Malawi

.     –   MALAWI ALERTS :     –     .
.          FUEL: Nothing to report at the moment  …..
.          EMERGENCIES : Nothing to report at present  ….
.        AVOID DRIVING IN THE DARK.  Trucks, Cars, Tractors with no lights and/or reflectors are all too common. Every year we lose friends who hit into broken down and stationary vehicles.   ….
.     –    MALAWI ALERTS :     –     .
.          FUEL: Nothing to report at the moment  …..
.          EMERGENCIES : Nothing to report at present  ….
.        Drive Safely. Have a wonderful trip. Enjoy Malawi   ….

GO TO SECTIONS

About Malawi      Accommodation      Banking and Currency      Malawi Cuisine      Embassies & Consulates

Infrastructure      Game Reserves       Health      Road Travel     Tourist Attractions     Travel Advisories and Alerts

Visas      Useful Phrases in Malawi     Weather      What! Need to know more?

General Traveler Information

ABOUT MALAWI (“The warm heart of Africa”)


Malawi (also known by its former name Nyasaland), is a stunning country in South East Africa bordered by Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique.  A third of Malawi consists of the majestic Lake Malawi (the twelfth largest freshwater lake in the world), and the Great Rift Valley runs through Malawi from the North to the South.  Spectacular features of Malawi will include Mount Mulanje, Lake Malawi and The Zomba Plateau.  Malawi has evergreen forests, a prosperous diversity of flora and fauna, indigenous animal life that includes Big Cats, Hippos, Elephants, Monkeys, Bats and a variety of Birds such as parrots, falcons, waterfowl, owls, songbirds, birds of prey and large waders.  The main flora of Malawi is the savannah woodland.  Tourist attractions for Malawi will include the beautiful 9 National Parks and Wildlife Reserves, The Mulanje Massif, The Chongoni Rock Art Area, The Lujeri Tea Estate, The Zomba Plateau, Lake Malawi, St. Peter’s Cathedral, St Michael and All Angels Church, The World War 1 Memorial, The Kumbali Cultural Village and various Museums and Art Villages.  Activities to do in Malawi will include Hiking, Fishing, Mountain Climbing, Bird Watching, Diving, Snorkeling and much more.

The Malawian flag consists of three black, red and green horizontal stripes with a red rising sun in the center of the black stripe.  The black stripe represents the African people, the red stripe represents the blood of the martyrs for African freedom, the green stripe represents Malawi’s ever green nature and the dawning sun represents the dawn of freedom and hope for Africa.  In addition to being the largest city in Malawi, Lilongwe (named after the Lilongwe River) is the capital city of Malawi and Blantyre is Malawi’s commercial centre.  Malawi’s official language is English and the primary language for Malawians is Chichewa.  Chili Kuti is Chichewa for Where is it?  Malawi earned its nicknames “The Warm Heart Of Africa” and “Africa for Beginners”, through its compassionate environment, hospitality and its people being welcoming, courteous and supportive.  Malawian people are very attentive to good manners and love it when tourists speak to them in their own language, so if you want to make a friend for life, all you have to do is just learn a few words of Chichewa and greet them in their own language.  Crime is present in Malawi, but violent crime is rare and in general, Malawi is considered a safe country for tourists however tourists are advised to take the normal and usual travel precautions when traveling to any destination.

Majority of Malawian religion is Christian.  Malawi has a rich culture of music and dance that forms a vital part of the Malawian lifestyle and there are over 100 traditional dances in Malawi.  There are many dance troupes and performances, traditional ceremonies, celebrations and festivals that occur throughout the country that is worth watching for tourists.  The Malawian national dance troupe is called the ‘Aka Kwatcha’ and has been performed all over the world.  Malawi has a well-heeled tradition of basketry, wood carving, pottery making and mask carving, and tourists love buying the items and the hand-painted pieces that simulate beautiful landscape scenes and ordinary life scenes of Malawian people.

When you are packing your clothes for your holiday in Malawi, keep in mind that people in Malawi likes to dress informal and swimwear and revealing clothing should only be worn at the beach resorts.  If you are going on safari, colours like beige and brown should be worn instead of bright or light colours.  If you are going to Malawi in the winter (April – September), its best to pack warm clothes for the evenings and early mornings.  The standard Malawi time is GMT+2.

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ACCOMMODATION


In the major centers of Malawi, there are many acceptable hotels.  Whilst the standards, service and quality is not always to Western levels, they are mostly very acceptable indeed.  Bed and Breakfasts (BnB, Guest Cottages and Small Guest Lodges are prolific (especially in Blantyre and Lilongwe) and are pretty good value for money.  There are no Dormitories type of Accommodation available in Malawi.  There are many Lodges around Malawi, particularly around the Lake Malawi towns of Salima, Mangochi, Monkey Bay, Cape Maclear and Senga Bay and they are particularly welcoming to Backpackers.  If you like camping and want a South African kind of camping ground/caravan park, you are out of luck.  Some of the Country clubs allow camping on their sites as do some of the Lodges and resorts.  Camping in the open is seldom fun in Malawi, unless you enjoy being the focus of spectator sport.  The local kids will appear from nowhere to enjoy the spectacle of “rich foreigners” crazy enough to choose to sleep in a tent.  Overall, Malawi is a great destination to go on holiday and there are many things to see and do.

To view all types of available accommodation in Malawi such as Backpackers, Bed and Breakfast, Cabins/Chalets, Camp Sites, Caravan/RV Sites, Cottages, Dormitories, Gameparks/Reserves, Hotels, Lodges, Motels, Tented Accommodation, Villa and to make booking reservations, please visit our booking page on the following link http://www.chilikutiafrica.com/bookings

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BANKING & CURRENCY


The currency used in Malawi is the Malawian Kwacha and US Dollars and Travelers Cheques are also accepted throughout Malawi.  You can click on the link for the current rate check www.xe.com.  Malawi has a developed but not very extensive banking network.  Within major centers one can find many ATM’s and banks, but it is worthwhile to stock up with cash before venturing to outlying places.  Banks in Malawi are open weekdays from 08:00am to 13:00pm.  Whilst more and more establishments in Malawi are now accepting debit and credit cards, one cannot rely on it.  Keep cash in reserve.

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MALAWIAN CUISINE


Malawi has a very diverse cuisine.  The most popular cuisine dishes for Malawians are their staple food Nsima (porridge made from ground corn) with Chicken / Beef / Kampango / Fish like Chambo, Usipa and Mpasa from Lake Malawi served with Vegetables and Tea.  There are various popular street foods like Mandasi (deep-fried sweet fritters), Kanyenya (barbecued meat or fist) and Chiwaya (chips and chicken / pork / beef) available throughout Malawi.  Vegetables and Fruits such as Mangoes, Melons, Oranges, Bananas and Pineapples are available in Malawi.  There are various soft drinks such as Coca-Cola and Alcoholic beverages such as Beer (Carlsberg most common), Spirits (Malawi Gin) and South African Wines available at reasonable prices in Malawi.  It is advised to rather drink bottled water than tap water in Malawi.

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EMBASSIES & CONSULATES


Malawi Embassies and Consulates

Australian Consulate in Lilongwe

Address: Samala House,
Level 2, Section B Offices,
City Centre, Lilongwe, Malawi

Phone: (+265)(1) 774 894/5
(+265)(0)999 969 984

Fax: (+265)(1) 774 896

Email: [email protected]
Honorary Consulate of Belgium in Lilongwe

Address: Area 3, Plot 3/538, Bougainvillea Close
Off Laws Avenue

Postal Address: P.o. Box 124, Lilongwe

Phone: (+265) 753 834
(+265) 999 940 090

Fax: (+265) 753 834

Email: [email protected]
Republic of Cyprus Consulate in Blantyre

Postal Address: P.o.Box 1427, Blantyre, Malawi

Phone: (+265) 999 96 5733

Fax: (+265) 184 3832

Email: [email protected]
[email protected]
Embassy of Egypt in Lilongwe

Address: Area 10/247 Tsoka Road, Area 10, Lilongwe

Phone: (00265) 1794 657

Fax: (00265) 1794 660

Website: http://www.mfa.gov.eg/english/embassies
Egyptian_Embassy_Malawi/Pages/default.aspx

Email: [email protected]
German Embassy in Lilongwe

Address: Convention Drive (Capital City), Lilongwe

Phone: (+265) 1 77 25 55

Fax: (+265) 1 77 02 50

Website: http://www.lilongwe.diplo.de

Email: [email protected]
Embassy of Ireland in Malawi

Address: 3rd Floor, Arwa House, Capital City Lilongwe

Phone: (00265) 1 776 405/408

Email: [email protected]
High Commission of Mozambique in Lilongwe

Postal Address: P.o. Box 30579, Lilongwe 3, Malawi

Phone: (+265) 1784100, 1784291, 1784696

Fax: (+265) 1781342

Email: [email protected]
[email protected]
Embassy of Norway in Lilongwe

Address: Arwa House, City Centre

Postal Address: Private Bag B 323, Lilongwe 3

Phone: (+265) 77 42 11

Fax: (+265) 1 772 845

Website: http://www.norway.mw/

Email: [email protected]
Embassy of the Republic of Taiwan in Lilongwe

Address: Area 40, Plot No. 9 Capital City Lilongwe,
Republic of Malawi

Phone: (002-265-)1774181

Fax: (002-265-) 1774812

Email: [email protected]
Zambian High Commission in Malawi

Address: Area 40/2, City Centre

Postal Address: P.o.Box 30138, Lilongwe 3, Malawi

Phone: (+265) 1 772 590 / (+265) 1 772 635

Fax: (+265) 1 772 114 / (+265) 1 773 880

Email: [email protected]
Consulate of Austria in Blantyre

Address: Plot BC 1033, off Chikwawa Road

Postal Address: P.o. Box 574, Blantyre, Malawi

Phone: (+265)(1) 63 84 71, (+265)(1) 63 88 19

Fax: (+265) (1) 63 74 96

Email: [email protected]
Chinese Embassy in Lilongwe

Address: Area 11, Lilongwe, Malawi

Phone: (00265) 1794751, (00265)(0)996542837

Fax: 00265-1794752

Email: [email protected]
Royal Danish Embassy in Lilongwe

Address: Area 14/40, Lilongwe

Postal Address: Private Bag 396, Lilongwe

Phone: 784 825

Fax: 784 961

Email: [email protected]
Honorary Consulate of Finland in Lilongwe

Address: City Lilongwe

Phone: (+265) 1 795 398

Email: [email protected]
Honorary Consulate of Greece in Blantyre

Postal Address: P.o. Box. 1740, Blantyre, Malawi

Phone: (002651) 875494
Honorary Consul of Ireland in Blantyre

Address: Able House, Chilembwe Road,

Postal Address: Private Bag 68, Blantyre

Phone: (+265) 623 950

Fax: (+265) 623 353

Details Honorary Consul: Sean O’Neill
Consulate of Mozambique in Blantyre

Address: Masauko Chipembere Highway, Nunes Building,
Blantyre,

Postal Address: P.o. Box 5364 Limbe

Phone: (+265) 1643189, 1644320

Fax: (+265) 1644907

Email: [email protected]
South African High Commission in Lilongwe

Address: 3rd Floor, Kang’ombe House,
Robert Mugabe Crescent

Postal Address: P.o Box 30043, Lilongwe 3

Phone: (+265) 1 77 3722

Fax: (+265) 1 77 2571

Email: [email protected]
U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe

Address: 16 Jomo Kenyatta Road, Lilongwe 3, Malawi City
Lilongwe

Postal Address: P.o Box 30016, Lilongwe

Phone: (265) 1 773 166

Fax: (265) 1 770 471

Website: http://lilongwe.usembassy.gov

Email: [email protected]
Zimbabwean Embassy in Lilongwe

Address: Area 13/22, City Centre, Lilongwe

Postal Address: P.o. Box 30187, Lilongwe

Phone: (+265)-1-774-988/997/413

Fax: (+265)-1-772-382

Email: [email protected]


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INFRASTRUCTURE


Malawi has 31 Airports of which 7 has paved runways and 24 has unpaved runways.  The two international airports in Malawi is the Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe and the Chileka International Airport in Blantyre.  Malawi has narrow-gauge Railways and Roadways in various conditions (paved and unpaved).  There are Waterways on Lake Malawi and the Shire River.  Public transport in Malawi is available via Axa busses and minibuses that will travel almost anywhere in Malawi.  The Malawian communication infrastructure caters for cell phones, landline telephones, internet connections, radio, television and postal services.   There are three mobile phone networks in Malawi namely TNM, Access and Airtel and tourists can buy sim cards relatively cheap for any of the mobile networks. Coverage is fair to good in most parts of the country.  The land line service is barely adequate.  If a site lists a cell phone as well as land line numbers the mobile number will normally be better, especially outside the main cities.  Data rates are expensive so endeavour to do downloads and updates when WI-Fi is available.  Malawi has 20 television stations that is broadcasted on the country’s digital network MDBNL and there are English language radio broadcasts available.  The postal system in Malawi can be very slow but international courier company DHL is operational in Malawi.

Electricity supply in Malawi is 220 – 240 volts running at 50Hz.  Type – G plugs (“British type” square bayonet three-pin plugs) are used.  Malawi has been suffering major electricity supply problems lately. It is advisable to bring plenty of batteries as they are expensive in Malawi.  Ensure that you have a car charger for your cell phones, lap tops, tablets etc. as you can’t assume that there will be electricity at your next stop.  Not even if it is a major city. 

 

There are large supermarkets and shops available in Blantyre and Lilongwe for tourists looking to do some shopping.  There are small supermarkets, markets and roadside vendors available in towns and villages throughout Malawi. Malawian people expect bargaining at the markets, so tourists shouldn’t be afraid to bargain on item prices in the markets.

 

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GAME RESERVES


Malawi  has 9 beautiful scenic National Parks and Reserves.  Reserves and Parks to go and visit while in Malawi would include: The Majete Wildlife Reserve, The Nyika National Park, The Liwonde National Park, Lake Malawi National Park, Kasungu National Park, Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve, Lengwe National Park, Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve and the Nkhotakota Game Reserve. Game drives are recommended in the early mornings and late afternoons.   For your own safety it is always advised to approach big game with caution and don’t make any unnecessary movement or noise and be prepared to drive on quickly if warning signs appear for example if an elephant turns head-on to you and flaps its ears.  Always try to keep down-wind and remember any wild animal can be dangerous if startled, irritated or cornered.  Never cut off a wild animal’s line of retreat, no matter what the circumstances.  For more information on each of the parks and reserves listed above, please visit the following link http://www.safari.co.za/Malawi_Regional_Info-travel/malawi-liwonde-national-park.html

Liwonde National Park

The Liwonde National Park (also known as the Liwonde Wildlife Reserve) is located in the south of Malawi and is 580sq km big.  The park was founded in 1973.  The park offers fabulous game viewing with the Shire River that flows along the western border of the park and some of the wildlife in the park includes Hippos, Buffalos, Elephants, Leopards, Zebras, Crocodiles, Hyenas, Antelopes such as Waterbuck, Kudu, Eland, Hartebeest, Sable, Duiker, Impala, Bushbuck, Black Rhino’s, Baboons, Monkeys, Warthogs, Cheetahs and Lions.  The park hosts many varied bird species, some of which includes Fish Eagle, White-starred Robin, Lilian’s Lovebird, Brown-headed Parrot, Weaver Birds, African Skimmer, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Southern Ground Hornbill, Saddle-billed Stork, Brown-breasted Barber and many more.  The park offers first class accommodation in lodges and camp sites.  Activities to do in the park will include Game Viewing, Game Drives, Bird Watching, Boat Safaris on the Shire river, Hiking Trails and 4×4 Routes.  The best time to visit the park is during the dry season from April to October.  The Liwonde National Park is open from 06:00am in the morning to 18:00pm at night. For more information you can email African Parks – Liwonde on [email protected], visit their website on www.african-parks.org or contact them on +265 (0) 99  317 0829.

Nkhotakota Game Reserve

The Nkhotakota Game Reserve (also known as the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve) lies beneath the Chipata Mountain in the central region of Malawi and has various rivers flowing through it and most of the reserve is miombo woodland.  The reserve is 1800sq km big and wildlife in the reserve includes several Antelope species, Leopards, Buffalos, Elephants, Lions and many other game species.  The reserve hosts various bird species including Giant King Fishers, Palm Nut Vultures and many more.  Accommodation in the park will include lodges and camping sites.  Activities to do in the park will include Game Viewing, Walking Safaris, Climbing, Bird Watching and Fishing.  For more information you can email African Parks – Nkhotakota on [email protected], visit their website on www.african-parks.org or contact them on +265 999 965 043.

Majete Wildlife Reserve

The Majete Wildlife Reserve is located in the South West of Malawi in the Lower Shire Valley and is 700sq km big.  The reserve is a Big Five destination and wildlife in the reserve includes Lions, African Elephants, Black Rhinoceros, African Buffalos, African Leopards, Antelopes such as Eland, Reedbuck, Impala, Nyala, Duiker, Sable, Waterbuck, Hippos, Monkeys, Warthogs, Zebras, Tortoises, Crocodiles, Leopards and many more.  Bird species in the reserve includes Golden Silk Orb-weaver, Egyptian Goose, African Finfoot, Racket-tailed Roller and many more.  For Accommodation, the reserve offers a luxury tented camp and community campsite.  Activities to do in the reserve will include Game Viewing, Bird Watching, Game Drives and a visit to the Kapichira Falls.  For more information you can email Majete Wildlife Reserve on [email protected], visit their website on www.majete.org or contact them on +265 999 521 741.

Nyika National Park

The Nyika National Park is located in Northern Malawi in the Nyika Plateau.  The park was named Nyika as Nyika means “where the water comes from” and the park is located in the Nyika Plateau.  The park is beautiful with various orchid flowers and wildflowers over the grasslands. The park is 3200sq km big and wildlife in the park includes Elephants, Antelopes such as Eland, Roan, Duiker, Lions, Zebras, Lions, Leopards, Warthogs, Hyena, Porcupines, Bushpigs, Jackal and many more.  Bird species in the park will include Denham’s Bustard, Red-winged Francolin, Wattled Crane and many more.  Accommodation in the park will include log cabin lodges and camp sites and facilities.  Activities to do in the park will include 4×4 Excursions, Fishing, Game Viewing, Mountain Biking, Game Drives, Walking, Horseback Safaris, Bird Watching, Trekking, visiting the Chisanga Falls, the Neolithic Rock Shelter, Trout Pools, Waterfalls and the Magic Lake.

Lengwe National Park

The Lengwe National Park is near Chikwawa in Malawi and is 900sq km big.  Wildlife in the park includes Spotted Hyenas, Antelope such as Nyala, Impala, Duiker, Kudu, Bushbuck, Reedbuck, Livingstone’s Suni, Warthogs, Monkeys, Buffalos, Baboons, Bush pigs, and many more.  Bird species in the park includes Shrikes, Yellow-spotted nicators, Rollers, Bee-eaters and many more.  Accomodation in the park is the Nyala Lodge.  Activities to do in the park includes Game Viewing, Game Viewing through the built hides overlooking the water-holes, Bird Watching, Walking and Visiting the Tisunge heritage centre and the Lower Shire Heritage centre.

Lake Malawi National Park

The breath-taking Lake Malawi National Park is the world’s first freshwater park with various marine animals and is located south of Lake Malawi and infuses the spectacular World Heritage Site Cape Maclear.  Wildlife in the park will include Baboons, Antelope such as Duiker, Impala, Kudu, Leopards, Hippos, Elephants, Warthogs and many more.  Bird life in the park will include Fish Eagles, Hamerkops, Cormorants, Hyrax and many more.  Fishes to be seen in the transparent waters of Lake Malawi would include Cichlid, Mbuna Rock Fish, Chambo, Usipa, Mpasa and many more.  There are various lodges and romantic island hideaways available for accommodation in the park.  Activities to do at the park would include Game Viewing, Bird Watching, Bike Rides, Boating, Safaris, Boat Cruises, Snorkelling, Swimming, Game Excursions, Game Drives, Diving and Canoeing.

 

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HEALTH


Malawi has central hospitals, regional and private facilities.  Yellow fever and malaria are prevalent, and Malawi has one of the highest incidences of AIDS in the world. There is a variety of infectious diseases present in Malawi such as Diarrhea, Bilharzia (if bathing in- or drinking water from some parts of Lake Malawi), Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid fever, Malaria, Plague, Schistosomiasis and Rabies.  It is extremely important to visit your doctor ideally 4-6 weeks before your trip to get your vaccines or medicines you may need.  There is a risk of malaria when traveling to Malawi, so it is best to take prophylactics.  These health tips are just a guideline; thus, we recommend that you always seek up to date advice from your doctor before traveling to any destination.

Vaccines and Medicines:

For your own health and safety, it is best to check the vaccines and medicines list for the country you are traveling to and visit your doctor (ideally 4-6 weeks) before your planned vacation or trip to get vaccines or medicines you may require.  It is best to ensure that you are up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination.  You can ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from any country other than the U.S.  Some vaccines like Yellow Fever is a compulsory vaccine and also a legal requirement in many African countries, and you will be refused entry if you don’t have proof of the vaccine with you, thus it is always good practice to check with the embassy of your chosen destination to find out what vaccines are compulsory.  Some vaccines may also be required for your travel, for a full list of medical requirements, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Routine vaccines:

Information about Routine Vaccines

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Hepatitis A:
Travel Disease – Hepatitis A

CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Malawi, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

Malaria:
Travel Disease – Malaria

You will need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria. Your doctor can help you decide which medicine is right for you, and also talk to you about other steps you can take to prevent malaria. See more detailed information about malaria in Malawi.

Typhoid:
Travel Disease – Typhoid

You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Malawi. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

Cholera:
Travel Disease – Cholera

CDC recommends this vaccine for adults who are traveling to areas of active cholera transmission. Areas of active cholera transmission include the districts of Blantyre (last case reported February 2018), Dedza (last case reported April 2018), Dowa (last case reported February 2018), Karonga (last case reported April 2018), Kasungu (last case reported January 2018), Likoma (last case reported April 2018), Lilongwe (last case reported May 2018), Mulanje (last case reported January 2018), Nkhatabay (last case reported January 2018), Nsanje (last case reported April 2018), Rumphi (last case reported April 2018), and Salima (last case reported June 2018) in Malawi (see map). Cholera is rare in travelers but can be severe. Certain factors may increase the risk of getting cholera or having severe disease (more information). Avoiding unsafe food and water and washing your hands can also prevent cholera.

Hepatitis B:
Travel Disease – Hepatitis B

You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.

Rabies:
Travel Disease – Rabies

Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Malawi, so CDC recommends this vaccine for the following groups:

  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites.
  • People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers).
  • People who are taking long trips or moving to Malawi
  • Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.
Yellow Fever:
Travel Disease – Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever in Malawi. The government of Malawi requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. This does not include the US. If you are traveling from a country other than the US, check this list to see if you may be required to get the yellow fever vaccine: Countries with risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission.

For more information on recommendations and requirements, see yellow fever recommendations and requirements for Malawi. Your doctor can help you decide if this vaccine is right for you based on your travel plans.

Note: Yellow fever vaccine availability in the United States is currently limited. If you need to be vaccinated before your trip, you may need to travel some distance and schedule your appointment well in advance. Find the clinic nearest you.

Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Malawi for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.  There are no notices currently in effect for Malawi.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic. Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, you could still get sick.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the doctor about your travel history.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel.

Source US CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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ROAD TRAVEL


Please note that when traveling on Malawian Roads, driving is on the left-hand lane of the road.  All road traffic signs in Malawi are in English.  The speed limit inside built up areas in Malawi is 50 km/h (30 mph) and the speed limit outside the built-up areas in Malawi is 80 km/h (50 mph).  HOWEVER, there are frequently no signs warning that one is entering or leaving a built-up area. This will not stop the police from fining the unwary motorist. The problem is made worse by the absence of definition of a “built up area”.  We recommend that if you approach an area where there are several huts close to the road that you drop to below 50 Km/h.  Similarly, the absence of other road signs and/or markings will not stop the police from fining you if you inadvertently break a law. Drive carefully and when in doubt, obey any law that may apply.  One should have triangles, high viability vests and at least on fire extinguisher per vehicle. On occasion the police will insist that you have your name and address pasted to the inside of your windscreen.

Fuel stations are far apart from each other, so please ensure you fill up your vehicle as often as possible to prevent getting stranded without fuel.  It is advised to use toilets that are available at fuel stations when you stop to fill up your vehicle, as the next toilet might be very far from your current stop.  Remember to take toilet paper with you as some toilets might not have toilet paper available.  Be careful of unlicensed and unroadworthy vehicles and local people walking on the roads especially when driving at night in Malawi as there are very few street lights.  Some roads in Malawi are well maintained while others are not, so be careful when driving and watch out for potholes.

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TOURIST ATTRACTIONS


While on vacation in Malawi you can visit the Spectacular 9 National Parks and Wildlife Reserves, The Majestic Lake Malawi, The Chongoni Rock Art Area, The Grandeur of Mount Mulanje, The amazing Zomba Plateau, The Lujeri Tea Estate, St. Peter’s Cathedral and many more.  Activities to do in Malawi includes Hiking, Fishing, Swimming, Mountain Climbing, Game Viewing, Bird Watching, Diving, Various Safaris, Snorkelling and much more.

Must see attractions in Malawi would include:

Mount Mulanje

Mount Mulanje (also known as The Mulanje Massif) or as locals would call this majestic mountain, “Chilumba mu mlengalenga” meaning “island in the sky” is located in the south eastern region of Malawi, covering an area of 650sq km and its highest peak Sapitwa, is the highest peak in southern central Africa at 3000 metres above sea level.  J.R.R Tolkien visited Malawi in the 1930’s and when he saw Mount Mulanje and the great rift valley with its amazing free-standing eroded monadnocks and inselbergs, it moved and inspired him to write the epic trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” making him and Mount Mulanje famous.  On your way to Mount Mulanje you can see the beautiful tea estates and most of them like Satemwa Estate, Lauderdale Estate, Esperanza Estate and the Lujeri Tea Estate offer tours and free tea tasting trips for tourists.  The Mount Mulanje area is a biodiversity hotspot as it hosts over 500 unique animal and plant species.  Hiking to Mount Mulanje is an unforgettable event as you follow the hiking trials and see the beauty of the area and the popular Likhubula waterfalls and pools.  Accommodation on Mount Mulanje is available in 10 mountain huts with spectacular views and all huts provide basic amenities for a comfortable stay.  Activities to do on Mount Mulanje will include hiking, attending the Mount Mulanje Porter’s Race every July, Tea tasting and tours and much more.

Lake Malawi

The breathtakingly beautiful Lake Malawi (also known as Lake Nyasa) was discovered by Dr David Livingston over 150 years ago and is the 9th largest lake in the world, the third largest lake in Africa and is 580 km’s long, 80 km’s wide at its widest point and has approximately 1500km’s of shoreline with beautiful golden beach sand.  The total surface area of Lake Malawi is about 29,600sq km and its mean depth of 264 meters and its maximum depth of 701 meters makes it the 2nd deepest lake in Africa and the 6th deepest lake in the world.  The lake is a meromictic lake (water layers do not mix) with three layers with different densities, the freshwater is warm and, in most places, crystal clear allowing you to see the beauty and assortment of the over 700 species of Cichlids and all the other different fish in the lake.  Very popular tourist attractions are the spectacular Likomo Island and the Chizumulu Island inhabited in Lake Malawi.  Accommodation at Lake Malawi is widely available and includes cottages, hotels, camping sites, beach resorts and many more.  Activities to do at Lake Malawi would include swimming, diving, snorkelling, various water sports, kayaking, sailing, scuba diving, water skiing, beach walks and many more.

The Zomba Plateau

The majestic Zomba Plateau is a huge mountain rising to 1800m with magnificent views of abundant streams, still lakes, waterfalls and mixed wild vegetation with Cypress, Pine and Cedar Trees.  Wild- and birdlife in the Zomba Plateau will include giant butterflies, leopards, baboons, Augur Buzzards, Long-crested Eagles and many more.  Accommodation on the plateau includes a luxury hotel, a large camping site and a forest lodge.  Activities to do in the Zomba Plateau will include, Walking trips, Driving tracks, Fly-fishing, Horse riding and many more.

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TRAVEL ADVISORIES AND ALERTS


If you would like any travel advice or real time alerts, please click on any of the following links below:

Advisories

https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/malawi

Country Information Pages

Customs

https://malawi.visahq.com/customs

Current News within Malawi

Malawi Star
Malawi News online.

The Nation
Malawi News.

Nyasatimes
Malawi online news.

The Times
Malawi Times online news.

allAfrica.com Malawi
Regional Malawi news provided by allAfrica.com

Driving In Malawi

www.adcidl.com/Driving-in-Malawi.html

Malawi Radio

Capital FM Malawi
Malawi radio station, provides news headlines

Tourism

www.visitmalawi.mw

www.malawitourism.com

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VISAS


Visa free entry is available for entry for passport holders from:

Countries Whose Citizens do NOT Require a Visa to Enter Malawi

Antigua and BarbudaBahamasBarbados
BelizeBotswanaDominica
FijiGambiaGrenada
Hong Kong (30 days)IrelandIsrael
JamaicaKenyaKiribati
LesothoMalaysiaMauritius
MozambiqueNamibiaNauru
Saint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Vincent and the Grenadines
SamoaSeychellesSouth Africa
SwazilandTanzaniaTrinidad and Tobago
TuvaluUgandaZambia
Zimbabwe

The following passport holders need to arrange a visa in advance:

Countries Whose Citizens DO Require a Visa to Enter Malawi

AfghanistanBangladeshBurkina Faso
BurundiCameroonCentral African Republic
ChadEgypt Ethiopia
IranIraqKazakhstan
LebanonLibyaMali
NigeriaPakistanPalestine
RussiaRwandaSomalia
South SudanSudanSyria
TunisiaTurkeyUkraine
UzbekistanYemen

Most everyone else can obtain a 30-day visa in advance at most entry posts for US$75, this visa can be extended for an extra 30 days. If you get your visa at an embassy they may give you 90 days. For more information you can visit the following link : http://malawiembassy-dc.org/page/who-needs-a-visa-to-come-to-malawi

NB! If you are traveling with minor children to or from South Africa or even if your travels are just “in transit” through South Africa, then please read the following guidelines on the link below.

Immigration Leaflet

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USEFUL PHRASES IN MALAWI

 

A collection of useful phrases in Chichewa, a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The language is known as Chewa (chichewa) in Malawi, and Nyanja (chinyanja) in Zambia and Mozambique. Translations have been kindly supplied by Simon Ager at Omniglot.

Useful phrases in Chichewa

Phrase chichewa (Chichewa)
Welcome Zikomo
Hello (General greeting) Moni
Moni onse (hello all of you)
Hello (on phone)
How are you? Muli bwanji?
Reply to ‘How are you?’ Zimkomo, kaya inu?
Ndiri bwino, kaya inu?
Ndiri bwino, kaya anzathu?
Long time no see Papita thawi tisanaonane
What’s your name? Dzina lanu ndani?
Dzina lanu ndi yani?
My name is … Dzina langa ndi …
Where are you from? Mumachokera kuti?
I’m from … Ndimachokera ku …
Pleased to meet you Ndakondwera kukudziwani
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Mwauka bwanji?
Mwadzuka bwanji?
Ndadzuka bwino (reply)
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Mwaswela bwanji?
Ndaswela bwin (reply)
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Mwachoma bwanji
Ndachoma bwino (reply)
Good night Usiku wabwino
Gonani bwino (sleep well)
Mugone bwino (sleep well)
Goodbye
(Parting phrases)
Ndapita (I’m going)
Yendani Bwino (Go well)
Tsalani bwino (Stay well)
Pitani bwino (Go well)
Tionana (See you later)
Tionana mawa (See you tomorrow)
Good luck! Mafuna abwino
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Have a nice day Mukhale ndi tsiku labwino
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Yendani bwino
Muyende bwino
Yes Ee
Eya
Inde
No Iyayi
Ayi
Maybe Kapena
I don’t know Sindidziwa
I understand Ndamvetsetsa
I don’t understand Sindimvetsa
Sindikumvetsa
Sindikunvetsani
Please speak more slowly Chonde lankhulani pangono pangono
Please say that again Chonde mwati bwanji
Please write it down Chonde lembani
Do you speak English? Mumalankhula chizungu?
Mumalankhula chingelesi?
Do you speak Chichewa? Mumalankhula chichewa?
Mumalankhula chichewa?
Yes, a little
(reply to ‘Do you speak …?’)
Eya, pangono
Speak to me in Chichewa Ndilankhuleni mu Chichewa
How do you say … in Chichewa? Mumati chiyani … mu Chichewa?
Excuse me Pepani
How much is this? Ndalama zingati?
Sorry Pepani
Please Chonde
Thank you Zikomo
Zikomo kwambiri
Reply to thank you
Where’s the toilet? Chimbudzi chili kuti?
This gentleman will pay for everything Mbambo uyu alipila zonse
This lady will pay for everything Mzimayi uyu alipila zonse
Would you like to dance with me? Ungafune kuvina ndi ine?
I miss you Ndakusowa
I love you Ndimakukonda
Ndimakukondani
Ndimakukondanso (I love you too)
Ndimakukondaninso (I love you too)
Get well soon Pezanibwino mwa msanga
Go away! Choka!
Leave me alone! Ndilekeni!
Ndisiyeni!
Help! Mundithandize!
Ndithadizeni
Fire! Moto!
Stop! Ima!
Call the police! Itanani a police!
Christmas and New Year greetings Sangalalani pa Khirisimasi
Chaka chatsopano (Happy New Year)
Easter greetings
Birthday greetings Sangalalani pa tsiku la chibadwi chanu (frm/pl)
Sangalalani pa tsiku la chibadwi chako (inf)
One language is never enough Chilankhulo chimodzi sichokwanila
My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?

Some phrases provided by Yamikani Ken Jnr Chalira

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.

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WEATHER


Malawi has a sub-tropical climate, with mostly hot and humid summers and mild winters.  The average summer temperatures in Malawi is between 20°C to 32°C and the average winter temperatures in Malawi is between 15°C to 28°C.  The rainy season in Malawi is generally from December to March.  Annual average rainfall in Malawi varies from 725mm to 2,500mm with Lilongwe having an average of 900mm, Blantyre 1,127mm, Mzuzu 1,289mm and Zomba 1,433mm.  The cool and dry winter season in Malawi is from May to August and the temperature varies between 17°C and 27°C.  During this time, temperatures may fall between 4°C and 10°C and frost may occur in isolated areas in June and July.  There is a hot and dry period that lasts from September to October with average temperatures varying between 25 and 37 degrees Celsius.  Humidity in Malawi ranges from 50% to 87% for the drier months (September/October) and wetter months (January/February) respectively.  From April to November the temperature is warm with equatorial rains and thunderstorms.  Most people prefer to visit Malawi in the dry season (April / May to October / November) as game viewing is at its best during this time.