MALAWI TRAVEL GUIDE
The warm heart of Africa is how the friendly people of Malawi like to describe their small, landlocked country that lies almost in the middle of the great African continent.
The mountains, plateaus, rain forests and rivers of Malawi share space with the Lake Malawi, a beautiful inland lake lying in a deep trough created by the Great Rift Valley stretching for some 500km down the eastern border of Malawi. The area surrounding the Lake is given over to neatly laid out tea and tobacco plantations juxtaposed with lush rain forests, evergreen woods and grasslands where conservation areas protect the native habitats of rare wildflowers, orchids, birds and animals.
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MALAWI QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Lilongwe
- Currency: Malawian kwacha (MWK)
- Area: 94,080 km²
- Population: 18,14 million (2018)
- Language: English (official), Chichewa (official), other languages important regionally
- Religion: Protestant 55%, Roman Catholic 20%, Muslim 20%, indigenous beliefs 3%, other 2%
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MALAWI PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 15 January, John Chilembwe Day
- 3 March, Martyrs’ Day
- 14 May, President Kamuzu Banda’s Birthday
- 14 June, Freedom Day
- 6 July, Independence Day
- 15 October, Mother’s Day
- 26 December, Boxing Day
Also, Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Eid al-Fitr.
MALAWI WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Malawi’s climate is as varied as the country’s topography. The vast surface water of Lake Niassa tends to have a cooling effect on the margins of the lake, where long, hot seasons with high humidity occur, along with mean annual temperatures of 24°C. Rainfall patterns are heaviest along the coast of Lake Malawi where precipitation is heaviest (averaging 1600 mm annually); the rest of the country’s rainfall ranges between 750 and 1000 mm annually. Overall, the country experiences three seasons: a cool season (May to mid-August), a hot season (mid-August to November), and a rainy season (November to April), with rains continuing longer in the northern and eastern mountains.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN MALAWI
The best time for outdoor activities in Malawi is from April to August when the temperatures are moderate and the weather is dry. November March is usually very hot and wet and September and October are considered extremely hot and dry.
BEACH OPTIONS IN MALAWI
The best time to visit Malawi’s lake beaches are from May to August. It's not the ocean, but there are beautiful sandy beaches surrounding Lake Malawi!
HEALTH RISKS IN MALAWI
Be aware of possible health risks in
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.