Blantyre

Founded by Scottish missionaries in 1876, and named after the town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland where explore David Livingstone was born. Blantyre is Malawi's centre of finance and commerce, the second largest city with an estimated 1,068,681 inhabitants for 2015. It is sometimes referred to as the commercial capital of Malawi as opposed to the political capital, Lilongwe. Blantyre supports a small expatriate population of about 25,000 mainly from the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe and South Africa.

To some, it's more appealing and cohesive than Lilongwe thanks to its compact size and hilly topography, and though there's not much to do here, it makes for a good springboard for exploring remote areas such as Mulanje and the Lower Shire Valley.

Much of the city's recent development has been between the traditional centres of Blantyre and Limbe. New shopping precincts have been built, with one even boasting a cinema. Blantyre also has a number of historical buildings of interest, most notably St Michael and All Angels church.

Mandala House

Mandala House is the oldest building standing in Malawi and was built back in 1882 as a home for the managers of the Mandala Trading Company. It was Malawi's first two-storey building and is believed now to be the country's oldest house. Mandala House is host to the 'The Society of Malawi' which protects and nourishes a true treasure trove of the country's history.

Malawi’s National Museum

The museum is midway between Blantyre and Limbe, a 500m walk from the Chichiri Shopping Mall. The museum boasts some fantastic pieces including a royal ceremonial stool dating back to the 16th century, and a fascinating display on Gule Wamkulu – an important traditional dance for the Chewa.

Carlsberg Brewery

A visit to Blantyre would not be complete without a visit to the home of the adopted tipple of Malawi, the Carlsberg Brewery. The Carlsberg Brewery was established in 1966. Carlsberg Malawi Brewery was the first to be build outside of Copenhagen, Denmark in 1968. Free tours are laid on every Wednesday at 2.30pm in which you will be told all about the brewing process after which you will be rewarded with a free tasting session and get to sample Malawi’s favourite beer the ‘green’.

Kamuzu Stadium

If you are a football fan you should visit the Kamuzu Stadium, formerly Chichiri Stadium. The stadium holds 32,000 people and is currently home to Big Bullets. The stadium isn’t exclusive to football, it is a multi-purpose stadium and hosted President Peter Mutharika’s inauguration ceremony on 2 June 2014.

St Michael and All Angels Church

As earlier touched on Blantyre’s CCAP Church, St Michael and All Angels Church is a magnificent building. Built in 1891 by Scottish missionaries using only handmade bricks and wood. Interestingly, it is estimated that eighty-one different forms of brick were used in the building. All bricks used were made on-site from local clay and fired in wood-fuelled kilns. Truly an awe-inspiring example of fine architecture and a must see when visiting Blantyre. 

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HEAD OFFICE

Annie's Lodge Zomba
P.O. Box 297, Zomba, Malawi
Tel: +265 (0) 1 527 002 /+265 (0) 999 957 608
Fax: +265 (0) 1 527 807
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