Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa, consisting of a narrow elongated plateau with rolling plains, rounded hills, and some mountains. The highest point is Sapitwa Peak on the Mulanje Massif at 3,002 meters. The 580 kilometer long Lake Malawi is the country’s most prominent physical feature, and contains more fish species than any other lake on Earth. 

The climate of Malawi is sub-tropical, with a rainy season from November to May, and a dry season from May to November. Natural hazards include flooding, droughts, and earthquakes. Environmental issues include deforestation, land degradation, and water pollution (from agricultural runoff, sewage, and industrial wastes). Deforestation contributes to siltation of spawning grounds in Lake Malawi, which endangers fish. It is possible to contract “snail fever”, or Schistosomiasis, from swimming in Lake Malawi (for instance at Cape Maclear).

There are 133 protected areas listed for Malawi, including 5 national parks, 118 forest reserves, 4 wildlife reserves, 1 conservation area, 2 biosphere reserves, 1 natural world heritage site, and 2 wetlands of international importance. Transfrontier Conservation Areas are a concept from the Southern African Development Community; the Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area includes Malawi’s largest national park, Nyika National Park, as well as Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve, among other areas in both Malawi and neighbouring Zambia. In 2016, Malawi committed to restoring 4.5 million hectares forest by 2030, in partnership with AFR100, the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative. Luwawa Forest, in the Viphya Mountains, is the largest man-made forest in Africa. 

International Union for Conservation of Nature members in Malawi include the Coordination Unit for the Rehabilitation of the EnvironmentLilongwe Wildlife TrustMalawi Environmental Endowment Trust, and Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust. Other local civil society organisations include the Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy, and Wildlife Action Group Malawi.

Bisophere Reserves:


Population density in Malawi is highest south of Lake Malawi. The British protectorate of Nyasaland was established in 1891, and became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. Population growth, increasing pressure on agricultural lands, corruption, and the scourge of HIV/AIDS pose major problems for Malawi. Around 10% of Malawi’s population are HIV-positive, the 9th highest prevalence rate of countries in Africa (in fact countries in the world).

The Malawi Department of Tourism maintains the official website at The Malawi Travel Marketing Consortium also maintains a “tourism guide” at malawitourism.comIdeal Travel and Tours is an online travel agency based in the country’s largest city, Lilongwe. Tongole Wilderness Lodge is operated by The Tongole Foundation, dedicated to community upliftment. Kande Horse offers horse riding in Malawi.

Natural World Heritage:

Cultural World Heritage:


  • Museums as a vehicle for domestic tourism growth in Malawi: an analysis of the push and pull factors – C Ngwira, FG Bello – 2018
  • A Case Study Of Hospitality And Tourism Challenges And Opportunities In Malawi – SW Jackson – 2017
  • Accommodation services for competitive tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa: Historical evidence from Malawi – A Magombo, CM Rogerson… – 2017
  • Bicycles Transport Sustainability Opportunities For Tourism Development: Case Study Of Mzuzu City, Malawi – JM Chilembwe – 2017
  • Constraints of community participation in protected area-based tourism planning: the case of Malawi – FG Bello, B Lovelock, N Carr – 2017
  • Influence of customer service on the performance of hospitality enterprises: Lessons from Sunbird Tourism Limited in Malawi – MB Sepula, D Shirandula – 2017
  • Local Residents’ Perceptions of Socio-Cultural Impacts of Tourism in Mangochi, Malawi – FG Bello, C Neil, B Lovelock… – 2017
  • Welcome to Malawi: A critical study on the relationship between equity and sustainable tourism – M Izquierdo – 2017
  • Enhancing community participation in tourism planning associated with protected areas in developing countries: Lessons from Malawi – FG Bello, B Lovelock, N Carr – 2016
  • Entrepreneurship and The Discovery and Exploitation of Business Opportunities: Empirical Evidence from The Malawian Tourism Sector – AM Krishnan – 2016
  • Tourism-related informal interaction in Chembe, Malawi: an ethnographic study – K Vuorensyrjä – 2016
  • Environmental Impacts Of Tourism: Chose Hill At Nyika National Park In Malawi – BMC Nyirenda, JM Chilembwe – 2015
  • Local communities and tourism development in protected areas in Malawi: Investigating community involvement – FG Bello – 2015
  • Macroeconomic Determinants of Tourism Sector Performance in Malawi – R Zidana – 2015
  • The benefits of tourism from community perspective of Chembe Village, Malawi – CP Chimangeni – 2015
  • Tourism entrepreneurial development and flight frequency at a destination: case study of Malawi – JM Chilembwe, FW Gondwe – 2015
  • Examination of socio-cultural impacts of tourism in Chembe village in Mangochi District Malawi – JM Chilembwe – 2014
  • Malawi, tourism – FG Bello, B Lovelock, N Carr – 2014
  • Tour guides: Are they tourism promoters and developers? Case study of Malawi – JM Chilembwe, V Mweiwa – 2014
  • Household spending patterns and flow of ecotourism income into communities around Liwonde National Park, Malawi – S Snyman – 2013
  • Is tourism employment a sufficient mechanism for poverty reduction? A case study from Nkhata Bay, Malawi – C Gartner, J Cukier – 2012
  • The development of tourism and the accommodation sector in Malawi since independence – A Magombo – 2012
  • The evolution of the tourism sector in Malawi – A Magombo, CM Rogerson – 2012
  • Attitudes towards Tourism and Possibilities for Local Participation in Tourism Development in the Lower Shire Valley in South-Malawi – S Olsthoorn – 2011
  • Determinants of foreign direct investment in tourism: the case of Malawi – NE Nansongole – 2011
  • Sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS risk perception in the Malawi tourism industry – T Bisika – 2009
  • Tourism, Development, and Poverty Reduction: A Case Study from Nkhata Bay, Malawi – C Gartner – 2008

Malawi Data