Nestled between some of East Africa's blockbuster destinations is Malawi, a country small in geography but large in appeal. Malawi is full of contrasts, the most obvious being that it's a nation of fisherman - despite being landlocked - owing to the clear waters of Lake Malawi; it boasts verdant highlands and tropical forests, undulating valleys and exceptional game viewing within its national parks. Malawi is also home to some of the continent's friendliest folk, meaning it's a country well worth considering on your African agenda.
Malawi Tours & Travel
All our Malawi trips
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At a glance
- Trips Available:
- Capital city:
- Lilongwe (population 260,000)
- 14.9 million
- Chichewa, English
- Time zone:
- (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria
- Type G (Irish/British 3-pin)
- Dialing code:
Best time to visit Malawi
The dry season from late April to October or November is the best time to visit Malawi. For wildlife viewing, late in the dry season is best as this is when animals converge at water holes, although the afternoons can be long and hot. The scenery is at its best from May to July when the weather is also less oppressive - although nights can be chilly and local wildlife harder to spot. The wet season runs from December to March and, while weather can be quite unpredictable, during this time the vegetation will be at its most lush.
Geography and environment
Top 5 Active Pursuits in Malawi
1. Waterside Fun
Go swimming or try your hand at some water sports on the vast expanse of Lake Malawi.
2. Throw a Line In
Experience the daily routine of lake-dwelling fisherman firsthand by rising early to watch them fishing on the still lake at the break of day.
3. On Two Feet or Two Wheels
Hike or cycle around the fishing villages that pepper the shoreline of this magnificent landscape.
4. Underwater World
Strap on a snorkel or join a scuba diving excursion to experience the abundant underwater world that thrives beneath the calm surface of the lake.
5. Hit the Streets
Explore the bustling markets and city streets of the country's beating heart, Lilongwe.
FAQs on Malawi
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 140 MWK
Basic, takeaway lunch = 350 MWK
Dinner in an inexpensive restaurant = From 420 MWK
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 15 Chilembwe Day
Mar 3 Martyrs' Day
April 6 Easter
May 1 Labour Day
Jun 14 Freedom Day
Jul 6 Republic Day
Aug 19 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
Oct 8 Mothers' Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day
Please note these dates are for 2012. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/malawi/public-holidays
Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US don't require a visa to enter Malawi for stays of up to 90 days. All other nationalities should check with their respective embassies for more information.
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Malawi Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Malawi
1. Be considerate of Malawi’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with tap or filtered water.
3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
|The Heaven Shop||Deborah Ellis|
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|Dark Star Safari||Paul Theroux|
|To Africa with Spatula||Jane Baker Lotter|