About Malawi

Warm Heart of Africa

The peaceful, impoverished nation of Malawi is hidden deep in sub-Sahara Africa. It was once part of the great Maravi Empire, and sat directly on the route of David Livingstone, the famous European explorer. During the colonial period it was under British control, and referred to as Nyasaland. With independence in 1964 Malawi formed a republic patterned after Britain and the U.S. It continues to maintain strong ties with Britain and the West, and English is the official language of business, education, medicine and government. Chichewa is the native language.

Well Off the Main Road

Malawi is about the size of Pennsylvania or Portugal, and is nestled between Zambia, Mozambique, and Tanzania. The population of 17,377,468 takes great pride in its warm hospitality, and welcoming of guests with two arms extended. The people refer to their nation as, “The Warm Heart of Africa.”

Landscape

The guest can easily visit the third largest lake in Africa, which is known for its stunning landscape, as well as one of the highest peaks on the continent. Then they can be escorted through game parks filled with African animals living in the wild. And it can all be done in less than a week.

Travel

Although there are few paved roads, the system of tarmac roads is strategically placed to make travel easy from city to city, traversing beautiful countryside and moving easily through trading centers and past mud-hut African villages that remain captured in time just as they 100 years ago.

International flight connections are easily available for flights into Blantyre and Lilongwe, and smaller regional and local flights can be arranged to a number of smaller airports.

Government

Travel in Malawi is especially safe compared with many other destinations, and most crime is confined to petty theft. Governmental responsibility is shared between a western style central government, with officials elected by the people in democratic elections, and with a traditional tribal system that handles many of the day-to-day local needs.

Weather

Although the weather changes considerably between the northern highlands, the central plains, and the lower Shire Valley, the country has a moderate climate the year around. For instance the average yearly temperature in Lilongwe is: 80 for the high, and 55 for the low, seldom going above 86, or below 42. In Blantyre it is 82 for the high and 63 for the low. Rains are heavy between mid-November and the end of March, and there is little or no rain from May to September. Travel plans are best carried out during the dry season.

Heath-care and Education

Both healthcare and education suffer from a lack of adequate funds, resources, and trained personnel.

In 2008, estimates were 0.02 doctors for every 100,000 people, as compared with 2.42 in the U.S. Hospitals continue to be wholly inadequate when it comes to supplies, equipment, and personnel; and, patients are often turned away because of critical shortages.

The educational system is short of buildings, supplies, equipment, and teachers. Vast numbers of children cannot afford to go to school past the third or fourth grade. Sixty-two percent of the children entering primary school, in 2005, reached the second grade; but only 34% reached grade five.

Religion

Approximately 82% of the people refer to themselves as Christians, with 13% claiming Muslim background, and 1.9% referred to as “others”, and 2.5% claiming no religious affiliation.

Economy

As one of the poorest nations on earth, over 50% of Malawi’s population live below the poverty line, with agriculture accounting for 1/3 of the GDP, and nearly 90% of its people surviving from subsistence farming. The inflation rate is running approximately 26% a year.

Children under 18 constitute more than 50% of the population, and the life expectancy hovers between 55 and 60, up from 37.9 in 1960.

 

 

Scenes of Malawi