In 1975, Lilongwe was declared the capital of Malawi, which role formerly served by Zomba. It credits its position to Dr Hastings Banda, who was the first President of the country, and was born immediately north of this very town. The ‘Old Town’ is different and detached from the current Capital City. Though the former possesses all the looks of a traditional African village, the City actually has a lot in common with the other 20th century city developments all over the world. Its beautiful modern buildings seated in spacious garden-like environments, contrast with the commotion in Old Town. These two different areas of the town are all worth touring. Actually the up to date shops within the City are harmonized by the thrilling street as well as the walled markets within the Old Town. The diversity of services with Lilongwe’s plus the facilities are unmatched except, perhaps, in Blantyre. Among the modern shopping area, the Old Town Mall is the finest, mainly for people searching for good quality mementos. Just as African Habitat, that has locally hand- crafted ornaments plus furnishings, actually there is one among Central Africana's galleries well stocked with interesting books plus modern as well as historical prints in addition to maps.
The Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary is situated between the New town and the Old town. Within this safe haven is the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre which is the only sanctuary in Malawi for liberated, injured as well as orphaned wild animals. In addition It is the first attributed "People and Wildlife" PAW centre in the world, working with local people with the main aim of promoting conservation of nature which will not only benefit the wildlife but the people of Malawi too.
There are several top-notch hotels within Lilongwe like the huge and commercially positioned Crossroads. Among the latest developments within Lilwonge was the launch of the initial boutique hotel - Latitude 13°. Latitude 13° was previous home of a VIP, but today prides in nine luxury suites, three housed in the main building while the six are within the gardens.
A small drive out from the city Lilongwe is the special comfy Kumbali Country Lodge. This ancient Imperial Hotel was entirely refurbished and re-opened as Kiboko Town Hotel. The Korea Garden Lodge offers a diversity of room types. The attractive semi-urban guesthouse accommodation facility is offered by Heuglin's Lodge as well as Africa House Malawi. outside town is Barefoot Safari Lodge with chalets, pitches as well as permanent tents.