Landlocked Malawi offers stunning scenery, mountain trekking, plateau hiking, and marine life care of the epic Lake Malawi on its eastern border which is also renowned for diving and its beaches. Malawi is a traveler friendly country often known as ‘the warm heart of Africa.’ Its history has been shaped by Britain and the church through explorer David Livingstone and Cecil Rhodes, who moved from South Africa to develop the land when Arab slavers were capturing many Malawian. Today Malawi is popular with tourists without yet being overdeveloped.
When to Go
June to August sees both the lowest temperatures and lowest rainfall. In the late dry season, around September, you will spot plenty of big game. Ornithologists should aim for the middle of the rainy season in November and December.
Malawi and Zambia
Avoid November to April which is the rainy season when many park are closed and visit in May to October for the best game spotting. The late dry season of August to October is best for big game wildlife when animals huddle round the few watering holes, although this is the hottest part of the year. Early dry season (May to June) is best for bird watching in Malawi, with conditions most favorable at the end of the year in Zambia.
People and Language
Mozambicans are warm and open yet hardy people who have to live with their country’s natural adversities as well as its manmade ones. The main ethnic groups are the Makua, Makonde, Sena, and Shanagaan peoples. There is a minority group of Portuguese and some other European and Asian pockets. A large proportion of the population are Roman Catholic, except for the Makua who have traditional beliefs. Portuguese is the most common language among the older and young generations due to discontinued education during the wars, others speak the native Bantu languages. Very little English is spoken.
The main ethnic groups are the Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuko, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni and Ngonde with some Asian and European minorities. The languages spoken by natives are all Bantu languages with different dialects.
Due to the strange geography of Zambia and its British colonial history there are 35 ethnic groups. English is the national language, even in remote areas. A combination of Christianity and traditional animal totemic beliefs is commonly practiced.