About equidistant from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia on Angola’s stunning coastline lies Lobito, a small town in the Benguala Province. Long under Portuguese colonisation, the city suffered somewhat — albeit it less than the country’s capital Luanda, during the long, drawn out civil war of 1975-2002. However, Lobito has begun the rehabilitation process (primarily through funding from both China – who are implementing a railway system throughout the country and Brazil) and the grass roots of restoration have very definitely started. The result is a city in search of a new identity, whose natural resources include unspoilt tropical Atlantic beaches, vast national parks and a chequered heritage of Portuguese rule and struggle for independence. Happily, Lobito didn’t suffer damage in the quite the same way as the capital, due mainly to its spectacular beaches and colonial architecture, making the city a favourite holiday spot for the Portuguese prior to liberation. This legacy has been respected and today Lobito enjoys a healthy mix of burgeoning tourism, charming plantations and quaint villages. A trip along Rastinga, the long peninsula to the north of the town offers a prime chance to witness the un-sullied splendour of the past and perhaps enjoy a taste of local cuisine. A local festival – with free beer – is a must for those wishing to imbibe in both the culture and the hospitality!