Map of Malawi
Lilongwe is the capital city of Malawi and it takes its name from the Lilongwe River, that runs into Lake Malawi. Formerly a minor fishing village on the river banks; Lilongwe is now a thriving city surrounded by a surprising amount of lush green land. The city itself is divided into two parts; The New Town and The Old Town. The Old Town is to the south and is centred around the original fishing village, and here you will find the local markets, bus stations, and numerous cafes and restaurants. The New Town to the North expanded after it was made capital, by President Banda who changed the capital from Zomba to Lilongwe. The New Town houses Capitol Hill, with its embassies and government ministries, along with office blocks and accommodation, while the city centre is home to numerous banks.
Lilongwe Wildlife Centre
Lilongwe Wildlife Centre
One of the most famous places in the area is the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, which is home to rescued wildlife and is winner of the Tourism Award “Best for Conservation of Wildlife and Habitat.” This is a wildlife rescue, conservation and education centre, which provides sanctuary for wild animals that have been rescued, orphaned or injured. They survive through the help of volunteers and donations, and are doing an incredible job in preserving the country's wildlife, as well as educating the public on the importance of preventing animal extinctions. Some animals are given a home for life, while others are rehabilitated and released back into the wild, or to Kasungu National Park.
One of their success stories is Kambuku, a leopard who was found trapped in a poachers' snare at Nyika National Park. Kambuku is the Chichewa name for Leopard, so that became his adopted name. He was initially taken to the zoo in Lilongwe for treatment, but he never fully recovered and spent 10 years of his life in a small cage there, until July 2007 when he was moved to Lilongwe Wildlife Centre. Because his injury was never properly treated, it will never fully heal, so he cannot be returned to the wild, but will remain in the centre now for life; enjoying the 2,500 square metres of open land available to him.
Lilongwe Activities and Weather
Other activities available in Lilongwe include the Golf Club, where visitors can enjoy a one-day membership for about $10 US; which gives them entry to the club and course, and use of the bar and restaurant, although there are extra charges on the use of sports equipment and facilities.
The CIVO Stadium at Lilongwe and the Area 47 Stadium, are home to all major football matches in the area, and these are always well advertised with posters everywhere, or you only need to ask the locals for information as football is very popular here.
Tourists can go on safari in the area with Kiboko Safaris, who will take them on adventure tours, or a half day tour around Lilongwe; incorporating the tobacco auctions, Nature Sanctuary, and Parliament buildings.
Temperatures in Lilongwe and surrounding areas during the wet season of December through March are between 20° and 30°, in April and May temperatures can lower to 15° to 20°, and at night can often be less than 10°. The warmer months of June through August are hot and dry but nights can be quite a lot cooler. September and October, and even November are still relatively hot and dry, although November may sometimes see an early start to the rainy season.
Kumbali Country Lodge
Accommodation in the area is quite varied, with a number of Lilongwe hotels providing first-class service, while others offer quite economical lodgings.
One of the most unique among Lilongwe hotels and accommodations is the Kumbali Country Lodge, which features individual lodges situated in a natural forest reserve setting. Every room features all the creature comforts including Wi-Fi access and satellite television, cooling fans and mosquito netting, tea and coffee facilities and room service. Accommodations not only have beds, and bathrooms, but also comfortable seating and a table for eating or working.
The Kiboko Town Hotel is a popular choice and very comfortable, while one of the best-known Lilongwe hotels is the Crossroads Hotel, which is relatively reasonably priced.
Whichever type of accommodation you prefer, you will find exactly what you are looking for among the numerous Lilongwe hotels available.
In general Malawi is a country well worth a visit, and in particular Lilongwe is a fascinating city with much to offer.