Lilongwe is the capital city of Malawi, named after the Lilongwe River which flows into Lake Malawi. Trees and lovely grasslands stretch 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.
Popular flights to Lilongwe
* Please note that the prices are subject to availability and block out dates do apply over peak season.
Why visit Lilongwe
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.
Lilongwe’s urban centers have a great variety of choices when it comes to restaurant cuisine. The way the locals prepare and cook their food is equally impressive as the food itself. Tuck into some local favourites like chambo (fish) and nsima.
Lilongwe has a long history of wildlife and has many nature reserves that cater to nurturing and caring for Africa's wild and majestic beasts.
Essential details you need to know before your trip
1 Kwacha = 0.0017 ZAR
Lilongwe International Airport (LLW)
South African Airways
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 to 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
Anyone who wants a true look into authentic Africa should visit the diverse and beautiful city of Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. With grasslands that stretch far across the city, Lilongwe touches the borders of Mozambique and Zambia.
The residents of this ever-green city are always happy to welcome visitors to their city, and it is not uncommon to be invited into their homes to experience their rich culture and hospitality first hand. Hand-crafted objects are commonplace in the city bazaars and as you shop, make sure to enjoy the beats of the local musicians as they entice you with their sweet words. The city is divided into the Old and New Town sections, so make sure to check them both out for unique experiences.
The city is also famous for their many animal reserves and sanctuaries. The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre is home to over 200 rescued animals and welcomes visitors to lend a helping hand before releasing them back into the wild.
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• 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.
Address: 3rd Floor, Kang' Ombe House, Robert Mugabe Crescent.
Phone: (01) 773-722 (local) and +265-1-773-722 (international).
Safety precautions should be taken in any country, and Lilongwe in Malawi 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 and wash your hands before every meal. Pack in an insect repellent. Stay alert at all times, and only swim in designated swimming areas.
Also, make sure to photocopy your passport and never travel with the original, which you should leave at the hotel. Always carry the contact details of the South African Embassy or consulate. Check the weather for warning signals before heading out, always pack light and leave all valuable possessions in the hotel safe.
Meal inexpensive restaurant
Domestic Beer (0.5 Litre draught)
Taxi 1 km (Normal Tariff)
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)
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 a great choice. The mall has its 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 rehabilitation.
Not too far off from the wildlife 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.
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 4x4 is required.