Malawi is a small African country which is located in the southeast region of Africa. The country was earlier known as Nyasaland. Zambia in the northwest, Tanzania in the northeast and Mozambique in the east, south and west are the bordering countries of Malawi. The total land area of Malawi is about 118,000 square kilometers. According to the latest census conducted in the year 2010, the population of Malawi is about 14,901,000. The population density is about 129 persons per square kilometer.
This country was a gathering place of hunters in the olden days. After that, Bantu speaking people emerged in the region and they began to emigrate from north to south during the 10th century. By the end of 15th century, these tribal people founded their own kingdom and that is what called Malawi today.
By the end of 16th century, the people of Malawi started trading relationships with the Portuguese traders under the rule of native rulers. But by the end of 1700, the entire kingdom was broken into pieces, which were controlled by several individual tribes. In the year 1944, the Africans of Nyasaland formed the Nyasaland African Congress. Their intention was to help the interests of the British people in the country. Northern and Southern Rhodesia were linked with Malawi by the British in the year 1953 and they formed Central African federation (CAF). The country became independent from the rule of British on July 6th, 1964 and the country was renamed as Malawi.
Even though the country got its independence from the hands of British, their problems were not solved completely. It became a single party state and came under the rule of MCP (Malawi Congress Party). In the year 1970, the autocratic ruler Banda announced that he would be the lifetime president of Malawi. He suppressed his opponents by using military force. His rule in the country was unquestionable for more than two and half decades due to the absence of any strong opposition to him.
Even though he was such a tyrant, Banda ruled the country with economic and political farsightedness. The country achieved surprising progresses in the field of agriculture and industry. Even though the country was poor, Banda showed the way for utilizing the limited resources present in the country effectively to achieve economic growth.
The people began to force for political freedom and in the year 1993, president agreed for a treaty. The very next year multi party elections were conducted in the country and Bakili Muluzi was elected as the president. He ruled the country for ten years and in the year 2004; Bingu Wa Mutharika was elected as the president. Despite the allegations of election fraud by his rivals, he was re- elected as the president in the year 2009.
The economy of the country is on the progress line every year and has been achieving phenomenal success every year. The total GDP of the country is $13901 billion and per capita GDP is $860. These are the estimates made in the year 2011. But despite these achievements in the economy, the country is suffering from infant mortality and HIV these days. The life expectancy of the people is very low, which is in turn one of the most important factors that are hindering its progress.
Malawi is a popular tourist destination because of its numerous attractions. Most people identify with Lake Malawi and sort of think that it is the only attraction spot in this country. Malawi has a population of approximately 14 million. The weather is also good. The wet and warm seasons run from November to April. The other months are particularly dry with temperatures of about 20 degrees and can drop to much less at night.
If you intend to indulge in homosexuality or taking drugs such as cannabis, you should know that it is illegal and bear grave consequences. The main currency here is Malawi Kwachas. The population is mostly 20% Muslim and about 75% Christians. The other percentage consists of other religions.
One other thing that you should consider before making plans to travel to Malawi is to get vaccinated against malaria and rabies. Other than this, there are many great things about Malawi that many people will find enjoyable.
Places To Visit
The country is not big but it contains everything that a traveler may want to see and experience. You can go swimming and get a beautiful tan at Cape Maclear where there is a beautiful lake. Alternatively, you can do kayaking, diving or even have boat trips at the Crystal Lake. This lake is 500 km long and reaches the Mozambique border.
If you would like to enjoy scenery that is serene and quiet, you can visit the Likomo and Chizimulu islands which provide a peaceful environment. They are not so developed but they have beautiful scenery.
Safaris are also a favorite activity for most people. If you want to see the wildlife, you can enjoy a safari to one of the several safari parks in the area. One of the most popular safari parks is Liwonde. Here, you will be able to see zebras, antelopes, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, among other animals. It is slightly expensive than the other parks but it makes the trip worthwhile. On the other hand, you can also visit Vwaza Marsh. It is not as big as Liwonde but it offers a more intimate experience.
Depending on where you are, the nightlife in Malawi can be enjoyable. If you are in areas such as Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Nhkata Bay, you can expect to find many clubs and bars where the locals and backpackers frequent. You can enjoy themed hours or happy hours in some of the places such as Maboya Lodge in Lilongwe.
Smaller towns such as Mzuzu, Rumpi, and Zomba have their night lives centered mainly on small bars located in the markets. The bars serve a special drink known as chibuku. It has a nice taste and is made of maize. The locals are also fond of packets of whiskey and gin which can be bought at the supermarket and the bars. If you are daring, you can drink them straight like the locals but if can’t handle it, you can mix it with soft drinks or a tonic.
Malawi is a great place to travel and the locals are very friendly. Their official language is English so you will not experience any language barriers if you are an English speaker. However, if you are interested in their local language, it is called Chichewa. Overall, you can be assured to make new friends on your visit here.
Do you want to be conversant with information on facts about Malawi? If yes, this write up is for you. Scroll down to know some of the facts about Malawi.
Malawi officially known as the republic of Malawi is a land locked country. This country is located along the south eastern parts of Africa. This country was formerly referred as Nyasaland. Let us now have a look at some more the facts about this country.
Facts about Malawi
The following are some of the very many facts Malawi facts.
* Population in Malawi
Approximately 13 million individuals leave in Malawi. The life expectancy in this country is approximately 41 years. The average on birth rate is 5.9 per woman. Literacy is believed to be more than 60 percent. More than 10 percent of its population is believed to be infected with HIV/AIDS.
* Languages in Malawi
Chichewa is the official language being spoken in this country of Malawi. Approximately 57 percent of the total population population uses this language as mother tongue. Other languages that are being spoken in Malawi include; Chinyanja comprising of about 12.8 percent of the total population, Chiyao comprising of 10.1 percent of the population, Chitumbuka comprising of about 9.5 percent of the population, chisena 2.7 percent, chilomwe 2.4 percent, Chitonga 1.7 percent and the others comprising of about 3.6 percent of the population.
* Geography in Malawi
Research has proved that the fact 118,480 sq km is the size of Malawi is true. This size is slightly smaller than that of Pennsylvania in the USA. Generally, it has been proven that the Malawi terrain mainly consists of narrow elongated plateau consisting of rounded hills, rolling plains and some several mountain hills.
The country’s physical feature that is most prominent is Lake Malawi. This is lake is believed to be about 580 km long.
The climate type that is manly experienced in this country is sub-tropical climate. The climatic type mainly consists of rainy season coming from November until may and a dry season starting from may until November.
Malawi’s lowest point is situated at the River Shire and Mozambique border junction point.
Sapitwa which is the country’s highest peak on mountain Mulanje is the country’s highest peak. The height of this mountain is at 3,002 meters. As previously seen, this country is also a landlocked country.
* Political History of Malawi
Malawi as a country was established in the year 1891. It later in 1964 became an independent nation courtesy of the British protectorate of the Nyasaland. This country was ruled as one party country rule by President Kamuzu Banda for three decades.
Its first multiparty elections were first held in 1994. This came to be effective after the implementation of its provisional constitution.
Among the issues that are posing a major threat to the economy of this country include; spread of HIV/AIDS, pressure on the lands allocated for agricultural purposes, an increased rate of corruption and an increase in the population growth rate.
Last but not the least; the economy of this country predominantly depends on agriculture. It is my sincere hope that this article has provided you with effective facts about Malawi. Thank you.
The history of Malawi dates back to as early as AD 1000 from records that indicate thriving trade between Persian Arabs and the East African Swahili city-states along the Indian Ocean coastline. These trading activities extended all the way to Mozambique. Malawi, which is located on the south eastern coast, borders Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. Formerly known as Nyasaland, the name Malawi is thought to been derived from ‘Maravi,’ which was one of the country’s strongest ancient empires.
During the Iron Age in the 10th and 11th centuries AD, Bantu tribes from Congo migrated to the region that is present day Malawi and consolidated to form the Marvai Empire. Portuguese missionaries then began arriving by 1616 led by Gaspar Bocarro.
The migration of Bantu clans to kingdoms that were more centralized continued, which resulted in the formation of the Maravi Empire in around 1480. This empire covered vast South African regions and extended to parts of what are present day Zambia and Mozambique. An agriculture and trade based society, the Maravi Empire was ruled by a king and reached its peak between 1600 and 1650. It eventually collapsed in 1700.
By the 19th century, Nyasaland was badly ravaged by conflicts with the Yao and the South African tribes of the Ngoni and thriving slave trade that was perpetrated by the Portugese and the Omani slave traders. Thousands of Malawians were sold off as slaves and many of them died in the process.
The era of slave trade would end years later in 1824 following anti slave trade campaigns that were mainly led by Scottish Missionaries. David Livingstone, who was among the first English missionaries to Africa, witnessed the brutality of slave trade and was strongly opposed to it. He believed Africa would develop through trade, Christianity and colonization.
Shortly after the end of slave trade, the scramble for Africa began, in which European nations divided up Africa and claimed the territories as their own. Eastern Africa was taken by the British, Germans, French and the Portuguese. Nyasa land was ruled by the British from 1907 under the British Central African Protectorate.
Like in the other colonized African countries, the earliest protests and fight for self rule began in Nyasa land just before the First World War. The agitation increased after Ethiopia resisted Italian rule successfully and years later, Ghana became one of the first independent African countries.
In Malawi, the first protests against the British rule began in Blantyre, the country’s present capital. This was at the Laws Mission School, a Scottish missionary school and it was led by Edward Kamwana who opposed forced taxation. More protests would follow in the subsequent years.
Despite the force used by the British to crash these protests, African nationalism grew and so did the agitation for independence. This intensified after the Second World War, a period that saw many African countries gain self rule. Nyasa land became independent in July 1964 and became Malawi. The new nation’s first president was Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
President Banda was replaced by Bakili Muluzi in the elections of March 1994. Then in 2004, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika was elected president. Mutharika died in office in 2012 and President Joyce Banda took the reins of power.
There cannot be a person who has heard about Africa and its beauty, but not Malawi. Located at the heart of Africa, the country of Malawi offers beautiful landscapes and has a spectacular collection of natural places to offer. The environment of Malawi is serene and the local Malawians are too friendly with the tourists. The place is one of the most popular tourist locations of the worlds and millions of people visit it every year. Malawi provides something for all and hence has adventurous places, reserves, national parks, game reserves, ecology spots, leisure places to offer in its vicinity.
The entire country of Malawi provides spell bounding natural landscapes and amazing sightseeing, but the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe surprises everyone with its equally long list of beautiful landscapes. Lilongwe gets its name from the Lilongwe River, beside which it lies and has evolved from being a small village where the primary occupation had been fishing to a modern day developed city. It became the capital of Malawi in the year 1975 and though initially Blantyre, another city of Malawi was considered the largest city, the status was henceforth given to Lilongwe. The city is quite environmental friendly and you can expect to see a lot of green once you reach there.
The urban capital city of Malawi, Lilongwe is linked to all kinds of transportation networks including rail, roads, air and water. This is one of the most prominent reasons why the city has developed so much in so little time. With flights connecting to most of the parts of the world through the Kamuzu International Airport., the city is not left behind in managing global ties and is a very popular tourist destination. Lilongwe has a favorable climate throughout the year, which explains the never-ending tourist trails. The capital of Malawi offers the rich culture that Africa exhibits and boasts its flora and fauna with pride.
Lilongwe is a planned city with the infrastructure developing along with the city’s economy. As mentioned earlier, the capital of Malawi offers a spectacular array of places for the local residents as well as the tourists. The city is divided into three parts, the Old Town, the Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary and the New Town. While the Old Town exhibits the glorious past of the city and speaks vehemently about the culture of traditional Africa, the New Town is entirely based upon urban planning and modernization and is also popularly known as the City Center. One can even visit the Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary that provides ample sightseeing to last you for the rest of your life, Lilongwe Wildlife Center or the Kumbali Cultural Center. There are numerous golf courses, mountain trekking centers, plateau trekking centers and other adventurous spots through which you can enjoy your days there.
Either for the traditional Malawi culture or the modern day African city, the capital of Malawi definitely has something for all. Lilongwe is the perfect example of cross African cultures living together side by side. On one hand you get the true and rich essence of Africa and its rich and natural beauty whereas on the other you see the developed, modern and urbane Africa, but at the end the choice is yours.