Malawi’s capital and largest city is Lilongwe, named after the river where a small fishing village was located that then became the seat of British colonial administration due to its proximity to Mozambique and Zambia.
Lilongwe is a lively city and makes for a good first or last night in Malawi. It is divided into the New and Old City. The modern shops, hotels, business offices and international embassies mark the New City, whereas the Old City is characterised by small cafes, restaurants and a variety of markets. A favourite for many is the Lilongwe Craft Market where you can buy beautiful local art, hand-woven items, clothes in colourful African prints, and jewellery. A visit to the Old City gives the sense of what Malawi might have looked like years ago.
Points of interest that are nature and wildlife oriented, include the Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary and the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, which is Malawi’s only place for rescued, orphaned and injured wild animals.
Due in part to the growth of the expatriate community and the increasing importance of tourism, Lilongwe now offers a rich diversity of cuisine and a variety of lodges and hotels of good quality accommodation and hospitality. The climate is typically subtropical, with a rainy and humid summer from November to April, followed by cool and dry winter months.
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