Lilongwe

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Lilongwe
looking east, Area 2 Old Town
looking east, Area 2 Old Town
Lilongwe is located in Malawi
Lilongwe
Lilongwe
Location of Lilongwe
Coordinates: 13°59′S 33°47′E / 13.983°S 33.783°E / -13.983; 33.783Coordinates: 13°59′S 33°47′E / 13.983°S 33.783°E / -13.983; 33.783
Country Malawi
RegionCentral Region
DistrictLilongwe
Elevation1,050 m (3,440 ft)
Population (2014)National Statistical Office of Malawi
 • Total978,700
Time zoneCAT (UTC+2)
 
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Lilongwe
looking east, Area 2 Old Town
looking east, Area 2 Old Town
Lilongwe is located in Malawi
Lilongwe
Lilongwe
Location of Lilongwe
Coordinates: 13°59′S 33°47′E / 13.983°S 33.783°E / -13.983; 33.783Coordinates: 13°59′S 33°47′E / 13.983°S 33.783°E / -13.983; 33.783
Country Malawi
RegionCentral Region
DistrictLilongwe
Elevation1,050 m (3,440 ft)
Population (2014)National Statistical Office of Malawi
 • Total978,700
Time zoneCAT (UTC+2)

Lilongwe (named after the Lilongwe River) is the capital of Malawi. The city is located in the central region of Malawi, near the borders with Mozambique and Zambia. The city has an projected population of 978,800 in 2014.[1]

History[edit]

Lilongwe has existed for centuries as a small fishing village on the banks of the Lilongwe River.

During the British colonial period in the beginning of the 20th century, Lilongwe was chosen as British colonial administrative centre, due to its desirable geography. The area had an easy navigable route to Lake Malawi, and connected to Lusaka (in Zambia), Blantyre and Mzuzu. The administrative area where located in what is now known as the City Centre. Up until the 1930s Lilongwe had at most a population of 5000[citation needed].

After independence in 1964, Zomba became the capital until 1974 when Hastings Banda made the decision to shift the capital city to Lilongwe.[citation needed]

Demographics[edit]

YearPopulation[2]
19305,000
197798,718
1987223,318
1998435,964
2008669,021
2014 (proj.)978,800

Geography[edit]

Topography[edit]

Lilongwe is located on plateau situated at an altitude of 1,050 m (3,440 ft) above sea level.

Climate[edit]

Lilongwe features a humid subtropical climate that borders on a subtropical highland climate (Köppen: Cwa), with pleasantly warm summers and mild winters. Due to the altitude, temperatures are lower than would be expected for a city located in the tropics. Lilongwe features a short wet season that runs from December to March and a lengthy dry season that covers much of the remainder of the year, particularly June and July which are cooler than the rest of the year. However, the city sees heavy downpours during its rainy season, seeing around 200 millimetres (7.9 in) of rain in a month during the wettest months.

Climate data for Lilongwe
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)32
(90)
31
(88)
31
(88)
30
(86)
31
(88)
29
(84)
28
(82)
31
(88)
33
(91)
35
(95)
36
(97)
33
(91)
36
(97)
Average high °C (°F)26
(79)
26
(79)
26
(79)
26
(79)
25
(77)
23
(73)
23
(73)
25
(77)
27
(81)
30
(86)
30
(86)
27
(81)
26
(79)
Daily mean °C (°F)21
(70)
21
(70)
21
(70)
19
(66)
17
(63)
15
(59)
14
(57)
16
(61)
19
(66)
22
(72)
23
(73)
22
(72)
19
(66)
Average low °C (°F)17
(63)
17
(63)
16
(61)
13
(55)
10
(50)
7
(45)
6
(43)
7
(45)
11
(52)
14
(57)
16
(61)
17
(63)
12
(54)
Record low °C (°F)12
(54)
11
(52)
10
(50)
4
(39)
2
(36)
−1
(30)
−3
(27)
−1
(30)
1
(34)
8
(46)
11
(52)
10
(50)
−3
(27)
Precipitation mm (inches)200
(7.87)
210
(8.27)
130
(5.12)
30
(1.18)
n/an/an/an/an/an/a70
(2.76)
170
(6.69)
850
(33.46)
Source: Weatherbase[3]

Divisions[edit]

The City Centre of Lilongwe

Lilongwe is divided into a New and Old City. The former has hotels, embassies and offices while the latter has markets, bus stations, cafes and restaurants. The modern shops of the City are contrasted by the street and walled markets of Old Town.[citation needed]

Market in Lilongwe
A craft market in Lilongwe

Society and Culture[edit]

Food[edit]

Due in part to the growth of the expatriate community and the increasing importance of tourism, the number of international restaurants has risen very rapidly over recent years. The city now offers a rich and internationalized diversity of cuisine.

Youth centres[edit]

There are several youth centres in this town. The city assembly runs the Lilongwe community ground located close to police unit south east of the main bus terminal. The youth centre is surrounded by a wall 10 metres high. Local teams and youth use the facilities to play basketball, football, karate, boxing, volleyball, and many other games.

Lingadzi Academy, Mtandire, Lilongwe features 5 football pitches, 3 netball courts, a library and a permaculture centre. All of these facilities are free to use by youngsters and the venue was built by UK based charity Building Malawi and is run by Swiss NGO Play Football Malawi. There is also a volunteer programme for those interested in working with youth in Malawi.

Another major youth centre is Don Bosco Youth Centre located at Area 23, on the outskirts of the town. It is run by the Salesians of Don Bosco. Young people come to this place to play and pray. In addition to the good grounds and courts that it has, there is a technical school that holds over 600 young people who train in different trades.[4]

Transportation[edit]

Lilongwe to Johannesburg bus

Airport[edit]

Lilongwe's Kamuzu International Airport (LLW) fields regular flights to Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Lusaka and domestic services to Blantyre. The airport is located to the north of Lilongwe, approximately 20 kilometers from the City Centre.

Buses[edit]

There are regular bus services from Lilongwe to Blantyre, Zomba, Kasungu and Mzuzu.[5]

Rail[edit]

There is a rail service to Lilongwe. To the west the line runs towards Zambia, and to the east to Salima.[6]

Education[edit]

Lilongwe is also an educational centre of Malawi. The city is home to many Educational Institutions, including:

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://citypopulation.de/Malawi.html
  2. ^ "Malawi: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". World Gazetteer. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Lilongwe Climate Normals, accessed 2 December 2012
  4. ^ "Don Bosco Youth Technical Institute - Lilongwe". dbc-malawi.org. 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Getting there & away". Lilongwe. Lonely Planet. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "(Malawi Rail Map)". Railroad Development Corporation. Retrieved 7 May 2013.