Observations about Malawi

  • 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.

2 Responses to Observations about Malawi

  1. Annette says:

    Oh dear, I don’t think Diane is drinking her quota of beer from this area!!!

  2. Patrick says:

    Definitely not. She did try the Shake Shake, but as a rookie beer drinker, I think her palate isn't developed sufficiently to appreciate it. Luckily there were other varieties of beer for her to sample.

    P & DK


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