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Living in Lilongwe ?

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Lilongwe at a Glance

Living in Lilongwe

From stunning natural scenery to modern bars and man-made parks, Lilongwe never fails to attract you. Both the city center and the old town offer attractive sights and can be an exciting place to live in. Find more information about living in Lilongwe in our Expat Guide.

Transportation in Lilongwe

Although fuel shortages can sometimes create problems, Lilongwe offers a variety of transportation methods. There is a luxury coach service that runs from Lilongwe to Mazuzu, which usually takes around four to five hours. Also available are boats, ships, bicycles, rental cars, minibus (matolas) and taxis. Flights can be arranged from the Lilongwe International Airport, which is also known as Kamuzu International Airport.

Due to the attractive sights that Lilongwe has to offer, getting around on foot as opposed to taking public transportation is becoming increasingly popular, even if the scarcity of footpaths makes it difficult at times. From its stunning natural scenery (including open spaces and rivers) to its modern bars and man-made parks, the city will certainly not disappoint you. Another added bonus to walking around are the quirky little side streets filled with small shops and boutiques that would probably be missed when venturing out using public transportation.

Culture and Leisure

Lilongwe has many different things to offer. Outdoor activities are extremely popular and include physical activities, such as cycling and mountain climbing, and seeing all the different types of animals that have been rescued and rehomed in the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre.

There is a golf club that is situated in the Old Town of Lilongwe; this is the only 18-hole golf course in the entire country. It doesn't only cater for golfers, it also boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Lilongwe is home to some outstanding buildings, such as the large mosque with two minarets that can be found at the intersection of Kamuzu Procession Road and Malangalanga Road in the Old Town of Lilongwe. There is also a First World War memorial open to the public, offering an opportunity to learn and explore the impact of this war on Malawi.

Education in Lilongwe

Lilongwe has 55 public government primary schools, 48 registered private primary schools and 51 unregistered private primary schools with a total of almost 150,000 pupils, as well as 29 secondary schools with more than 30,000 students. The education system operates on an 8-4-4 system, which is the time each child is expected to stay in the different schools; primary school has eight years of required attendance, and secondary school and university have four years each. 

In primary school, the main lessons taught are languages. In most instances, the children learn three languages: English, Malawi's national language Chichewa, and a third language, usually French or Spanish.

Upon graduating from secondary school, pupils take a number of exams, the results of which may determine a child’s place on a training course or in a work environment.

University gives the young adults of Lilongwe the opportunity to take part in courses such as teaching, forestry, and technical subjects.

InterNations Expat Magazine