It dates from 1905 and owes its existence to the bay of the same name having been chosen as the sea terminus of the Benguela railway to the far interior, passing through Luau to Katanga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The city is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The population is 324,050 (2014) in an area of 3,648 km². The municipality consists of the communes Canjala, Egipto Praia and Lobito.
The city was founded on September 2, 1913 and holds an annual celebration for the occasion.
Lobito, was built on a sandspit and reclaimed land, with one of Africa’s finest natural harbours, protected by a 5 km long sandspit. The old municipality (concelho) was created in 1843 by the Portuguese administration. The town was also founded in 1843 by order of Maria II of Portugal, and its harbour works were begun in 1903. Large developments, however, were not stimulated until the completion in 1928 of the important Benguela Railway, which connected Portuguese Angola with the Belgian Congo. Under Portuguese rule, the port was one of Angola’s busiest, exporting agricultural produce from the interior and handling transit trade from the mines of southeastern Belgian Congo and of Northern Rhodesia. Fishing, tourism and services were also important. The carnival in Lobito was also one of the most renowned and popular in Portuguese Angola. It wasn't until 1843 that Maria II of Portugal approved the birth of the town, which had by then been known as Catumbela das Ostras (Catumbela of Oysters)
After the April 25, 1974 Carnation Revolution in Lisbon, Angola was offered independence. Lobito’s port activities were highly limited by disruptions to railway transit and high insecurity during the Angolan Civil War (1975–2002). With peace and stability, in the 2000s, Lobito started the process of reconstruction and resumed its path to development.
Lobito is the terminus of the Benguela Railway
The Port of Lobito is located in Lobito Bay on a sandspit approximately 4.8 km long. The port is administered by the Empresa Portuaria do Lobito. The Port of Lobito handles 2,000,000 tonnes of cargo and 370 ships annually, and along with economic development in the Benguala region, port facilities are under expansion.
Lobito does not have its own airport. The city is located 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from Catumbela Airport and 33 kilometres (21 mi) from Benguela Airport.