Malawi Food and Drink
The cuisine of Malawi has not been influenced by many other cultures, and as a result, it has remained very traditional. There are many farmers in Malawi and the population grows much of the food. The country is known for its ‘tuck shops’, small shops found in rural areas that sell a variety of snack foods. These foods include meat pies, sausage rolls, bunny chow (rolls that have been deep fried and stuffed with a mix of curry meat and potato mix. Lake Malawi is not only a popular tourist destination, it is also a source of great fresh fish that is the country’s specialty. Top Places to Visit In Malawi On Your Next Vacation
Popular dishes include:
Chambo: A fish from Lake Malawi, Chambo is Tilapia fish and is considered a delicacy. Other favourite 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. People in Malawi can eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Top Places to Visit In Malawi On Your Next Vacation
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. Top Places to Visit In Malawi On Your Next Vacation
Tea is the second largest export crop in Malawi and as such, it is of an incredibly high quality. It is advisable to drink bottled water when travelling through Malawi. Carlsberg is the most common beer in the country, and Malawi gin and South African wines are popular.
Things to know:
Tipping isn’t expected, but is certainly appreciated by staff. Top Places to Visit In Malawi On Your Next Vacation
Drinking age: 18.
Malawi literacy rate for 2014 was 65.15%, a 3.84% increase from 2010.
Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa. It is wholly within the tropics; from about 9°30S at its northernmost point to about 17°S at the southernmost tip. The country occupies a thin strip of land between Zambia and Mozambique, extending southwards into Mozambique along the valley of the Shire River.
A lush climate and rich soil make Malawi well suited for agriculture, which is central to the country’s economy and national life. In 2011, the agriculture sector made up 31 percent of Malawi’s GDP and employed more than 80 percent of its workforce. The main food crop is maize, grown by smallholder farmers. Top Places to Visit In Malawi On Your Next Vacation
Top Places to Visit In Malawi On Your Next Vacation
Liwonde National Park
Liwonde National Park, also known as Liwonde Wildlife Reserve, is a national park in southern Malawi, near the Mozambique border. The park was established in 1973, and has been managed by the nonprofit conservation organization African Parks since August 2015. African Parks built an electric fence around the perimeter of the park to help mitigate human-wildlife conflict. In early 2018, the adjacent Mangochi Forest Reserve was also brought under African Parks’ management, almost doubling the size of the protected area.
Lake Malawi National Park
Lake Malawi National Park is a national park at the southern end of Lake Malawi in Malawi, Southeast Africa. It is the only national park in Malawi that was created with the purpose of protecting fish and aquatic habitats. Despite this being its main purpose, Lake Malawi National Park includes a fair amount of land, including a headland, the foreshore and several small rocky islands in Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi National Park was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, being of “global importance for biodiversity conservation due particularly to its fish diversity.” This fish diversity is remarkable because the mbuna, as the cichlid fish are known locally, provide an outstanding example of evolution at work. Other attributes of the park include the outstanding natural beauty of the area with its craggy landscape contrasting with the clear waters of the lake.
The Zomba Plateau, also called the Zomba Massif, is a mountain of the Shire Highlands in southern Malawi. Its total area is about 130 square kilometres, with a highest point of 2,087 metres. The plateau is roughly pear-shaped. The southern portion is known as Zomba Mountain, and the northern portion as Malosa. The deeply incised Domasi Valley runs east and west between the two. The plateau largely made up of granitic syenite, an igneous rock that intruded into the older metamorphic rocks that make up the highlands during the late Jurassic and Cretaceous periods 150-65 million years ago. The Mulanje Massif to the southeast is of similar composition and origin. Precious and semi-precious stones such as quartz can be found. The Zomba and Malosa forest reserves were established in 1913. Most of the plateau is covered with plantations of Mexican pine trees. Small patches of native montane forest and miombo woodland remain. The pines were planted for timber production for the Zomba Sawmill, which is located at the southern slopes of the mountain. Where indigenous trees are left, severe deforestation due to the high demand for firewood in the region is a problem.
Majete Wildlife Reserve
Majete Wildlife Reserve is a nature reserve in southwestern Malawi, established as a protected area in 1955. The reserve’s animal populations were decimated during the late 1970s and 1980s due to poaching and other human activities. Majete has been managed by African Parks since 2003, when the nonprofit conservation organization entered into a public–private partnership with the Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife. Since then, wildlife has been restored, the park has achieved big five game status, and tourism has increased.
The Shire is the largest river in Malawi. It is the only outlet of Lake Malawi and flows into the Zambezi River in Mozambique. Its length is 402 kilometres. The upper Shire River issues from Lake Malawi and runs approximately 19 km before it enters shallow Lake Malombe. It then drains Lake Malombe and flows south through Liwonde National Park where large concentrations of hippopotamus are common along its shores. Between the towns of Matope and Chikwawa, the middle river drops approximately 400 m through a series of falls and gorges, including Kapachira Falls. Two hydroelectric dams have been built along the Shire northwest of Blantyre. Beyond Chikwawa, the lower river turns southeast and enters the low-lying Mozambique plain. Its largest and one of its few perennial tributaries, the Ruo River, joins the Shire near the Malawian town of Chiromo. The muddy waters pass through a large stagnant area known as the Elephant Marsh before reaching the confluence with the Zambezi River south of the town of Sena, Mozambique. In 1859, David Livingstone’s Zambezi Expedition traveled up the Shire river. The river’s valley is part of the East African Rift system.
The Nyika Plateau lies in northern Malawi, with a small portion in north eastern Zambia. Most of it lies at elevations of between 2,100 and 2,200 m, the highest point being 2,605 m at Nganda Peak. It is roughly a diamond in shape, with a long north–south axis of about 90 km, and an east–west axis of about 50 km. It towers above Lake Malawi, and the towns of Livingstonia and Chilumba. Its well-defined north-west escarpment rises about 700 m above the north-eastern extremity of the Luangwa Valley, and its similarly prominent south-east escarpment rises about 1,000 m above the South Rukuru River valley. It is very different in scenery from other parts of Malawi, consisting of rolling hills with little streams in broad valleys, and rough grassland with clumps of pine trees.
Hippopotamus, safari, park and garden, chalet and safari lodge
Nkotakhota Wildlife Reserve
Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, is the largest and oldest wildlife reserve in Malawi, near Nkhotakota. The park’s hilly terrain features dambos and miombo woodlands as the dominant vegetation, which support a variety of mammal and bird species. Poaching has greatly reduced the number of elephants and other large mammals in Nkhotakota, but conservation efforts to restore the elephant population started when African Parks began managing the reserve in 2015.
Offshore resort with beaches & forest
Chongoni Rock Art Area
Chongoni Rock Art Area is located in the Central Region of Malawi consisting of 127 sites in the forested hills of the Malawi plateau with depictions of rock art and paintings of the farmer community of the Late Stone Age and the Iron Age period. This ancient record of the cultural history is in vogue even now. The rock arts are in granite formations and consist of art depictions attributed to the hunter gatherer community of BaTwa who lived here during the stone age period, and of the farming community of Chewa who are traced to the Iron Age period. In view of this cultural importance, the area was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006 under Criteria III for the rich cultural traditions of rock art and Criteria VI for its continued link to the present society. The rock art symbolizing rituals and ceremonies is mostly the creation of the women folk of Chewa clan. The “agropastoralist” art form of the tribes, which represents their perception of use and control of their natural habitat, was continued by the Bantu tribes in Changoni.
Lake, safari and camping
Freshwater bay with a sandy beach
Lengwe National Park
Lengwe National Park is a national park in Malawi located near the town of Chikwawa and about 40 miles southwest of Blantyre. Lengwe’s topography is unusual for Malawi and consists of open deciduous forests and dense thickets. It is the home of the reclusive Nyala antelope. The climate of Lengwe is hot and dry, and the only source of consistent water is from the rain. Many man-made water holes have been constructed to attract and maintain the animal population. Jambo Africa Ltd operates Nyala Lodge for visitors. Animals that inhabit this park are the giraffe, spotted hyena, leopard, warthog, kudu, impala, Samango monkey, reedbuck, Cape buffalo and suni. Interesting birds, particularly shrikes, rollers, bee-eaters and the Yellow-spotted nicator. History In 1928, Lengwe was established as a Game Reserve to protect the large mammals found in the Lower Shire Valley, especially the nyala antelope and its habitat. This protection is important as the Lower Shire Valley is the farthest north where nyala can be found naturally. At that time, the protected area measured 520 square kilometers. Later, it was reduced to 120 square kilometers in order to provide land for agriculture.
Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve is a nature reserve founded in 1927 in Malawi. The reserve covers 56,317 hectares. It is operated by the Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust. The reserve was designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2000.
Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve
Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve is a national game reserve in Malawi. In contrast to the Nyika National Park on the Nyika Plateau, much of Vwaza is located on low-lying flat ground although the eastern side of the park is hilly. It is located to the southeast of the plateau and to the north of the floodplains of South Rukuru River and covers an area of 1,000 km². The park is characterised by Mopane and Miombo woodland and marshy wetlands which attracts a significant number of birds to the reserve. Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve is rarely visited by many, largely due to poor road conditions and difficult terrain and inaccessibility. The variation in animal number of species type may vary from season to season as they cross the border with the North Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Typically the reserve has large herds of Cape buffaloes and elephants, and a large variety of antelope including roan, greater kudu, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, eland and impala. Warthogs are also found in this reserve as well as a hippopotamus pod in Lake Kazuni.
Beach and lake
Chizumulu Island is the smaller of two inhabited islands in Lake Malawi/Lake Nyasa, the larger being the nearby Likoma island, which together make up the Likoma District. Both these islands lie just a few kilometres from Mozambique and are entirely surrounded by Mozambican territorial waters, but they belong to Malawi. They are therefore exclaves of Malawi. This came about because the islands were colonised by Anglican missionaries spreading east from Nyasaland, rather than by the Portuguese who colonised Mozambique. The British originally claimed the entire Lake Nyasa/Lake Malawi, but in 1954 signed an agreement with Portugal, which recognized the centre of the lake as the boundary between their holdings and Mozambique, and making these islands an enclave. Chizumulu can be reached by steamer from the port of Nkhata Bay on the mainland of Malawi. The MV Ilala steamer that weekly crosses Lake Malawi stops at Chizumulu. Smaller boats including dhows cross the strait between Likoma and Chizumulu. The island supports a population of about 4,000 people. Like Likoma, the island imports most of its food from the mainland. There is electricity on the island from 6am-10pm, and no road.
Large granite massif & trekking spot
White sandy beach with water sports
Lilongwe Wildlife Centre
Cultural Center and Museum Karonga
The Cultural & Museum Centre Karonga, commonly called Karonga Museum, is a cultural centre and museum in Karonga District, northern Malawi.
Museum of Malawi
The Chichiri Museum, also known as the Museum of Malawi, is a historical and cultural museum located in Blantyre, Malawi. The Museums of Malawi, initially known as the Nyasaland Museum, was established through legislation in May 1957. The current museum building was constructed in 1965 at Chichiri Hill in Blantyre, using funds from the Beit Trust and the Government of Malawi. The museum was opened officially in June 1966.
Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve
With an area of 135km² Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve is Malawi’s smallest national park, and its least accessible. Nevertheless, it has a wide variety of habitats, including Mopane, Combretum and brachystegia woodland, as well as open savanna, dambo, and riverine areas. Mwabvi was the last natural home to Malawi’s Black Rhino population, but both wildlife and woodland have been poached over recent years. However many species of antelope, including kudu, sable, impala and nyala, are present, and even leopard and hyena have been seen. Buffalo still bathe in the Mwabvi river, and, although the number of human tourists is low, lions from neighbouring Mozambique are regular visitors. The scenery is spectacular, with views over the Shire River and the Zambesi river, and the magnificent sandstone outcrops give an almost lunar feel to the landscape. Mwabvi is located in Nsanje District, at the very southernmost point of Malawi, right against the border with Mozambique. It includes a portion of the Matundwe Range, which form the border with Mozambique, and the adjacent Shire River lowlands. The park lies at a low elevation and summer temperatures are extreme.
Kuti Wildlife Reserve
St. Peter’s Cathedral
Lake Kazuni is a lake of Malawi. It is located in the Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve. The Kazuni Safari Camp is an important accommodation area near the lake. The lake supports a significant hippo population.
Chambe Peak is a peak of Mulanje Massif, the highest mountain in Central Africa. A steep path provides a great view across Southern Malawi and Mozambique on a clear day. The plateau on the top is part of the forest of Mulanje Cedar; Chambe also has a farm and living spaces in a hut run by the Forestry Commission in Malawi. A map is needed to fully explore all of Chambe. Chambe is also the base for climbing the sheer cliff face; Chris Bonnington has detailed this in the record book at Chambe Hut. Proper rock climbing equipment is necessary for the ascent. Likubula Path is the common descent; although it can be ascended, it is more difficult and rocky than ascending from Chambe
World War I Memorial
Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary
Kapachira Falls are waterfalls in Malawi. They lie on the lower Shire River near the town of Chikwawa and the Majete Wildlife Reserve. The Kapichira Hydroelectric Power Station was constructed above the falls to provide hydroelectricty. The falls blocked David Livingstone’s 1859 Zambezi Expedition from proceeding up the Shire; several members of his team died from disease and are buried in the area
The Viphya Mountains, also known as the Viphya Plateau or Viphya Highlands, are a mountain range in Malawi’s Northern Region.
Aquarium and lake
Likhubula Falls (Dziwe wa Nkhalamba)
Shire Eco Safari Camp
Dzalanyama Forest Reserve
Forest and nature
Silver Sands Holiday Resort
Mount Soche is a mountain near Blantyre, Malawi. Soche Forest Reserve was established in 1922, and covers 388 hectares.
The Mafinga Hills are a plateau covered by hills, situated on the border between Zambia and Malawi, in Southern Africa. These hills are composed of quartzites, phyllites and feldspathic sandstones of sedimentary origin. This plateau has the highest point in Zambia, 2,339-metre Mafinga Central. It once formed a formidable barrier between the Northern and Eastern Provinces that few but the best 4-wheel drive vehicles dared to cross, especially during the rainy season. The shortest road link between the two provinces is now eased by the rehabilitation of the Isoka-Muyombe Road, which traverses their lower slopes. As Muyombe is the district capital of the newly formed Mafinga District, any expedition to the Mafinga Hills would be wise to use Muyombe as a starting point. Besides going through Isoka, Muyombe can also be accessed from the south via Chama, though this road passes briefly through Western Malawi’s Vwasa Wildlife Reserve, or from the East via the Malawian town of Bolero on route S104
Waterfall and nature
Michiru Mountain is located about 5 miles north of the city of Blantyre, Malawi, on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. The summit sits at an elevation of 3,925 feet, although because it rises from a high plateau its prominence is only a few hundred feet. The mountain is known for its many species of birds. The road to Michiru is extremely primitive and can only be accessed by off-road vehicles. Michiru Mountain Forest Reserve was established in 1970, and covers an area of 3004 hectares.
The Shire Highlands are a plateau in southern Malawi, located east of the Shire River. It is a major agricultural area and the most densely populated part of the country.
Lake Malawi National Park Visitors Center
Lake Malawi Museum is a museum on Lake Malawi in Malawi. Situated in the Old Gymkhana Club and organized by the Society of Malawi since 1971, the museum is located near the Queen Victoria memorial near the Bakili Muluzi Bridge in Mangochi town, Mangochi District, within the Southern Region of Malawi.
Stone House Museum
Lilongwe Jamme Mosque – Maslak-E-Ala-Hazrat
Chipata Mountain is a mountain in central Malawi. It is located in Nkhotakota District, north of the town of Mbobo. Chipata Mountain is in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, and is the reserve’s tallest peak. It is located at the park’s western edge. The wildlife refuge lies on the western edge of the East African Rift, and Chipata Mountain is part of a north-south belt of hills, mountains, and escarpments that form the western boundary of the rift. To the east is a plain that borders on Lake Malawi. To the west is the Central Region Plateau, also known as the Lilongwe Plain. Miombo woodland is the predominant vegetation on the mountain. The top of the mountain is home to a small patch of mid-altitude montane rainforest, the only montane rainforest between the Viphya Mountains to the north, and Ntchisi Mountain further south. Chipata Camp a visitor-serving campground on the mountain’s southeastern slope.
Ntchisi Mountain is a mountain in central Malawi. It is located in Ntchisi District, east of the town of Ntchisi. Ntchisi Mountain’s peak reaches 1702 meters elevation. A few neighboring peaks exceed 1600 meters. Ntchisi lies on the western edge of the East African Rift, and Ntchisi is part of a north-south belt of hills, mountains, and escarpments that form the western boundary of the rift. To the east is a plain that borders on Lake Malawi. To the west is the Central Region Plateau, also known as the Lilongwe Plain. Ntchisi Mountain Forest Reserve was established in 1924, and covers an area of 97.12 km². The mountain is home to an enclave of montane rain forest, the only montane rainforest between Chipata Mountain to the north and Dedza Mountain and the Kirk Range further south. The rainforest covers about 220 hectares, between 1,450 and 1,640 meters elevation. The dominant canopy tree is Aningeria sp., with a smaller area of tall Newtonia buchananii rainforest on the southeastern slope. Strangler figs are abundant. Montane grasslands and shrublands are also found at higher elevations. Miombo woodland predominates on the lower slopes.
Dedza Mountain is a mountain in central Malawi. It is located in Dedza District, just north of the town of Dedza. Dedza Mountain’s peak reaches 2198 meters elevation. Dedza Mountain Forest Reserve was established in 1926, and covers an area of 2917 ha. Plantations of introduced pine trees cover much of the mountain, but there are remnant patches of native montane evergreen forest near the summit, and riparian forests in ravines. The native forests are home to numerous epiphytic orchids and other species.
Chiradzulu Mountain is located in the Shire Highlands of Malawi, approximately 20 km to the north-east of Blantyre, Malawi’s main commercial centre. The administrative district of Chiradzulu in southern Malawi was named after this mountain. Chiradzulu Mountain rises to a peak of 1,773m above sea level and is the third highest mountain peak in southern Malawi, after Mulanje Mountain, whose famous Sapitwa peak rises to 3,002m above sea level, and Zomba Mountain, which rises to 2,085m above sea level at its peak.
Tumbi Island West
Thumbi West Island
Dedza-Salima Forest Reserve
Lake Kaulime is a lake of Malawi. It is 8 km west of Chisti, Malawi and is located inside Nyika National Park.
Naisi is a community in the Southern Region of Malawi, now in effect a northern suburb of the city of Zomba. The community lies below the Zomba Massif to the north, which may be accessed via a rough road. Naisi is the birthplace of James Frederick Sangala, one of the founders of the Nyasaland African Congress.
Kasungu National Park
Kasungu National Park is a national park in Malawi. It is located west of Kasungu, about 175 km north of Lilongwe, extending along the Zambian border. Kasungu National Park, established in 1970, is the second-largest in Malawi at 2,316 square kilometres, with an elevation of approximately 1,000 metres above sea level on average. It is located in the Central Region approximately 165 km north of Lilongwe. Most years the park is closed during March, during the wet season. The park is warm from the months of September to May and cooler from June to August. During the summer months a large variety of birds migrate to the park and bird watching is common between June and September.
Nyika National Park
Nyika National Park lies in the northeast of Zambia, on the western edge of the Nyika Plateau, which is one of the highest parts of the country and most of which lies in neighbouring Malawi. As a consequence of the colonial era when both countries were administered by Britain, a cross-border reserve was established on the plateau. After independence it was divided into the large Nyika National Park and the much smaller Nyika National Park. The border between the two parks is the north-south plateau road, which is the only road access, and it starts and finishes in Malawi. Consequently Zambian visitors must enter Malawi to reach it. The Zambian side is undeveloped except for a colonial-era resthouse, built around 1946, which used to be the only accommodation in either park. After independence, people from Malawi staying there did not have to pass through any border formalities, but paid a “Zambia entrance fee” along with their accommodation bill. It closed in 1998, but was refurbished by a private tour company and reopened in 2006 as the “Nyika House”, available only to pre-booked tour groups.
Lake Chiuta is a shallow lake on the border between Malawi and Mozambique. It lies to the north of Lake Chilwa and to the south of Lake Amaramba, which has no outlet, and the lakes are separated by a sandy ridge. Both lakes lie in a graben which runs northeast-southwest, east of the main African Rift Valley. Lake Chiuta is 3–4 meters deep and ranges in size from 25 to 130 square kilometers, depending on the season and rainfall. Lake Chiuta and Amaramba is intermittently linked to the Lugenda River, a tributary of the Ruvuma River. Lake Chiuta can desiccate completely Mean Depth: 1.13 metres / average surface area: 199 square kilometres / average volume: 0.225 cubic kilometres / encatchment area: 1,755 square kilometres Predominant commercial fish species are Oreochromis shiranus shiranus, Clarias gariepinus, and Barbus paludinosus. 37 fish species were recorded in total. Dominating aquatic macrophytes are Potamogeton welwitschii + Ceratophyllum demersum, Eleocharis dulcis, Oryza barthii, Vossia cuspidata, etc.
Songwe Bridge is an international bridge across the Songwe River linking Malawi and Tanzania.
Mwanda Peak is the highest topographical point in the border of Zambia. It is located near the border with Malawi in the thin northeastern arm of Eastern Province, and sits in the Nyika Plateau