Administrative divisions: 28 districts; Balaka, Blantyre, Chikhwawa, Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Dedza, Dowa, Karonga, Kasungu, Likoma, Lilongwe, Machinga, Mangochi, Mchinji, Mulanje, Mwanza, Mzimba, Neno, Ntcheu, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Nsanje, Ntchisi, Phalombe, Rumphi, Salima, Thyolo, Zomba
Area: 118,484 sq km (land: 94,080 sq km, water: 24,404 sq km)
Borders: 2,881 km (Mozambique 1,569 km, Tanzania 475 km, Zambia 837 km)
Banking hours: Mon to Fri 8 am to 3 pm; Sat 8 am to 11 am.
Business hours: Mon to Fri 7.30 am to 5 pm.
Climate: Subtropical. Rainy season November to May; dry season May to November. Maximum average temperature in southern lake region varies from 21°C in June and July to 27°C in October to March.
Currency: The Malawian kwacha (MWK) is divided into 100 tambala.
Elevations: Lowest point is junction of the Shire River and international boundary with Mozambique at 37 metres above sea level. Highest point is Sapitwa (Mount Mlanje) at 3,002 metres.
Ethnic groups: Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde, Asian, European.
Electricity: 230 to 240 volts, AC 50 Hz. Square-pin plugs mostly used.
Exchange rates: MWK per US dollar – 159.16 (2009), 142.41 (2008), 141.12 (2007), 135.96 (2006), 108.894 (2005).
History: Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964.
Industries: Tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods, mining minerals such as uranium, coal and rare metals.
Geography: Malawi is landlocked. Lake Malawi, 580 km long, is the most prominent physical feature.
Languages: English is the official language, Chichewa is the national language. Other widely spoken languages are Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe and Sena.
Public holidays: 1 January, 15 January (John Chilembwe Day), 3 March (Martyr’s Day), Good Friday, Easter Monday, 1 May (Labour Day), 15 June (Freedom Day), 6 July (Independence Day (Republic Day), 6 July (1964)), second Monday in October (Mother’s Day), 25 December (Christmas Day), 26 December (Boxing Day).
Population: 13.2 million (2008 census)
Religions: Christian 80 per cent, Muslim 13 per cent, other 3 per cent, none 4 per cent (1998 census).
Time difference: GMT +2 hours, CET + 1 hour, UTC + 7 hours.
Topography: Narrow elongated plateau with rolling plains, rounded hills and some mountains.