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About Lilongwe

Lilongwe is the capital city of Malawi, named after the Lilongwe River which flows into Lake Malawi. Trees and lovely grassland stretches across the city. Lilongwe is located at the center of the country, touching the boarders of Mozambique and Zambia. A mass of over 1 million people inhabit the city, with sixty percent of the population being Chewa.

Cheap flights to Lilongwe are now available for a limited period of time, so get ready to be captivated by this beautiful city. Lilongwe is home to the Lilongwe International Airport (LLW), which is approximately a 30 minute drive to the city center. Lilongwe International Airport serves a multitude of airlines - including South African Airways and Ethiopian Airways. Non-stop international flights to Lilongwe departure from Johannesburg. Flight duration from Johannesburg is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Why visit Lilongwe

Rescued Tiger Wildlife Center Lilongwe


Lilongwe has a long history of wild life, literally a sanctuary for wild life fanatics. Observing this spectacular nature reserve is an absolute must.

Handcrafted Pots Lolingwe

Arts & Culture

The people from Lilongwe are extremely creative, and very good in hand crafting. Their culture is visible in things like music, dance, paintings, ornaments and especially their tasty food.

Asian Pasta Dish Lilongwe


Lilongwe’s urban centers have a great variety of choices when it comes to restaurant cuisine. Asian-infused meals, authentic Italian pasta and Indian dishes, not to mention delectable sea foods.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Malawi
Currency Malawian Kwacha
Exchange Rate 1 Kwacha = 0.0017 ZAR
Language English
Hub Airport Lilongwe International Airport
Airline South African Airways
Time Zone GMT +2
Travel Adaptor Type G

Best time to visit Lilongwe

The best time to travel to Lilongwe is dependent on the individual’s choices and needs. The precipitation starts around December to March, so if you don’t like rainy weather this might not be an opportune time for you. However, most of the rainfall starts to fade away by April and June. In the peak season, during August to November, the rain starts fading away, leaving the landscapes vibrant and refreshed.

Weather & Climate in Lilongwe

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low (°C) 17°C 17°C 16°C 13°C 10°C 7°C 6°C 7°C 11°C 14°C 16°C 17°C
High (°C) 26°C 26°C 26°C 26°C 25°C 23°C 23°C 25°C 27°C 30°C 30°C 27
Rainfall (mm) 210 210 130 35 5 1 0 2 3 5 70 175


Lilongwe is the capital city of Malawi, named after the Lilongwe River which flows into Lake Malawi. Trees and lovely grassland stretch across the city. Lilongwe is at the centre of the country, touching the borders of Mozambique and Zambia. A mass of over 1 million people inhabit the country, with sixty percent of the population being Chewa. It is a very green city, and the patches of greenery and trees serve as a good division between the grasslands and the buildings. The people of Lilongwe are friendly and hospitable, and their overwhelming culture is evident everywhere you go. The inhabitants of Lilongwe love to craft things with their hands, and their love for music is contagious.

Visa & Customs

• South African passport holders do not require a visa for Lilongwe. Make sure your passport is valid for 6 months after the return date of your trip and that you have 3 blank pages available for entry stamps.
• The South Africa High Commission to Malawi is located in Lilongwe. 3rd Floor, Kang' Ombe House, Robert Mugabe Crescent. Phone: (01) 773.722 (local) and +265-1-773-722 (international).

Health & Safety

Safety precautions should be taken in any country, Lilongwe, is no different. Make sure that you are up to date with routine vaccines before visiting the country. The country is at risk of the following diseases: Hepatitis A and B, Malaria, and Typhoid. If you are not travelling from the US, get vaccinated for Cholera and Rabies as well. Eat and drink safely, wash your hands before every meal. Pack in an insect repellent. Stay alert at all times, and only swim in designated swimming areas. Photocopy your passport and never travel with the original, leave it at the hotel. Always carry the contact details of the South African Embassy or consulate. Check the weather for warning signals before heading out, and always pack light and leave all valuable possessions in the hotel safe.

Cost of Living

Item Cape Town Johannesburg Lilongwe
Meal inexpensive restaurant R 100.00 R 100.00 R 58.01
Domestic Beer (0.5 Litre draught) R 25.00 R 25.00 R 14.89
Cappuccino (regular) R 22.33 R 22.39 R 20.23
Taxi 1 km (Normal Tariff) R 10.00 R 10.00 R 17.41
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 37.50 R 38.00 R 43.35

Where to stay?

If you like the bustling noise of the city, and you are an absolute shopping fanatic then one of the hotels close to the Lilongwe City Mall is the area for you. The mall has their list of restaurants, which all have a desirable menu available. There are about ten hotels in the area of the Lilongwe Wildlife centre. These hotels render superb services as the rooms are always clean and the staff is extremely friendly. The wildlife centre is also where the rescued animals find habitation. Not too far off from the wild life centre is the Ligadzi Namilomba Forest Reserve. Hotels in this area offer a moderate rate for accommodation. Kuti Wildlife Reserve is about one and a half hours away from the Lilongwe Airport, and only a 30-minute drive from the beaches of Senga Bay. There are great beach houses available to rent and the prices are really moderate.

Getting Around

Trains, buses, taxis and bicycles are all ways in which to be transported in Lilongwe. There is a bicycle taxi service in Lilongwe, if you feel your legs cannot handle the peddle power. There are also car rental services available if you feel the need to be chauffeured. The attractions in Lilongwe are scattered across the town, so make sure that you plan your trip way in advance in order to compensate for the time lapse waiting for transportation to your designated area. The roads are fairly easy to use if you are travelling by car, and the road from Lilongwe to Malawi has been tarred so no 4 x 4 required.

Main attractions in Lilongwe

War Memorial Tower

War Memorial Tower

Lilongwe Wildlife Centre

Lilongwe Wildlife Centre

Senga Bay

Senga Bay

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