Malawi is a country in South East- Africa, bordered by Mozambique to the south and east, Tanzania to the north, Zambia to the west. Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa, runs along most of its eastern border. It's described as the "Warm Heart of Africa", referring to the friendliness of the people. Traditions have a great impact on the lives of the locals. Especially traditional dance and music.

Malawi’s big draw is the lake: a magnificent shard of crystal water stretching some 500km along Malawi’s eastern border, separating it from the wild and mountainous coast of Mozambique and Tanzania. Isolated villages pepper the northern lakeshore and the beautiful Liwonde National Park rests at its southern tip. Around 500 species of fish inhabit the lake and the freshwater diving and snorkelling here are excellent. Malawi’s not just for water babies and sun worshippers though; there’s plenty here to keep you active and Malawi’s landscape is surprisingly diverse. Head for the misty heights of Mount Mulanje or to the Nyika National Park, where you'll find sheer escarpments, dramatic peaks, endless rolling grassland and some of the most enjoyable hiking routes in the whole of Africa.

The Warm Heart of Africa is beating faster now and the legendary welcome is there for all who wish to experience the unrivalled combination of Lake, Landscape, Wildlife & Culture in one of Africa's most beautiful and compact countries.

Capital:
Lilongwe

Time:
GMT/UTC +2

Government:
Multiparty democracy

Head of State:
President Bingu wa Mutharika

Land area:
118,484 sq km

Largest Towns:
Lilongwe, Blantyre, Limbe, Mzuzu, Karonga, Mangochi

Population:
12 million

Official Languages:
English, Chichewa

Currency:
Malawi Kwacha (MK); US$1 = MK140

International Airports:
Blantyre International Airport
Lilongwe International Airport

Religions:
Protestant, Roman Catholic, Muslim, Indigenous beliefs

The best time to visit Malawi is during the dry season from May to mid-November. From May to July the landscape is attractive and vegetation green and lush, and temperatures cooler. The months of October and November, at the end of the dry season, are the best time for wildlife viewing; however, the temperatures can be uncomfortably hot.

Average temperature and rainfall Malawi:

Average temperature and rainfall Malawi


Tourist Attractions
Lake Malawi, Elephant Marsh, Lower shire Valley, Highlands, Nyika National Park and lots of other National parks and wildlife reserves, Lilongwe, Blantyre

Geography & Climate
Malawi is situated in southeastern Africa. It is wholly within the tropics; from about 9°30S at its northernmost point to about 17°S at the southernmost tip. The country occupies a thin strip of land in between Zambia and Mozambique protruding southwards into Mozambique along the valley of the Shire River. In the north and north east it also shares a border with Tanzania. Malawi is landlocked and is connected by rail to the Mozambican ports of Nacala and Beira. The jewel in the crown of the country’s tourist attractions is Lake Malawi, “discovered” by the missionary-explorer Dr David Livingstone just over 150 years ago. Although totally landlocked, Malawi is not denied its “inland sea”. This vast body of freshwater fringed by beaches of golden sand is not only a scenic wonderland but it provides water sport opportunities for those looking for something beyond sun, sand and swimming. Its approximate dimensions are 365 miles north to south and 52 miles broad, hence the sobriquet: "the calendar lake".

Much of Malawi is plateau, often reaching to 3,000 feet, and the temperature in these highlands is moderate, with the hottest period occurring during the autumn rainy season and the coolest and chilliest in winter. The hottest region in the country is the lower Shire River Valley well south of Blantyre. Temperatures along scenic Lake Malawi are generally warm, but with a cooling breeze, especially in the evenings. Winters (May till July) are dry. The rainy season begins in mid-October to early November and generally runs until March.

Crime & Safety
Malawi has been known for years as "The Warm Heart of Africa", and Malawians are known for their friendliness and hospitality. Malawi is not known as a particularly dangerous travel destination for western foreigners and expatriates. Muggings and robberies may occur in the larger cities, most especially Lilongwe, as well as in some notorious places along the main tourist routes. It is advisable to avoid walking alone at night. If you go out for the evening, make sure you know how you're going back home. Car-jackings happen occasionally so be sure to keep windows shut and doors locked during evening and night journeys and exercise reasonable caution as in any foreign city or rural area. Roads are less safe because many drivers are unlicensed and inexperienced and many vehicles are not inspection-ready; there is also the factor of drunk driving, especially in the evenings so err on the side of caution. Homosexuality is officially banned by the law, and gay couples should exercise discretion when traveling to Malawi.

Communication
Post is cheap and relatively reliable. International calls services are available but expensive. Email and Internet is widely available and relatively inexpensive.




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