Malawi is a beautiful country extending in a narrow strip along the western shore of Lake Malawi. The lake covers one-fifth of the country’s total area.
People are very friendly. Most speak English.
The first Europeans to reach Malawi were the Portuguese in 1616, but the most famous explorer to reach the area was Dr. David Livingstone, a missionary from Scotland, who in 1858 was looking for the source of the Nile.
Malawi was a British protectorate, and from 1907 until its independence in 1964 was known as Nyasaland.
Tourists do not pay for a visa to enter Malawi, unlike most other countries in eastern and southern Africa.
There were a lot of foreigners living and working in the capital city of Lilongwe, more so than in neighbouring countries.
Malawi has had social stability since 1994, when it held its first full multiparty elections.
Malawi was hit by a massive famine in 2005, but they have now achieved food self-sufficiency, and are proud of the fact that they just began to export some food to Zimbabwe this year. This situation will probably only last until the next drought.
By a large majority, Malawians are Christian.
The Malawian currency is called the ‘kwacha’.
The staple food for Malawians is ‘nsima’, a thick porridge made of maize flour (basically the same as Kenyan ugali). Sometimes it is made from cassava flour, which isn’t as tasty.
The cheap local beer is called ‘Chibuku Shake Shake’. The alcohol content is not listed, because it appears to be a byproduct of another industrial process with limited quality control. It is an opaque beer sold in a 1 litre wax carton, and tastes like a mixture of wheat germ and stomach bile.