Malawi is a small country located in southeast central Africa. It is bordered by Mozambique to the east, Zambia to the west, and Tanzania to the north, Malawi was formerly a British Protectorate known as Nyasaland. Since 1964, Malawi has been an independent nation and a member of the British Commonwealth.

Describing themselves as "the friendliest people in Africa," Malawians are primarily Bantu peoples of the Chewa tribe. Other ethnic groups include the Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Asians, and Europeans.

Malawi is predominantly agricultural, with nearly 90% of the population of 10-11 million people engaged in subsistence farming. It is a landlocked country with few exploitable mineral resources. Small farmers produce a variety of crops, including maize (corn), beans, rice, cassava, and peanuts. Fruits such as bananas, mangoes, papayas, and oranges are also grown. The main cash crops, grown mostly on large estates, are tobacco, sugar, tea, and coffee.

There are five major national parks in Malawi with wildlife such as elephants, zebra, hippo, crocodiles, antelope, lion, leopards, and hundreds of species of birds and fish. Few average Malawians have had the chance to visit their national parks thus many Malawians have never seen some of the animals for which East Africa is famous.

Located along the edge of the Great Rift Valley of East Africa, Lake Malawi lies in a deep trough formed by the rift. The third largest lake in Africa, Lake Malawi comprises 20% of Malawi's area.


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