Coat of Arms
President Peter Mutharika
» Chichewa, English
» Unitary presidential republic
» 118,484 km2 (99th)
» 16,407,000 (64th)
» $14.265 billion
» Per capita $857
» $4.212 billion
» Per capita $253
» Kwacha (D) (MWK)
» CAT (UTC+2)
Best of Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west.
Best of Malawi is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Malawi is over 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of 16,777,547 (July 2013 est.). Its capital is Lilongwe, which is also Best of Malawi’s largest city; the second largest is Blantyre and the third is Mzuzu. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is also nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa”.
Best of Malawi is among the world’s least-developed and most-densely populated countries. Around 85% of the population live in rural areas.
Best of Malawi is based on agriculture, and more than one-third of GDP and 90% of export revenues come from this.
Major Imports and Exports
According to the International Trade Centre, the top five export categories for Malawi in 2008, along with percentage of total exports, were:
- Tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes (67.1%)
- Sugars and sugar confectionery (6%)
- Coffee, tea, mate, and spices (4.8%)
- Cotton (2.7%)
- Oil seed, oleagic fruits, grain, seed, fruit, etc. (2.4%)
According to the International Trade Centre, the top five import categories for Malawi in 2008, along with percentage of total imports, were:
- Fertilizers (16.7%)
- Vehicles other than railway (16.1%)
- Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, etc. (9.8%)
- Boilers, machinery, nuclear reactors, etc. (6.3%)
- Printed books, newspapers, pictures, etc. (4.8%)
Major Trading Partners
The top three countries to which Malawi exports merchandise, along with percentage of exports, are:
The top three countries which import merchandise to Malawi, along with percentage of imports, are:
Often dismissed as ‘Africa for beginners’, Best of Malawi has historically been overlooked as an interloper at the table of great safari destinations. That is until a lion reintroduction program commenced in 2012 and travel editors suddenly started salivating.
Aside from its animals, what immediately captures you about Best of Malawi is its geographical diversity. Slicing through the landscape in a trough formed by the Great Rift Valley is Africa’s third largest lake – Lake Malawi; a shimmering mass of glittering clear water, its depths are swarming with colorful cichlid fish. Whether it’s diving, snorkeling, kayaking or chilling out on one of its desert islands, a visit to the lake is a must.
Suspended in the clouds in Best of Malawi deep south are the dramatic peaks of Mt Mulanje and the mysterious Zomba Plateau; both are a trekker’s dream, with mist-cowled forests and exotic wildlife. Head further north and you’ll witness the otherworldly beauty of Nyika Plateau, its rolling grasslands resembling the Scottish Highlands.
- Lake Malawi (South) – Lake Malawi is a beautiful freshwater lake that takes up a good chunk of landlocked Malawi. It is blessed with golden beaches and an incredible colorful variety of fish, that makes snorkeling and diving here extremely rewarding.
- Mulanje Mountain – Mulanje Mountain is a huge granite massif in southern Malawi. Its highest peak Sapitwa reaches just over 3000m. There are plenty of hiking routes to choose from to enjoy this mountain, with simple huts at the end of each one.
- Likoma Island – Likoma Island is actually in Mozambique waters, but is still a Malawian territory. It’s home to a huge cathedral built in the early 1900’s.
- Liwonde National Park – Liwonde National Park is Malawi’s premier wildlife park. It’s setting is lovely along the banks of the Shire river, where you can view pods of hippo in the water and large herds of elephant on the side enjoying a drink and a splash.
- Zomba Plateau – Zomba plateau offers incredible views, waterfalls, dams filled with trout and a lovely respite from the heat.
- Lake Malawi (North) – Malawi’s northern lake shore is much less developed than the southern shore. Less populated in general, the North is also chillier during the dry season (June – August), but perfect when it’s hot.