Known as "The Warm Heart of Africa," Malawi is home to some of the friendliest people in the world.
See also African National Parks
Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. After three decades of one-party rule, the country held multiparty elections in 1994 under a provisional constitution, which took full effect the following year. National multiparty elections were held again in 1999.
Unlike many of Malawi's neighbors, most of the roads in Malawi are in surprisingly good shape; therefore, travel times between destinations should be "reasonable." The Malawian police force have set up "check points" along many of the major roadways. By and large, they are looking for illegal activities (drug smuggling, etc.), and will let most private transportation through without much hassle. It might worthwhile, however, to carry an old magazine with you to "lubricate" the checkpoint process.
"Luxury" buses, medium-sized buses, and minibuses all service the country. Generally, if police are going to hassle travelers, it will be individuals using these types of transportation.
English is one of the official languages of Malawi (with Chewa and Tumbuka) and is widely spoken.