Malawi Country Information

The sliver-shaped, landlocked country in south-central Africa definitely earns its nickname: The Warm Heart of Africa. Malawi is a land of unspoilt wilderness with breathtaking scenery, incredible birding and the perfect destination for the wildlife enthusiast.


Geography/topography/ecology/key landmarks:
• Size: 118,484 km2 (45,747 sq mi), 98th largest country in the world.
• Bordered by Zambia to the west, Tanzania to the north and northeast, and Mozambique surrounding it on the east, south and southwest.
• The southernmost part of the Great Rift Valley runs through the country from north to south. Lake Malawi takes up almost a third of the country’s area, and lies to the east of the Great Rift Valley. The Shire river flows down the valley from the south end of the lake to join the Zambezi river further south in Mozambique.
• Geographical regions: Great Rift Valley, Lake Malawi, Shire river and its basin, high plateaus west of the valley and the highlands of the north and south.
• Habitats are varied, and include tropical and subtropical grassland savannah, miombo woodland, mopane woodland, flooded grassland with swamp vegetation and Lake Malawi.
• Highest point: Mount Mulanje (3,002 m/9,849 ft above sea level) in the south.
• Climate is generally tropical; hot in the low-lying areas in the south of the country and temperate in the northern highlands.
• UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 2. Lake Malawi National Park (1984) and the Chongoni Rock Art Area (2006).

Famous parks and reserves:
Liwonde National Park: a hidden gem of a riverfront park with fantastic big game and special birds.
Nyika National Park: high altitude wonderland filled with rare antelope and top birds.
• Lake Malawi National Park: stunning beaches, more fish species than any other lake on Earth, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

• 200 mammal species, including Africa’s Big Five
• National Mammal: Thomson’s Gazelle
• Other star mammals: African Wild Dog, Roan and Sable Antelope, (Thornicroft’s) Giraffe and (Crawshay’s) Plains Zebra.
• 633 bird species, including 1 endemic (Yellow-throated Apalis) and 19 other globally threatened species
• National Bird: African Fish Eagle
• Other star birds: Pel’s Fishing Owl, Stierling’s Woodpecker, East Coast and Sharpe’s Akalat, White-winged Apalis, Thyolo Alethe, Hildebrandt’s Spurfowl, White-backed Night Heron, Brown-breasted Barbet, Böhm’s Bee-eater, Lilian’s Lovebird and Black-lored Cisticola
• IBAs (Important Bird Areas): 21, including Dzalanyama Forest Reserve, Liwonde National Park, Nyika National Park, Misuku Hills Forest Reserve and Thyolo tea estates.
• 88 species of reptiles
• 500 species of fish, 90% of them endemic, the majority being cichlids
• 488 species of butterflies and 760 species of moths

• 5,500 species of plants
• 400 species of orchids
• National Flower: Waterlily
• National Tree: Mulanje Cypress

Visit our Malawi safari and tours page for more info on trips to this magical destination. Customized tours to Malawi is available to suit your requirements and travel dates.