Malawi – Republic of Malawi State in East Africa


MALAWI The Republic of Malawi, a state in southeastern Africa, a member of the Commonwealth led by Great Britain. Before independence in 1964 was a British protectorate of Nyasaland. Malawi is landlocked. It borders Tanzania to the north, Zambia to the west, and Mozambique to the south and east. The border with Mozambique and Tanzania for a long time passes through a large lake Nyasa. The country’s length from north to south is about. The country’s length from north to south is about 840 km, and its width varies from 80 to 180 km. The capital is Lilongwe.

Malawi's Culinary Traditions

MALAWI. The capital is Lilongwe. The population is 10.45 million (1997). Density of population – 88 persons per sq km. Urban population – 20 per cent, rural population – 80 per cent. The area is 118,434 sq km. The highest point is Mount Sapitva (3002 m), the lowest – 60 m above sea level. Main languages: English (official), Chinyanja, Chichewa, Chitumbuka, and Chichewa. Main religions: Christianity, Islam, local traditional beliefs. Administrative divisions: three provinces. Currency unit: kwacha = 100 tambala. National holiday: Independence Day – July 6. National anthem: “God Bless Our Country of Malawi.”

  The local cuisine is a vibrant blend of local tribal traditions and European cuisine. Bananas, fish, millet, milk, rice, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes form the basis of the diet. Since the country is very poor and livestock breeding is underdeveloped, the meat is not often used in everyday diet of indigenous population. Malawians prefer more accessible river fish.

The flag of Malawi

The exotic dishes offered to visitors include roasted larvae of wild bees or field beetles roasted with salt, just to name a few of the unusual treats common among indigenous peoples.

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Nature. The territory of Malawi is mostly confined to a zone of major tectonic faults. Here is a large lake Nyasa, which extends for almost 600 km from north to south and is up to 80 km wide. The greatest depth is about 700 m. The water level of the lake is about 470 m above sea level. From Lake Nyasa flows out the Shire River, the largest in the country. Below the Murchison Falls, the valley of this river is less than 200 m above the sea level. To the west of Lake Nyasa stretches high mountains, dissected by river valleys. In the north of the country stands out the Nyika Massif (more than 2500 m above sea level), in the middle part – the Vinya and Dedza Massifs, in the south – Mangoche, Shire and the Kirk Range. In the extreme southeast, on the border with Mozambique, in the Shire Massif is the highest point of the country, Mount Sapitwa (3002 m). The climate of Malawi is equatorial monsoon, with dry winter and wet summer seasons. Precipitation mainly occurs from mid-November to late March to early April. Southeast winds prevail from May through October, bringing little precipitation. During this season, all rivers except the Shire are shallow, and some almost dry up. On the coast of Lake Nyasa and in the Shire River valley annually 750-1000 mm of precipitation falls, in the mountains – 1500-2000 mm and more. The average temperature of the warmest month – November – varies from 20-23° C in the highest areas to 27° C – in the lowest, and the average temperature of the coolest month – July – from 14° C to 17-19° C, respectively. Frosts and frequent fogs occur in the mountains. In the depression of Lake Nyasa from the Indian Ocean penetrate the air currents causing strong squally winds, called “mvera”. The water level in the lake varies greatly by season (within 8 m). After the rains, the coastal area is often flooded. In the north of Malawi, mountain tropical forests with a well-defined altitudinal zonation prevail. Above 1500 m above sea level, there are deciduous and coniferous species, and below that, evergreen deciduous species predominate. Above 2000 m, mountain meadows are widespread. Savannah and savannah woodlands with palms, acacias and baobabs are widespread in the central and southern parts of the country. The vegetation of the Shire River valley is peculiar. Here bamboo groves alternate with plantations of eucalyptus, oleanders grow next to acacias and palms, and in the valley wetlands – cane and papyrus. Among this greenery there are treeless remnant hills. The mountain savanna areas are home to several species of antelope, as well as zebras, lions, monkeys, and a variety of venomous snakes. Leopards are preserved in the mountains, elephants, hippos and crocodiles live in the Shire River valley. The Nyasa Lake is rich in fish. Population. In 1997, a population of 10.45 million people lived in Malawi. The overwhelming majority of Malawians are Africans of native origin, the others are Asians, whites, and people of color (descendants of persons of European, Asian, and African descent). About 47% of the population is under the age of 15. Malawi, one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, is characterized by rapid population growth. The largest ethnic groups in the northern part of the country are the Nkonde, Tumbuka, Ngoni and Tonga, the central and southern are the Chewa, Ngoni, Yao, Lomwe (or Nguru) and Maganja. The most common local language is Chinyanja. In addition, the people of Malawi speak Chitumbuka and Chichewa. Many speak English, which is used in government institutions and education. A large part of Malawi’s population, whose exact numbers are not known, remains committed to traditional African beliefs.

Islam is prevalent in the southern regions. In Malawi the Catholic and Presbyterian churches have long been active and have many adherents, much less the Anglican Church. Other Protestant churches and numerous local Afro-Christian churches have some influence. 80% of the country’s population live in rural areas. The largest cities: Blantyre, a commercial center with a population of 500 thousand (1996), Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi since 1975 (500 thousand), located in the center of the main agricultural area of the country, and the former capital Zobma (40 thousand). State system. On July 6, 1964 the British protectorate of Nyasaland became an independent state of Malawi. In 1966, a constitution was adopted in Malawi, which approved the republican form of government. From 1966 to 1994, Malawi was ruled by the Chairman of the ruling Party of Congress of Malawi (PCM) and the lifelong president of the country Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who established a dictatorial regime. The legislative body (National Assembly) consisted of 87 deputies, whose candidates were nominated by the district committees of the PCM and approved by H. Banda. Members of the youth wing of the ruling party terrorized the population. All opposition was banned, and the press and radio were under the personal control of Banda and his proxies. In free elections held in May 1994, 177 members of parliament were elected, 86 of whom were supporters of the United Democratic Front (UDF), 35 belonged to the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) and 56 to the PCM. The UDF formed a government headed by President Bakili Muluzi, which was soon expanded to include ministers from AFORD members. Members of the National Assembly approved and adopted a constitution guaranteeing multiparty elections. The authoritarian regime was replaced by a democratic one, with a free press and a non-state radio station. Malawi’s judicial system had not changed much since colonial times, and consisted of courts applying English common law (except in cases prescribed by statute law), customary law courts. The High Court, composed of the Chief Justice and five judges, has unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters and appellate jurisdiction over subordinate courts. Malawi is a member of the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). In 1996 the Malawi army had 9.8 thousand active-duty soldiers and 1,000 reservists. Economy. The main occupation for most Malawians is subsistence agriculture cultivating corn, cassava, millet and beans. The diet of Malawians also includes fish, usually dried, meat of domestic animals and game. In 1995 agriculture accounted for 45% of GDP and 90% of export earnings. The main exports are tobacco grown in the central and southern regions (75% of foreign exchange earnings in 1996), tea cultivated in the Cholo and Mulandje regions, sugar from the southern regions, and peanuts, mostly grown in the central part of the country. Coffee, cassava, and raw cotton are also exported. As a result of the drought of 1992-1996 the economy suffered significant losses. In 1995 the share of industrial production in GDP was 30%. Industry is dominated by processing of agricultural raw materials. There are tobacco, tea, cotton and flour refineries, oil mills, slaughterhouses and refrigeration plants.

Many dishes are based on corn flour, for example, used to make the national drink Maheu, a kind of energy drink, which tastes like something between yogurt and beer. By the way, the usual beer is also easy to find in Malawi - not so long ago the Karlsberg brewery was opened here.

Manufacturing industry is also represented by textile, clothing and shoe factories. Production of construction materials and woodworking is well established. Only 25% of industrial production is exported. The country has found deposits of hard coal (Livingstonia, Nkala, Sumbu), iron ore (Dzonze, Mindale), bauxite (Milange), gold and precious stones. Mining of hard coal, marble, agates, etc. is carried out. The main source of energy is wood, which satisfies 90% of the country’s needs. In 1998, Malawi’s hydropower plants produced 219 thousand kW, but irregular flow of the Shire River often leads to interruptions in power supply. The main energy consumer is industrial enterprises. Oil products are imported. In Malawi, which is landlocked, the cost of freight transportation is very high. Export cargoes are sent by rail from Blantyre, the commercial center in the south of the country, to the port of Nacala and by road to the port of Beira (both ports are in Mozambique). Within Malawi, the railroad connects Blantyre to Lilongwe, and from there it runs east to Salima (near Lake Nyasa) and west to Mchinji near the border with Zambia. The development of lake and river transport is constrained by the lack of natural harbors on the lakes and the porosity of many rivers. In 1995 the total length of roads was 14.6 thousand km, of which paved – not more than 1/5. State-owned airline company “Air Malawi” serves two international airports and several local ones. Major imports are manufactured goods, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, chemicals, and foodstuffs. Malawi exports tobacco, tea, and sugar. As a rule, the country’s trade balance runs a significant deficit. In 1994 the value of imports was $639 million and exports – $363 million. The main trading partners are South Africa, Zimbabwe, Germany, USA and Great Britain. In 1971 the monetary unit of the Malawian pound was replaced by the kwacha. Usually public expenditures exceed budget revenues. In fiscal year 1994-1995 the budget deficit was 15.1% of GDP. To cover it and to create funds for economic development, financial aid from the UK, the USA and EU countries is attracted. In 1997, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world in per capita income. Public education. The number of students in secondary schools, technical and pedagogical schools increased from 2,600 in 1962 to 32,000 in 1994. During this period, the number of students in elementary school rose from 176 thousand to 3.4 million. The University of Malawi, founded in 1964, includes five colleges in other cities in the country – Zomba, Blantyre and Bunde. In 1994 the university enrolled 2,900 students. In 1994, the Muluzi government abolished elementary school tuition fees. Among Malawi’s adult population, 44% are illiterate (58% of women and 28% of men). Health Care. Malawi ranks among the last in the world in terms of health care. Malnutrition, unsanitary conditions, lack of fresh drinking water, and shortage of qualified medical personnel are all factors contributing to the deplorable state of health care. In 1996, there was one doctor for every 17,000 residents. Nearly one in four children under the age of five was underweight. According to World Bank and IMF projections, the number of people infected with AIDS in Malawi could reach 2 million by 2000. History. In the 15th century, the territory of present-day Malawi was inhabited by low-growing hunter-gatherers, the Akafula.

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Then Bantu-speaking tribes who called themselves Malawi migrated from the Lunda and Luba states in the territory of Katanga through modern Zambia in a southeasterly direction to the Shire River valley. In the late 15th – early 16th centuries the rulers of the Malawi tribal confederation were subordinated to the paramount chief Karonga. Until the 18th century, the Malawi tribes controlled most of modern Malawi and the Shire River basin. In the 18th century, powerful Malawian armies seized a large part of modern Mozambique and Zimbabwe and for a time posed a real threat to the Portuguese colonists. Because of the rivalry between Malawian chiefs, the united Malawian empire split into several ethnically diverse parts. In the same 18th century, the Yao, who had converted to Islam, invaded the Shire River region from Mozambique and brought the slave trade to Malawi. As intermediaries for Swahili-speaking slave traders from the East African coast, the Yao strengthened Malawi’s longstanding trade ties with Indian Ocean ports and exchanged gold, ivory, tobacco, and copper bars for weapons, salt, cloth, and jewelry. In the early 19th century there were no less than 12 separate ethnic groups living in Malawi, many of whom had memories of vassal dependence on Karonga, the ruler of the ancient Malawian state. Only the emergence of a new power could disturb the calm, and in the late 1840s such a power appeared in the form of the warlike Ngoni, who traveled from the Waal River to Lake Tanganyika. They left their homeland under the onslaught of the army of the great warlord Chaka. One group of Ngoni, led by Chief Mwanbera, settled in the lands west of Lake Malawi. Another, less numerous group, led by Chiveri Ndhlovu, moved further south along the lakeshore and settled in the area of the present Dowa settlement. A third group of Ngoni crossed the territory of western Mozambique and settled in the Dedza area of Malawi. In the course of their settlement, the Ngoni disrupted the life of the peoples who had previously lived in Malawi, which later made it easier for European colonizers to take over that part of Africa. The explorations of David Livingstone, who visited Lakes Nyasa and Chilwa in 1859, drew the attention of European politicians, businessmen, and clergy to this part of Africa. In 1873 two Scottish Presbyterian missionary societies sent representatives to the vicinity of Lake Malawi. Over time Scottish missionaries introduced many Africans to the Christian religion and established the first hospitals and schools. Pressure from missionary societies, rivalry with Portugal, which harbored plans to annex the region, and the willingness of South African financier Cecil Rhodes to cover the initial costs contributed to the spread of British influence. In 1891 Britain announced the establishment of the protectorate of Nyasaland. In 1893 it was renamed British Central Africa, and in 1907 the original name was returned to it. In 1891-1899 a small British army was able to subdue the Yao, Chewa, Tumbuka, and Ngoni chiefs. After that, the influx of Europeans into Nyasaland increased significantly. The seizure of the best land for plantations of European settlers caused deep dissatisfaction among the indigenous population of the protectorate. In 1915 John Chilembwe – an American-educated preacher, the founder of an Afro-Christian sect, revolted, which was brutally suppressed. Thereafter, until 1953, locals resorted to nonviolent forms of anti-colonial protest.

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They organized their own societies through which they presented demands to the colonial authorities, refused to attend churches where white priests conducted services, and created Afro-Christian sects. In 1944, after vain protests against racial discrimination, the lack of educational facilities for the local population (except for elementary school), the neglect of Africans, and the abuses of the authorities, the leaders of African societies founded the first national political organization, the African Congress of Nyasaland. Throughout the 1950s, the Congress led the fight against plans for a federation of Nyasaland, Southern Rhodesia, and Northern Rhodesia. Africans feared that racial discrimination would increase in this federation and demanded that Nyasaland be given self-government. Nevertheless, in 1953 the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was created, which led to popular unrest. Six years later Heystings Kamuzu Banda, who had received his medical training in the United States and Scotland, returned home from voluntary exile. Together with his three congressional associates, Dunduzu Chisisa (d. 1962), Masauko Chipembere (d. 1975), and Kanyamo Chiume, he led a civil disobedience campaign that was suppressed by Rhodesian and British troops. Gang and his closest aides were arrested and Congress was banned. Soon after their release, the African Congress of Nyasaland was transformed into the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). In 1961, the constitution of Nyasaland was adopted, and the PCM won a decisive victory in the first national elections, with Banda as head of government. In 1962, Nyasaland became a self-governing territory, and on July 6, 1964, the independent state of Malawi was formed. A year after the declaration of independence, members of the government criticized Banda’s authoritarian methods of governance. Chipembere, Chiume, and three other ministers resigned; all but Chipembere later emigrated. In 1965, Chipembere and a small group of supporters unsuccessfully tried to overthrow Banda, after which he had to leave the country. In 1965, the personal power of President Banda was established in Malawi with the support of the PCM and its youth wing, the Malawi Youth League. Members of the League used methods of intimidation of the opposition and, playing on national feelings, set the population against undesirable persons. In the 1970s, the Banda suppressed opposition through dismissals, arrests, and sometimes the physical removal of political opponents. Banda pursued a policy of cooperation with South Africa and Portugal (with the latter until 1974), which caused resentment in OAU circles. Malawi’s relations with neighboring states were correct but unfriendly. In addition, Banda made statements about Malawi’s historical rights to neighboring areas of Zambia and Tanzania. In the early 1990s, when Banda was well into his 90s, his dictatorial regime was shaken by the changing political climate in South Africa. In 1993, Banda was forced to agree to a referendum in which the people of the country were asked whether they wanted to maintain the former regime or to establish a multiparty democracy. The vast majority of voters opted for the second alternative. After the elections of 1994, Banda and the PCM were deprived of power. In 1995, after a long trial, Banda and his closest aide John Tembo were acquitted of charges of murdering political opponents in the 1980s. In 1997, Banda passed away. The government that came to power, B.

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 Butterfish, Nhata Bay, Malawi. Photo by elainestraveldiaries.

Muluzi set as its goal the strengthening of democracy, protection of human rights and economic development of the country. LITERATURE Konovalov E.M., Lipets Y.G. Malawi. М., 1966


Elephants in Malawi. Photo by Dieter Gerhardt.

Malawi is a state in South Africa, sharing a border with Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania. Malawi has no access to the ocean, but instead, the eastern borders adjoins the picturesque Lake Nyasa, one of the ten deepest and largest lakes in the world.

According to world statistics, the Republic of Malawi is among the poorest countries, but it is one of the most picturesque places on the African continent. It is because of the unique nature and clean air, Malawi enjoys great success among tourists. Numerous fans of exotic nature come here every year in search of non-trivial places to rest.

MALAWI. The capital city is Lilongwe. Population - 10.45 million (1997). Density of population - 88 people per square kilometer. Urban population - 20 per cent, rural population - 80 per cent. The area is 118,434 sq km. The highest point is Mount Sapitva (3002 m), the lowest - 60 m above sea level. Main languages: English (official), Chinyanja, Chichewa, Chitumbuka, and Chichewa. Main religions: Christianity, Islam, local traditional beliefs. Administrative divisions: three provinces. Currency unit: kwacha = 100 tambala. National holiday: Independence Day - July 6. The national anthem: God Bless our country of Malawi.

Future fishermen, Lake Malawi, Malawi. Photo by Vinicius Moreira.

Nature and climate of Malawi

The territory of the country has an elongated north-south shape with predominantly mountainous terrain. Lake Nyasa stretches along the eastern border for 560 kilometers. The equatorial monsoon climate reigns here. The rainy season is from November to March, the temperature in these months reaches its highest point of the year – 27 ° C. Dry winter lasts from April to October, and the temperature minimum is in July, when the temperature drops to 14 ° C. In the highlands, in areas above 2 km altitude, snow sometimes falls in winter and temperatures can drop below freezing.

Northern Malawi is densely covered with tropical forests, the composition of which changes markedly as the mountains rise. The central and southern parts are dominated by arid zones with characteristic vegetation, resistant to moisture deficit – xerophytic tropics, savannahs with rare acacias, baobabs, palms.

The local fauna is represented by typical South African fauna – elephants, rhinos, zebras, buffalos, lions, jackals, etc. No less dangerous than large predators is the tsetse fly, a vector of parasites that cause sleeping sickness.

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Flag of Malawi

Zebra and horse antelope, Malawi. Photo by Bart Warsten.

Population of Malawi

According to the last census, the country is home to just over 15.5 million people and has seen an annual increase in population as the birth rate significantly exceeds the death rate. The country’s population is young, with an average life expectancy of 50-52 years for both men and women. Malawi is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa.

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The backbone of the ethnic composition of Malawi (60%) is a group of tribes with the same name – the Malawi, who have lived here for centuries. About 20% are Makua people, 13% are Yao, and the rest are descendants of Ngoni, Ngonde, and Phipa tribes, with small numbers of English and Indians.

In Malawi there are two official languages – English and Chewa, but the locals prefer to speak more in the second language, it is spoken by about 60% of the population. Other authentic languages characteristic of the area – Afrikaans, Kachchi, Zulu, Lambia, Ndali Tonga, Chichewa, and others – are also widespread. 60% of the population are Muslim, the rest are of Christian religions and tribal cults.

Lions, Malawi. The author of the photo is Dieter Gerhards.

Pre-colonial period of Malawi’s history

The area within the borders of the modern state of Malawi has been inhabited since the Stone Age, as evidenced, in particular, by the famous Chongoni cave paintings. A group of Malawi tribes settled in this area in the second millennium. Later, in the 14th-18th centuries, a state called Marawi was formed whose capital, Mantiba, became the largest trading center in the region. The object of trade was often black slaves from the local population, who were sold to the Portuguese.

Chongoni Rock Art, Malawi. Photo by Wawa Malawi.

The Marawi political alliance gradually declined and was replaced by Ngoni nomadic tribes and Yao tribes-the latter had already converted to Islam by this time. The new settlers continued the tradition of the slave trade, selling tobacco, gold, ivory, and other valuables that were in great demand by European colonists.

Elephants, Malawi

Colonial Period

The consolidation of the British protectorate in the region was preceded by the expeditions of the eminent Scottish physician David Livingstone. The renowned traveler and scholar of the time made three trips to the Chilwa and Nyasa Lakes region. These expeditions were humanitarian and exploratory in nature – Livingstone studied the traditions and customs of the local peoples, and these valuable ethnographic observations will later be used to compile a detailed history of South Africa. The scholar’s work was continued by expeditions organized by Scottish missionary societies.

In 1891, as the British influence took root, the colony of Nyasaland was officially established. Over the next few decades, the colonists seized most of all the fertile land, legitimizing their actions by order of their own government. In essence, the locals completely lost their right to land and were turned into seasonal laborers hired by the British.

In the early 20th century the idea of independence began to gain momentum, and in 1915 there was an attempted uprising against the colonizers, which was brutally suppressed. A world crisis followed that did not spare the African colonies. Mine productivity declined sharply, agriculture also fell into partial decline.

In 1944, the indigenous population first organized its own political force, which became the African Congress of Nyasaland (ANC). Over the next decades, the new organization fought desperately for the independence of Nyasaland, but all attempts were brutally suppressed by the troops of the Central African Federation, established in 1953 and uniting Nyasaland with the lands of both Rhodesia. Later the ANC was reorganized and the Congress Party of Malawi was established on its basis. In 1961, the constitution of Nyasaland was formally established, giving indigenous people the right to vote in elections. By exercising the right to vote, Africans voted with an absolute majority for the PCM.

Future fishermen, Lake Malawi, Malawi

Fishing village, near Malamia, Malawi. The author of the photo is Vinicius Moreira.

The period of Malawi’s independence

On July 6, 1964, independence was officially declared, led by Hastings Banda. Despite the fact that most political forces in Malawi were against any relations with the former colonialists, from the first days Banda began to build diplomatic relations with Great Britain, Germany, the United States and South Africa. By the way, none of the African states of the time had diplomatic relations with the latter. The president repressed all those who disagreed with the new policy and even amended the recently adopted constitution, which gave him even more power.

Zebra and horse antelope, Malawi

A few years later, after a series of coup attempts were suppressed by the troops, the parliament made Bundy an indefinite president. Bundy’s dictatorial regime lasted for decades, and it was only in 1994, when the opposition finally gained strength in the country, that the rigid regime came to an end. The democratic forces, led by Bakili Muluzi, won the multiparty elections. Just three years after his overthrow, Bundy died, aged an estimated 99.

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Today Malawi is a democracy, with a president elected for five years. The country’s main source of income is the agricultural sector, which employs about 90 percent of the working population. Plantations grow tobacco, cotton, corn, tea, sugarcane, tapioca. Industrial plants are engaged in the processing of tea, tobacco and sugar cane.

Elephant, Malawi. The author of the photo is Dieter Gerhards.

Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi

Named after the Lilongwe River, the relatively young city is Malawi’s largest population center. Sheltered by dense greenery, the capital can be confidently called a city of contrasts when examined in detail. The state’s underdevelopment is more striking than ever. While some neighborhoods have relatively well-developed infrastructure, others are in complete decline.

Early morning, Lilongwe, Malawi. Photo by Margaret Westrop.

Lions, Malawi

Founded in 1902 by English colonists, Lilongwe only 45 years later was granted city status, and even decades later, in 1975, the capital was moved here from the city of Zomba. Modern Lilongwe – a city of millions, where most of the local population is indigenous, descendants of the tribes who settled in this area many centuries ago. Characteristically, about half of the townspeople are under the age of 15.

The capital is home to all the administrative buildings of Malawi, embassies of other countries and tourist centers. Lilongwe is conventionally divided into old and new parts. In the modern part of town, despite the abundance of green spaces, there is nothing remarkable, only monotonous modern buildings. At the same time, the old town invariably attracts visitors due to its authentic atmosphere. For example, here is open to visitors the National Museum with a fascinating exhibition on the history of the country. Here you can also buy colorful souvenirs of local craftsmen – handmade home textiles, tribal masks, amulets, African jewelry and so on. In short, at the local market you will find truly original goods instead of the banal magnets and postcards.

When in Lilongwe, visit the Lilongwe Nature Reserve, located right in the city limits. The park is considered a favorite place for thrill-seekers. You can see crocodiles in the Lingaji River flowing through the park and encounter wild animals including hyenas and leopards in their natural habitat on land.

Tourism development

Malawi’s nature is the country’s main treasure, which offers many opportunities for the development of the tourism sector. The climate is mild and comfortable almost all year round, and the coast of Lake Nyasa, whose pristine scenery beckons lovers of wildlife, is considered the crown jewel. In the southern part of the coast organized park “Lake Nyasa,” where you can admire the crystal clear water and numerous fish. By the way, almost all the inhabitants of the lake are endemics. This unique ecosystem has become a unique aid for scientists studying the stages of evolution on the planet.

Lake Nyasa, Malawi. Photo by David Wiesenacker.

Chongoni Rock Art, Malawi

The most favorable time to travel to Malawi is from May to October, when there are no heavy rains. Safari aficionados are better to plan a trip in the fall. Overcast rainy season – the perfect time for photographers, because it is during this period, the colors of the rainforests are especially lush and bright.

In addition to the delightful nature in Malawi, you can admire and man-made sights. So, of particular interest is the architecture of the local tribes, in particular, the Ngoni and Malawi. Dwellings are mostly of simple rectangular shape and stand on high wooden piles – such a construction allowed to protect the house from the attacks of wild animals and floods, which in this area are not uncommon. The building material was thick rods, tightly bound together and coated with clay on top for strength. The roof was made of dried palm leaves.

Chongonye Rock Art

One of the most fascinating attractions in Malawi is rightly considered a rock painting made during the Neolithic and later. You can admire the unique rock art of the ancient peoples in the central part of the country. There are 127 granite plots with paintings in the hilly area covered with forests.

According to studies conducted by historians and archaeologists, some of the images were left by Pygmies, who were engaged in gathering and hunting. The rest of the drawings were made by the Chewa, who settled in the area during the Iron Age, at a time when agriculture was beginning to develop. The main theme of the Chewa drawings was the feminine and all the sacred ceremonies related to it. Nowadays the drawings are treated with no less reverence. Internationally, the petroglyphs are also highly appreciated, officially declared part of the cultural heritage of mankind and listed by UNESCO.

Fishing village, near Malawi, Malawi

Chongoni Tropical Forest, Malawi. Photo by Peter Steward.

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