Handicrafts on sale in Malawi
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Handicrafts on sale in Malawi

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Malawi Travel Guide

Key Facts

118,484 sq km (45,747 sq miles).


16.8 million (2013).

Population density

141.6 per sq km.




Republic. Gained independence from the UK in 1964.

Head of state

President Peter Mutharika since 2014.

Head of government

President Peter Mutharika since 2014.


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.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 27 January 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Heavy rains have caused severe flooding in southern Malawi. The worst affected districts are Chikwawa, Nsanje and Phalombe where many roads and bridges have been damaged. Follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local news and weather forecasts before travelling to affected areas. Latest information can be found on the Malawi Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) website.

Most visits to Malawi are trouble-free, but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself from muggers and bag-snatchers. Most thefts from visitors take place around the main bus stations in Lilongwe and Blantyre, and at the main ports for the Ilala ferry.

There is a low threat from terrorism.