Friendly Malawi gained independence in 1964. The famous lake comprises a large part of the countries size. A beautiful and hilly country,it’s most memorable asset is it’s people, amongst the friendliest in Africa.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Area: 118,484 sq. km (35th in Africa)
Capital: Lilongwe (Zomba until 1975)
Largest towns: Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba, Mzuzu
Population: 12 million
Official language: English
Other languages: Chichewa, Yao, Ngoni, Nyanja
Currency: Malawian Kwacha
Head of state: President Bingu wa Mutharika
Life expectancy: 41 years
Per Capita Income: US$200
Lake Malawi (3rd biggest in Africa, 585km by 80km).
Liwonde National Park. Kuzungu National Park.
European. Bantu – Ngoni, Chewa.
Christian. ZCC. Muslim.
GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Dominated by the Rift Valley.
Lake Malawi is part of the Rift Valley.
Three seasons in Malawi: hot rainy season from November to April; moderate dry season from May to August; hot dry season in September and October.
The name Malawi derives from the Maravi Kingdom. Slave trading was very big, with local tribes and Islamic converts selling locals to the Portuguese.
Scots missionaries greatly responsible for curbing the slave trade. Gained independence through Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda in 1964
(still known as Nyasaland). Banda was a dictator, dictating what people should do and how they should dress. Banda was still in rule till 1994
– being puppeted by his “Official Hostess” and her uncle John Tembo. In 1994 first multi-party elections – won by UDF under Bakili Muluzi.
CRIME AND SAFETY
Pretty safe, as long as you do not go looking for trouble.
Always be careful when stopping along the side of the road.
Pretty strong currency for African standards.
It is possible but difficult to get money from credit cards from the banks.
It is not advised.
There are places for changing money readily available in big towns.
Banking – 08:00 to 13:00 on weekdays.
POST AND TELEPHONE
The postal and telephone services are not very reliable