Tours to Lilongwe are becoming increasingly popular as Malawi’s reputation for being an alluring tourism hot spot grows. The bustling metropolis became the country’s capital in 1975 and is divided between the Old Town and new city, which both have very different characteristics and attractions.
While the Old Town exudes tradition and culture, harkening back to a more old-fashioned way of life, the city boasts modernised buildings and a wealth of amenities. Both areas are well-worth exploring, whether you’re delighting in the plethora of colourful markets that sell a selection of enticing goods and foods in the Old Town, or revelling in an enjoyable shopping spree in the city’s modern retail stores.
Look out for beautiful local curios and crafts to take back home with you, including some gorgeous wooden carvings and beaded jewellery items. Malawi is a country of talented artists and craftsmen and there will be plenty of tempting souvenirs of varying descriptions to catch your eye.
Wildlife enthusiasts should make the Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary their first port of call. Situated between the Old and New towns, this remarkable centre provides shelter for the country’s rescued, orphaned and injured wild animals. As an accredited People and Wildlife centre, the sanctuary also seeks to promote nature conservation via the education of the local people.
Lilongwe tours should also include a visit to the Parliament Building – former president Banda’s grandiose palace is quite a spectacle and is well worth the visit, if you’re interested in the history and politics of the area.