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Interesting Facts about Malawi

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facts about malawi

Malawi is a small landlocked country in southeast Africa. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. Known as, ‘the warm heart of Africa’, this country in the southern region of the continent is a top destination. It’s known for its stunning lake and its friendly people. The wildlife experience here is quieter and more remote than the more famous National Parks in Africa. Here are some interesting facts:

Interesting facts about Malawi

1. Lake Malawi is a magical lake in the country. It is called the Calendar Lake for a very interesting and mysterious reason. The lake has a very similar likeness to the yearly calendar. The lake is 365 miles long, 52 miles at its widest point and there are 12 main rivers flowing into the lake, hence the name Calendar Lake.

Lake Malawi is Africa’s third largest and the ninth largest in the world, a huge, empty expanse that borders with Mozambique and Tanzania. The lake accounts for more than a fifth of Malawi’s total area.

One more interesting fact about Lake Malawi is that it is home to more species of fish than any other lake on the planet. The mysterious lake was once called “The Lake of Stars” by the famed Scottish explorer David Livingstone because lantern lights he saw from the fishermen’s boats resembled the stars at night.

Lake Malawi
Source: https://face2faceafrica.com/

2. Malawi is the first country outside of Denmark to have a factory for brewing Carlsberg beer. The factory was opened in 1968. The Danish foreign Minister didn’t like the beer he was served during his visit to the country and therefore initiated the proposal of opening the factory in Malawi. Thanks to him, you can get a cold Carlsberg beer at a very cheap price in the country.

3. The Chambo fish is one of Malawi’s favorite delicacies. This fish is only found in Malawi and is an endangered species as a result of over fishing and climate change.

Chambo fish
Source: https://theconversation.com/

4. Malawi is an agricultural country and its top exports are tea and tobacco. “Chai and Sutta” is such a common phrase we hear and Malawi is excelling in both!

Tobacco accounts for 50% of the country’s overall exports. It is known as the “green gold” in Malawi. The tobacco of Malawi is found in almost all cigarette blends including well-known names like Marlboro and Camel.

Malawi tea is known across the globe. Many of the world-renowned tea brands such as Twinings, PG Tips and Five Roses use Malawi tea leaves.

5. The largest elephant translocation in history happened in Malawi. In 2017, 520 elephants were successfully moved from two of Malawi’s National Parks; Majete and Liwonde, to Nkhotakota.

Nkhotakota National park had suffered a drastic reduction in the population of elephants and other wildlife due to poaching. This elephant translocation was to help in repopulating the park.

6. Malawi is one of the safest countries to visit in Africa. Many countries in the continent have a reputation for violence and crime and a lot of people are afraid of travelling, especially solo. But the locals and the travelers feel quite safe in Malawi.

The country is also known as “Warm Heart of Africa” because of the friendly and hospitable nature of the people here. The Malawi people will go out of their way to help a visitor. Well here is another example of “Atithi Devo Bhava!”

7. This landlocked country in south central Africa ranks among the world’s least developed countries and is also one of the poorest countries on Earth. There are many factors which affect the economy growth of any country. The literacy rate in Malawi is below Africa’s average, with two-thirds of the population unable to read and write. The country has also suffered a high HIV infection rate but it is working to contain the epidemic, all of which hampers its development.

8. The wildlife of Malawi is quite impressive. While most of the people focus on The Big Five, it is The Little Five in the country which will charm you. These are the Elephant Shrew, the Buffalo Weaver, the Leopard Tortoise, the Ant Lion and the Rhino Beetle.

wildlife of Malawi
Source: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/

9. You can find a piece of Scotland in Malawi. Blantyre is a city in the south of Malawi founded in 1876 by Scottish settlers. It was named after Blantyre in Scotland, the birthplace of David Livingstone. Livingstone was an explorer who mapped out Lake Malawi. He also fought the slave trade in the country.

Blantyre boasts some of the elevation which defines the Scottish landscape. The weather here is cooler as compared to rest of the country, and one of the reasons why the Europeans chose the site.

Source: http://mci.ei.columbia.edu/

10. Malawi was brought into international spotlight in 2006, when pop icon Madonna adopted a Malawian boy while visiting one of the orphanages in the country. The adoption was not smooth and few groups questioned Madonna for using her celebrity status to bypass the country’s adoption laws. Malawi laws require would-be parents to reside in Malawi for one year before adoption – and Madonna didn’t.

11. Do you know that Malawi received a Grammy nomination in 2016? What’s more interesting is that the album was created by the inmates from Malawi’s Zomba Central Prison. The band was formed by a group of musical young prisoners to entertain inmates at the prison. They call their musical group the Zomba Prison Project and their album “I Have No Everything Here” was up for the best world music award. And even though they did not win the Grammy, their music was able to cross the prison walls and was available for the world to listen.

I Have No Everything Here
Source: https://www.voanews.com/

Trip leader Sakshi’s  Recommendations if you are visiting Malawi:

Lake Malawi is the biggest attraction and a must do when you are in the country. This freshwater lake is surrounded with golden sand beaches, providing travelers with plenty of popular and remote places to sunbathe and swim the clear blue waters. Kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and sailing are a few ways visitors can enjoy the lake.

Hike Mulanje Mountain, the tallest mountain in the country. Once on the top you can enjoy panoramic views of the surroundings. You will also find waterfalls, streams, grassy plains, and forests while hiking through its slopes. Try camping here and sleep under a sky lit with stars.

Mulanje Mountain
Source: https://theculturetrip.com/

Check out the wildlife of the country. There are nine national parks and wildlife reserves. Liwonde National Park is the largest park and you can get close to elephants, buffalos, hippos and many other animals.

Liwonde National Park
Source: https://robinpopesafaris.net/

Visa Process:

Malawi Visa Requirements for Indians

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