Amaryllis Hotel in Malawi

Malawi Facts

Post was last updated: June 8, 2020
Blantyre City
Blantyre City

On this page you find Malawi facts including some of the least known facts about this country that is sometimes called “The warm heart of Africa”. This is a saying that was given to Malawians by visiting tourists sometime in the 1980s when tourism to Malawi was booming. As a Malawian myself, I made sure that this page included some Malawi facts for children and students that are learning about this nation. If you have any other questions or comments, please leave a comment below or contact us.

Where is Malawi

Malawi is a landlocked country located in southeastern Africa. Endowed with spectacular highlands and extensive lakes, it occupies a narrow, curving strip of land along the East African Rift Valley. Lake Malawi accounts for more than one-fifth of the country’s total area. Malawi belongs to the SADC region (Southern African Development Community).

  • What is the capital of Malawi?

The capital of Malawi is Lilongwe (pronounced lih-LONG-gway), which can be found in the middle of the country. It is one of the biggest cities in Malawi and got its name from a river that flows close by.

  • What language do they speak in Malawi?

People from Malawi speak many native African languages, but the two official languages are Chichewa (pronounced chi-CHAY-wah) and English, English obviously because Malawi was enslaved/invaded by the British(UK) for centuries.

  • What Currency do they use in Malawi?

People from Malawi officially use the Malawian Kwacha as the official currency. You can use our online Malawi Kwacha currency converter to check for the most up to do date.

  • Time in Malawi

Malawi is 2 hours in the advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2). Malawi doesn’t operate daylight saving time, there’s no time difference between the winter and summer months.

  • Food in Malawi

Everyone who knows me, knows I love to eat and Malawi has some of the best local foods on the continent, the following are popular local Malawian foods.

Chambo: A fish from Lake Malawi, Chambo is Tilapia fish and is considered a delicacy. Other favorite fish include usipa, which is similar to sardines, and mpasa, which is similar to salmon.

Nsima: This is a staple of Malawi food. It is made from ground corn and served with side dishes of meat or vegetables.

Kachumbari: This is a tomato and onion salad.

Nthochi: This is bread made with bananas.

Kondowde: This dish is made from cassava flour and water and is eaten with fish.

Amaryllis Hotel in Malawi
Amaryllis Hotel in Malawi

Top Malawi Facts

Name Republic of Malawi
Area 118 484 sq km
Major cities Lilongwe (capital), Blantyre, Mzuzu, Zomba, Karonga, Kasungu, Mangochi, Salima
Languages Official English, national Nyanja (Chewa), Tumbuka. Others Yao, Nyakyusa-Ngonde, Sena, Kokola, Lomwe, Ndali, Lambya (Simons & Fennig 2018)
Population 19.165 million, 2018 est (UN Statistical Division 2017a)
Pop growth 2.9%, 2010 – 2018 est (UN Statistical Division 2017a)
Urbanization 17.2%, 2018 est (UN Population Division undated)
Life expectancy Female 66.31 yrs, male 61.12 yrs; 2015-2020 est (UN Statistical Division 2017b)
Infant mortality 59.2/1000, 2015-2020 (UN Statistical Division 2017c)
HIV/AIDS prevalence 10%, 15-49 yrs 2017 (UN Statistical Division 2018)
Adult literacy 62%; 2015 (UNESCO Undated)
Military expenditure 0.77% of GDP; 2017 (UN Statistical Division 2019a)
Health expenditure 10% of GDP; 2018 (WHO 2019b)
Legal system Constitutional law, legislation, common law, customary law, religious law, and customary international law (Kapindu 2019)
Independence 6 July 1964, from United Kingdom
GDP US$5.267 billion, 2018 est (UN Statistical Division 2019c)
GDP per capita US$340, 2017 (UN Statistical Division 2019d)
GDP growth 3%, 2018 est (UN Statistical Division undated)
Main exports Raw Tobacco, 59%; Gold, 8.9%; Raw sugar, 8.1%; Tea, 7.1%; Dried Legumes, 5.3%; Ground Nuts, 1.1% (Observatory of Economic Complexity, 2016)
Currency 100 Tambala = 1 Kwacha (Frame 2011, 755)
Unemployment 6.1%, 2018 (UN Statistical Division undated)
Inflation 9.9, 2018 (Reserve Bank of Malawi 2019)
External debt ratio 57.6%, 2017 (IMF Data Mapper 2018)
Infrastructure Road 15 500 km; railway 797 km; airport 2 international and 3 domestic (Frame 2011, 765)
Ethnic groups Main groups are Chewa (36%), Lomwe (18%), Wayao (14%), Ngoni (12%), Tumboka (9%), Nyanja (6%), Others 5% (Too 2018)
Bordering countries Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania
Internet country code .MW
Religion Christian 82.7%, Muslim ±13%

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