Considered the commercial capital of the country, Blantyre is one of Malawi’s most cosmopolitan cities. It’s renowned for its British colonial architecture and picturesque parks, which are situated on the doorstep of the Michiru Mountain Conservation Area.
Things to do in Blantyre
One of Blantyre’s oldest and most beautiful buildings is Mandala House, which sits atop a hill on the southern side of the Mudi River. Discover the history of this residence in its small museum, admire the paintings and carvings in the eclectic La Caverna Art Gallery and enjoy lunch in the cafe overlooking the gardens.
St Michael and All Angels Church was the first permanent church to be built between the Zambezi and Nile rivers. It’s noted for its distinctive red bricks that were made on site using wood-fuelled kilns, with remarkable detailing on the exterior and elegant stained glass windows inside.
Want to learn more about the history and ethnography of Malawi? Visit the Museum of Malawi, which sits atop Chichiri Hill. There are artefacts, musical instruments, jewellery from Malawi’s tribal communities, early currency and vehicles, as well as exhibits detailing Dr. David Livingstone’s travels throughout East Africa.
For the best views of Blantyre, trek up to the summit of Mount Michiru, which towers over the city. The trail winds through Brachystegia woodlands, with sightings of monkeys, baboons and birdlife along the way.
Getting around Blantyre
Chileka International Airport is 30 minutes’drive north of Blantyre, with regular flights to destinations across South and East Africa. Blantyre is around five hours’ bus ride from Lilongwe, and the city itself can easily be explored on foot or by local minibuses.