Blantyre

Blantyre is the economic capital of Malawi.

Understand

Blantyre originates from the birthplace of the missionary Dr David Livingston, who was born in Blantyre, Scotland. Blantyre is the main commercial city in Malawi.

Get in

By plane

South African Airways has four flights per week between Johannesburg (South-Africa) and Blantyre. Air Malawi also flies to JNB, s well as Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Harare (Zimbabwe), Lusaka (Zambia), and Nairobi (Kenya). Swiftair has five flights a week between Johannesburg ( South Africa) and Blantyre and operates scheduled flights between Lilongwe and Blantyre on a Boeing 737

A taxi to city centre is about a 6000 MWK (~23 USD).

By train

A slow day at Blantyre station.

Rail services to Blantyre are close to non-existent and not practical at all for the everyday tourist. However, for the intrepid traveler Central Eastern African Railways offers some possibility's for arriving by train in Blantyre. The border with Mozambique at Nayuchi/Entre Lagos is a mere 22 hours away including a change at Balaka, services are once a week. Notice that there are no trains from the capital Lilongwe.

By car

Take the M1 south from Lilongwe.

By bus

From Lilongwe International Airport get a luxury bus to Blantyre Bus depot on Chileka Road.

From Jo-burg there are 24 hour luxury buses to Blantyre.

Get around

For the budget traveller there are basically two ways of getting around Blantyre. By foot or by minibuses. By day it is quite safe to walk around Blantyre provided you don't look like a rich tourist, in which case you may be unpleasantly tailed by street vendors and beggars. It is possible to explore the entire city of Blantyre on foot within a couple of days, and unless you are travelling to Limbe or to the outer suburbs of Blantyre, then it is unlikely you'll require even the minibus. In the event that you do, then minibuses are very cheap, travelling between Blantyre and Limbe costs MK 100 (as of January 2012). Alternatively you may consider hiring a bicycle if you are that way inclined. It is unsafe to walk around Blantyre during the night and we would recommend that you obtain the phone numbers of a few reliable taxi drivers (talk to some of the locals). Taxis are relatively more expensive, and the price also depends on how far the driver has to come to pick you up, but this is much preferable to being mugged in a dark Blantyre street late at night. As a general rule all taxi drivers begin at the Mount Soche Hotel.

See

St. Michael and All Angels Church.

Do

Learn

Buy

Blantyre is the commercial center of Malawi and travelers come in from all over the region (including neighboring Mozambique) to stock up on supplies—food, construction materials, electronics, etc. The downtown area is full of Asian (Indian) run shops, as is nearby Limbe. A bustling market area popular with locals offers all kinds of fruits, veggies, used clothing, construction materials, etc. on the cheap. Newer Western-style shops are available for those who just want to get in and get out (i.e. Game hypermarket part of Walmart USA. and Shoprite South Africa, Chichiri Savers Choice is a well-stocked Asian run store heading toward Limbe that caters to the expat community with hard-to-find food items, a good bakery, an ice-cream bar and candy shop. Prices for the same thing can often vary from shop to shop and an abundance of counterfeited products flood the market, so it's best to shop around and stay on guard.

Eat

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

Sleep

Prices unknown for the following:

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Night time muggings or robberies do occur. Private taxis are cheap and readily available. Ask around and bargain.

Connect

There is an internet cafe (and library) near Phoenix International School. Come off Chileka Road either at St Michael and All Angels Church or at Phoenix School. From there ask around for directions to the 'Resource Centre and Library' - or failing that ask for directions to Phoenix School.

From the Phoenix International School entrance itself you would head down the gentle slope (away from the main road - which would be down a steeper slope) and there is a building directly in front of you. That is where the internet cafe, resource centre and library is located. The entrance to the school faces directly towards the Phoenix School gates.

Lewis (mob: 0999 220 572) is the manager and will quickly get you online for a modest fee.

Cope

Consulates

Go next

Zomba
Cape Maclear
Tete, Mozambique

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, March 11, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.