Cangandala national park is the smallest national park in Angola with the towns of Culamagia and Techongolola on its edges. The park was founded mainly to protect the Giant Sable Antelopes which were discovered in 1963. With its small space, the park consists of undulating sand lime hills with the lower lying drainage lines.

Wildlife in Cangandala National park

The park was mainly founded to protect the numbers of the Giant Sable antelopes that were staying in the area during the 1960s. The exact numbers of the antelopes in the park are not known now.

Since the park is positioned between the rivers of Cuije and the tributaries of Cuanza River in the east and west, it attracts a numerous species of birds especially the water birds. Among the birds sighted in the park include the sharp tailed glossy starling, broad tailed paradise, finch’s francolin, Anchieta barbet, red capped crombec, miombo tit, guinea turaco, pale billed hornbill, souiza shrike, and many others.

Vegetation of the park

There is a very easy distribution of vegetation in Cangandala national park since it receives about 1350mm of rainfall annually. The park is greatly occupied by the woodlands of mainly Brachystegia and Julbernardia. Other forest species in the park include the Monotes, Dombeya and Burkea. Also the boundaries of the rivers in the park are occupied by the scattered patches of grasslands, forest woodlands and the papyrus swamps.

Best time to visit the park

The wet season in the Republic of Angola is from October through April and the misty season is from May to September. For excellent game viewing, one should visit the [park between the months of June and September when it’s either cool or drier.

How to access Cangandala national park

From the capital of Angola – Luanda, the distance to the park is about 400 kilometers which takes about 9 hour drive including some transfers and stopovers. The park is located Malanje province with the towns of Culamagia and Techongolola along its edges along the north and eastern directions respectively.