Lilongwe has not always been the capital city of Malawi, in
fact, it was a recently as 1974 that the capital was moved by
former dictator Hastings Banda from Zomba to Lilongwe, a city
that was once just a small town on the banks of the Lilongwe
river and the administrative centre of British Colonial rule in
Malawi. Today Lilongwe has a population rapidly closing in on
one million and is the largest city in the country.
Lilongwe is divided into many areas, but essentially there is
the New Town and the Old Town with the renowned wildlife centre.
This centre is well worth a visit as not only is it a rescue and
rehabilitation centre it has its own wildlife zone with good
value tours. The old town itself is based around the old Lilingwe village and teems with street vendors, shops, cafres and restaurants whilst the new town is centered around the city's banking, government and commercial sector althout Malawi's second city, Balantyre, remains the country's commercial hub.
HIV/AIDS is a major concern in Lilongwe with a
high percentage of the population (20%) there being infected and
research indicates that professionals such as doctors and
teachers are dying from related illnesses faster than they can
Street children can also be found in the city and
these children are inevitably vulnerable to abuse and
exploitation. Despite this and the poverty of many who live there, having
come from rural areas
in the forlorn hope of finding paid employment, Lilongwe is
generally a friendly city with many foreign workers providing an open, multicultural exoperience.
The above video shows pictures and images of the capital of
Malawi and provides a realistic look and feel of life there.
After you've watched the video make a virtual landing at Lilongwe
airport below then check out our interactive map of Lilongwe
below and zoom in to explore areas of interest.
View Larger Map