Named as one of the top 10 places to travel to by Lonely Planet, Malawi is not a popular travel destination.
Known as the “Warm Heart of Africa” and “The Land of the Smiles” (due to the friendly nature of the locals), this African country is home to Lake Malawi, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Majete Wildlife Reserve is a reserve where the Big Five (rhino, elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo) can be found.
This Malawi travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
- Malawi power voltage is 230V 50Hz; Plug G
- The Malawi currency is the Malawian kwacha and is around 540 MWK to 1 USD
- Visas to enter Malawi are not required by citizens of the USA, all Commonwealth countries and most European countries (except Switzerland). For those nationalities that do require visas, these cannot be obtained on arrival but must be obtained in advance from any Malawi embassy or consulate.
- Be wary of anyone asking for a ride, claiming to be a tour guide or offering you food or drink. There have been reports of people being robbed after their food/drink were drugged.
- Beware of Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. This outbreak continues to affect parts, Africa. Symptoms can take up to 12 days to appear, but usually begin within 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito,.
- Symptoms generally include fever and joint pain; other symptoms can include fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and rash.
- The water is not potable; drink only bottled water.
- SIM Cards:
- If you are traveling for a short time, we use KnowRoaming International SIM for all our travels.
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Getting to Malawi:
Flights: You can check for the best flights to Malawi on Skyscanner.
Malawi's climate is generally tropical. A rainy season runs from November to April.
There is little to no rainfall throughout much of the country from May to October.
- Waterproof bag – the bag has two functions, protecting your stuff from the rain and also from the dust, especially if you're travelling to drier regions.
- Footwear – especially important if going you are heading on a safari! Pack a pair of lightweight, durable, waterproof and comfortable shoes and also a pair of flip-flops or sandals that you can change into after a long day of sight-seeing.
- The protection basics – Travelers should stock up on the essentials: sunblock, mosquito/insect repellant containing DEET or a pyrethroid insecticide, sunglasses and a hat.
- Warm clothes – it does cool off at night, especially in Nairobi and the Highlands around July and August. Make sure to pack a light-weight sweater, cardigan or a pashmina scarf to keep you warm on those chilly nights.
- Cover up – in Muslim areas, including the coast, shorts, and t-shirts can be frowned upon. Try and dress modestly; wear trousers or knee-length skirts with tops that cover your shoulders.
When to Go
Things to Do
What not to Miss
Places to Stay
Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.
We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.
We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.
Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.
Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation.
Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.
Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.
Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.
Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.
Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world's largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.
World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Thailand you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.