Lilongwe Travel Guide

Lilongwe © Malawi Tourism

The capital of Malawi, Lilongwe is a very green city, with leafy trees and grassy areas breaking up the concrete. Lilongwe is also quite a laid-back town, a sleepy city with social highlights revolving around visits to the local nursery, shopping in Old Town or a couple of drinks at the golf club.

Lilongwe is divided into Old Town (to the South) and New Town (to the North), with the Lilongwe Nature Sanctury between the two. Old Town is more popular with visitors, home to markets and craft stalls, attractive cafes and restaurants, and pubs. New Town is focused more on business, with office buildings, banks, and embassies offering little in the way of sightseeing.

Located in central Malawi, Lilongwe itself is not a major tourist draw, but a large expat population has given the city a distinctly Western feel that makes it the perfect stopover for travellers heading to game reserves and beach resorts in other parts of Malawi.

Many tourists in transit also take advantage of the shopping in Lilongwe, which is the best in Malawi. Old Town Mall is home to two impressive art and craft galleries, a grocery store, travel agencies and upmarket clothing stores. Crossroads Complex, at the Mchinji Roundabout, is Lilongwe's newest shopping mall, with gift shops, a post office, two ATMs and fast food outlets.

Lilongwe is very spread out so getting around can be a bit of a chore; taxis are readily available, or visitors can get a local experience of an over-crowded minibus.

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