Cheap Flights To Lilongwe
The lively, bustling capital of the African Republic of Malawi, Lilongwe is an important commercial hub, and a place quite unlike anywhere else. Unlike most cities, it doesn't centre around a city centre but rather sprawls and rambles around a variety of districts giving it a delightfully haphazard flavour. It's a city to explore.
For hundreds of years, Lilongwe was a fishing village on the banks of the river from which it takes its name. Officially designated a town in 1947, it really started to grow after being made Malawi's capital in 1975. Its location in the highlands of the country gives it a more temperate climate than most African cities, and it's surrounded by some truly stunning scenery.
For culture vultures, the range of festivals and events -- from Lilongwe Fashion Week to culinary festivals and local public holidays -- are sure to offer interesting dates to visit the city.
Things To Do
A visit to Lilongwe is sure to be an adventure with many opportunities to explore the city and surrounding countryside, bustle through busy markets and even climb up mountains. Those wanting to simply relax will surely enjoy the diverse culinary scene, which is a window into the city's interesting history.
The best way to experience the city is simply to ramble through it. It's a city of two halves, with the New City being devoted to more modern shops, embassies and the works of government, while the Old has a far more traditional flavour. The Old Town Mall is a bustling shopping centre, but for a taste of the real Malawi, the huge open-air Lizulu Market in the centre of the Old Town is a must visit.
The city is wonderfully situated for those who like to get out and about. A trip up nearby Mount Nkhoma will be rewarded with stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside. The Wildlife Centre is located in the middle of the city, where you can see rehabilitating animals and enjoy a walk, or try the Botanic Gardens: a wonderful peaceful space where many locals go to relax (and buy very cheap plants).
This is a city that eats well. Its colonial past has left an imprint on the city's culinary culture, with Portuguese, Italian and British food all well represented as well as more recent Asian additions. Locals rate Flavours Cafe for more traditional food, while Vincent's Bar is the home of fine dining in the city.
Calendar Of Events
Lilongwe has a number of events to interest and entertain the traveller, some traditional and some which may surprise you. Malawi's a country with plenty of days of celebration and a surprising variety of events and festivals.
Fashion week. London, Paris, New York...Lilongwe. June sees the city playing host to an international fashion week with an African flavour as designers from across the continent (and the world) descend for a week of shows, parties and glamour.
European Culinary festival. Every October, the culinary legacy of Malawi's colonial past is celebrated in a city-wide festival of food.
Kamuzu Day. May 14th is a public holiday to celebrate the the legacy of the first president of Malawi, Dr Kamuzu Banda -- it's a day full of parties and colour.