Landlocked Malawi is called the 'Warm Heart of Africa'.
This narrow, curving strip of land along the Rift Valley is home to spectacular highlands and large lakes.
The economy is based on agriculture. Tea, sugar and cotton are some of the main export crops.
The majority of the population speak Chichewa. It's one of the 500 Bantu languages, which you'll hear in Africa from southern Cameroon eastward to Kenya and southward to the tip of the continent. English is the official language of Malawi.
Children in grades 1 to 4 are taught in their mother tongue. From grade 5 they are taught English, which is used widely in business, administrative and judicial matters, and higher education. Many Malawi schools are twinned with Scottish schools.
Lake Nyasa or Lake Malawi accounts for more than one-fifth of the country's total area. David Livingstone called it the 'Lake of the Stars'. He was a 19th century explorer and missionary, born in Blantyre in Scotland (the second city of Malawi is called Blantyre, after Livingstone's birthplace).
During his visit to Malawi, Livingstone saw lantern lights from the fishermen's boats reflected in the water, which resembled the stars at night, which is how he came up with the name. Today there is also a Lake of the Stars music festival.
Football is the most common sport in Malawi. Basketball, volleyball, tennis and squash are also growing in popularity.
Malawi entered the Commonwealth in 1964.
It made its debut in the Edinburgh 1970 Commonwealth Games, winning a Boxing Bronze medal. The country has competed in all Games since then.
When the Games were held once again in Edinburgh in 1986, Malawi won two more Boxing medals. At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Malawi took part in 10 different sports.