Lilongwe is the capital of Malawi, a pleasant little city with a vibe that is more sleepy than spectacular, making it a nice break from exploring other larger cities. The Old Town has a quiet buzz, and most visitors spend the majority of their time in the capital in the neighborhood’s intimate cafes, craft stalls, drinking holes and markets.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit is during the drier winter months – early May to late October.
Top Places to Visit in Malawi
1. Nature Sanctuary
The most popular tourist draw in Lilongwe is the Nature Sanctuary, a wonderfully peaceful wilderness area that sprawls out from the Lingadzi River. You have to take a taxi to get there, but it is well worth the fare. The large network of walking trails has something for every hiker, including beginners and experts looking for a challenge. Stop by the information center to learn about the animals and birds you may see while hiking, then finish your exploration with a visit to the zoo area. Crocodiles, hyenas, monkeys and more call the zoo home.
2. Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve
The Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve is not far from Lilongwe and is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Visitors to the reserve can get up close and personal with a variety of wildlife, including elephants, impalas, elands, waterbucks, buffaloes, zebras and pukus.
3. Liwonde National Park
The Liwonde National Park is also worth visiting. Dominating the country’s western side, the park is nearly overflowing with wildlife, including waterbucks, elands, sable antelopes and abundant elephants. At night, visitors can spot bushbabies, spotted genets, spotted hyenas and side-striped jackals.