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Lilongwe is the capital of Malawi.
The capital of Malawi, Lilongwe has a population of circa 902,388. It's a very green city, to the extent that sometimes you wonder if there is a city centre at all as buildings in the new town at least are divided by patches of grassy land and trees.
Lilongwe is divided into the Old Town in the South and the New Town, which is more in the North. The Old Town is built around the former village of Lilongwe, while the New Town sprung up after first president Dr. Hastings Banda moved the capital from Zomba to Lilongwe. The quality of the roads is excellent compared to countries like Kenya and traffic doesn't tend to be too much of a problem at all.
Lilongwe's Kamuzu International Airport (LLW) fields regular flights to Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, Nairobi and domestic services to Blantyre on Air Malawi and Swiftair operates domestic schedules on Boeing 737 between Lilongwe and Blantyre and Regional flights to Johannesburg.
For neighboring Zambia, there are flights both to capital Lusaka and safari destination Mfuwe through the two main Air Charter companies (Nyassa Air Taxi & Executive Air Charters). There is no airport fee. The fee is apparently now included in the airline ticket.
The airport is about a 30/40 minute drive north of town.
From Dar Es Salaam
There are two bus companies serve Dar-Es Salaam-Lilongwe direction twice a week. The buses usually lack maintenance which makes the time schedule unreliable.Malawi should improve its transport.
The town is very spread out so getting around can be a bit of a chore. You can pick up taxis from the Lilongwe Hotel and the Capital Hotel. If you're feeling adventurous, you can take a minibus. It's very cheap, but you will be getting very familiar with your fellow passengers.
There are several routes you can take, including one that goes from the large blue bank in the new town and drops you off in the heart of the old town, next to Shoprite surpermarket.
What to see
Lilongwe wildlife centre: on the opposite side of the road to the old nature sanctuary. Its back down towards old town by the bridge over the river, look out for the sign. Its a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre that provides a tour of the rescued animals. Self guided hiking trails wind throughout the property. Volunteer opportunities are available.
At Kumbali Cultural Centre see the traditional Malawian dancing and traditional Malawian drumming. Includes live acoustic Malawian music and traditional Malawian dinner.
Golf Lessons, Lilongwe Golf Club. Best place to learn golf, very cheap compared to western prices with an excellent 18 hole course. Challenging for even pros.
Volunteer, Lingadzi Academy. Best place to work with young Malawians. Volunteer as a teacher, sports coach or builder. It is free to volunteer with Building Malawi.