Dec 27, 2011

Guide to Lilongwe

A guest post by @chiefnyamweya, an Artist, Web-enthusiast, and Comic Creator. Getting there: You can use Ethiopian Airlines at a cost of Kshs 62,500 (~$735) (and Kenya Aiways too). You have to have a yellow fever certificate. On arrival, you face the risk of losing checked in baggage, and as there is a severe fuel crisis, a taxi into town could cost $50

Getting around: I didn't pay much attention, as we had access to a private vehicle. But on the flip-side to the fuel crisis, there are no traffic jams! Speak English, as Swahili is useless there, and you'll endear yourself if you learned a little Chichewa. The one phrase I picked up (since it was said a lot to me) was "Musojela!!" or "You'll get Lost!" Take any normal precautions as you'd take in Kenya, and I never once saw an AK-47 wielding cop here. Hotels: You can get some very decent accommodation at Kshs .4,000 ($47) per night. Electricity is patchy, like Kenya, but a bit worse. Dining: Excellent fish. They eat Ugali too, and their pineapples are sweet, but without the sting. Communications: This was problematic. Roaming was expensive, and it was better to call Kenya, than have someone call from Kenya as you'd both be charged - and this was at about Kshs 25 per minute. Shopping & Sight-Seeing: For shopping, there is Shoprite in both Blantyre and Lilongwe, while the two sights I got to see were Lake Malawi and Mount Mulanji. A local legend I heard about was about (people) disappearing on Mt. Mulanji. Surprises: - Excellent roads here - Women kneel in the presence of men when serving food or washing their hands (among other perceived gender inequalities)