Malawi's modern capital city is in the center of the country. It is split into two main centers known as the New and Old Towns. The modern New Town is a collection of gleaming buildings with manicured lawns. The more chaotic Old Town couldn't be more different. The original village of Lilongwe has bustling markets, teaming bus stations and street vendors. There's not a great deal to see and do, but the city is worth a three-hour visit—plenty of time to see the Teacher Training College, government buildings, the market on Malangalanga Road and the Asian Quarter. The sprawling curio market outside of the post office in the Old Town is definitely worth a visit for the vast range of wooden carvings on offer, though you will have to be prepared to haggle hard over prices. Travelers planning to visit Malawi's parks should drop by the National Parks and Wildlife Office on Kenyatta Drive—the agency is the best source of information and maps in the country. The small 370-acre/150-hectare Lilongwe Nature Reserve is between the Old and New Towns. It attracts a number of birds as well as spotted hyena, bushbuck and vervet monkey. The Lingadzi River that runs through it is inhabited by a few crocodiles. There is a wildlife information center and a number of walking trails through the woods. 145 mi/235 km northwest of Blantyre.

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