The country of Malawi in Africa has its capital as Lilongwe. This extremely green city has a total population of slightly less than 1 million people. In fact, due to the many trees and grassy land, visitors sometimes wonder whether Lilongwe really has a city centre or not. Most of the buildings are located in tree thickets which gives Lilongwe an awesomely good atmosphere. Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary separates the Northern New Town from the Southern Old Town. The City Centre or New Town is the capital city that became famous after president Banda stripped Zomba of its status as a national capital and awarded it to Lilongwe. Compared to other African countries such as Kenya, roads in Lilongwe are of excellent quality and traffic isn’t a huge problem as such.
Kamuzu International Airport is the main entry point to Lilongwe and the rest of the country with regular flights from Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Johannesburg. You can as well drive to Lilongwe from Mchinji which is the country’s border with Zambia but taxis can be extremely expensive. Bus services are also offered from/ to Mzuzu, Lusaka and Dar Es Salaam even though they are highly unreliable due to the bad state of roads. While Lilongwe city is not as big as such, it is nevertheless highly spread out and getting around can get quite hectic at times. However, you can use local taxis and for the adventurous tourists, taxis are a better option for travelling in the city.
The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre is an old natural reserve which is a rehabilitation and rescue centre for wildlife. It has lots of wildlife and offers great tours to the wilderness zone and foreigners can also offer volunteer services as well. The Kumbali Cultural Centre is also worth a visit where you can see both traditional Malawi drumming and dancing. You will find live traditional music as well as local Malawian dinner.
Golf lessons are a great way to spend your time in Lilongwe city and there are many places in the city where you can go to learn to golf. There are challenging and affordable golfing activities. You can as well offer volunteer services at Lingadzi Academy and get an opportunity of interacting with some young Malawians. Volunteer services as a sports coach, builder or teacher are always welcome.
Shopping in Lilongwe is a great activity to engage in especially at the Old Town Mall where you can buy some food, wine, by some groceries or even rent a DVD. Local cafes are largely available and serve cheap meals like beef/ chicken and rice as well as hot food and sandwiches.
Some of the budget restaurants that you should consider visiting include Sana and Chicken Inn. Mid-range tourists can try Bohemia Café, Korea Garden Lodge, Kiboko Town Restaurant, Four Seasons and few others. Lilongwe is not quite safe especially at night and it is recommended that you avoid walking alone at night. Also, it might be hard to get transport at night and you need to organize for a taxi.