Visiting Malawi? What You Need To Know

Malawi is a prefect destination with plenty of opportunities for enjoying nature and outdoor activities. Planning your vacations for Malawi is truly an unregretable decision. Malawi is famously known as the warm heart of Africa. Not necessarily the heart but because of its warm and friendly people. Malawians are among the kindest and warm heart citizens globally.

Republic of Malawi map

Malawi is located in South East Africa its bordered by three nations that is Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. Its compact in size most tourists site are located in close distances. As you plan your visit check on the immigration evisa site if your passport requires a prior visa or visa on arrival or visa free.

Malawi’s exciting new e-visas system has now gone live!  As we edge closer to paperless and document free travels, seasoned and first time travellers alike will now be able to enjoy  a frictionless travel experience through the Malawi online Visa service. The E-visa service, an initiative from the Malawi Department of Immigration, seeks to stamp out the time-consuming and frustrating process associated with the acquisition of  travel documents.

Department of immigration portal

For Flights they are only six options available. The main international airport is Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe the capital city. Internationally they are direct flights to Addis ababa(Ethiopia), Nairobi (Kenya), Dar es salaam (Tanzania) Lusaka (Zambia), Harare (Zimbabwe) and Johannesburg (South Africa) and locally to Blantyre, Mzuzu and Likoma island.

Airlines that fly into Malawi

For Communications purposes keeping in touch with your loved ones. There are Three mobile service providers namely Access, Airtel and Tnm. For sim cards Airtel and Tnm have shops at the airport all you need is your passport for registration. Immediately you can purchase credit or data bundles and keep in touch with your loved ones. Internet wise they is 3G and 4G available nationwide.

Telecom operators in Malawi

Financial services bear in mind that in Malawi they only exchange US dollars from the 2013 series going forward. Forex exchange can easily be done at the airport. At the local ATM’s you can withdraw using your visa and Mastercard. For unionpay and American express cards only ecobank ATM’s will accept them.

Visa and Mastercard cards

Forex exchange: In Malawi you can easily exchange for foreign currency in the local currency the Kwacha at local banks & Forex Bureaus aviod using the Black/Parallel markets. Its important to note that they only accept US dollars notes from the 2013 series going forward. Currencies that are easily convertable are United States Dollar (USD), British Pound (GBP), Euro (€), South African Rand (ZAR). For the British pound aviod carrying the 50 note as its not easily acceptable.

Rolled bank notes

Transport: cabs/taxis are readily available at all international airports prices vary on destinations in general the final prices is negotiable especially before boarding. For inter-city transport they are luxury coaches and regular buses across all bus depots/stations. Domestic flights there is Malawi airlines the national airline and privately owned Ulendo airlink. The main mode of transport within the urban areas are small minibuses which about 12 to 15 passengers depending on size.

Axa special coach

The official Currency of Malawi is the kwacha (MWK) and the coins are tambala. 100 tambala = 1 kwacha. The Malawian kwacha’s smallest denomination is MWK20 and the highest is MWK2000. All coins and notes are issued by the Reserve Bank of Malawi.

Malawi kwacha bank notes

Malawi’s offical language is English and the national language is Chichewa/Nyanja. Nationally there are about a dozen different languages spoken in Malawi i.e Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Konde,etc. Most Malawians know English visitors shouldn’t worry about asking for any assistance.

On Accommodation both international hotel chains and local for business travellers. It can be stressful to decide from upmarket hotels & resort to budget guest houses and backpackers. Airbnb has been growing across Malawi. The largest hotel chain is Sunbird hotels, they is also Marriot, peermount, crossroads, etc. The best advice is always book in advance to be assured of your accommodation.

Sunbird capital Hotel in Lilongwe.

Attractions: where do i evening start despite being compact in size Malawi has numerous attractions from historical to natural wonders. Just to name a few there is Lake Malawi, nyika plateau, chingoni rock paints, Lake Malawi National park, Area 18 memorial place, Mandala house, Saint Michaels of all angels Church, etc

Malawi People and Culture the people are friendly feel free to ask them for directions majority can read and write English. Malawi has diverse cultures the most popular being gule wamkulu. A couple of cultural festivals take place different times of the year.

Vaccines Malawi is a malaria belt due to many water bodies. It is recommended to get anti malaria medication. For those that have travelled to Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, etc ensure you have your vaild yellow card. Ensure you sleep under the mosquito net every night or you switch on the fan.

Malaria vaccine

Visit the warm heart of Africa. Believe me visiting Malawi is such an unregertable decision and you will definitely need revisiting again and again.

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