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Parque Ulengo, Luanda, Angola

Peet

Member
I'm currently on my 9th visit to Angola and I have finally managed to bag a cred here!

Parque Ulengo is on the outskirts of the capital city of Luanda; it has one major coaster and one kiddie cred. I attempted to visit with a colleague on a Saturday last October but found the park closed. Since then the website has disappeared from the internet completely so I had very little hope of finding it open this time. Still, I didn't have much else to do and I was curious to see what state the place was in now, so I called a driver and went along anyway.

On arrival I spied the enterprise wheel running. I stood at the gate for a little while watching to see if the big coaster "Montanha da Leba" was open, and before long I got the good news I was looking for:
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With that confirmed I went to buy my ticket. I handed over my cash but there seemed to be some problem, and the language barrier was insurmountable, so I had to go and get my driver, "Ed" from the car and ask him to intermediate. After a remarkably long and seemingly heated conversation in Portuguese I was given my change and a wristband, and Ed said he was coming in as well. It was 4000 Kwanza which is less than £10, and I assume this covered entry for Ed as well, although he didn't get a wristband and didn't go on any rides so maybe not, who knows. I still have no clue what was going on or what the problem was, but I was finally allowed in.

Straight to the cred then. I walked through the queue line and straight into the station. The train was ready and waiting but there was nobody around at all!
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Ed went off to try to find an operator to come and run the ride for me, after a few minutes he returned with a member of staff and we were in business:
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The manufacturer/model is not listed yet on RCDB, but it's what RCDB describes as a Beijing Shibaolai "Single Loop Double Spiral" coaster, ie a loop and double corkscrew. As you might expect, this thing is janky as hell, the lift is very slow, and it loses speed so quickly that it barely makes it up the final slope from the corkscrews into the brakes. The seats are also in very bad condition as you can see. Aside from that it is pretty fun, actually not too uncomfortable to ride, and I do love a double corkscrew, even if it is taken so slowly that you get hangtime at the top! The experience is enhanced by getting whipped in the face by some of the tall grass on the entry to the corkscrew.
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After the first ride in the front row I switched to the back row for 2 more goes round:
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It is an enjoyable cred, but 3 rides was plenty so it was time to move on. Confirmation of the manufacturer and model at the exit:
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They have gone to some good effort on the entrance signs for all of the rides:
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The kiddie cred was unmanned, and I wasn't quite goon enough to go and find an operator to open it up for me to have a solo ride, so I left it:
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The aeroplane restaurant looks pretty cool:
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We then got to some dodgems which looked a bit different. There was a group of people already there (pretty much the only other people in the park!), so I thought it would be worth joining in. Then it turned out they were just having a group photo in the middle of the dodgems (as you do), and cleared off leaving only me. The ride operator took pity on me and jumped into a dodgem after starting the ride so that I would have somebody to bump!
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The shot or drop tower (I'm not sure which) was unmanned so we went and found an operator but he said it was broken.
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Here's a general view of the park. It's a little run down in places but overall a pretty nice place to be. There are a really large number of plastic animals.
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I decided to finish up on enterprise wheel (see first picture). This was the only ride of the day where there were other guests on the ride with me! It looked like a normal enterprise wheel, not sure if it is a Huss, I suspect not! However when I got in the operator fastened 2 seatbelts around my legs!
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I thought about telling the operator that I've been on loads of these rides before and you don't need a seatbelt, but thought better of it. Anyway, I would have been wrong! This thing rocked like mad the whole way round; there was a good breeze which I think was to blame, but there seemed to be no damping for the rocking motion of the cars so it swung rather violently at times - it was pretty horrible.
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I enjoyed the fact that this ride is named after the "Wonder Crack" of Tundavala a lot more than I enjoyed the ride itself.

The 12D (?) cinema looked comically underwhelming so I gave it a miss:
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I was pretty much done with this place but wanted to get some better shots of the Montanha da Leba. The big gap in the broken fence made for a good vantage point - there are no "Danger of Death Keep Out" signs here! Also check out the tension (or lack of) in the structural cables at the top of the picture - I hadn't noticed that when I was riding!
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I love this angle on a double corkscrew, it's just a shame there were no other guests in the park to allow me to get a shot with the train!
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(Note: picture taken through the fence - I did not go inside the broken fence!)

And that was it, I only spent about 45 mins in the park in total. I really do hope the park is successful but based on the visitor numbers I saw today it cannot be profitable; I think it must be the quietest I have ever seen a park. Montanha da Leba didn't go round at all during my visit except when I was on it. Angola is developing quickly and has come a long way even in the 5 years that I have been visiting, but I can't help feeling it's not quite ready for a theme park. Time will tell!
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Haha, that's ace!

I was hoping Ed would do the dodgems with you... ;)

You should definitely have made them run the kiddie cred just for you. At least you've got next time... :p
 

Peet

Member
You should definitely have made them run the kiddie cred just for you. At least you've got next time...
Yeah I didn't want to blow all of the country's rollercoasters in 1 day!

I had time for a bit more tourism with a trip to the beach:
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This beach just North of Luanda has probably 70+ shipwrecks just rusting away; it's a really spectacular sight although also very sad. An unusual tourist attraction!
 
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