Malawi is a country of great scenic splendor, situated partly in the Great Rift Valley. Roughly 900 km long and 150 km wide, most of its eastern border is taken up by the lovely Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa and the country’s greatest tourist destination. Malawi has many places where travelers can enjoy some tranquil rest, relaxation and great cuisines to dine with top destinations being Liwonde National park, Blantyre Museum and Lake Malawi endowed with beautiful beaches and resorts.
The Republic of 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.
Its size is over 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of more than 13,900,000. Its capital is Lilongwe, the largest city is Blantyre and the second largest city 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 capital of Malawi is known as Lilongwe.
Access: For international flights from Europe, Kenya Airways (also with KLM), South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines offer good options to Malawi, with routes involving an aircraft change at their respective national hubs (Nairobi, Johannesburg and Addis Ababa). Regional links between Malawi and Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe are provided by Air Malawi and the various national airlines of those countries.
Such connections can sometimes be used in conjunction with a European airline flying from Europe to these countries. Malawi-based air charter companies, such as Nyassa Air Taxi, also link Malawi to its neighbours. By road, there are routes into Malawi from Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique. Assume that border posts will be closed from about 18.00hrs and reopen at 07.00hrs. Visitors requiring a visa may find this difficult to obtain at border posts and are advised to obtain the documentation in advance. Requirements for vehicle documentation should be checked before traveling..
Best Time to Travel/Climate: For most people the dry (winter) season is most attractive (i.e. April/May to October/November). The chance of rain is slim, daytime temperatures are generally pleasant (in the 20°C) and the low vegetation and limited availability of water mean that game viewing is at its best. However, some of the best bird watching can be had from November to April and the orchids of Nyika are best seen from December to March/April. Malawi’s temperatures are moderated by altitude. In the hottest month (usually November) maximum temperatures will be around 30°C. In the coldest month (probably July) maximum temperatures will be in the low 20’s. On the uplands (e.g. Zomba, Nyika and Viphya) it can be quite cold at night. The hottest area, all year, is that at the lowest altitude – the Lower Shire Valley. Rainfall is extremely rare in the dry season and even in the so-called wet season, the rains are usually short-lived storms, as is typical of the tropics, and at no time does the climate seriously inhibit the travelers.