Malawi Travel Overview

By | July 8, 2021


Official name of the state

Republic of Malawi.




According to topschoolsintheusa, Malawi is bordered by Tanzania to the north and northeast, Mozambique to the east, south, and southwest, and Zambia to the north and northwest. Lake Malawi is the third largest lake in Africa. It is the country’s landmark and forms the eastern border with Tanzania and Mozambique. The northern region is mountainous, the highest peaks rise here to over 3000 m. The north also includes the hilly Nyika plateau, rugged steep slopes, valleys and the densely forested slopes of the Viphya plateau. The central region is the agricultural center of the country. It mainly consists of a 1000 m high plain, which is characterized by its picturesque landscape. Flatlands predominate in the southern region, south of Lake Malawi extends the Zomba plateau and in the southeast the huge, remote Mulanje mountain range rises.


Presidential republic since 1966 (in the Commonwealth since 1964). A new constitution has been in force since 1995. National Assembly with 193 members, election every 5 years. In 1994 the first free elections since 1964 took place. Independent since 1964 (former British protectorate).

Head of state

Peter Mutharika, since May 2014.


220/240 V, 50 Hz. As a rule, square three-pin plugs are used. Bringing an adapter is recommended.

Time zone

Central Africa Time: CET +3


Country-specific safety instructions

In regional comparison, Malawi is considered a relatively safe travel destination, but still has a high level of crime. Theft and break-ins, often with massive use of force, have increased. This is especially true for the larger cities (Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu, Zomba) and the tourist destinations on Lake Malawi

The number of armed vehicle hijackings (“car jackings”) has also increased. Preference is given to ambushing cars waiting in front of property entrances. Travelers should under no circumstances resist attacks and should always lock car windows and doors during the day.

Malawi Travel Overview



1 kwacha = 100 tambala. Currency abbreviation: MWK (ISO code). There are banknotes in denominations of 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20 MWK. Coins are in circulation to the denominations of 10, 5 and 1 MWK and 50 tambala.

Credit cards

The most popular credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express are accepted in the capital and in the major hotels and car rental companies. Cash can be withdrawn with a credit card in the banks and in some exchange offices, but not yet at the ATM. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.


EC / Maestro card / Sparcard
In large cities, cash can be withdrawn from some ATMs with the EC card. The exchange rate is usually unfavorable.

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank customer card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the options for using their card from their bank prior to departure.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Currency exchange for tourists in Blantyre and Lilongwe also Sat 9 am-11am.

Foreign exchange regulations

The export of the national currency (Malawi Kwacha) is limited to the equivalent of max. Limited to US $ 5,000 per person. Unrestricted import of foreign currencies, obligation to declare. Export of foreign currencies only up to the amount declared.

Currency Exchange

US dollars, euros, British pounds and South African rand can be exchanged easily. There are hardly any exchange options for less common currencies. Outside the larger cities, only cash payments are possible. Foreign visitors to the country must pay their hotel expenses in foreign currency. We recommend that you bring US dollars and pounds sterling in cash. An exchange outside of banks and exchange offices is prohibited.



The official languages are Chichewa and English. Chitumbuka, Lomwe, Yao and Sena are also spoken regionally.



If a holiday falls on a Saturday, the previous day becomes a holiday; if it falls on a Sunday, the following Monday becomes a public holiday. Public holidays can sometimes be announced at short notice.



The following items can be imported into Malawi duty-free (people over 18 years of age):

200 cigarettes or 225 g tobacco products or a selection of tobacco products up to 225 g;
1 liter of spirits, 1 liter of beer and 1 liter of wine;
Items for personal use while traveling.


Business etiquette

A suit and tie are appropriate for business visits. Appointments and business cards are common. Offices open early. The best times for business travel are May to July and September to November.

Business hours:
Mo-Fr 7.30 a.m.-5.00 p.m.


Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malawi
Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds, PO Box 258, MW-Blantyre
Tel: 167 19 88.

Business contacts

Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malawi
Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds, PO Box 258, MW-Blantyre
Tel: 167 19 88.



International direct dialing.


GSM 900. Network operators are CelTel Limited (Internet: or and Callpoint 900. The reception / transmission area covers the largest cities and their surrounding areas. Roaming agreements exist with Germany, Austria and Switzerland, among others.


The Internet provider is MalawiNet (Internet: There are internet cafes in the larger cities. Internet access is available in some hotels in the countryside.

Post Office

Airmail to Europe takes about 7-10 days. The post offices are generally open Mon-Fri 7.30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Some post offices in the larger cities are open on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. 3 courier services support the national postal system.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: to request.



Handicrafts made from raffia, reeds, sisal, palm and corn leaves, furniture made from wood and rattan, soapstone work, colorful fabrics, ceramics and beadwork. Wood carvings from Malawi are among the most beautiful in Africa. In the Mua Mission south of Salima there is a wood carving school and a wonderful shop. Traditional musical instruments are sold across the country. Shop opening times: Mon-Sat 8 am-5pm. Markets and street stalls are open every day.




There are excellent hotels in the larger towns of Lilongwe, Blantyre / Limbe and Mzuzu. The same goes for the main vacation spots on the Lake Malawi coast, especially in the south between Monkey Bay and Mangochi. A new luxury hotel was built in the Zomba plateau.


There are several campsites along the coast of Lake Malawi, often near the hotel, as well as in the wildlife parks and reserves. The campsites are usually very well equipped and offer excellent accommodation in the dry season from April to November.



75% Christians (mostly Protestants (55%)); 20% Muslims; 3% followers of natural religions.

Social rules of conduct

The clothing regulations that were previously strict, especially for women, have now been lifted. Nonetheless, it is generally advisable to wear restrained clothing. Long hair in men (above the shirt collar) is not welcome. Tip: Most hotels and restaurants have a service charge of 10%. Tipping is only customary for special services. Taxi drivers receive a 10% tip.


Best travel time

It is warmest along Lake Malawi, but there is usually a cool breeze. Cooler in the mountains. The winters (May to July) are dry. The nights can be cold, especially in the mountains. The rainy season lasts from November to March.


Area code +265 Area (km2) 118484 Population 17964697 Population density (per km2) 152 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No major emergency number 998