Some Topics of Interest for Travellers to Malawi

Factsheet Lake Malawi Map of Malawi Golf
Lodges/Parks Flights Chichewa Phrases

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Factsheet

Malawi is a small inland country situated at the southern edge of East Africa. Malawi was known as Nyasaland until it became independant in 1964. In the 19th century it was a flourishing centre for the Arab slave trade, until the arrival of David Livingstone in 1859. The trade was abolished when the country became a British protectorate in 1891. In 1953, it joined the Central African Federation. Zomba, a small town in the southern region, was formally the adminstrative capital of the Federation also known as the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland ,before the federation broke up. Northern Rhodesia took the name Zambia, Southern Rhodesia became Rhodesia and then Zimbabwe, and Nyasaland became Malawi under the leadership of Dr Hastings Banda. One-party rule was established and the country has only recently adopted a plural political system. Hastings Banda was educated by missionaries, and at the age of 12 walked to Johannesburg (over a thousand miles) and found work as a clerk in one of the gold mines. He was noticed by a philanthropist who paid for his continuing education before he went to medical school in Scotland.
Area:
118,484 sq Kms. The Great Rift Valley which runs north/south for most of the country's length contains the 580 km long and up to 80 Km wide Lake Malawi.

Climate:
Tropical; rainy season December to March The lakeshore areas have low rainfall, and a warm relaxing climate, with mean daily temperatures ranging from 26C in Jan. to 21C in July. The highland areas have greater temperature changes and the air is bracing. The nights can be cold. The dry season is in the winter between May and October. It rains quite a lot between December and March.

Population:
10 million (est). Annual rate of growth 3.2%

Principal Cities:
Lilongwe (capital), population 350,000; Blantyre 450,000; Mzuzu 75,000; Zomba 60,000. High rural density (88% of population). Heavy land pressure.

Education:
36% adult literacy rate.

Religion:
Principal religions are Christianity and Islam.

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Health: Limited medical facilities outside of the main towns. Cholera, Malaria, Typhoid, Yellow Fever and Polio precautions required. AIDS is prevalent. Travellers are advised by me to carry a personal medical kit containg a syringe and needle and an intravenous needle.

Mortality:
1 in 4 die before reaching 5 years.

Refugees:
As a result of the conflict in Mozambique, there are over 1 million refugees in Malwi, imposing severe economic and food burdens.

Language:
English and Chichewa official. English used commercially.

Weights and Measures:
Metric system in general use, statutory for pharmaceuticals and petroleum products.

Clothing:
Formerly, restrictions were placed on dress and hairstyles, but now, no restrictions apply.

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Road:
The total road network in Malawi comprises aprox 13,663.7 Km of which about 3000 Km are bitumenized.- The current state of the roads is bad due to lack of repair. Great Care should be taken when driving a hire car. Things to look out for are, huge potholes, children and animals. At night, pedestrians are most commonly found in the middle of roads in dark clothing. Pigs love to run out in front of your car.

Railway:
Two lines in the country. to Beira and Ncala in Mozambique. Services were subject to Geurilla acivity in Mozambique, but I'm unsure of the current situation, no doubt much improved.

Air:
Kamuzu International Airport near Lilongwe for main international carriers, twice weekly flights to/from South Africa to Chileka, Blantyre.

Communications:
Air mail service between Britian and Malawi six times a week, delivery is usually made in about 10 days. Letters sent by surface mail take about three months. Air courier service available. Goods are usually shipped via Durban or Dar es Salaam and trucked overland.

Agriculture:
Most important sector of the economy supporting 85% of the population and contributing 40% of GDP. Three main cash crops are tobacco, tea and sugar; also pulses and groundnuts. Livestock comprises cattle, goats pigs and sheep.

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Industry:
Mainly import substitution. Limited by size of domestic market and lack of local raw materials although wide variety of products eg. food processing, cement and bricks, and textiles. No minerals commercially exploited as far as I know.

Tourism:
Tourism is relatively unimportant to the Malawi economy, although great efforts have been made to make Malawi more attractive as a holiday choice.

Trade Policy:
Signatory to Lome convention. Except for certain items, no import licences are required for goods originating from Sterling territories.

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High Comissions
British High Commision
Lingadzi House
P O Box 30042
Lilongwe 3
Malawi
Telex: 44727 UKREPLIMI
Tel: 010 2650 731544
Malawi High Commision
33 Grosvenor Street
London
WC1X 0DE
Tel: 0171 491 4172


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Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi is probably the main tourist attraction in Malawi, and not without reason. The water is very clear and contains upwards of 300 varieties of Cichlids, - the sort of fish commonly seen in aquariums. Standing on the sandy beach and looking over the waves breaking on the shore its very easy to mistake the lake for a sea, having the same blue, watery horizon.
There are quite a few Hotels on the lake shore, the nearest to Lilongwe can be found near Salima (one and a half hours drive), and is called the Grand Beach Hotel and is well worth a visit, providing Wind-Surfing, Sailing and Swimming facilities in addition to day trips to the nearby Bird Island.Perhaps the most haunting lakeside sound is made by the African Fish Eagle and Lake Malawi resounds with their cries.
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GOLF

Malawi is a great country for golf, and courses can be found at:

Blantyre - Blantyre sports club, Blantyre City Centre !
Lilongwe - Lilongwe sports club, close to Old Lilongwe town
Details of Lilongwe GC

Lilongwe Golf Club is the only 18 hole championship course in Malawi. It has been much improved recently and is now under the management of a charming couple - Alex and Patsy. Mention my dogs name and they will give you 10% DISCOUNT on Golf, sporting facilities, and camping.
The golf course is home to quite a large variety of wildlife, and Pythons can be found on the 14th and 15th holes!. A large monitor lizard, known in Southern Africa as a Legavaan, lives in the rough around the 8th hole. He's about 6 feet long (1.8m) and stands with his head about 2feet(50cm) above the ground.
Daily membership fee to the club is MK100 - about 4Ukpounds - 6USdollars. This also provides access to all facilities of the club including camping.
18 Hole Green Fees cost MK50, caddy MK15 + tip.
Monthly Membership - MK450 - double MK350 - single.
Lilongwe Golf Club also reciprocates with most other clubs in Malawi, some in South Africa Zambia, and Scotland. The club is two minutes from the Police Station, 5 minutes from 5 star Hotels, 10 minutes from the main Bus Station.
Zomba - Zomba sports club, Very beutiful and well kept
Dwangwa - Dwangwa sports club, Very well kept and pretty - 9 hilly holes

All courses provide caddies and costs are very low.


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Flights

I haven't got any good prices together yet but as far as I know there aren't any inclusive deals on the scale of those offered to Kenya, however, I'm enquiring at the moment and will update this section very shortly!.

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Game Parks and Lodges.



Aqua Africa Land and Lake Safaris Heart of Africa Safaris Kambuku Trails
Cape Maclear Water Sports Rift Lake Charters Into Africa Safaris Waterline



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Aqua Africa

Based in Nkhata Bay, a port of call for the Malawi Ferry "The Ilala", Aqua Africa is run by Andy & Dusty from purpose built premises on the Lake Shore. Offering affordable, NAUI affiliated, dive courses at all levels as well as other water based activities, its a fablulous place to spend a few days/weeks. Contact details: Aqua Africa, PO Box 209, Nkhata Bay, Malawi Tel/fax: + 265 1 35 2284 email: andy@aqua-africa.com Web at www.aqua-africa.com
Lodges


Land and Lake Safaris

10 & 17 DAY SAFARIS
Mobile photographic Safaris. Guaranteed Monthly departures.
Activities include: Game Walks, Snorkeling, Hiking, bird watching, windsurfing etc.
Areas visited include: Nyika, Liwonde & Lake Malawi National Parks, Vwanze Marsh, Viphya and Zomba Plateau, Mt Mulanje, Chintheche Beach. Contact us now for a free brochure.

P O Box 2140, Lilongwe, Malawi. Tel/Fax: (265) 723 459 Telex: 44725
Lodges


Heart of Africa Safaris

Heart of Africa Safaris offers the opportunity of exploring all Malawi has to offer, either on its own, or in combination with the Luangwe Valley, Zambia, where the exceptional wildlife helps to make a Safari to this unknown region a memorable one.
We are a company that believes in low impact tourism and therefore welcome you to form you own small groups. We specialise in tailor making or safaris to suit your particular interests.
Each safari is limited to a maximum of six people, ensuring exclusiveness and a top class personal service. Ten days is the recommended minimum period for a safari but shorter safaris to a particular area are possible. Every safari is accompanied by a caterer thus ensuring the highest standard of cuisine, while the accommodation varies from private cottages to small National Park lodges.
As well as the tailor made safaris we offer two open departures a year (in May and October) of two weeks duration which take in the best of Malawi's wildlife areas and the Luangwe Valley, Zambia. We also offer four specialist hiking trips each year of two-three weeks duration. These include hiking on Mulanje Mountain, the Nyika Plateau and in the Luangwa Valley. Our new project in 1993 is the setting up of horseback safaris in the Nyika National Park.
P O Box 8, Lilongwe, Malawi. Tel: (265) 740 848. Telex: 4447,
Fax: (265) 740207
Lodges


Kambuku Trails

Kambuku Trails specialises in personalised safaris around Malawi and to Zambia's South Luwangwa Valley. Tailor made itineraries are arranged for small groups and special interest groups are welcomed. Safaris are fully catered and accompanied by a licenced guide.
Contact Address: Kambuku Trails, P O Box 1304, Blantyre, Malawi.
Tel: 633 737/622 256/731 141 Fax: 623 283/731 141
Lodges


Cape Maclear Water Sports

Scuba Diving:
Boat dives, Dive Safaris, Equipment Hire, Air fills.
Courses:
NAUI sanctioned training. Internationally recognised certification.
Open Water One, Open Water Two, Advanced Diver, Dive Master.
Snorkelling.
Sailing: ten man catamaran - day trips including snorkelling, Sunset Cruise, Halcat Hire.
Also Available: Windsurfing, Waterskiing, Fishing, Boat Hire, Rest House Accomodation, Camping, Bar and Restaurant.
Contact: Clive or Winsome at Stevens Rest House, Chembe Village, Cape Maclear, Malawi. Address: Private Bag 11, Monkey Bay, Malawi, Tel: 584782
Lodges


Rift Lake Charters

Saling Safaris and Scuba Diving Safaris for the more adventurous. Sail, snorkel or scuba dive in tropical waters from out 8 metre catamaran. Camping on secluded beaches under tropical skies.
Dive Tours and one day Sailing trips for those who prefer more luxurious hotel accomodation. These operate out of the southern lakeshore hotels, in Lake Malawis freshwater National Park. Enjoy safe diving, view the many species of colourful tropical fish. Night dives available.
Scuba Diving Instruction available from one day introductory courses, right through to advanced courses for experienced divers. Also a wide range of motorised and non-motorised watersports offered.
Contact: Rift Lake Charters
P O Box 284
Mangochi
Malawi.
Tel: 584473. Fax: 584576.
Lodges


Waterline

Starlake Islander:...This is a 17m 2-deck trimaran for longer daytime curising expeditions on the Shire River, Lake Malombe and Lake Malawi. She has a toilet and high quality food can be supplied.
There are 40 different cruise options available to choose from ranging over a distance of 150Km. Cold box storage is on board for cool drinks. She is a magnicicent platform for game viewing, for diving and snorkelling expeditions or for just relaxing and enjoying the beutiful scenery.
Tambala:...Relive the legendry David Livingstone's exploration of the Shire River (pronounced Shirry), flowing between green banks alive with game. Or explore the river that runs through Liwonde Game Park aboard the Tambala. Relax on the shaded lower deck with a cool drink or go to the upper deck and photograph the wildlife.
Contact: P O Box 1641
Blantyre
Malawi.
Tel: 532552, Fax: 532374
Lodges


Into Africa Safaris Ltd

Camping, accomodated tours, hiking, gamewalks, etc. Group and single arrangements.
They do all your bookings for accomodation, Parks, Bushcamps, Diving, Lake cruises, Shire River Cruises, Car Hire and everything else.
Contact:P O Box 1971
Lilongwe
Malawi.
Tel Sinyala 8, Fax: 722046.
Lodges



CHICHEWA PHRASES.


Moni - Standard Greeting
Muli Bwanji - How are you
Ndili Bweno - I am well
Tikulandirani - Welcome
Chimbudzi chili kuti - Where is the toilet

Pepani - sorry
Tionana - see you later!
Amuna - Men, Mwamuna or Mamuna - Man
Akasi - Women Azimayi - Woman
Msungwana or Nsikana - girl.... M'nyamata - boy
Kodi Mupita Liti - When are you going
Kodi Mukupita Kuti - where are you going
Kodi Mukufuna Mupite Liti - When do you want to go
Ndifuni Kupita Ku..(Lilongwe) - I want to go to Lilongwe
Ndlama Dzingati - How much does it cost
Tsalani Bwino - Stay well (when one is living)
Thanks to Felix Sindima for help with the phrases

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