Malawi is definitely not the country a traveler will choose as a destination point if she/he wants to start discovering Africa. Even though a number of travel agents offer guided tours to the country, peak travelling season is characterized by few tourists. Anyway, Malawi is ideal for experienced, passionate travelers who are looking for the opportunity to discover the unseen side of Africa and feel its unique atmosphere.
The unofficial history of Malawi started approximately 60,000 years ago, with the first human settlement moving to the lands. Those were bushmen whose rock paintings can still be found in the outskirts of the country’s capital. Soon after the Portuguese merchants came to the country in order to facilitate ivory, iron and slaves trade, the country saw a rise in the economy. By the way, the maze that the Portuguese introduced to the country is still one of the most popular ingredients used in the variety of national dishes.
Despite the technological progress, Malawi of the present days prefers a simple lifestyle. You’ll be surprised to learn that things like digital cameras and mobile phones that have become common in our daily life can attract the attention of many people in Malawi.
Today, we want to present our readers with several facts about this country so that to help them learn a bit more about it. Let’s see what these facts are…
Malawi: 8 interesting facts about the “Warm Heart of Africa”
1. Malawi was under the control of the British Empire for a long time
In fact, Malawi was one of the many African countries that were officially considered to be colonies of the British Empire. The lands that attracted the attention of explorer David Livingstone in the 1850s were turned into a British colony in 1889. In 1907, the country’s name was changed to “Nyasaland”, the name that the country would bear for the next 57 years. 1964 was a year of radical changes in the country because it gained independence that came with a bunch of rights. One of them was the right to change the official name of the country.
2. Lake Malawi is the cause of disputes between Malawi and Tanzania
The two countries cannot agree on the location of the border between them. The treaty, concluded at the times when the sizes of the lands belonging to each of the countries were different, states that the border runs along the edge of Lake Malawi. The discovery of oil reserves in the river has served as the reason for conflict started by Tanzania.
Truth be told, the third largest lake in Africa, 75% of which belong to Malawi, is one of the main reasons for visiting the country. It is home to the biggest number of fish species in the world, including small, colorful fish that flicker in the dark.
3. The country is safe to visit
Many people, including some of the most passionate travelers, prefer to stay away from Malawi because it’s assumed to be a dangerous place. The assumption is partly true as the country struggled with armed conflicts and instability. An interesting Malawi fact is that having overcome all the difficulties, it has turned into a rather safe place with a warm and friendly atmosphere.
4. Malawi provides a truly authentic travel experience
A fun Malawi fact is that it is a real heaven for those who want to forget about crowded places and enjoy wildlife and awesome views. Malawi is a small town where one can relax, forget about all the troubles and simply enjoy life. Despite bad road infrastructure that needs renewal, power failures and constant lack of water (because of droughts), the natives are very friendly and open people who make efforts to do what needs to be done. They are not afraid of communicating with each other and asking for help when it’s necessary. If you happen to need something while staying in the country, be sure that you’ll get that and a friendly smile as a bonus.
5. The country’s climate makes it an ideal place to visit in summer
The sub-tropical climate makes Malawi an ideal place to visit from June to August. The heat that starts to set in September will make it hard for travelers to go around the city. During the season of rains, problems with electricity often occur. Lights go out and, in several moments, come back. Therefore, one of the most important things that one may need is a flashlight. A high possibility of floods that may have lethal consequences is one more disadvantage of Malawi at the peak of the rainy season.
6. This country is very poor
Apart from being one of the smallest African countries, the size of which is similar to that of Bulgaria, Malawi is the country characterized by a high level of poverty. Despite producing and selling tea, coffee and many other things to foreign countries, Malawi is still in need of foreign aid in terms of money. Luckily, the investments it has managed to attract in recent years resulted in the steady growth and development of its economy, a fun fact about Malawi.
7. Two-thirds of the natives can read and write
Despite a very high level of poverty, the country’s government has made education of a younger generation one of its priorities. Due to the first eight years of school being compulsory for every native, two-thirds of the country’s population is able to read and write.
8. Malawi is known for its wooden carvings and objects of furniture
Malawi stands out as a country where one can buy furniture with beautiful wood carvings. If you decide to buy a table or something like that, be ready to pay a big sum for shipping.
Malawi, believed to be the heart of Africa, has attractions and landscapes that will leave no one indifferent. It is a truly unique country where one can discover breathtaking places that no other country has. Three or four days surely won’t be enough to explore all the wonders hidden there.
We hope that the information we shared with you today about Malawi facts will spark your interest in the culture and life of Malawi, one of the least popular countries of Africa. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!