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.

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Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Articles on Malawi

Malawi travel highlights

Malawi holiday information

At a glance
Best time to visit Malawi
Geography and environment
Health and Safety
Top 5 Active Pursuits in Malawi
Further Reading

Malawi travel FAQs

Trips on or before 31 December 2022

If your Intrepid trip starts on or before 31 December 2022, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.

If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.

Children under 18 are exempt. Children aged between 5 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy

MALAWI:

Australia: Yes - visa on arrival
Belgium: Yes - visa on arrival
Canada: Yes - visa on arrival
Germany: Yes - visa on arrival
Ireland: NO VISA REQUIRED
Netherlands: Yes - visa on arrival
New Zealand: Yes - visa on arrival
South Africa: NO VISA REQUIRED
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 $75USD "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 $75USD 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.

Travelers 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.

Cell 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.

Malawi 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 sanitizer 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 traveling through rural and remote areas, be aware that there will be limited or no access to ATMs.

Absolutely. All passengers traveling 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

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day
  • 2 Jan New Year Day Holiday
  • 15 Jan John Chilembwe Day
  • 16 Jan John Chilembwe Day Holiday
  • 3 Mar Martyrs' Day
  • 14 Apr Good Friday
  • 15 Apr Easter Saturday
  • 17 Apr Easter Monday
  • 1 May Labor Day
  • 14 May President Kamuzu Banda's Birthday
  • 15 May President Kamuzu Banda's Birthday Holiday
  • 25 Jun Eid al-Fitr / End of Ramadan
  • 26 Jun Eid al-Fitr / End of Ramadan
  • 6 Jul Independence Day
  • 15 Oct Mother's Day
  • 16 Oct Mother's Day Holiday
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day
  • 26 Dec Boxing Day

Please note these dates are for 2022. For a current list of public holidays in Malawi go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/malawi/public-holidays

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to traveling 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 behavior, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while traveling.

Locals in Malawi

How we're giving back

In Malawi, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travelers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.