Malawi- Country Profile Overview
Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964.
As a landlocked country located in southern central Africa along the western side of part of the Great Rift Valley of Africa,Malawi is bordered by Tanzania to the North East, Zambia to the west and Mozambique to Southeast and South.
Covering a total area of 118,484 sq. km and comprising an estimated population of 12 million, it stretches some 900 kilometres north to south and between 90 and 161 kilometres east to west.
The prominent feature of Malawi is the Lake. The third largest fresh water lake in Africa, Lake Malawi is 568 kilometers long and copies about 20 % of the country’s total land area.
The terrain of Malawi is breath -taking comprising plateaus, plains, hills and mountains. These include Nyika and Viphya plateaus and Misuku hills to the North, Dedza and Kirk range mountains in the Centre. In southern Malawi, the terrain is equally varied with escarpments, highlands and mountains and low marshy lands along the Shire River which is an outlet of Lake Malawi. The Mulanje Mountain which is home to the rare Mulanje cedar, it is the highest mountain in Central Africa, with the highest point, Sapitwa peak rising to 3, 050 metres above sea level.
May to August Cool and dry, July being the coldest month, with temperatures ranging from 15.5 to 18.0 degrees Celsius in the plateau and 20.0 to 24.5 degrees Celsius in the rift valley areas. There is little rain in this season; most of it falling in the high southeast facing slopes.
September to mid-November Hot and dry, with temperatures ranging from 22 to 25 end 27 to 30 degrees Celsius in the plateau areas and the rift valley respectively.
Mid-November to April Hot and rainy, with 90% of the annual rainfall being received. December and January are the wettest months. Total annual rainfall overages 760 to 1,015mm with some areas in the plateau recording over 1,525mm.