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Lilongwe and Surrounds

A city of contrasts

Malawi’s capital since 1975, Lilongwe is a city of contrast, between Old Town and the more modern Capital City, with its luxury hotels and shopping malls.

Lilongwe is the arrival and departure point for most visitors to Malawi. For many it will be a fleeting glimpse of this bustling city, as they head straight off to other regions for the start of their holiday. However, for those who spend a night or two here, out of choice or necessity after a long journey, Lilongwe has plenty to keep you occupied.

It’s a great place to do some shopping, whether that be at the larger stores in one of the many modern shopping centres, for curios from the street traders, or a visit to the walled market of Old Town.

The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre offers quite a different experience for those more interested in nature. It’s situated in a sanctuary in the heart of the city, providing a safe refuge for rescued wildlife. The centre has a number of projects around the country and works with local people, providing education about nature conservation and the value of Malawi’s wildlife to its people.

There is also a vibrant nightlife, with some excellent restaurants, serving a variety of cuisine, and a popular Malawian music scene. There is a good variety of accommodation, at which to simply relax after your journey, if you prefer. This ranges from large, very modern and centrally located hotels to more tranquil lodges set in attractive leafy gardens.

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