By Mary Chikoja
Malawi, also well known as the Warm Heart of Africa has embarked on a week-long tourism campaign week in a bid to create public awareness on places of tourism interests in the country.
The tourism week being celebrated under the theme; “Need for developing culture” kicke-off with a familiarisation tour for journalists in some of the country’s major tourism and cultural destinations that included mountains, beaches, hotels and the country’s huge mass of water, Lake Malawi.
The journalists were accompanied by the Director of Tourism in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, Isaac Katopola who said this year government has opted to campaign for the upholding of culture as research has shown that Malawians mainly consider nature tourism.
“It’s high time that apart from taking nature as an important part tourism, that we also realise that upholding culture is also an important aspect of tourism hence the highlighting of culture in this year’s tourism week,” said Katopola.
Katopola added that this year’s celebrations are done in diversity and nature is used as a driving force.
As part of culture, senior rock artist, John Chilachila told journalists who visited Mphunzi Mountain in Dedza that the writings (found on the rocks in the mountain) were used as a means of communication amongst the Akafula people who lived in the mountains.
“Akafula (very short, dark and hairy people) used to write on rocks so as to notify one another about life aspects and behaviour change especially in women,” he explained to the excited journalists.
Chilachila also disclosed that Akafula, also well known in Malawi as a Mwandionela Pati? (Where did you see me?), as a result of their short height, they wrote on the rocks to communicate young girls on how to behave after reaching maturity age and to pregnant women on how to behave and live during their status.
In a bid to promote culture, journalists also visited the first arc bridge in central Africa.
The arch bridge on Diaphwe river was constructed in 1920 and acts as a boundary between the central region district of Dedza and Malawi’s administrative capital, Lilongwe.
As part of the campaign, journalists also visited Lake Malawi where they also saw Lake Malawi National Park.
Lake Malawi is habitat to over 500 different species of fish than any other lake in the world like. The most special one of all is the Mbuna fish.
The pride of Malawi, Lake Malawi has also the popular Chambo fish which is one of the best species of fish in the whole world.
Some of Malawi’s main tourism destination places for accommodation include Ku Chawe Inn, Sunbird Mount Soche, Nkopola Lodge, Boadzulu Holiday Resort, Nyika National Park, Lengwe National Park and Majete Game Reserve.
The other tourism attraction centres include the Mulanje Mountain which is the highest in central Africa, the Zomba mountain, Nyika plateau and the Shire river among many other attractive places-Malawi Digest.