Empty highway road in a desert with a mountain in the distance

Malawi

Time Difference: EST + 6 hours   Current Time and Date in Malawi
Currency: Currency Converter  – Malawian Kwacha (MWK)
Travel Advisory: State Department Report Malawi
US Embassy in Malawi: lilongwe.usembassy.gov

Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Malawi is over 45,560 sq mi with an estimated population of 14,900,000. Its capital is Lilongwe, which is also Malawi’s largest city; the second largest is Blantyre and the third is Mzuzu. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is also nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa”. The area of Africa now known as Malawi was settled by migrating Bantu groups around the 10th century. Centuries later in 1891 the area was colonized by the British.

Health: CDC Malawi
What to Pack
Weather: Malawi Weather
Communications: Dial 011 followed by country code 265

Travel Requirements

  • Passport
  • Visa required for all US Passport holders. If you are not a US Passport holder please contact the embassy in your region

Diplomatic Missions

Information site of the Permanent Mission.
Ambassade de Malawi au Canada
The Embassy of Malawi in Canada.
Représentation de Malawi en Suisse
The Malawi Embassy in Switzerland.
Malawi Consulate General
List of Malagasy Diplomatic Missions abroad.

CLIMATE

Average daily high temperature of 84°F and low of 73°F

Language: English is the official language

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Lake Malawi National Park

Located at the southern end of the great expanse of Lake Malawi, the property is of global importance for biodiversity conservation due particularly to its fish diversity. Lying within the Western Rift Valley, Lake Malawi is one of the deepest lakes in the world. The property is an area of exceptional natural beauty with the rugged landscapes around it contrasting with the remarkably clear waters of the lake. The property is home to many hundreds of cichlid fish, nearly all of which are endemic to Lake Malawi, and are known locally as “mbuna”. The mbuna fishes display a significant example of biological evolution. Due to the isolation of Lake Malawi from other water bodies, its fish have developed impressive adaptive radiation and speciation, and are an outstanding example of the ecological processes

Chongoni Rock-Art Area

Situated within a cluster of forested granite hills and covering an area of 126.4 km2, high up the plateau of central Malawi, the 127 sites of this area feature the richest concentration of rock art in Central Africa. They reflect the comparatively scarce tradition of farmer rock art, as well as paintings by BaTwa hunter-gatherers who inhabited the area from the late Stone Age. The Chewa agriculturalists, whose ancestors lived there from the late Iron Age, practised rock painting until well into the 20th century. The symbols in the rock art, which are strongly associated with women, still have cultural relevance amongst the Chewa, and the sites are actively associated with ceremonies and rituals.

The rock art of the Chongoni sites records the cultural history and traditions of the peoples of the Malawi plateau: the transition from a foraging lifestyle to food production, the subsequent Ngoni invasion of the Chewa people, and the coming of the white man. The paintings also depict symbols significant during initiation ceremonies and ritual practices. As a centre of traditional and religious ceremonies, the rock art area encapsulates living cultural traditions. The area’s topography of rock overhangs amongst wooded slopes and grassy clearings provides a protective setting that is integral to the outstanding universal value of the rock art sites.

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