Malawi

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

Victoria falls

Kenya to Vic Falls

24 days from
USD $2,855.00*
CAD $2,963.27*
AUD $3,076.62*
EUR €2,140.95*
GBP £1,842.94*
NZD $3,647.10*
ZAR R27,995.29*
CHF FR2,622.71*

Travel through East Africa to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Visit Ngorongoro Crater, Zanzibar, the...

View trip details

Kenya to Cape Town

45 days from
USD $5,120.00*
CAD $5,295.53*
AUD $5,499.17*
EUR €3,826.21*
GBP £3,289.88*
NZD $6,520.32*
ZAR R50,045.86*
CHF FR4,714.52*

Visit Africa and travel from Kenya to Cape Town through Tanzania, Zanzibar, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana,...

View trip details

Africa Encompassed Southbound

60 days from
USD $7,530.00*
CAD $7,813.91*
AUD $8,115.58*
EUR €5,632.89*
GBP £4,853.50*
NZD $9,620.38*
ZAR R73,875.72*
CHF FR6,960.02*

See Africa encompassed on a tour through Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zanzibar, Tanzania,...

View trip details
Male lion, Etosha National Park

Cape Town to Kenya

45 days from
USD $4,990.00*
CAD $5,162.14*
AUD $5,361.80*
EUR €3,730.44*
GBP £3,211.44*
NZD $6,358.08*
ZAR R48,797.41*
CHF FR4,598.22*

Visit Africa and travel from Cape Town to Kenya through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi,...

View trip details
Chimp, Uganda

Africa Encompassed Northbound

60 days from
USD $7,350.00*
CAD $7,648.59*
AUD $7,925.05*
EUR €5,529.04*
GBP £4,750.19*
NZD $9,418.83*
ZAR R72,325.41*
CHF FR6,815.28*

Africa Encompassed is a truly epic tour from South Africa to Nairobi. From gorilla trekking in Uganda to safaris in...

View trip details
Victoria falls

Vic Falls to Kenya

24 days from
USD $2,805.00*
CAD $2,906.34*
AUD $3,018.46*
EUR €2,097.87*
GBP £1,808.06*
NZD $3,577.78*
ZAR R27,473.43*
CHF FR2,589.27*

Fall in love with wild plains and sandy beaches on this unique tour of Africa. Travel from Zimbabwe to Kenya via Zambia...

View trip details
kenya africa elephant trunk

Gorillas to Vic Falls

39 days from
USD $5,265.00*
CAD $5,481.65*
AUD $5,693.04*
EUR €3,962.62*
GBP £3,411.56*
NZD $6,747.16*
ZAR R51,825.15*
CHF FR4,873.21*

This epic East African adventure tour travels from Zimbabwe to Kenya. Safari in the Serengeti, go gorilla trekking,...

View trip details
Baby gorilla swinging on a branch

Vic Falls to Gorillas

39 days from
USD $5,130.00*
CAD $5,459.72*
AUD $5,669.87*
EUR €3,944.55*
GBP £3,396.69*
NZD $6,722.85*
ZAR R51,608.29*
CHF FR4,859.77*

This East Africa adventure tour travels from Zimbabwe to Kenya. Visit Zanzibar beaches, explore the Serengeti and...

View trip details

Malawi Highlights

About Malawi

At a glance

Trips Available:
8
Capital city:
Lilongwe (population 260,000)
Population:
14.9 million
Language:
Chichewa, English
Currency:
MWK
Time zone:
(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria
Electricity:
Type G (Irish/British 3-pin)
Dialing code:
+265

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.

Malawi weather chart

Geography and environment

Local life by Lake Malawi in Malawi
With Africa's third largest lake running almost the entire length of its eastern flank, visitors to Malawi often make a beeline to the idyllic shores of Lake Malawi and choose to explore no further. And, with pristine water that's ideal for all forms of water-based fun, it's easy to see why! But venture a little further afield and you'll discover much natural diversity and a changing terrain of lush forests and game parks, rugged mountains and fertile plateaux.

Top Picks

Swimming in Lake Malawi

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

Tipping is generally left up to the discretion of the customer, however if the service in a cafe or restaurant is good, feel free to leave spare change or round up the bill. Many service workers in Malawi receive low wages, so tipping waiters, porters and drivers is considered generous.
Travellers will be able to access the internet at cyber cafes or hotels in Malawi's large cities and towns frequented by tourists. Expect little to no internet access in remote and rural areas.
Mobile phone coverage is generally available in Malawi's large cities and tourist towns. Rural and remote areas may have less network coverage. Remember to activate global roaming with your service provider before leaving home.
Mozambique has a mix of squat toilets and flushable toilets. As a developing nation, expect to adjust to different levels of sanitation. Always carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser as these are rarely provided.
Cup of coffee in a cafe = 210 MWK
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 140 MWK
Basic, takeaway lunch = 350 MWK
Dinner in an inexpensive restaurant = From 420 MWK
Tap water isn't considered safe for tourists to drink. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Ask your leader and accommodation provider for local advice on where drinking water can be accessed. Also, avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit before eating.
Credit cards are used in Malawi's major cities but on a limited basis. Large hotels, restaurants and tourist service providers usually accept credit cards, but expect smaller operators and shops to accept cash only.
ATMs are quite limited, but can be found in Malawi's major cities and areas frequented by tourists. If travelling through rural and remote areas, be aware that there will be limited or no access to ATMs.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year's Day
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
MALAWI:
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 Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

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.

Reusable watter bottle in Malawi

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.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The Heaven ShopDeborah Ellis
The Boy Who Harnessed the WindWilliam Kamkwamba
Dark Star SafariPaul Theroux
To Africa with SpatulaJane Baker Lotter