Malawi Travel Advice
There's nothing like up-to-date, relevant travel information direct from the experts - get Go2Africa's essential Malawi travel advice before you go.
Money & Spending
The local currency in Malawi is the Kwacha although US Dollars are widely accepted throughout the country. Credit card acceptance is improving but don't rely on it in Malawi's more remote or little-visited destinations - be on the safe side and check with your Africa Safari Expert before you travel.
Generally speaking Malawi is a very affordable destination so your spending money should go far. If you’re travelling with dollars, we’d recommend bringing some small denomination bills as you can pick up genuinely beautiful and affordable handmade crafts at the local markets. Just keep some money aside because you’ll need to pay an international departure tax of 30 US Dollars per person at Lilongwe Airport.
Service charges are not included in hotel, lodge and restaurant bills in Malawi. Tipping is entirely at your discretion – it is not compulsory but is enthusiastically received if you feel the service you received deserves a gratuity. The amount of tip you leave is based on the level of service you’ve received but the general guideline is about 10%.
For in-depth tipping guidelines, enquire with one of our Africa Safari Experts - they'd be happy to share their knowledge with you.
Average summer temperatures: 20°C to 32°C
Average winter temperatures: 15°C to 28°C
Rainy season: December to March
Refer to “best time to visit Malawi” for climate charts and details on the best wildlife-viewing times.
What to Pack
Malawi is first and foremost a beach destination so pack accordingly – lightweight clothing, sandals, hats and, most importantly, sun screen! Mosquitoes are most active in the early mornings and evenings, so pack repellent and long-sleeved clothing to protect your wrists and ankles at these times. Be sure to leave some space in your suitcase as you’re likely to want to bring back lots of souvenirs from the local markets.
Flights & Getting Around
Refer to our Africa flights FAQs for more information on flying into and around Africa.
Lilongwe International Airport: daily flights from Johannesburg as well as regular flights from Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya means great options for a big game safari in Southern or East Africa followed by a beach holiday on nearby Lake Malawi.
Chileka International Airport: located in Blantyre, Malawi's second international airport serves the country's southern destinations.
It’s fairly easy to get around Malawi - roads are in relatively good condition and distances are generally short. Road transfers can be a good option particularly if you want to see a bit of Malawi but if you’d rather just get to the lake then your best option is a light aircraft charter flight. Luggage on charter flights is strictly limited to 12kg per person and needs be carried in soft-skinned suitcases.
Boat transfers take visitors to Lake Malawi's islands or to Nkwichi Lodge on the lake’s remote Mozambican shore.
Visa & Passport Requirements
All visitors to Malawi must be in possession of a passport valid for at least six months after date of departure. 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.
Visas are limited to 30 days, but getting an extension once you’re in Blantyre or Lilongwe is relatively easy and free.