General and geography
According to COUNTRYAAH, the Republic of Malawi only has about a third of the area of Germany and is still an insider tip from a tourist point of view. The capital of the landlocked state, which was a British colony under the name Nyassaland until 1964, is Lilongwe in southwest Malawi.
According to current statistics, Malawi has around 17 million inhabitants who are composed of 13 different cultural groups and ethnicities. Even today, around half of the population lives on less than one US dollar a day.
An extraordinarily high birth rate of more than 5 children per woman is another explosive factor due to the enormous population growth. Malawi is without a doubt a developing country that is heavily dependent on international support.
Nonetheless, the expansion of sustainable tourism offers a great opportunity for this diverse and beautiful country, which, however, with Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique, has some tourist heavyweights in Africa right on its doorstep.
The most important travel destination in Malawi and the country’s lifeline is Lake Malawi, which takes up more than a fifth of the country’s total area. It is the third largest lake in Africa after Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika. Travelers land in the capital Lilongwe, which can be easily reached with South African Airways via Johannesburg.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see national geography, brief history, society description, domestic politics, economy overview, and a list of widely used acronyms about Malawi.
Climate in Malawi
The climate in Malawi can be classified as subtropical to tropical and is largely characterized by a large rainy season, which, however, is regionally different due to the great north-south expansion. Basically the rainy season lasts longer in the north (mostly October to May) than in the south (November to April).
The higher an area is, the more precipitation is usually recorded. As early as the end of August or beginning of September, the humidity in Malawi is increasing and slowly introducing the rainy season. Rainiest months are December, January and February.
Most of the rain falls in the afternoon and in the evenings. The African winter in Malawi is very dry and remains pleasantly mild, especially during the day. The country is living up to its marketing slogan “The warm heart of Africa” with regard to the climate.
When is the best time to visit Malawi?
As always, the best time to travel to Malawi also depends on the activities you want and the type of travel you prefer. While some ‘repeat offenders’ appreciate the special atmosphere and calm of the rainy season, most travelers definitely prefer the dry season.
We recommend April to October as the best travel time for Malawi, whereby the second half of the month is particularly recommended for April. For Lake Malawi in particular, our favorites are May and September. In most years, October also brings ideal conditions.
The water temperature of Lake Malawi is particularly pleasant, and at 23 to 25 degrees it is suitable for bathing all year round. For safaris in Malawi, the end of the dry season (August, September, October) is recommended, with ideal conditions for animal observation in the protected areas.
Optimal travel time for the regions
In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (Malawi).
|Place||Best travel time|
|Lilongwe||April, May, June, July, August, September and October|
|Blantyre||April, May, June, July, August and September|
Temperatures, rainfall in Lilongwe (Malawi)
|Daytime temperature||26 ° C||26 ° C||26 ° C||26 ° C||25 ° C||23 ° C||23 ° C||25 ° C||27 ° C||30 ° C||30 ° C||27 ° C|
|Night temperature||17 ° C||17 ° C||16 ° C||13 ° C||10 ° C||7 ° C||6 ° C||7 ° C||11 ° C||14 ° C||16 ° C||17 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||200||210||130||30||0||0||0||0||0||0||70||170|
The annual average temperature in Lilongwe is 19.2 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is November (23 ° C), coldest month of July with average values of 14 ° C.
The annual precipitation is 810 mm. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. The months of January and February are considered the rainy season, as more than 175 mm of precipitation can be expected per month. Overall, around 410 mm of precipitation can be expected in the rainy season. You cannot expect snow in any month in Lilongwe.
Sights and highlights
For a long time, Malawi, whose warm residents are worth a trip in and of itself, was discussed solely because of the impressive Lake Malawi. While bathing is only recommended to a limited extent due to various factors, the lake remains a real paradise for animal lovers and divers.
For a long time, however, safari fans did not get their money’s worth in Malawi, as excessive poaching had largely destroyed the animal population. Only a large-scale resettlement between 2003 and 2013 made the country’s fauna shine again, and extensive new protective measures were taken.
Today, in addition to its lake and the brilliant mountains, Malawi also has real safari experiences to offer again. With the Majete Wildlife Reserve and the Liwonde National Park, two reserves offer an astonishing range of African wildlife (including the Big Five), off the beaten track.
The Kasungu National Park and the Kuti Wildlife Reserve in Salima have also become very interesting again for travelers. Other attractions in Malawi include Mount Mulanje, Lake Chilwa, the rock art of Chongoni and the fantastic Kapichira waterfalls. Cities worth seeing are Lilongwe and Blantyre.