Lilongwe is the capital city of the Republic of Malawi, and was given its name by the Lilongwe River that flows through it. Lilongwe was founded in 1906 on the banks of the Lilongwe River, initially as a settlement for Asian traders, though its pleasant climate rapidly attracted European business. The country, nicknamed ‘The Warm Heart of Africa” is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast and Mozambique to the east, south and west with Lake Malawi lying cradled between them. Lilongwe Malawi Capital city, has an estimated population of 782,000 people with the country itself having 16,780,000. With a large rural population, the economy of the country is based mainly on agriculture. In the past, the Malawian government relied heavily on international aid, but since 2005, it has focused heavily on development in the areas of education, health care, environmental protection and financial independency. There is a diverse population of native people, Asians and Europeans living in the country and the country’s cultural practices and cuisine are rich with both south east African and overseas influences, which has added greatly to the country’s growing tourism.
In Lilongwe Malawi an ever growing population is making it a new and driving force in the economy of the country. From the turn of the millennia in 2000 to today, the population of the city has nearly doubled. The city has mostly a subtropical climate of warm summers and mild winters, but because of being situated at an altitude of 1,050 meters, the weather of the city is slightly cooler on average than it would be at sea level. Lilongwe Malawi’s biggest city is divided in two; the New and Old City. With a taste of traditional southern Africa, the Old City features many street and walled markets, cafes, and even a number of international restaurants. In the New City, new structures such as modern shops, hotels, embassies and offices fill the area. At the centre of these two towns lies the Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary and education facility. At the city centre, banks, diplomatic missions, hotels like the Sunbird Capital Hotel, airline offices and international corporate offices, have created a modern and developed area that is offering great developmental opportunities to the budding city. Close to the city centre, lies Malawi’s Capital Hill which features dozens of office blocks in a large campus of Government Ministries.
The city is also home to many Educational Institutions including the University of Malawi; a university which focuses on ideas and attitudes for engaging developmental challenges in the country, Bunda College, The Malawi Institute of Management, Kamuzu College of Nursing and Lilongwe Technical College.
Access to Lilongwe is straightforward. All buses and minibuses to Lilongwe terminate at the large bus station in the Old City, while most destinations to the rest of Malawi leave from the same bus station throughout the morning through to mid-afternoon. Buses also connect travelers to Lilongwe’s Kamuzu International Airport which has regular flights to destinations throughout Africa. There is also a rail service offered in Lilongwe, allowing travelers’ easy access to neighbouring countries.