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

USD $3,635
CAD $4,395
AUD $4,655
EUR €3,145
GBP £2,380
NZD $4,995
ZAR R53,420
CHF FR3,345
Explore the wilds of Africa on this action-packed adventure from the busy streets of Nairobi to the sweeping plains...
USD $1,790
CAD $2,172
AUD $2,295
EUR €1,490
GBP £1,172
NZD $2,454
ZAR R26,324
CHF FR1,634
Travel from thundering Victoria Falls to the fragrant spice plantations of Zanzibar through the wilds of Africa.
USD $6,085
CAD $7,380
AUD $7,795
EUR €5,065
GBP £3,990
NZD $8,380
ZAR R89,450
CHF FR5,595
Explore Africa as you travel from Kenya to Cape Town through Tanzania, Zanzibar, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namabia...
USD $1,750
CAD $2,120
AUD $2,240
EUR €1,515
GBP £1,145
NZD $2,395
ZAR R25,690
CHF FR1,595
Explore the best of south and east Africa with this adventure from the spicy beaches of Zanzibar to the unforgettable...
USD $9,080
CAD $10,995
AUD $11,625
EUR €7,550
GBP £5,950
NZD $12,495
ZAR R133,390
CHF FR8,355
See Africa encompassed on a tour through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, and...
Explore Africa as you wind your way up from South Africa, through Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and...
USD $6,060
CAD $7,347
AUD $7,765
EUR €5,045
GBP £3,972
NZD $8,349
ZAR R89,109
CHF FR5,579
Explore Africa as you wind your way up from South Africa, through Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and...
See Africa on this incredible overland adventure from South Africa to Tanzania. Soak up cosmopolitan Cape Town, learn...
USD $4,235
CAD $5,147
AUD $5,440
EUR €3,675
GBP £2,782
NZD $5,854
ZAR R62,424
CHF FR3,909
See Africa on this incredible overland adventure from South Africa to Tanzania. Soak up cosmopolitan Cape Town, learn...
USD $3,600
CAD $4,372
AUD $4,615
EUR €3,115
GBP £2,362
NZD $4,954
ZAR R52,964
CHF FR3,319
Experience the exhilarating wild of Africa as you travel from Victoria Falls through Harare, Bulawayo, Lake Malawi...
Jump aboard this epic tour from Cape Town to Nairobi. From safaris in Tanzania and Kenya to gorilla trekking in...
USD $9,035
CAD $10,977
AUD $11,590
EUR €7,830
GBP £5,922
NZD $12,454
ZAR R133,004
CHF FR8,334
Jump aboard this epic tour from Cape Town to Nairobi. From safaris in Tanzania and Kenya to gorilla trekking in...
USD $6,625
CAD $8,030
AUD $8,480
EUR €5,730
GBP £4,340
NZD $9,120
ZAR R97,310
CHF FR6,095
Take an epic East African adventure from Kenya to Zimbabwe. Safari in the Serengeti, go gorilla trekking, visit Lake...
USD $1,395
CAD $1,695
AUD $1,795
EUR €1,165
GBP £920
NZD $1,930
ZAR R20,590
CHF FR1,290
Embrace the sights, sounds and culture of Africa on this eye-opening adventure from Stone Town in Zanzibar to...
USD $4,195
CAD $5,095
AUD $5,385
EUR €3,640
GBP £2,755
NZD $5,795
ZAR R61,790
CHF FR3,870
Explore Africa on this wildlife-rich adventure from Tanzania to South Africa. Explore Zanzibar’s Spice Island, wander...
USD $6,590
CAD $7,992
AUD $8,440
EUR €5,695
GBP £4,322
NZD $9,074
ZAR R96,854
CHF FR6,064
This East Africa adventure tour travels from Zimbabwe to Kenya. Visit Zanzibar beaches, explore the Serengeti and...
USD $1,440
CAD $1,752
AUD $1,850
EUR €1,200
GBP £947
NZD $1,989
ZAR R21,234
CHF FR1,329
Spot a host wildlife at the Luangwa River, gape at the mighty Victoria Falls, explore Matobo and South Luwanga...

Articles on Malawi

Seven awesome beach-free summer breaks

Posted on Fri, 27 Mar 2015

Who needs sun and sand? We've got the perfect alternative.

Read more

About Malawi

At a glance

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


Australia: Yes - visa on arrival
Belgium: Yes - visa on arrival
Canada: Yes - visa on arrival
Germany: Yes - visa on arrival
Netherlands: Yes - visa on arrival
New Zealand: Yes - visa on arrival
Switzerland: Yes - visa on arrival
United Kingdom: Yes - visa on arrival
USA: Yes - visa on arrival

Effective 01 July 2015, the Government of Malawi has announced introduction of a USD75 "Entry Fee" applicable to visitors from any country which requires Malawian Citizens to acquire visas to visit their country of citizenship.

At present nationals of the following countries will need to pay the proposed USD75 entry fee: United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Schengen member states, Australia, New Zealand.

Some nationalities will be required to gain a visa prior to arrival. Please check with your nearest Malawi Embassy.
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:

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?

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From New Zealand?

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From Canada?

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From US?

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From UK?

Go to:

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to:

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.

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