Malawi Travel advice

Malawi Travel advice

Tourism plays an important role in Malawi’s economy, particularly in rural areas. It is a vital source of essential foreign exchange, and, as well as providing income from which employees support their wider families,  lodges and tour operators across Malawi support local communities and protect vulnerable natural environments through a variety of projects knowing the vital information about Malawi before traveling is essential and here is our Travel advice for Malawi.

Passport

Travelers visiting Malawi need to be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of intended departure and it should have at least two blank pages.

Malawi Tourist Visa

Some travelers do not require a visa to enter Malawi. This visa exemption applies to nationals of around 10 different countries. Citizens of these countries can visit Malawi without a visa for a maximum stay of 90 days. A single entry Malawi visa costs 75$ and this must be applied for in advance if your country is not on the list of countries that can get visas on arrival.

Those obtaining visas on arrival are advised to bring application forms along with valid passports (for not less than 6 months), two passport size photos, a detailed covering letter, air ticket or proof of mode of transport, and confirmed hotel booking or invitation letter from the host.

Yellow fever vaccination

Though a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers coming from high-risk destinations we still strongly recommend traveling with your card just in case they may require it, this applies to travelers from 1 year onwards.

Malaria risk

Malaria is a risk in Malawi. Take your malaria medication with you before you leave and take enough with you for the entire length of your trip. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the pills; some need to be started before you leave.

How to get to Malawi

Malawi’s main airport is Lilongwe International Airport (LLW), located 26km/16mi from the capital, Lilongwe. Some international flights arrive at Chileka International Airport (BLZ), 16km/10mi from Blantyre.

All international flights have the option to land in either the capital Lilongwe (5-7 times per week) or Blantyre (2-3 days per week). Regional links between Malawi and Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are provided by Malawi Airlines and some of the national airlines of those countries.

Dress code in Malawi

Malawi is a relaxed country with regard to dress codes, although, as in most places, women may wish to dress a little conservatively to avoid unwanted male attention. That said; do pack your bikini for the beach, and T-shirts and shorts are practical for most of the year.

The southern lake is a Muslim area and shorts and t-shirts can be frowned upon. Our advice is for ladies to wear trousers or knee-length or longer skirts, and tops which cover your shoulders. For men, long trousers are a good idea.

What to pack for Malawi

There are a number of essentials to pack when visiting Malawi. Among the list of essential items to pack before your Malawi safari is a high-strength sun protectant, a hat, anti-histamine cream and tablets, and insect repellent. Game viewing in Malawi is an enchanting experience and to make the most of your adventure, make sure that you pack the following items: A torch, Binoculars, Bush-colored safari outfits, casual evening wear, a warm jacket, a medium weight knitted sweater, Comfortable walking shoes, Swimwear

Currency

The Kwacha is the official currency in Malawi since 1970. The Kwacha was adopted based on the Zambian Kwacha, which was used in Zambia since 1968. But foreign currency like US dollars, and Euros can be used in tourist areas or can be changed to Malawian local currency in the forex bureau in Lilongwe, and also credit cards can be used in many tourist destinations however clients must bring new notes with them and try to get the latest and changed cash for use in Malawi like in souvenir shops may be easy if you have changed money.

Money and tipping

As is common around the world, tipping in Malawi is completely voluntary and dependent on the quality of the service you have received. At Wilderness explorers Africa, we believe that good service should be rewarded, but you should also be mindful of the potential impact that tipping may have on the local community many people working in the hospitality industry largely boost their income with Tips which they use to support their families, pay school fees and acquire medical care. Travelers are advised to travel with Euros and American dollars that are very new and have no ink or mark on them as the banks are very strict on the foreign bills.

The health sector of Malawi

Health services in Malawi are provided by public, private for-profit, and private not-for-profit sectors. Health services in the public sector are free of charge at the point of use.

For emergency evacuations from Malawi can be done by air or by road and travelers must purchase travel and medical insurance before traveling to Malawi as local health care may become very expensive if you’re not on insurance cover for more information contact our Malawi experts for more details before traveling.

Language

Malawi is a multilingual country. Although English is the official language, the 2008 Census reports that only 26 percent of the population above the age of 14 is able to speak English. Other major languages spoken in Malawi include Chewa, Yao, Tonga, Sena, and Elomwe.

Electricity

Grid electricity is the main source of modern energy in Malawi. The major sources of electricity are hydropower and thermal. Most tourism destinations will provide either solar, generator, or the Grid electricity for guests and this can be restricted to limited hours of the day and night please try to get your equipment charged as much as possible if you do have the opportunity to power.

Expedition leaders and Guides

Malawi being a small country has a variety of attractions to visit and this will call for a local guide who is well vast with the countryside and the driving at large currently we offer services of English speaking guides and Expedition leaders in Malawi however if you do have a special request please feel free to contact our Africa travel experts.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Malawi ranges from beachside resorts to private island getaways – enough to suit all tastes, budgets, and trip types. Whether you’re looking for a luxury honeymoon on your own island or an activity-based holiday on the lake shores, our selection of Malawi accommodation is sure to inspire you and will make planning your Malawi holiday so much simpler.

Meals and drinks

Nsima is the staple food in Malawi. It’s a thick breed made out of maize flour and water. Typically, nsima is eaten with vegetables and protein like fish, beans, or meat. Most tourist hotels will have western dishes on their menus to choose from, bars are usually stocked with all sorts of drinks in particular for drinking water we recommend drinking bottled water as opposed to tape water that can be unsafe for drinking.

Internet availability

Most hotels in and out of Lilongwe will provide internet in the main area for clients to use however the connection may be poor or slow due to the remote location of the destination please plan accordingly while hoping to have fast internet during your safari.

Cell phones

Cell phone connectivity is poor in Malawi; clients can acquire a local sim card for the period of time they will spend in Malawi but the connection will be in specific places mostly urban centers.

Laundry

There are laundry services in most of the hotels in Malawi, depending on the rules of the lodge you may be charged or it can be a free service please enquires first before you give in your laundry and this can take any time from 12 hours to 24 hours to return since they are hand washed and sun-dried.

Driving

Malawi is probably one of the best countries to head out onto the road and self-explore. You can choose to go all out with a fully kitted camping 4×4 vehicle and take the roads less known, cruise from the lodge to lodge in a saloon vehicle, or a combination of the two. Our Malawi holidays can be tailored to suit you and if you enjoy the independence of a self-drive trip, over-guided transfers are easily arranged.

Smocking

Smoking in public demarcated places is allowed in Malawi, however, during the dry season clients must ensure they keep their cigarette butts away from dry grass in protected areas.

Photography

Photography in tourism destinations are allowed however there are restrictions on photographing any security property in Malawi, for specific interest like humans, permission may be required, our guides will always provide clear information before tours begin so that you are well informed.

Pack for purpose List

Most of our safaris in Malawi will have you visit a local community group, school or a hospital, we recommend packing small items like shoes, books, pens, colored pencils, etc to donate to the schools.

Best time to travel to Malawi

Malawi has a hot summer rainfall season from November to April so the best time to visit is during the drier winter months – early May to late October. Winter gets chilly high up on the northern Nyika Plateau but down on the shore of Lake Malawi you can expect warm, sunny, and dry days – great beach weather!

Safety

Most visits to Malawi are trouble-free, but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself from muggers and bag snatchers. Most thefts from visitors take place around the main bus stations in Lilongwe and Blantyre. Avoid walking around quiet areas, especially after dark.

Travel advisory

For our booked and paid-up clients we do provide travel advisory services via Email in case there is any security concern in Malawi way in advance and also make sure their trip is protected by our Trip protection policy, however, clients are advised to check their countries travel advisory.

ENQUIRE NOW!