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Satellite Image of Serra da Chela

The Serra da Chela is a mountain range in south-central Angola. The mountains, rising to 2,306 meters above the coastal plains, are among the highest in the country.[1] It is part of the Great Escarpment of southern Africa, separating the Huíla Plateau of the interior from the low-lying coastal Namib Desert. To its west there are some inselbergs, remnants of the plateau from a time when it was more extensive.[2] In many places impassable, the escarpment may be accessed by the road running east from Capangombe to Humpata on the plateau.[3]

The range was formed approximately 200 million years ago, when the supercontinent Pangaea broke up.[4] What is now the Serra da Chela range was on the edge of one of the tectonic plates where Africa connected to South America, and rose slowly upward as the Atlantic Ocean formed between the separating plates.[4]


  1. ^ "ANGOLA general data of the country". Populstat. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  2. ^ Alvin W. Urquhart (1963). Patterns of settlement and subsistence in southwestern Angola. National Academies. p. 2ff. 
  3. ^ Earl of Mayo (11 June 1883). "A Journey from Mossamedes to the River Cunene, W.W. Africa" (PDF). Proceedings of the Royal Record of Geography - Vol. V. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  4. ^ a b Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 98. ISBN 0-89577-087-3. 

Coordinates: 15°29′58″S 13°29′41″E / 15.499341°S 13.494644°E / -15.499341; 13.494644