The Angolan capital of Luanda is perhaps not as affordable as expats might think. Just a few years ago, Luanda’s cost of living ranked alongside or even above that of global economic giants such as Singapore and Tokyo. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case, but while Luanda’s living costs are a tad gentler these days, the country is still far from cheap.

The 2023 Mercer Cost of Living Survey ranks Luanda as the 30th most expensive city to live in out of the 227 cities surveyed. That being said, a few African cities, such as Bangui (Central African Republic) and Djibouti (Djibouti), rank slightly higher than Luanda.

The highest expenses facing expats and parents will likely be accommodation and private schooling. Luckily, those moving to Angola for work often have these costs either partially or fully subsidised by their employer. Expats without such an arrangement should budget carefully to ensure they can afford these essentials.


Cost of accommodation in Angola

The high cost of accommodation in Angola is due to a notable gulf between supply and demand. Low supply and a lack of secure housing have driven up rental prices. Nevertheless, most expats will have their accommodation provided and paid for by their employer. If not, it’s important to factor this cost in during the salary negotiations.


Cost of transport in Angola

The cost of transport in Angola can vary considerably, depending on the method and distance. While public transportation is affordable, the system is not without its issues: overcrowding and irregular service can make it an unreliable choice.

For many expats, the use of private taxis or hiring a personal driver proves a more comfortable, albeit pricier, alternative. Those who opt for personal vehicles must be prepared to endure high fuel prices and maintenance costs due to the condition of many of the country's roads.


Cost of groceries in Angola

Shopping for groceries in Angola can be more expensive than one might expect, especially when it comes to imported goods. Local markets are a popular choice for fresh fruits, vegetables and locally-sourced meats, which tend to be reasonably priced.

Expats accustomed to Western-brand products may find these significantly more costly due to import taxes and logistical challenges. For this reason, many expats adjust their diets to incorporate more locally-produced foods, which is not only more cost-effective but also supports the local economy.


Cost of entertainment and eating out in Angola

The cost of entertainment and eating out in Angola offers a mixed bag. High-end restaurants and bars in Luanda can be quite expensive, with prices rivalling those in major Western cities. On the other hand, there's a range of budget-friendly local eateries offering a taste of traditional Angolan cuisine at a fraction of the cost.

When it comes to entertainment, costs can also vary. Cultural attractions like museums and galleries are generally affordable, while tickets for concerts or theatre shows can be pricey. As a rule, expats should expect to pay a premium for activities and venues that cater for a more international audience.


Cost of education in Angola

For expats with children, the cost of living in Angola rises significantly. As the standard of local public and private schools is generally considered inadequate, outrageously-priced international schools are the only remaining option. Annual tuition fees often also don't include essentials such as textbooks, uniforms and extracurricular activities, so these must be budgeted for.


Cost of healthcare in Angola

Healthcare in Angola is an area where costs can escalate quickly. While there is a public healthcare system, it is often under-resourced and understaffed, leading many expats to seek private healthcare. That said, private medical facilities often charge high fees for their services.

In addition to these direct costs, comprehensive health insurance is a must for any expat, and this too can add significantly to the monthly budget. Consequently, it's advisable for expats to secure a health allowance or health insurance coverage from their employer as part of their relocation package.


Cost of living in Angola chart 

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Luanda in June 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

AOA 4,000,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

AOA 610,000

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

AOA 260,000

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

AOA 56,000

Food and drink

Dozen eggs

AOA 1,690

Milk (1 litre)

AOA 770

Rice (1kg)

AOA 800

Loaf of white bread

AOA 1,030

Chicken breasts (1kg)

AOA 4,300

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

AOA 2,100

Eating out

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

AOA 42,000

Big Mac meal

AOA 5,400

Coca-Cola (330ml)

AOA 1,240

Cappuccino

AOA 2,600

Bottle of beer (local)

AOA 570

Utilities/household

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

AOA 120

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

AOA 25,000

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

AOA 103,000

Transportation

Taxi rate/km

AOA 1,160

City-centre public transport fare

AOA 410

Gasoline (per litre)

AOA 280

Expat Health Insurance

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