MALAWI


Quick Facts:

CAPITAL CITY: Lilongwe
POPULATION: 18 Million (2016)
CLIMATE: Sub- Tropical
LANGUAGE: Chichewa and English
RELIGION: Christianity and Islam
CURRENCY: Malawian Kwacha (MWK)

TOURIST ARRIVALS: The number of tourist arrivals recorded in Malawi keeps going up, in 2004 the country recorded 427, 360 tourists and 637, 777 in 2006. Since then there has been significant rise in tourist arrivals, 804, 000 arrivals were recorded in 2015. K221 Billion revenue was receipted in 2015 alone contributing 7.2% of GDP compared to 4.5% in 2014.

BRIEF HISTORY
Malawi is in the southern East part of Africa and is bordered by Zambia on the East, Mozambique on the South West and Tanzania on the north. Malawi was once called the Maravi Empire during the colonial days. It was colonized by the British and it was called Nyasaland which means land of the lake. It achieved its full independence in 1964. Malawi remains one of the most stable and peaceful country in Africa and is mainly dominated by agriculture with a lot of tourism potential. Malawi is nicknamed the Warm Heart of Africa due to its friendly and welcoming people. Malawi has abundant beautiful landscapes and beautiful tea plantations, rich culture and breath taking wildlife that it offers to the rest of the world. The country has three beautiful seasons; dry winter season (May to Augist), dry hot season (September to November) and Rainy season (November to April)

HERITAGE
Chongoni Rock-Art Area;
situated within a cluster of forested granite hills and covering an area of 126.4 km2, high up the plateau of central Malawi, the 127 sites of this area feature the richest concentration of rock art in Central Africa. They reflect the comparatively scarce tradition of farmer rock art, as well as paintings by BaTwa hunter-gatherers who inhabited the area from the late Stone Age. The Chewa agriculturalists, whose ancestors lived there from the late Iron Age, practised rock painting until well into the 20th century. The symbols in the rock art, which are strongly associated with women, still have cultural relevance amongst the Chewa, and the sites are actively associated with ceremonies and rituals.

Malawi Slave Routes and Dr. David Livingstone Trail;
Slave trade was introduced in Malawi by the Swahili-Arab traders in the 19thCentury following a great demand for ivory and slave in the East African markets namely Zanzibar, Kilwa, Mombasa and Quelimane. The Swahili -Arabs moved further into the interior of Africa including Malawi to obtain slaves and ivory. One of Slave Trade Route was Nkhotakota where one of the Swahili-Arab slave traders, Salim-bin Abdullah (Jumbe) set up his headquarters on the shore of Lake Malawi in the 1840s. From Nkhota kotawhere he organized his expeditions to obtain slaves and ship them across the lake to East African markets, Kilwa. About 20, 000 slaves (Pachai, P.A. 1968) were annually shipped by Jumbe to Kilwa from Nkhotakota. The captives were kept until they number 1000 and taken across the lake and then forced to walk for three to four month journey to Kilwa where they were sold. Dr. David Livingstone was a Scottish missionary and explorer. He visited Nkhotakota inl861 where he witnessed slave trade at its peak. He got horrified in the way slaves were handled at Jumbe’s stockade and he described it as” a place of bloodshed and lawlessness”. In 1864 David Livingstone visited Nkhota kota again and met Jumbe. He was able to secure a treaty between Jumbe and Chewa Chiefs to stop slave trade and hostilities between them. However, the treaty did not last long as Jumbe continued with slave trade. It was up until Nyasaland came under the British protectorate in 1891 that slave trade completely came to cease. It was Sir Harry Johnston who was the first Commissioner in Nyasaland Protectorate who made a significant effort to stop the trade. One of the policies of his administration stipulated was to bring slave trade to an end. Sir Harry Johnston with a force of Sikh soldiers attacked Jumbe in 1894. He was tried and banished to Zanzibar.

The Bandawe Mission;
Founded by one of the followers of Davis Livingstone (Dr. Robert Laws) and located south of the Chintheche is the Bandawe Mission that stands as one off the earliest Christian churches in the country. The church premises also include missionary graves.

Mulanje Mountain Biosphere Reserve;
Mulanje mountain is a forest reserve that was gazetted as a forest Reserve in 1927. The mountain is composed of seynite, quarts-seyinite and granite rock materials. This forms a massif of approximately 500 sq. km. The mountain is surrounded by densely populated plains situated at 600m-700m above sea level. From the plains, it rises abruptly to high plateau basins at 1800-1900m surmounted by rock peaks to its maximum attitude of 300m above sea level. In fact the mountain is the highest both in Malawi and South Central Africa. The structure and altitude of the mountain have led to the development of a unique climate for the area, which is charaterised by high rainfalls from November to April. This climate favours the development of unique ecology of rare and endemic life forms which contribute to the massif’s high biodiversity. The high rainfall, deep ravine and dense vegetation have favoured the birth of many rivers which supply reliable clean water to thousands of households in the surrounding plains. Due to the life-sustaining capabilities endowed upon this physical landmark, the people around the mountain have always looked upon it as a God-given and sacred reserve created to benefit mankind in a large number of ways. Thus traditional rites are performed there in time of need e.g. when praying for rain. It is also widely believed that if one gets hungry while in the mountain forests, spirits will always provide food, under certain unknown conditionalities. It is for these reasons, among others, that the Mulanje massif is singled out as an interesting feature scientifically, educationally, socially and for research purposes.

Khulubvi And Associated Mbona Sacred Rain Shrines;
Shrines and sacred sites in Malawi have been in existence since 1500 A.D. They were used by our ancestors to offer sacrifices to their Mphambe (God) in times of drought or other calamities. These sites are spatially located in different areas throughout Malawi.

WILDLIFE
Like most African Countries Malawi, provides intensive and extensive wildlife viewing in fascinating areas of genuine wilderness. Malawi is home to more than 9 national parks and the main and most popular ones include; The main wildlife reserves of Malawi include Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, Vwaza Wildlife Reserve, Majete Wildlife Reserve, Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve.

NATIONAL PARKS AND PROTECTED AREAS
1. Nyika National Park,
2. Kasungu National Park
3. Lake Malawi National Park
4. Lengwe National Park
5. Liwonde National Park

WATER BODIES
1. Dwangwa River
2. Lilongwe River
3. Ngalamu River
4. Shire River
5. Songwe River
6. South Rukuru River
7. Lake Chilwa