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Malawi, as we all have read and seen through our fabulous pictures is a beautiful  landlocked and mountainous country, is a favorite with tourists due to its incredible scenery, the great opportunities it offers for hiking and trekking in its national parks, and the chance to see African wildlife at its numerous game reserves. Yet, the country also enjoys the facilities of  casinos based in the country's main cities, Lilongwe and Blantyre. Lilongwe the capital city of Malawi since 1971, and where all government institutions, including the Ministries and Parliament, are located

Casino gaming    

Our largest casino, the American Palace casino is found there. It has 100 slot machines, including video poker machines and eight gaming tables, playing blackjack and roulette. There is also a restaurant and bar.Children over five years old are welcome to accompany adults, as there is a special amusement arcade for their enjoyment, with 15 video games.

Within the city there is also a smaller casino within the Pacific Shopping Mall Centre called Vision Gaming. Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial capital also has few places where one can enjoy gambling. The Colony casino along Victoria Avenue is one place one is bound not to leave in a hurry. . It has 32 slot machines and 7 gaming tables. There are a wide range of games on offer - American Roulette, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, and Raise'em Poker (a variant similar to Texas Hold'em). It also offers a Race Book and a Sports Book. It is open from 6 pm until "late" and has a bar, and Livingstones Restaurant for when gamblers want a rest.

In Blantyre Dynamic Blackjack Roots Ltd offer ten machines each at the Blue Elephant and Limbe Country Club.

Senga Bay’s Maximillians casino also offers ten machines for those in the area.
In order for you to enjoy your games in Malawi, the Malawi Gaming Board was established to regulate gaming; control and license gaming premises; and also receive all complaints that you, the visitor might have. They are there to promote responsible gambling.
They can be contacted through:

Email: or Tel: +265 (1) 821 522
So, a visitor to Malawi's cities will not be lacking opportunities for gambling at all. All that the Travel Malawi wishes you is good luck! Cause you will need it.



Mulanje Porters’ Race

If you are in Malawi around mid-July, please askabout the Mulanje Porters’ Race – now an international event – organised by the Mount Mulanje Conservation Trust. The Mulanje porters and other entrants race up and down 25km of Steep Mountain in one of Africa’s maddest and most daunting fitness challenges, taking in the heights of the Skyline Path to Chambe. Cash, items and assorted gifts are given to the different winners mainly the first three. Different
runners tearing down the mountain    

records have been broken by different winners. One of the winners, Kayange (from the Malawi Defense Force) set a new course record of 2 hours 8 minutes 45 seconds.


Mulanje Porters Race is undoubtedly Malawi’s prime athletic contest. Imagine 200 or more participants, ages 13 to 74, tearing up a rocky crag, traversing a grassy plateau, and then bouncing back down the mountain, logging 25 kilometres and about 2,000 metres of elevation change. The event is open to all men, women, boys and even women, and further details can be obtained through infoMulanje or the MCM or MMCT.
    Porters race about to start

When the Porters Race began in 1996 it was exactly what the name suggests — a contest between the porters who lug hikers’ gear up the mountain. It quickly expanded, though, including women in its fifth year and drawing competitors from across the country and an as yet small contingent of foreign competitors. Porters now rarely number among the top finishers. Enquiries for 2011 - the organisers:



Walking through most  villages of Malawi, along the lakeshores, at in recent times even around some places within the main cities,  you are guaranteed to come across a group of children, young adults or full adults playing the beautiful game of Bawo / Bao on either intricately carved boards or on hollows scooped into the earth. In Malawi (the warm heart of Africa), bawo /bao is a popular traditional game, a national pastime, though now it has become well established and national level competition are also held.

Bawo is played by two players on a wooden platform with 32 holes, 16 for each player and small glass marbles / seeds are used, (each player is entitled to have 32 balls that are added to the game each time the player makes a move.

    Bawo board being carved


Game Object: to empty your opponents' front row, or deprive them of any legal moves, while still protecting your own front row. When the last seed on a sowing falls in an occupied hole in your inner row (second row from you), you capture all the seeds form the inner row opposite (third row from you).
How to play:


Initial setup in Bao la kiswahili
Each player initially places 6 seeds/ mables in the nyumba (which means a house, this is the square shaped hole which has more than two seeds/ mables) and two more seeds in the two pits immediately to the right of the nyumba. All the remaining seeds are kept "in hand". Thus each player has respectively 22 or 20 seeds in hand at the beginning of the game. These seeds are introduced into the game in a first phase of play called the namua phase.


In the namua phase, each player begins his or her move by introducing one of the seeds he or she has in hand into the board. The seed must be placed in a non-empty pit in the player's inner row.



A "marker" pit is a pit of the inner row that faces a non-empty opponent's pit. If the first seed is placed in a marker pit, a capture occurs, and the player's turn will be called mtaji. Otherwise, the turn will be called Kutakata. A player must capture if he or she can do that. In mtaji, other captures may occur as a consequence of sowing (see below); in kutakata turn, on the other hand, captures are not allowed.

Capture and sowing
When a capture occurs, the player

Taxi drivers playing bawo    

takes all the seed from the captured opponent's pit, and relay sows them in his or her rows. The first seed must be sown in acounterclockwise; if it is sown in the right, while if it is sown in the left, sowing will be clockwise. The choice is initially left to the player, with a few exceptions. If capture has occurred, sowing must start from the closest hole.

Capture and sowing
When a capture occurs, the player takes all the seed from the captured opponent's pit, and relay sows them in his or her rows. The first seed must be sown in acounterclockwise; if it is sown in the right, while if it is sown in the left, sowing will be clockwise. The choice is initially left to the player, with a few exceptions. If capture has occurred, sowing must start from the closest hole.



While the player is relay-sowing, if the last seed in any individual sowing is placed in a marker, a new capture occurs. Sowing of the captured seeds will start again from a hole. In this case, it is never up to the player to choose which hole to sow from, that is: if the capture occurred in a hole, sowing must start from the closest hole, as above; otherwise, the player must preserve the current clockwise or counterclockwise direction of sowing. That is, if a capture occurs at the end
School children enjoying the bawo game   of a clockwise sowing, the newly captured seeds

will have to be sown starting from the clockwise hole, and vice versa.

If there is nomtaji, relay sowing, but captures will never take place: marker pits are treated just like any other pits.

In any case, the turn ends when the last seed in a sowing is dropped in an empty pit.

Mtaji phase
When players are left without seeds in their hands, the namua phase is over a new phase of the game begins, which is called the "mtaji" phase. Note that the word "mtaji" is used both to refer to a turn and to a game phase; the two meanings must not confused. In the mtaji phase, the player will begin his or her turn taking all the seeds from any pit that has at least 2 seeds, and sows them (either clockwise or counterclockwise). If the last seed of this first sowing is dropped in a marker, mtaji begins, with the same rules described above must capture if he or she can do so.

If the first sowing does not lead to a capture, the whole turn is kutakata,  exactly as in the namua phase. In this case, the player must start sowing from a pit in the inner row, if this is possible.

As a special rule, if the first sowing is from a pit that has more than 15 seeds, the turn will always be "kutakata" irrespective of whether the last seed falls in a marker or not.

End of the game
The game ends when a player is left without seeds in his or her inner row, or when he or she cannot move anymore. In both cases, this player loses the game.

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