Lelia Tierney

Written by Lelia Tierney

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Africatravelresource.com

Welcome to the vibrant city of Lilongwe, the capital and largest city of Malawi. Situated in the central region of the country, Lilongwe is a bustling metropolis that offers a rich blend of cultural heritage, diverse landscapes, and a thriving economy. From its humble beginnings as a small village, Lilongwe has transformed into a dynamic urban center that attracts both locals and tourists alike.

In this article, we will delve into 43 fascinating facts about Lilongwe that will give you a deeper understanding of its history, landmarks, economy, and the vibrant lifestyle it offers. Whether you are planning a visit to Lilongwe or simply curious about this captivating city, these facts will provide you with an insight into what makes Lilongwe a remarkable destination in the heart of Africa.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, is a vibrant city with diverse attractions, warm hospitality, and a commitment to wildlife conservation, making it a must-see destination in Africa.
  • From wildlife sanctuaries and colorful markets to music festivals and modern shopping malls, Lilongwe offers something for everyone to enjoy, creating a unique and captivating experience for visitors.
Table of Contents

Lilongwe is the capital city of Malawi.

Lilongwe, located in the central region of Malawi, serves as the administrative and political center of the country.

The name “Lilongwe” means “green reeds” in the local Chewa language.

The city takes its name from the nearby Lilongwe River, which is surrounded by lush vegetation and reeds.

Lilongwe is divided into two main areas: the Old Town and the New Town.

The Old Town is the historical part of the city, while the New Town houses most of the modern developments and government institutions.

It is home to the Malawi Parliament.

Lilongwe serves as the seat of the Malawian government, with the Parliament building located in the city.

Lilongwe is the largest city in Malawi, with a population of over 1 million people.

As the capital city, Lilongwe attracts residents from different regions of Malawi, contributing to its population growth.

The city is known for its urban planning.

Lilongwe was designed as a planned city, with organized road networks, green spaces, and designated areas for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes.

It has a diverse cultural scene.

Lilongwe is a melting pot of different ethnic groups in Malawi, resulting in a vibrant cultural scene. The city hosts various music, dance, and theater events throughout the year.

Lilongwe Wildlife Centre is a popular attraction.

Visitors to Lilongwe can explore the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, a sanctuary for orphaned and injured animals. The center also promotes conservation and wildlife education.

The city has a continental climate.

Lilongwe experiences dry winters and warm summers, with November to April being the rainy season. The average temperature ranges from 15°C (59°F) to 29°C (84°F).

The Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary offers a peaceful escape.

Located within the city, the Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary provides a tranquil environment for nature lovers. The sanctuary is home to various bird species and offers hiking trails.

The tobacco industry plays a significant role in the city’s economy.

Lilongwe is a major center for tobacco production in Malawi, contributing to the country’s economy and export industry.

The Kamuzu International Airport serves as the main gateway to Lilongwe.

International visitors and travelers can access Lilongwe through the Kamuzu International Airport, which offers flights to various domestic and international destinations.

Lilongwe hosts the annual Lake of Stars Festival.

The Lake of Stars Festival is a renowned music festival that showcases local and international artists, attracting music enthusiasts from around the world.

The city offers a range of international cuisines.

Lilongwe has a diverse culinary scene, with restaurants serving cuisines from around the world, including Indian, Chinese, Italian, and African dishes.

Lilongwe Wildlife Trust works towards conservation.

The Lilongwe Wildlife Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to wildlife conservation and community engagement. They actively work to protect endangered species and their habitats.

The city has several shopping malls and markets.

From modern shopping malls to bustling markets, Lilongwe offers a variety of shopping experiences where visitors can find local crafts, souvenirs, and everyday essentials.

Lilongwe boasts beautiful parks and gardens.

The city is adorned with well-maintained parks and gardens where residents and visitors can relax, picnic, or enjoy outdoor activities.

It is home to the Bingu National Stadium.

The Bingu National Stadium, located in Lilongwe, is a multi-purpose stadium that hosts various sporting events, concerts, and cultural gatherings.

Lilongwe has a bustling nightlife.

The city comes alive at night with a range of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues offering live music, DJ performances, and vibrant social scenes.

The National Museum and Art Gallery showcases Malawian history and culture.

Visitors can explore the National Museum and Art Gallery in Lilongwe to learn about Malawi’s rich history, archaeological discoveries, and traditional artwork.

Lilongwe is known for its warm and welcoming population.

The people of Lilongwe are renowned for their hospitality, making visitors feel at home and embracing the diversity of their city.

The city hosts the Lilongwe Street Carnival.

Every year, Lilongwe comes alive with the vibrant and colorful Lilongwe Street Carnival, featuring parades, music, dancing, and street performances.

Lilongwe houses diplomatic missions and embassies.

As the capital city, Lilongwe hosts several diplomatic missions and embassies, facilitating international relations and diplomatic activities.

Lilongwe has a growing technology and innovation sector.

The city is witnessing a rise in technology and innovation hubs, supporting local entrepreneurship and attracting investment in the tech industry.

The Lilongwe Golf Club offers a scenic golfing experience.

Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at the picturesque Lilongwe Golf Club, surrounded by lush landscapes and stunning views.

Lilongwe has a well-developed healthcare system.

The city has various hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities that provide quality medical services to the residents of Lilongwe and surrounding areas.

Lilongwe is a hub for NGOs and international organizations.

Many NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) and international organizations have their headquarters or regional offices in Lilongwe, actively involved in development work and humanitarian efforts.

The city celebrates various cultural festivals and events.

Lilongwe hosts a diverse range of cultural festivals throughout the year, showcasing the traditions, music, dance, and cuisine of different ethnic groups in Malawi.

Lilongwe is known for its colorful markets.

The markets in Lilongwe offer a vibrant shopping experience, with stalls selling fresh produce, local crafts, fabrics, and souvenirs.

The Kamuzu Central Hospital is the largest referral hospital in the country.

Located in Lilongwe, the Kamuzu Central Hospital provides specialized medical services and serves as a referral center for patients from across Malawi.

Lilongwe is surrounded by scenic natural landscapes.

From rolling hills to National Parks, Lilongwe is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, offering opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, and nature exploration.

The city has a vibrant music scene.

Lilongwe is renowned for its music culture, with a thriving community of musicians, bands, and music venues that showcase a wide range of genres.

The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre promotes wildlife conservation.

The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre focuses on rehabilitating and releasing injured or confiscated wild animals back into their natural habitats.

Lilongwe has several international schools.

The city is home to various international schools, providing education to both local and expatriate students with a global curriculum.

The city has a well-connected transportation system.

Lilongwe has a network of buses, taxis, and minivans, making it easy for residents and visitors to navigate the city and reach their desired destinations.

Lilongwe has a rich cultural heritage.

The city’s cultural heritage is reflected in its traditional dances, music, crafts, and festivals, preserving the customs and traditions of the local communities.

The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre offers volunteer opportunities.

Visitors to Lilongwe can actively participate in wildlife conservation efforts by volunteering at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre and assisting with various projects.

The city has a strong sense of community.

Lilongwe’s residents value community bonds and actively engage in social activities, neighborhood gatherings, and support networks.

Lilongwe has a growing arts and crafts industry.

The city is a hub for local artisans and craftsmen, producing unique and handcrafted artworks, pottery, fabrics, and traditional crafts.

The Lilongwe City Mall is a popular shopping destination.

The Lilongwe City Mall is a modern shopping complex in the city, housing a variety of local and international retail brands, restaurants, and entertainment facilities.

The city has a professional football team, Silver Strikers FC.

Silver Strikers FC is a renowned football club based in Lilongwe, competing in the Malawi Premier Division.

Lilongwe has a growing film industry.

The city has recently witnessed an emergence of local filmmakers and production companies, contributing to the growth of the Malawian film industry.

Lilongwe is a vibrant and welcoming city that offers something for everyone.

With its rich culture, diverse attractions, and friendly residents, Lilongwe provides a unique blend of urban development and natural beauty, making it a captivating destination to explore.


Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, is a thriving metropolis filled with rich cultural heritage, urban planning, and natural beauty. With its diverse range of attractions, from wildlife sanctuaries and vibrant markets to music festivals and modern shopping malls, Lilongwe offers a truly unique experience for residents and visitors alike. The city’s warm and welcoming population, coupled with its growing economy and commitment to wildlife conservation, make it a must-see destination in Africa. Whether you’re exploring its historical sites, indulging in international cuisine, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Lilongwe has something for everyone to enjoy.


In conclusion, Lilongwe is a captivating city with a rich history, vibrant culture, and a promising future. With its bustling markets, breathtaking natural surroundings, and friendly locals, it is no wonder that Lilongwe has become a popular destination for tourists and expats alike. The city boasts a wide range of attractions, from historical landmarks to modern shopping centers, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are interested in exploring the wildlife reserves, immersing yourself in the local arts scene, or simply experiencing the warm hospitality of the Malawian people, Lilongwe is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the wonders of Lilongwe – a city that truly has it all.


1. What is the best time to visit Lilongwe?

The best time to visit Lilongwe is during the dry season, which typically runs from May to November. During this time, the weather is mild, and you can enjoy outdoor activities without worrying too much about rainfall.

2. Are there any must-visit attractions in Lilongwe?

Absolutely! Some of the must-visit attractions in Lilongwe include the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, the Parliament Building, the Kamuzu Mausoleum, and the bustling Old Town Market.

3. Is Lilongwe a safe city for tourists?

Lilongwe is generally a safe city for tourists, but it’s always important to take precautions. Avoid walking alone at night, keep your belongings secure, and be aware of your surroundings.

4. What are some local dishes to try in Lilongwe?

When in Lilongwe, don’t miss out on trying local delicacies such as nsima (a maize-based staple), chambo fish, and fried caterpillars. These dishes offer a unique taste of Malawian cuisine.

5. Are there any day trips or excursions from Lilongwe?

Yes, there are several day trips and excursions that you can take from Lilongwe. Some popular options include visiting Lake Malawi, exploring the Dedza Pottery Village, and hiking in the Ntchisi Forest Reserve.

Lilongwe's fascinating facts are just the beginning of your journey through this captivating country. Uncover more intriguing details about Malawi, from its stunning landscapes to its vibrant culture. Explore the allure of capital cities like Jerusalem, steeped in history and religious significance. Embark on an adventure across Africa, a continent brimming with diverse wildlife, breathtaking natural wonders, and rich traditions.

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