Malawi’s second largest city and commercial capital, Blantyre was founded in the latter half of the 19th century (pre-dating Nairobi and Johannesburg), and takes its name from the town in south Lanarkshire where David Livingstone was born. Since then the city has expanded rapidly into a sprawling commercial centre, though it still retains many of its British colonial-era structures.
Despite its long history, Blantyre has few major attractions, and is mainly used a stop-over by those en-route to southern Malawi.
In and around Blantyre, Malawi
Though it has few major attractions, visitors to southern Malawi will find in Blantyre a convenient place to stop for a night or two. It can also be used as a base for exploring the surrounding region.
From Blantyre, it is about one hour’s drive to the beautiful Mulanje Mountain Reserve, a drive that will take you through some of Malawi’s loveliest scenery. The Thyolo tea and coffee plantations are also within easy reach, and, if time allows, a trip to Lake Chilwa and its surrounding wetlands and paddy fields is well worthwhile
There are several places to stay in Blantyre but our preference is for Ryalls Hotel, an early 20th century home turned hotel. Ryalls is now part of the Protea chain of hotels and is an excellent choice in this busy city.