About 25 miles outside Angola’s capital city of Luanda lies an otherworldly landscape. Erosion from wind and rain over thousands of years has carved canyons and ridges out of weathered rock just footsteps off the main road. Miradouro da Lua, Portuguese for “Viewpoint of the Moon,” shows off different colored strata of rock that wrap around an expansive panorama.
From the cliffside, you can see the unusual rock formations that diminish in size as they stretch to the sea. This is known as a karst landscape, which forms from slowly dissolved limestone and other semi-soluble rocks. The actual topography spans a few miles, following the same cliffs that separate the main road from the beach, but Miradouro da Lua is the best location to see the full splendor of the moon-like landscape.
The sharp ravines and striking geography are best viewed at sunset, when the fading sunlight paints them a bright, gleaming red. Miradouro da Lua’s beauty was further immortalized in the final scene of a 1993 film of the same name that examines the relationship between Angola and its Portuguese colonizers through the story of one family.