Blantyre, Malawi, founded in the late nineteenth century by Scottish missionaries, is Malawi's second city and is located just over three hundred kilometers southeast of the capital Lilongwe. It is a commercial and industrial hub, and is a transit point for international travelers moving through Malawi or passing to or from Mozambique. It has long distance bus links to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, and South Africa, but it can be hard to find where these buses leave from, as they have their own stations, sometimes no more than a parking bay outside a petrol station.
Hilly Blantyre has a few things of interest to visitors, including the excellent National Museum on Kasungu Crescent near Chichiri shopping mall. Look out for the Colonial Mandala House on Mackie Road, the oldest building in Malawi, built in the late nineteenth century. It houses the Society of Malawi Library and Archive and has lovely gardens. The Blantyre Sports Club, on the corner of Victoria Avenue and Independence Drive, is another relic from the old British Colonial days, and is worth a look or a stop for lunch.
Sixty-five kilometers southeast of Blantyre is granite Mount Mulanje. Rising up to three thousand meters, it is home to the Mount Mulanje Forest Reserve. Trip here can be organized through a number of travel agents in Blantyre or through your hostel in Blantyre, Malawi. There are mountain huts for overnight treks and it's a haven for rare birds, butterflies, and small reptiles, some of which are endemic.
Michiru, Ndirande, and Soche are three hills looming over Blantyre that are worth hiking for the beautiful views, with the possibility of spotting rare birds, klipspringers, and monkeys. Go with a local guide though, as safety is sometimes an issue.
Blantyre, Malawi hostel accommodation is available; food and an occasionally noisy bar are also available at your Blantyre, Malawi hostel, and you can get information on visiting Mt. Mulanje and the surrounding area. Your Blantyre, Malawi hostel is centrally located and close to the railway station and minibus station.
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