Among the major ethnic groups are Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuko, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde, Asians, and Europeans. The most widely spoken language (60 percent of the population) is Chewa, which originated among the Bantu tribes of South Africa.Five percent of the people speak Yao, and 30 percent speak Arabic.
However, the major commercial center is Blantyre, named after the birthplace in Scotland of the first European to discover Lake Malawi, the English explorer Livingston.In May 1994, a new constitution was approved, and then the first multiparty elections took place.Bakili Muluzi, the leader of the United Democratic Front and a former federal cabinet member, defeated Banda for the presidency and formed a government dominated by that party.The major topographic feature is Lake Malawi, a freshwater lake that is home to hundreds of fish species found nowhere else in the world. The topography varies from the high Nyika plateau in the north to the Shire River valley in the south that is an extension of the Great Rift Valley.In the far southeast corner is Mount Mulanje, which is among the highest mountains in Africa.The biogeographic significance of these hominids from the Malawi-Rift lay in their association with the eastern African endemic animal group.
Biogeographic variation in south-eastern Africa may be linked to habitat change occurring due to climate change, with maximum change occurring around 2.5 Ma.
Beginning in 1893, it was known as the British Central Africa Protectorate, and in 1907, the area was officially designated the Nyasaland Protectorate.
In 1915, John Chilembwe, an African preacher, staged a short, bloody uprising in response to the treatment of Africans by British colonists.
have been recovered from two contemporaneous sites (Uraha and Malema) in the “Hominid Corridor” in Northern Malawi (Chiwondo Beds).
Faunal dating suggests an age of 2.5–2.3 Ma for both hominids. (RC 911 from Malema) known only from eastern Africa, represent the southernmost known distribution of these taxa.
By the sixteenth century, a Malawi kingdom had trade relations with the coastal areas of Mozambique.