The one minute summary on

Malawi photo

Photo by frankdouwes

This is it: one minute to the best info on Malawi. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Malawi, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. After three decades of one-party rule under President Hastings Kamuzu BANDA the country held multiparty elections in 1994, under a provisional constitution that came into full effect the following year. President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA, elected in May 2004 after a failed attempt by the previous president to amend the constitution to permit another term, struggled to assert his authority against his predecessor and subsequently started his own party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2005. MUTHARIKA was reelected to a second term in May 2009.

He oversaw some economic improvement in his first term, but was accused of economic mismanagement and poor governance in his second term. He died abruptly in April 2012 and was succeeded by his vice president, Joyce BANDA, who had earlier started her own party, the People’s Party (PP). Population growth, increasing pressure on agricultural lands, corruption, and the scourge of HIV/AIDS pose major problems for Malawi.

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

  1. Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in  Malawi
  2. Does my current phone work in  Malawi ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Malawi
  3. Local food you should try in  Malawi and No miss drinks in  Malawi

Now, cheers to the most Malawi aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Malawi?

Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi on 6 Jul 1964. Hastings Kamuzu Banda (born in March or April 1898 and died 25 November 1997) was the leader of Malawi and its predecessor state, Nyasaland, from 1961 to 1994. After three decades of one-party rule, the country held multi-party elections in 1994 under a provisional constitution, which took full effect the following year. National multi-party elections were held again in 1999 and 2004 electing Bingu wa Mutharika as president. President Bingu died in office on 5 Apr 2012 and was succeeded by Mrs Joyce Banda. The next elections are due in 2014.

The one minute summary for Malawi geography

Best places to see in Malawi

Malawi has a massive diversity of beautiful landscapes. The highest peaks in Malawi touch 10,000ft (3,000m) while the lowest point is barely above sea level. This range of altitudes in a small area help to make the landscape of Malawi one of the most varied in all Africa. It is generally a green, lush country, with plateaux, highlands, forests, mountains, plains, escarpments and dramatic river valleys.

The Rift Valley is the dominant feature, providing the vast chasm that Lake Malawi fills, and extending to te south of the country following the Shire River that drains the Lake. The flatter areas of the Rift Valley in South Malawi are home to some important wetlands, including Elephant Marsh, down in the Lower Shire Valley. To the west of the Lake and either side of the Shire Valley in the south is the Central African Plateau. The transition from Rift Valley floor up to the Central African Plateau is characterised by a series of dramatic escarpments, such as at Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, a protected area of rugged, unspoilt wilderness.

Malawi photo

Photo by frankdouwes

The Central African Plateau itself is gently undulating land between 1,600ft (490m) and 5,000ft (1,500m), with the occassional lake (such as Lake Chilwa) and punctuated by more dramatic hills and forests. It is the widespread highlands and forests that provide the most impressive of the Malawi’s varied scenery. Up where the air is fresh and cool are clear mountain streams, heaths, rolling montane grassland and evergreen forests. The southern part of Malawi has the best known highlands – Mulanje Massif and Zomba Plateau.

The former is a massive wilderness plateau of syenite granite rising from the Phalombe Plains. It has a number of peaks, including the highest in both the country and the whole of central Africa: Sapitwa, at 3,000 metres (10,000 feet). The tea estates that stretch west of Mulanje as far as Thyolo, are also wonderfully scenic. Zomba Plateau is not as high as Mulanje, but none the less impressive. It is slab-like with a gently undulating plateau top which is accessible by road. The Dedza-Kirk Highlands extend the rise from the Rift Valley on its western edge between Blantyre and Lilongwe. The northern part of these highlands is marked by the Dedza-Salima Forest Reserve and then the Thuma Forest Reserve. South-west of Lilongwe, the Dzalanyama Forest Reserve covers a range of hills at the border with Mozambique.

The Dowa Highlands, north of Lilongwe, have their most notable peaks at Dowa and the Ntchisi Forest Reserve. The Viphya Highlands – undulating hills swathed in evergreen forests – stretch north-south in north Malawi and reach the edge of the Rift Valley. Finally, in north Malawi is the Nyika Plateau, a rolling whaleback grassland plateau unique in Africa. Much of this highest and most extensive high plateau surface in central Africa is gazetted as the Nyika National Park.