On the polar side of the high-pressure area a west wind drift is under the control of the " roaring forties," and on reaching South Africa part of this is deflected and sent northwards along the west coast as the cold Benguella current which rejoins the equatorial.
This line is to link up with the Benguella railway and put Katanga in direct communication with Lobito Bay, thus reducing the distance to Europe, compared with the Beira route, by over 3,000 miles.
(from the river Congo to the river Loje), corresponding roughly with the limits of the "kingdom of Congo" (see History below); Loanda, which includes Angola in the most restricted sense mentioned above; Benguella and Mossamedes to the south.
In the district of Benguella are the highest points of the province, viz.
The Cretaceous rocks of the Dombe Grande region (near Benguella) are of Albian age and belong to the Acanthoceras mamillari zone.
Recent eruptive rocks, mainly basalts, form a line of hills almost bare of vegetation between Benguella and Mossamedes.
As far south as Benguella the coast region is rich in oil-palms and mangroves.
The chief towns are Sao Paulo de Loanda, the capital, Kabinda, Benguella and Mossamedes.
Lobito, a little north of Benguella, is a town which dates from 1905 and owes its existence to the bay of the same name having been chosen as the sea terminus of a railway to the far interior.
Bihe, the capital of the plateau district of the same name forming the hinterland of Benguella, is a large caravan centre.
Of Benguella, begun in 1904, runs towards the Congo-Rhodesia frontier.
The city of Loanda was founded in 1576, Benguella in 1617.
On the west coast their southernmost settlement for a long period was Benguella, and the history of Angola had not until the last quarter of the 19th century any close connexion with that, of South Africa.
But between Benguella on the west and Lourenco Marques on the east the Portuguese made no attempt to form permanent settlements or trading stations along the coast.