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Thursday 30th October
Malawi Facts
The highest point in Malawi is Sapitwa Peak (3002 m).

The name Malawi is derived from Marawi, the name of people who migrated to the region hundreds of years ago.

In 1991 Friedemann Schrenk discovered the two and a half million year old remains of Homo rudolfensis in Northern Malawi.

Malawi has a number of National Parks: Kasungu, Lengwe, Liwonde and Lake Malawi.

The Nyika National Park is particularly famous for its orchids.

Lake Malawi is the third largest lake in Africa.

Malawi shares Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa) with Tanzania and Mozambique.

Lake Malawi is often called the Lake of Stars because of the glittering produced by reflected light.

Lake Malawi is world famous for cichlids - a species of freshwater fish.

Maize, the staple food in Malawi, is not a native plant but was introduced by the Portuguese at the end of the eighteenth century.

In 1859 David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, reached Lake Malawi which he named Lake Nyasa.

Malawi used to be known as Nyasaland.

David Livingstone set up a Christian mission in Malawi.

Blantyre, now an important commercial and industrial centre in Malawi, was named after the birthplace of David Livingstone in Scotland.

The town of Zomba became the administrative capital of the British colonists.

John Chilembwe Day (15 January) honours the life of the famous Malawian. On 23 January 1915 Chilembwe led a revolt against the British colonial government; the uprising ended when John Chilembwe was killed a few weeks later.

During an uprising against the Federation in 1959 forty people lost their lives. These people are remembered on 3 March every year on Martyr's Day.

Between 1953 and 1963 Nyasaland (Malawi), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) became members of the Federation of Central Africa.

Independence was declared in 1964 and the country became a republic in 1966.

Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda was the first president of the Republic of Malawi.

Malawi is a member of the Commonwealth.

In 2002 around thirteen million people in Southern Africa faced severe food shortages. Countries particularly affected were Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Food shortages were announced again in 2005.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is recognised as an important public health problem in Malawi.

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