Malawi is blessed with two popular international airports, Lilongwe and Blantyre. Lilongwe receives the most visitors from the western world. Many travelers fly through Johannesburg, South Africa, en route to Malawi. There are in fact a number of airports in Malawi. However, not all Malawi airports have regularly scheduled flights. We do not list the smallest Malawi airports, since there is no way to provide you flights from those airports. AirGorilla offers flights, hotels, and rental car reservations for Malawi.
The Republic of Malawi (formerly Nyasaland) is a democratic, densely populated country located in southeastern Africa. It has Zambia to the north-west, Tanzania to the north, and Mozambique surrounding it on the east, south, and west. The origin of the name Malawi remains unclear; it is held to be either derived from that of southern tribes, or noting the "glitter of the sun rising across the lake" (as seen in its flag). Malawi is one of Sub-Saharan Africa's most densely populated countries.
Malawi is situated in southeastern Africa. It has the Great Rift Valley running through the country from north to south. In this deep trough lies Lake Malawi (also called Lake Nyasa), the third-largest lake in Africa, making about 20% of Malawi's area. The Shire River flows from the south end of the lake and joins the Zambezi River 400 km (250 mi) farther south in Mozambique. East and west of the Rift Valley are high plateaus, generally between 900 and 1,200 m (3,0004,000 ft) above sea level. The Nyika Uplands rise as high as 2,600 m (8,500 ft) in the north; south of the lake lie the Shire Highlands, with an elevation of 6001,600 m.
Malawi's climate is subtropical. A rainy season runs from November through April. There is little to no rainfall throughout most of the country from May to October. It is hot and humid from October to April along the lake and in the Lower Shire Valley. Lilongwe is also hot and humid during these months, a little less than in the south. The rest of the country is warm during those months. From June through August, the lake areas and far south are comfortably warm, but the rest of Malawi can be chilly at night, with temperatures ranging from 514 C (4157 F).
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was dissolved on December 31, 1963, and Malawi became a fully independent member of the British Commonwealth on July 6, 1964. Two years later, Malawi became a republic with Dr. Banda as its first President, and was also declared a one-party state.
Malawi saw its first transition between democratically elected presidents in May 2004, when the UDFs presidential candidate Bingu wa Mutharika defeated MCP candidate John Tembo and Gwanda Chakuamba, who was backed by a grouping of opposition parties. Through the politicking of party chairperson and former President Bakili Muluzi, the party successfully secured a majority by forming a "government of national unity" with several opposition parties.
Malawi's economy is heavily dependent on agriculture. Malawi has few exploitable mineral resources. Its three most important export crops are (in order) tobacco, tea and sugar. Malawi's president recently urged farmers to consider growing other crops, such as cotton, as an alternative to the country's principal crop, tobacco, as cigarette consumption in the West continues to decline. Traditionally Malawi has been self-sufficient in its staple food, maize, and during the 1980s exported substantial quantities to its drought-stricken neighbors. Agriculture represents 38.6% of the GDP, accounts for over 80% of the labor force, and represents about 80% of all exports. Nearly 90% of the population engages in subsistence farming. Smallholder farmers produce a variety of crops, including maize (corn), beans, rice, cassava, tobacco, and groundnuts (peanuts). Financial wealth is generally concentrated in the hands of a small elite. Malawi's manufacturing industries are situated around the city of Blantyre.
Life expectancy in Malawi is now as low as 36.5 years; five years lower than it was 50 years ago. This drop is due to the population's impoverishment, which is constituted by many factors, including: insufficient nutrition, poor access to medical treatment, low income, insufficient school education, spread of HIV/AIDS, government economic restrictions. ()