Facts & figures

  • Full name: The Republic of Malawi
  • Population: 15.9 million (UN, 2012)
  • Capital: Lilongwe
  • Area: 118,484 sq km (45,747 sq miles)
  • Major languages: English, Chichewa (both official)
  • Major religions: Christianity, Islam
  • Life expectancy: 55 years (men), 55 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Malawi kwacha (MK) = 100 tambala
  • Main exports: Tobacco, tea, sugar, cotton
  • GNI per capita: US $360 (World Bank, 2011)
  • Internet domain: .mw
  • International dialling code: +265





Peter Mutharika won the presidential election in May 2014, two year after his brother died while serving as president.

The law professor took over the leadership facing treason charges for attempting to conceal his brother's death in an alleged bid to prevent Joyce Banda - then vice-president - from assuming power.


Visa & travel advice

Requirements for visa application

  • Two passport size photos
  • Covering letter
  • Invitation letter
  • Three months latest bank statements
  • Air ticket/itinerary
  • Passport which is valid not less than six months

Emergency travel document - 13 pounds

Requirements for emergency travel document

  • Holder of passports whether expired/lost
  • Two passport size photos
  • Photocopies of passport
  • Air ticket
  • Covering letter

Minors (children) - 13 pounds

  • Two passport size photos
  • Birth certificate
  • Photocopies of parents passports
  • Air ticket
  • Covering letter from parents


  • Best period:

With elevations of as much as 10,000 feet in the mountainous regions and valleys as low as 600 feet, Malawi has a diverse climate. Without a doubt, the best time to visit the country is during the dry season, May through October, when it’s hot during the day and cooler at night. While this weather is conducive to exploring the outdoors, a visit during the rainy season (November through March and April) will mean fewer tourists and an opportunity to see the country’s fauna at its finest. Just make sure you come prepared with rain gear: low-lying areas, such as the Shire Valley, tend to become their hottest and most humid during the rainy season. Also, the mountainous areas in the south are some of the wettest in all Africa, with an average annual rainfall of between 60 and 80 inches.

  • Safety:

The U.S. Department of State’s consular website has a great deal of information about safety and security in Malawi. It can’t be repeated enough: be sensible when you travel. Crime rates vary throughout Malawi. Be alert and aware about your surroundings.



The History of Malawi covers the area of present-day Malawi. The region was once part of the Maravi Empire. In colonial times, the territory was ruled by the British, under whose control it was known first as British Central Africa and later Nyasaland. It became part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The country achieved full independence, as Malawi, in 1964. After independence, Malawi was ruled as a one-party state under Hastings Banda until 1994.


Arts & Culture

  • Music

Malawi music has historically been influenced through its triple cultural heritage (British, African, American). Malawians have long been travellers and migrant workers, and as a result, their music has spread across the African continent and blended with other music forms. One of the prime historical causes of the Malawian musical melting pot was World War II, when soldiers both brought music to distant lands and also brought them back. By the end of the war, guitar and banjo duos were the most popular type of dance bands. Both instruments were imported. Malawians working in the mines in South Africa and Mozambique also led to fusion and blending in music styles, giving rise to music styles like Kwela.

During the colonial period, Malawi saw rise to very few well-known singers due to the oppressive colonial regime of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. One such singer was Tony Bird a folk rock singer-songwriter who was born in Nyasaland and performed anti-colonial music about life for regular Malawians during the colonial period. His music is described as a fusion of Malawian and Dutch, and Afrikaner traditions. His popular style led him to tour with Ladysmith Black Mambazo in the 1980s.

  • Literature


Literature in Malawi is predominantly oral, though a written literary canon is developing. Proverbs, as in many other African nations, are widely known and quoted: an exchange of proverbs conveys not only a pithy piece of advice, but also demonstrates the speaker’s wit. Some of the most common Malawian proverbs are:

  • Kabanga mwala. (“Things are not always what they appear”—literally, “The tortoise looks like a stone.”)
  • Chibanga mwala tsosenga nyala. (“A rolling stone gathers no moss.”)
  • Mutu imodzi tsosenga denga. (“Two heads are better than one”—literally, “One head cannot support a roof.”)
  • Film industry

Malawi has no recorded cinematic or even video producing history. There are no local film-producing companies or known film makers as yet. In the forties and fifties The British government used films to educate peasants to grow tobacco. UNESCO has contributed to the use of Mobile Video Units (land rovers) mainly for health eductional purposes. 15% of the adult population is HIV infected. Malawi promotes Chishango (a condom) through mass media and nontraditional communication channels to reach those that have limited access to mass media. These channels include mobile video units, drama groups, peer educators and promoters, wall signs and bus advertising. Chishango is the most advertised brand on the radio in Malawi. Cinema is obviously amongst the very least of the Malawi worries today.

  • Famous places

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. The bird life is fantastic and you're very likely to see African fish eagles displaying their skills as well as the rare Pel's fishing owl.


Address: Blantyre, Malawi, MW, Africa

Built by Scottish missionaries at the end of the 19th century and located within Blantyre, this imposing church is still a place of prayer for local inhabitants.


Enjoyed the world over, Malawian tea is sure to satisfy even the most refined connoisseur.

 Tea is the second biggest export crop of Malawi. Chances are that you have already tasted Malawian tea yourself without knowing it – the incredibly high quality and relatively low price of Malawian tea means that tea producers abroad will often mix tea from Malawi with lesser quality teas leaves to augment the taste of their beverages. Naturally, the taste of Malawian tea by itself is nothing less than exquisite.



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