Flights to Blantyre
The second largest city in Malawi is Blantyre and it is located towards the southern end of this long narrow country. Often known as the commercial capital of Malawi, Blantyre is home to companies and colleges, and thanks in part to an expatriate population there are a good number of stores and restaurants that will suit the tastes of South Africans, British and European visitors.
The airport that serves flights to Blantyre is the Chileka International Airport (airport code: BLZ), located 16 kilometres away from the city. Air traffic is quite limited and you will not have many flights to Blantyre to choose from even when coming from Johannesburg. You can get a flight with either Air Malawi or South African Airways. Air Malawi will have one stop-over in Lusaka but the South African Airways flight to Blantyre is often preferred as this goes non-stop.
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The Tourist Attractions of Blantyre:
Blantyre is quite a unique place that is historically important. It was founded by Church of Scotland missionaries in 1876 and named after the town of Blantyre in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. Today you can still see the British influences in some of the earlier buildings, and there are eight National Monuments in the city. However, the important buildings are at risk due to lack of funding and a conservation plan to keep them. If you’re interested in the historic architecture, now would be a good time to visit Blantyre before it’s too late.
The National Museum of Malawi
Known locally as Chichiri Museum, this is the country’s national museum and it focuses history and culture. The museum is a good place to start a visit to Blantyre as the historical and cultural exhibits give insight into the colonial period and also on the slave trade. Outside there is an area the features large transportation equipment.
Michiru Mountain Conservation Area
Only 8 kilometres from Blantyre the Michiru Mountain Conservation Area is a park that can be easily visited while staying in the city. The park includes hiking trails, and there is one that will take a whole day to tackle, guiding you to the top of Michiru Mountain from which you’ll be able to enjoy some excellent views of the region.
Majete Wildlife Sanctuary
Sitting 70 kilometres from Blantyre the Majete Wildlife Sanctuary is further away but offers a different experience to Michiru Mountain. There are open grasslands and contrasting wooded hillsides to see here, and being a wildlife sanctuary you will likely see a number of species of animals: buffalo, rhinos, antelope and a small number of zebra call this place home. The park is best explored in a 4×4 vehicle.
Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve
Home to the highest point in Malawi, Mulanje Mountain, this forest reserve also offers a variety of landscapes and has nine rivers flowing through. Guides can show you the best of the park, and if you’re very fit you can tackle climbing the mountain.
When Should You Visit?:
December to march is the rainy season in Blantyre so these months are best avoided, plus there’s rainfall in November and April too. The driest weather actually coincides with the coolest temperatures, making June to August a good time to visit. Average highs then are 24 to 26C. The highest temperatures occur just before the rainy season gets under way, in October, when the average highs reach 32C.