Where is Malawi located?

What countries border Malawi?

Malawi Weather

What is the current weather in Malawi?

Malawi Facts and Culture

What is Malawi famous for?

  • Family: In Malawi, women have a special place as descent is determined not by the father but through the mother. ... More
  • Personal Apperance: In urban areas, women usually wear a skirt and a blouse or a colorful modern dress. In rural areas, women... More
  • Recreation: Soccer is the main sport. Basketball is growing in popularity. Malawians engage in a variety of activities when they... More
  • Food and Recipes: Most farmers are subsistence growers. They grow most of their own food in small gardens. If a family has extra... More
  • Visiting: It is customary to prepare food when one receives a guest. It is considered rude for guests to decline food... More

Malawi Facts

What is the capital of Malawi?

Capital Lilongwe
Government Type presidential republic
Currency Kwacha (MWK)
Total Area 45,747 Square Miles
118,484 Square Kilometers
Location Southern Africa, east of Zambia, west and north of Mozambique
Language English (official), Chichewa (official), other languages important regionally
GDP - real growth rate 4%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $1,200.00 (USD)

Malawi Demographics

What is the population of Malawi?

Ethnic Groups Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde, Asian, European
Nationality Noun Malawian(s)
Population 21,916,629
Population - note note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Population Growth Rate 2.74%
Population in Major Urban Areas LILONGWE (capital) 772,000
Urban Population 15.700000

Malawi Government

What type of government does Malawi have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President Lazarus CHAKWERA (since 28 June 2020); Vice President Saulos CHILIMA (since 3 February 2020); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Lazarus CHAKWERA (since 28 June 2020); Vice President Saulos CHILIMA (since 3 February 2020)

cabinet: Cabinet named by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 June 2020 (next to be held in 2025)

election results:

2020: Lazarus CHAKWERA elected president; Lazarus CHAKWERA (MCP) 59.3%, Peter Mutharika (DPP) 39.9%, other 0.8%

2014: Peter MUTHARIKA elected president; percent of vote - Peter MUTHARIKA (DPP) 36.4%, Lazarus CHAKWERA (MCP) 27.8%, Joyce BANDA (PP) 20.2%, Atupele MULUZI (UDF) 13.7%, other 1.9%
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Malawi

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
National Holiday Independence Day, 6 July (1964); note - also called Republic Day since 6 July 1966
Constitution history: previous 1953 (pre-independence), 1964, 1966; latest drafted January to May 1994, approved 16 May 1994, entered into force 18 May 1995

amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage of amendments affecting constitutional articles, including the sovereignty and territory of the state, fundamental constitutional principles, human rights, voting rights, and the judiciary, requires majority approval in a referendum and majority approval by the Assembly; passage of other amendments requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly; amended several times, last in 2017
Independence 6 July 1964 (from the UK)

Malawi Video

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Malawi Geography

What environmental issues does Malawi have?

Overview Completely landlocked in southeast Africa, Malawi borders Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique. Malawi's southern tip lies 130 miles inland from the sea. Altitude varies from less than 200 feet above sea level at Nsanje in the south to almost 10,000 feet at the peak of Mount Mulanje. Malawi's topography consists of high, well-watered plateaus broken by large hills.

Malawi covers 46,066 square miles and is about the size of Pennsylvania. A deep depression, its chief physical feature, runs through the center and forms part of the Great Rift Valley. In this depression are Lake Malawi and the Shire Valley. Lake Malawi, about 1,500 feet above sea level and 380 miles long, is Africa's third largest lake and Malawi's major tourist attraction. In Malawi's north and central areas are the Nyika, Vipya, and Dedza uplands, rising from 5,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level. In the south, the Shire Highlands plateau averages 3,000-4,000 feet, with occasional peaks such as Zomba (7,000 feet) and Mulanje (10,000 feet).


Malawi has wet and dry seasons. The wet season is from November to April; the heaviest rainfall occurs between December and March. The dry season begins in May and lasts until November. It is hottest just before rains begin.

The capital, Lilongwe (altitude 3,400 feet) is in a high, central plateau area. The average daily temperature in Lilongwe during October is 84.6°F. June, July, and August are the coolest months, and nights can be quite chilly when temperatures drop to between 41°F and 57°F. Frost occasionally occurs in Lilongwe. During the dry season, particularly September and October, high winds and some dust occur. The annual mean temperature in Lilongwe is 67.4°F, and the annual rainfall is 31.9 inches. Nights are generally cool and pleasant in Lilongwe, even during the hottest weather. Dry season days are generally sunny and warm; rains during the wet season are brief. The Blantyre area is more mountainous, and its weather more humid. The climate is also more hot and humid around Lake Malawi.

Border Countries Mozambique 1,569 km, Tanzania 475 km, Zambia 837 km
Environment - Current Issues deforestation; land degradation; water pollution from agricultural runoff, sewage, industrial wastes; siltation of spawning grounds endangers fish populations
Environment - International Agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Terrain narrow elongated plateau with rolling plains, rounded hills, some mountains

Malawi Economy

How big is the Malawi economy?

Economic Overview Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world's least developed countries. The country’s economic performance has historically been constrained by policy inconsistency, macroeconomic instability, poor infrastructure, rampant corruption, high population growth, and poor health and education outcomes that limit labor productivity. The economy is predominately agricultural with about 80% of the population living in rural areas. Agriculture accounts for about one-third of GDP and 80% of export revenues. The performance of the tobacco sector is key to short-term growth as tobacco accounts for more than half of exports, although Malawi is looking to diversify away from tobacco to other cash crops.

The economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations. Donors halted direct budget support from 2013 to 2016 because of concerns about corruption and fiscal carelessness, but the World Bank resumed budget support in May 2017. In 2006, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program but recent increases in domestic borrowing mean that debt servicing in 2016 exceeded the levels prior to HIPC debt relief.

Heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture, with corn being the staple crop, Malawi’s economy was hit hard by the El Nino-driven drought in 2015 and 2016, and now faces threat from the fall armyworm. The drought also slowed economic activity, led to two consecutive years of declining economic growth, and contributed to high inflation rates. Depressed food prices over 2017 led to a significant drop in inflation (from an average of 21.7% in 2016 to 12.3% in 2017), with a similar drop in interest rates.
Industries tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods
Currency Name and Code Kwacha (MWK)
Export Partners South Africa 22%, US 14.7%, Germany 12.2%, Egypt 5.3%, Japan 5.1%, Netherlands 4.7%, Russia 4.1%
Import Partners South Africa 45.1%, Zambia 12.3%, US 5.4%, India 4.1%

Malawi News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Malawi?
Source: Google News

Malawi Travel Information

What makes Malawi a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Malawi is a developing landlocked country in southern Africa. Tourist facilities in major cities and in resort areas are steadily improving, but remain limited. Aging infrastructure and lack of investment have rendered electricity, water supply, and telecommunications unreliable in rural areas.


Even though Malawi is known as "the Warm Heart of Africa," crime is common. Most crimes against Americans involve property. Residential break-ins are prevalent throughout Malawi and perpetrators of these crimes are usually well-armed and may resort to violence with little provocation. Petty street crime (robbery and pick-pocketing) is common, and break-ins have also occurred in hotels/lodges throughout the country.

We urge you to avoid traveling on foot at night, especially in urban areas, as armed muggings and assaults have increased. Specifically, non-Malawians have been targeted in Lilongwe, and several U.S. citizens have been injured. Even when walking in a large group, city streets should be considered unsafe after dark. Pedestrians should be cautious even during daylight hours. Visitors in need of transportation should request that hotel or restaurant management call a taxi or car service.

We recommend you use caution when visiting and/or staying in isolated areas such as Mount Mulanje where the availability of public security forces is limited. You should take appropriate action to ensure your safety if traveling to remote areas, and never travel alone or at night.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Malawi, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Malawi, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.

Arrest notifications in host country

While some countries will automatically notify the U.S. embassy if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the U.S. embassy as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities in Malawi are rudimentary and do not meet U.S. standards of medical care. While all health workers have some degree of English proficiency, communication can still be difficult. Medications are not consistently available and many U.S. medications are not available at all. Travelers should bring adequate quantities of medications to last the duration of their stay. For any major medical problems you should consider obtaining medical treatment in South Africa, where advanced medical care is available.

Diarrhea and other food borne illnesses are a common problem among travelers. We urge you to avoid tap water, ice cubes, and raw fruits and vegetables. Bottled water is recommended for drinking and food preparation. Only food that is well-cooked and served hot should be consumed.

Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disorder that is endemic to Malawi. Malaria prophylaxis is strongly advised and should be initiated prior to arriving in Malawi. Consult your doctor to learn which prophylaxis is best for you, and review possible side effects. In addition, other measures such as the use of insect repellents and mosquito nets help to reduce the risk of malaria. If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area, or up to one-year after returning home, you should seek prompt medical attention and tell your doctor your travel history and what anti-malarial medications you have been taking.

Schistosomiasis (also known as Bilharzia) is present in most lakes and rivers in Malawi, including Lake Malawi. We recommends against swimming, wading or bathing in fresh water.

HIV infection is endemic in the Malawian population. Please take appropriate precautions to limit the risk of transmission through blood or sexual contact.

Safety and Security

Spontaneous civil disturbances and/or demonstrations, primarily related to governance and economic issues can occur on occasion. U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Malawi, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Malawi's principal highways are generally in good condition, although safety hazards include the lack of road shoulders, frequent potholes, pedestrians, bicyclists and livestock. Secondary roads are in poor repair and may be impassable to all but four-wheel drive vehicles during the rainy season (November-April). Public transportation, consisting primarily of minibuses, is unreliable and accidents are common. Modern coach buses are increasingly common on the main cross-country routes. Fuel supply, both diesel and gasoline, is often erratic, and travelers should plan accordingly.

Given Malawi's high road accident rate, you should drive defensively and avoid road travel outside cities at night. Road support networks for stranded drivers do not exist. Police roadblocks are common and properly documented drivers usually pass quickly and without incident. If you intend to remain in Malawi for an extended period of time you are expected to obtain a locally-issued driver's license.

Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of death among travelers to Malawi due to atypical road hazards. There are no medical facilities that provide comprehensive emergency care comparable to U.S. standards. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You should always wear your seat belt when available, try travel in well-maintained vehicles, insist that the drivers maintain a safe speed, and avoid travelling after dark.

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