Before submitting a dossier to nominate a site as world heritage site, states are encouraged to submit their Tentative Lists. A Tentative List is an inventory of those properties which each State Party considers to be cultural and/or natural heritage of outstanding universal value and therefore suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List.
Nominations to the World Heritage List will not be considered unless the nominated property has already been included on the country’s tentative list. In 2010 the Malawi National Commission for UNESCO facilitated and coordinated research work undertaken by two departments of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, to develop a tentative list for the country. The Department of Parks and Wildlife worked on the natural sites: Lake Chirwa in Zomba district in the southern region and Vwaza Marsh in Rumphi district in the northern region. The Department of Culture worked on the cultural sites: Khuluvi, Associated Mbona Sacred Rain Shrines in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts in the southern region, and Malawi Slave Routes and Dr. David Livingstone Trail in Mangochi and Nkhotakota districts in the southern and central regions respectively