City Guide, Blantyre
Malawi’s oldest city and main commercial centre, Blantyre comes across as positively bustling by comparison with anywhere else in this most laidback of countries. Emanating from a compact central business district (CBD) bristling with people, traffic and commerce, it also seems a lot more cohesive – more obviously a proper city – than the capital Lilongwe. Blantyre has a pleasant midlands climate, set at an altitude of around 1,000m in a well-watered valley ringed by low hills, the largest of which are Michiru (1,473m), Soche (1,533m) and Ndirande (1,612m), and the CBD is surrounded by mature green suburbs dotted with hotels and restaurants.
Blantyre has evolved greatly in recent years, in particular the city center, where an outbreak of multi-story office blocks houses numerous banks and other financial institutions.
Karonga’s newest and worthwhile tourist attractions. This highly informative museum may require at least 2 hours of your time, there’s areas of the museum that focus as far bank as Northern Malawi from 240 million years ago. The famous Malawisaurus, a replica skeleton whose virtually intact after 120 million years, was discovered in 1924 at Mwakasyunguti in Karonga.
Blantyre’s hills all have something special to offer. For Malawian standards the city of Blantyre has much to offer. There are some interesting sights to visit, for example Blantyre Mission, the church of St Michaels and All Angels, the Mandala House, and the March 3 House of former president Dr Banda. There are a few good restaurants to check out and it is a good place to start some interesting daytrips.
Culture and entertainment
Malawi’s people are its greatest asset - friendly, welcoming, colourful and vibrant. It is impossible to visit and not to become engaged with the people, but there are now opportunities to spend time in real villages (including staying overnight) for a first-hand experience of the cultures, traditions and daily life. This is an option pretty much everywhere in Malawi, and one well worth taking.
The Museum of Malawi also known as the Blantyre Museum is situated along the Kamuzu Highway between Limbe and Blantyre next to the Blantyre Civic Centre. There is no signposts if you’re coming via public transport, however if you are lost, ask a local, and they’ll be more than happy to help you.
Most of entertainments offered in Malawi sell tickets which can be purchased at the venue alternatively by calling the individual or organization. Notice boards within sports clubs, schools, travel agencies, campsites, local pubs, hotels and lodges would normally have adverts on display. It’s always wise to find out which area the entertainment is going to be taking place, and what transportation is available to and from, including running times.
Food and drink
Malawi offers a wide variety of food and drink. The local staple diet is Maize which is grinded down into Maize flour. The maize flour is then mixed with water and boiled down into a pulp; this is known as Nsima, eaten with vegetables, chicken, fish, meat which again are cooked in different ways and eaten with your hands.
Hotels, lodges and resorts in Malawi offer fine dining including buffets, private dining or you can choose to eat by the pool side or veranda whilst basking in the sun. A must try in Malawi is the famous Chambo fish and there’s no better place to try it than when you visit Lake Malawi.
Blantyre is the commercial center of Malawi and travelers come in from all over the region (including neighboring Mozambique) to stock up on supplies--food, construction materials, electronics, etc. The downtown area is full of Asian (Indian) run shops, as is nearby Limbe. A bustling market area popular with locals offers all kinds of fruits, veggies, used clothing, construction materials, etc. on the cheap. Newer Western-style shops are available for those who just want to get in and get out (i.e. Game and Shoprite at Chichiri).
Blantyre City Map