The southern city of Blantyre is the oldest European settlement in Malawi and a bustling commercial activity center. The Blantyre Mission was founded in 1876 and named after the small, Scottish village where David Livingston was born. Climate, combined with rich fields drew the Europeans to the settlement and Blantyre grew in stature as a center for trade between Lake Malawi, on the northeast, and the Zambezi River Valley to the south. Livingston played a major role in the development of this region of Africa and in the elimination of the slave trade in the region.

In 2003 Blantyre contained a population of 800,264 (2018) and is the second largest city in the nation in population. However, Blantyre still holds the distinction of being number one with a larger urban area. It is the capital of Malawi’s Southern District, as well as that of the Blantyre District. Although Blantyre is not the capital of the nation it continues to be the main commercial, banking, and industrial center. It is linked closely with its sister cities, Limbe and Zomba, another center of commerce nearby. 

In religion, the Catholic Church is the largest religious group, and as for the cost of living, Blantyre holds the distinction of being the most expensive city in Malawi in which to reside.

Twelve of Malawi’s 28 districts are in the southern region of Malawi. They are BalakaBlantyreChikwawaChiradzuluMachingaMangochiMulanjeMwanzaNsanjePhalombeThyolo, and Zomba

Pictured is the now famous clock tower near the center of Blantyre

Additional pictures of Blantyre can be seen at:

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