BENGUELLA (São Felipe de Benguella), a town of Portuguese West Africa, capital of Benguella district, on a bay of the same name, in 12° 33' S., 13° 25' E. Benguella was founded in 1617 by the Portuguese under Manoel Cerveira Pereira. It was long the centre of an important trade, especially in slaves to Brazil and Cuba, but has now greatly declined. The anchorage, about a mile from the town, in 4 to 6 fathoms, is nothing but an open roadstead. Besides the churches of S. Felipe and S. Antonio, the hospital, and the fortress, there are only a few stone-built houses. The white population numbers about 1500. A short way beyond Benguella is Bahia Tarta, where salt is manufactured and sulphur excavated.
About 20 m. north of Benguella is Lobito Bay, a natural harbour chosen (1903) as the starting-point of a railway to Katanga. At Lobito steamers can come close inshore and discharge cargo direct. Lobito is connected with Benguella by a railway which passes about midway through Katumbella, a town at the mouth of the river of the same name, and the sea terminus of an ancient route from the heart of Central Africa through Bihe. Old Benguella is a small town about 120 m. north of Lobito Bay.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)