Feel the pulse of Malawi’s vibrant capital. Mix and mingle where Lilongwe meets.
WHERE LILONGWE MEETS
Malawi, the warm heart of Africa, lends itself beautifully to rest and relaxation with a pace of life unhurried as in ages past – amid a people renowned for their friendliness. Major national hotel chain Sunbird Hotels, which manages 7 stylish properties throughout Malawi, offers widely different but complementary experiences at unique “leisure and pleasure” hotels in Malawi.
Lilongwe is the capital of Malawi, chosen because of its position in the very heart of the country. The city has two contrasting faces: the bustling Old Town, and the landscaped New City Centre and suburbs that house the offices and homes of civil servants and people working for Government, the large diplomatic community and the country’s tobacco industry.
Sunbird Lilongwe is at the heart of the old town, and provides the perfect base if you aim to do business there. It is just 30 minutes drive from Kamuzu International Airport to the north of the city.
3 Conference rooms with a total capacity of 170 delegates can accommodate all types of conferences, meetings, seminars, workshops and product launches. Equipment is available.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
If you are looking to relax and unwind, squash, golf and tennis are available nearby, while a swimming pool is available at the hotel. There is a casino less than a kilometer away and gaming machines within the hotel premises. The two best galleries in Lilongwe are Central Africana, which sells antiquarian books, maps, prints and posters with a Malawi and Central African emphasis, and La Galleria, which showcases the best of Malawian and other resident artists and sculptors. Both are in the upmarket Old Town Mall, off Chilambula Road and very close the hotel.
EXCURSIONS AVAILABLE FROM SUNBIRD LILONGWE
Within Lilongwe a visit to the tobacco auction floors at Kanengo is fascinating if you want to see the noisy trading of the tobacco crop that still forms the backbone of Malawi’s agro-based economy.
The new Capital City is grouped around the purpose-built seat of Government in garden-like seclusion on Capital Hill. Many of Lilongwe’s buildings attract praise from visitors for their daring architecture, not the least of which is the “upside-down” Reserve Bank, considered a landmark throughout the city. The new city has at its heart the Lilongwe Nature Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, from where at night the silence is regularly broken by the eerily evocative whooping of spotted hyenas. Guided tours can be arranged and the reserve is well worth a visit. Also worth seeing is the Kamuzu Mausoleum, the New Parliament and the Memorial Tower.
An hour south of Lilongwe on the main road to Blantyre is Dedza Mountain. From its summit there are unimpeded views across Lake Malawi to the east and far into Mozambique to the west. At the foot of the mountain lies Dedza town, home to Dedza Pottery, which is famous not only for its pots, tableware and ornamental garden ceramics, but also for serving delicious food, specifically its famous cheesecake and coffee. They export worldwide and take orders. In April and May this mountainous area becomes a flower garden as the cosmos blooms in fields of white, purple and yellow. Many fruits and vegetables such as Irish potatoes, plums and peaches, which thrive in a more European climate, are grown here and the area is the source of much of Lilongwe’s fruit and vegetables.
A popular whole day excursion, with the recent opening of the tarred Golomoti road, takes the visitor down the steep shoulders of the rift valley from Dedza to Mtakataka and thence north to Salima and back to Lilongwe with many and varied roadside shopping experiences enroute. Perfectly formed models of cars and trucks in local wood are sold on the escarpment, giant man-sized statues at Mua (where there is also a remarkable Museum to Chewa culture and traditions). Basketware and cane furniture proliferates around Mvera on the road back to Lilongwe.
Salima is a small town close to the shore of Lake Malawi and just an hour and a half‘s drive from Lilongwe. It has the character of an East African town, reflecting its historical ties to that part of Africa. At Sunbird Livingstonia Beach day visitors can get meals and refreshments, swim, enjoy the water sports, visit the nearby Lizard Island to see monitor lizards lazing on the rocks, Bird Island to see tropical fish and stunning birdlife or simply laze on this beautiful beach.
Kamuzu Procession Road, Lilongwe. P.O. Box 44, Lilongwe, Malawi.
Tel +265 (0) 1 756 333. Fax +265 (0) 1 756 580.