Both of us fell in love with this forgotten country called Angola. The nature is truly unique; however, we could enjoy it all by ourselves as there was nobody else at the hotspots in nature. A big difference compared to West Africa, where we were never alone. To us, it felt like a real treat!
Before entering the country, it was our plan to cross this country solely on solar energy again, just like we did from Dakhla Morocco to the coast of Ghana, roughly 5.500km. What we did not know, is that the weather would make this almost impossible. When we arrived in the north via the Lufo border, we had big and thick clouds every day. When solar charging this meant quickly changing from fast charging to almost not charging (for example from 8kW to 0,5kW in seconds because a cloud passed by). As this resulted in a maximum yield of +30% in a day, we decided to use the grid as well in this country. It would slow us down too much if we did not use the grid.
The more we drove south, the better the weather became. The last days we even had blue skies every day, something we had not seen for more than 4 months. Thinking of Africa, we had expected blue skies for most of the days, but by now we have learned this is not the case at all… Especially in the rainy season and in the middle of Africa.
Solar charging in Angola also meant finding an angle again to place the solar panels in the optimal position towards the sun. Here the angle was already 30 degrees. Sometimes we accepted a flat area as finding good locations was not always easy, accepting a less high yield of the day.
One other big advantage of crossing Angola is that the country has an altitude of often more than 1.000m, resulting in a very nice cool climate. After months of +35 degrees, this was a very welcoming change for us.
Charging via the grid
In Angola, still, 40% of the people don’t have electricity in their homes. This is quite surprising, as when driving through the country you see many electricity poles, sometimes even 6 different pole lines next to each other. When we did want to use a grid, hotels had electricity in almost every village or city. They even offered us 3 phases quite often, so we could charge our electric car in only a couple of hours.
In Namibia, we want to try to charge as much as possible on the sun again. Let’s see how that goes!