Destination in brief
Malawi in brief
Malawi is a long,
thin, landlocked country located in southeast Africa. Neighbors: Zambia (west), Mozambique (south,
Malawi used to be a
British protectorate (called Nyasaland) and gained
independence in 1964.
km² (45,747 mi²) - Malawi’s Lake Nyasa has more fish
species than any other lake on the planet.
Capital city: Lilongwe – Visiting its
central craft market is an enjoyable tourist program, as the sellers are not
pushy – Apart from the bustle of the market, the city is pretty calm.
million (2020) - About 90% of the population lives in rural areas.
nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa” thanks to its friendly, welcoming
mostly prefer wearing trousers to shorts, as these are regarded as clothing for
English is the official language, while indigenous Chichewa is a so-called
national language - English is the language of administration and business life
– There are several TV channels and radio stations broadcasting in Chichewa
Protestant, 20% Catholic, 20% Muslim
economic situation: Malawi is a
Luckily, Malawi has been spared
the political and security turmoil that has plagued many African countries.
There has not been a single civil war in the country since independence. The
worst, politically, was a prolonged period of one-party rule from 1970 until
the 1990s. There is currently a rather stable multi-party system in place, and
presidential elections are the most important events in the country’s political
Malawi is the sixth
poorest country in the world.
Malawi is a dominantly
agricultural country. Its biggest export is tobacco. The famous Twinnings tea
is made from tealeaves harvested in Malawi.
More than 35% of Malawians depend on Lake Malawi for their
livelihoods and food, yet its resources - the lake's fish - are threatened by
Malawian kwacha (MWK)
The average net
monthly salary of urban employees: 810 USD (2020) - But about half of the
population earns less than 15-20 USD/month.
It is not
unusual in Malawi to see a
12-seater bus (called matatu or matola) transporting 25 people, plus goats,
chicken, and huge baskets of vegetables. A usual weekday scene: a man dressed
in an immaculate suit on his way to work sits on the somewhat chaotic platform
of an overused, pick-up truck-like share taxi. Travelers can also see plenty of
people stoically walking along the side of the road as they cannot afford any
kind of transport.
Safety: Malawi is not a risky
tourist destination – it is actually one of the safest African countries.
However, theft and muggings can sometimes happen, especially around bus
terminals in bigger cities. Safari tours are totally safe.
Worthy of note
for visitors: HIV/AIDS infection is a huge problem in Malawi.
When to visit?
April-November and October-November for safaris
Lake Malawi National Park, Chongoni
Rock-Art Area, Safaris – the best being Liwonde National Park, tea
plantations, Lake Nyasa, visits of traditional villages,
trekking on Mount Mulanje