Lilongwe. Population: 597,619 including suburbs (2003).
Republic since 1966. Gained independence from the UK in 1964.
Head of state:
President Joyce Banda since 2012.
230 volts AC, 50Hz. The standard plug is square three-pin.
Malawi can offer visitors unique scenery, rare wildlife and stunning valleys. Evergreen forests and waterfalls can be viewed from the heights of the plateaus. Activities are central to any visit. The national parks are attractive places for wildlife and game viewing in the most unspoilt of settings. Safe from the tarred roads and convoys of tourists, visitors can trek in entirely natural surroundings.
Malawi has nine national parks and wildlife reserves, six of which are especially recommended for visitors. There are also many attractive and accessible forest reserves. All the parks and reserves are uncrowded and give visitors an excellent experience of unspoilt wilderness.
Its most famous feature must be Lake Malawi, which stretches from the northern tip of the country to Mangochi in the south. Some of the rarest tropical fish in the world are unique to this vast lake, and it is also home to varieties of eagle and kingfisher.