Early impressions of Lilongwe

Just found this blog post from another VSO volunteer who worked in Malawi. It reminded me of a BBC programme called The Chinese Are Coming, which explores China’s impact on African and other countries, including Brazil and USA.

Note to self: “Must revise Mandarin, as well as Chichewa!

BBC The Chinese Are Coming


A bit about Lilongwe , where I am based – the capital of Malawi.  It is divided into the Old Town and the New City – the latter being built in 1975 to be the new capital of the country and is basically the centre of administration, commerce, embassies and International NGOs. The city’s population has grown from about 99,000 in 1977 to about a million today.

It was designed as a ‘garden city’ and there are trees everywhere, with a huge variety of birds and bird song.  At this time of year – the rainy season – it is particularly lush and green. Crossing from one side of the city to the other feels as though you are in the countryside as there are vast tracts of cultivated land on either side of the road. 

I can’t compare this  to anywhere else I have been before – neither rural…

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Categories: Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Early impressions of Lilongwe

  1. Hi Herman
    Thank you for reblogging my posting about Lilongwe. I was sorry to have to come back early from Malawi, but liked can have strange twists and turns. From 10th Sept I will be the Chief Exec of Womankind Worldwide and Malawi is one of the countries we work in so I expect to be visiting again before too long.If you are still there, maybe we can meet up?
    Have a great time and do great things


    • Thanks Jackie
      I’ll be there for 2 years all being well. So definitely meet up if possible. Stay in touch and good luck with Womankind Worldwide. I love that: “do great things” 🙂


  2. I volunteered after college in the Fiji Islands. Best experience ever. It’ll be so interesting to read your perspective.


  3. A really good article from Harvard Business Review – How China’s Approach Beats the West’s in Africa


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