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Lilongwe facts for kids

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Country Malawi
District Lilongwe
Capital 1974
 • Total 597,619
Time zone UTC+2 (CAT)

Lilongwe is the capital city of African country of Malawi. It lies in the center of the country on the Lilongwe river. It is near the border of Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia. The city has a population of 597,619 people. Lilongwe is the second largest city in Malawi.


Lilongwe has a damp subtropical climate, bordering a subtropical highland climate (Köppen: Cwa), with pleasantly warm summers and mild winters. Due to its altitude, temperatures are lower than other cities located in the tropics. Lilongwe has a short wet season from December to March and a long dry season during much of the rest of the year. However it has a strong rain season, with around 200 millimetres (7.9 in) during the wettest months.


The city started as a small village on the banks of the Lilongwe river. It became a British colonial administrative centre at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1974, the capital of the country was moved from Zomba to Lilongwe. Recently, as part of a change in politics in Malawi, the parliament has been moved to Lilongwe. All parliament members must spend time in the new capital. Lilongwe is now the political centre of Malawi, but Blantyre the economic capital of the country.


Lilongwe is visited by Malawi Railways and Shire Bus Lines, local buses and minibuses go between Old Town, City Centre, Kamuzu International Airport, and other urban places, including Mzuzu and Blantyre.

People can get taxis from hotels and a taxi lane on Presidential Way, North of City Centre Shopping Centre. Most roads have a lot of traffic, so most Malawians prefer to, or can only afford to, walk or use a bicycle. There is also an airport, Kamuzu International Airport, which is about 35 km north of Lilongwe.

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