destination malawi web header 2017

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Blantyre

Malawi’s second city and commercial hub is one of the greenest and cleanest in East Africa. As the country’s oldest city, Blantyre is steeped in history.

Historical places

Built by Scottish Missionaries between 1888 and 1891, St Michael and All Angels Church remains one of the main historical landmarks in Blantyre. Located at the Blantyre Mission, the church is now a national monument. Roughly 81 different brick types were used in the construction of the building, all of which were made on-site by local men from clay and fired in wood-fuelled kilns.

Another national monument found in Blantyre is The Old Manager’s House, also known as Mandala House. Built in 1882, from sun-dried grass, mud and bricks, Mandala House is the oldest building in Blantyre.

Originally constructed as a home for the managers of the African Lakes Corporation, it later became the first formal bank in the country and the original vault door can still be seen. Now, the building houses Mandala Café, La Caverna Art Gallery, which sells local art, and the Society of Malawi Library and Archive, consisting of a vast number of Malawian journals, galleries and books dating as far back as the 19th century. For a true sense of Malawian history, Mandala House is the place to go.

Wildlife

There are not many cities in the world in which you could drive just 30 minutes from the city centre and find yourself on a safari. Well, in Blantyre you can do just that. Game Haven Lodge provides short safari tours around Chimwenya Game Park, offering visitors the chance to see many wild animals up close. Visit the park to see giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, duiker, small wild cats, otter, antelope, nyala and sable as well as roan, eland and kudu.

Tea plantations

Located between Blantyre and Mount Mulanje are the Thyolo (pronounced ‘Cho-lo’) tea estates, which have been producing tea since 1908. By arrangement, it is possible to tour some of the estates and see the work process of these plantations. Nearby, the Thyolo Forest Reserve offers a haven for walkers and birdwatchers.

This vibrant, cosmopolitan city offers plenty to see and do, and will certainly leave you wanting to return.

  • Amazing fish
  • Kayaking on lake Malawi
  • Perfect for diving