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  MALAWI      Africa Enquiry Form    
  Weather   Good to know   Activities    Accommodation   Map of Malawi    

Renowned for its cheerful and friendly people, Malawi has long been known for its welcome. A land dominated by Lake Malawi, at the bottom of the Great Rift Valley, Malawi offers splendid scenery, with mountains towering over tea plantations on the rolling hills, to the forest areas in the south and east. Wildlife abounds and the bird life in the lake area is outstanding. The Lake itself offers many sporting activities including skiing, parasailing, scuba diving and angling.

The capital Lilongwe is modern and vibrant and Malawi’s second city, Blantyre portrays her colonial past. Long shielded from outside influences, Malawi still holds onto a little mystery from past days.

Lake Malawi Sunset
Lake Malawi
WEATHER   Back to top

The best time to travel to Malawi is during the winter months between May and October, which is the cool, dry season, most comfortable for game viewing. The weather during summer, November to April, is hot and humid. This is also the rainy season. Rain is heavier on the higher areas than around Lake Malawi, and some roads become impassable. The coolest months are June and July when daytime temperatures hover around 70ºF (21ºC), and nights can be very cold.

Go to our Weather Page for current forecasts and more.

GOOD TO KNOW    Back to top

Time: Local time is GMT +2.

Electricity: Electrical current is 220/240 volts, 50Hz. Three-pin, rectangular blade plugs are standard.

Money: The official currency is the Malawi Kwacha (MWK), which is divided into 100 tambalas. Travellers cheques and foreign currencies are accepted by banks, authorised hotels and other institutions in the main town centres; bureaux de change are also available. The US dollar is the easiest currency to exchange. Credit cards are not widely accepted and ATMs are scarce and should not be relied upon. Exchanging currency on the black market is not recommended.

Currency Exchange Rates

MWK 100.00 =

USD 0.70

GBP 0.38

CAD 0.79

AUD 0.94

ZAR 5.01

EUR 0.55

NZD 1.15

Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only. Please go to our Currency Converter for the latest rates.

Passport/Visa Note: All visitors must have a return or onward ticket and all documents necessary for return or onward journeys, as well as sufficient funds for their duration of stay. <


Bee Eater

Health: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers coming from an infected area. Malaria is prevalent all year round and advice should be sought on what prophylactics are best. There is a risk of bilharzia in certain parts of Lake Malawi, particularly where the water is shallow and stagnant - advice should be sought from local authorities. Immunisation against typhoid, hepatitis, tetanus, rabies and polio is recommended. Tsetse flies carrying sleeping sickness exist in some of the national parks. HIV/AIDS is highly prevalent. It is advisable to drink bottled water, which is widely available, as drinking water may not be safe especially in the rural areas. Hospitals are available in the large towns, but medical facilities are basic, immediate cash payment for medical services is often required, and some medicines may be in short supply; medical insurance is strongly advised.
Tipping: Service charges are not included in hotel and restaurant bills, and tipping is at the client's discretion. It is common practice to tip guides in the national parks.

Safety: Malawi is considered a safe country in which to travel and the majority of visits are trouble-free, but sensible precautions should be taken with regards to personal possessions and security, particularly after dark. There have been reports of robberies, money scams involving tourists, and 4x4 vehicles being hijacked; also be alert for muggers and bag snatchers. In Lilongwe the majority of incidents take place on Kenyatta Drive and around the bus station, so visitors should be particularly vigilant in these areas.

Customs: It is courteous to ask permission before taking photographs of people.

Communications: The international dialling code for Malawi is +265. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). There are no area codes. The telephone system is not very reliable, but Internet, email and fax are available in most towns and tourist areas. The GSM 900 cell phone network gives coverage to most of the country and is compatible with most international operators.

Duty Free: Travellers to Malawi do not have to pay customs duty on 200 cigarettes or 225g of tobacco. For travellers over 16 years 1 litre spirits, 1 litre beer and 1 litre wine can be brought into the country without incurring duty fees.


ACTIVITIES   Back to top

Malawi provides plenty of opportunities for many types of activities.

The magnificent Lake Malawi is a haven for boat activities and watersports, as well as having some of the best freshwater diving sites in the world.

Eight land-based national parks and wildlife reserves offer all type of safaris in a wide variety of natural wilderness environments. The mixed terrain and varied landscapes also provide for excellent trekking and mountain biking opportunities, particularly in the highland areas.



Please contact us for details on accommodation in Malawi.

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