Malawi is known as the "warm heart of Africa." This is because of the warmth and friendliness of the Malawian people.
Malawi is a nature paradise and boasts a rich variety of large mammals; including the Big Five - buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros. There are over 170 species of mammals and some 649 recorded species of bird in Malawi.
Malawi is a landlocked country located in southeastern Africa. It is bordered in the North and East by Tanzania, on the east, south and southwest by Mozambique and to the west by Zambia.
The country lies within the Great African Rift Valley system. Lake Malawi, a body of water some 360 miles long and about 1500 ft above sea level, is its most prominent physical feature.
To the north there are rugged highlands with rolling hills in the Nyika and Vwanza plateau, whilst in the South, traversing the escarpment that forms part of the Great African Rift Valley, lies the lowlands of the Shire Valley.
Lake Malawi is the county's centerpiece. Like an inland sea it has endless palm fringed beaches, enclosed by sheer mountains, making it undeniably the focal point for Malawi's tourists.
Area size: 118, 484 sq km
The variable altitude of Malawi provides wide differences in climate. The vast water surface of Lake Malawi also profoundly affects the climate. The margins of the lake have long hot seasons and high humidity, with mean annual temperatures of 24°C. Winters are cool, with occasional spells of cold weather.
In general, the seasons may be divided into the cool (May to mid-August); the hot (mid August to November); the rainy (November to April), with rains continuing longer in the northern and eastern mountains, and the post-rainy season (April-May), with temperatures falling in May.
Zomba Plateau has extreme temperatures of 35°C and 7°C and considerable rainfall.
Lilongwe, in central Malawi, at an elevation of 1 036 has a moderately warm climate with adequate rainfall and extreme temperatures of 36°C and -3.4°C.
Entry Requirements & Visas
Countries whose nationals do not require a visa include:
UK: British Subjects being citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies; British protected persons.
Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Fiji, Finland, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Isles, South Africa, Swaziland, Sweden, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, USA, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
As with everywhere, human population pressures have meant that most the big game species are now restricted to game reserves and national parks. Although these reserves are not as famous as some found in other East African countries, they offer comparable and excellent game viewing.
To get the most out of a game viewing expedition you will need to take into account the climate. The best times of the year for game viewing in Malawi is during the dry season August to November. Some parks will be closed or impassable without a four wheel drive vehicle during the raining season, particularly January to March.
Protection against mosquito bites will reduce the risk of Malaria, provided that you take the standard precautions aswell.
If you need medical care whilst in Malawi, it is best to be aware that medical providers may not accept payment through your insurance company. In these circumstances you will have to pay in full after your treatment and file a claim with your insurance company for reimbursement. Therefore you should have access to cash, either from a credit card or by wire transfer. If you need assistance contact the country's local embassy or representative.
To be compensated you must be treated by licensed medical personnel and provide your insurance company with proper documentation and receipts.
It is advisable to always ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers you for repatriation to your home country.
Currency: 1 Malawian Kwacha = 100 tambala
Credit and charge cards are accepted, in hotels and banks. Traveler’s cheques are widely accepted.
It's best to take some hard currency in either Pounds Sterling or US Dollars; South African Rand is also exchanged.
GMT + 2
Internet & WiFi
Electric Power is 230V running at 50Hz.
The Plug type used:
Rectangular blade plug
Air - Malawi's national airline is Air Malawi (QM). There are connections from Amsterdam to Lilongwe on KLM and connections between Malawi, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Lilongwe (LLW) (Lilongwe International) is 22km from the city (travel time around 20 minutes). Taxis and a bus service are available to the city from the airport.
Health & Safety
Thefts and robberies are the main risks: watch your pockets in markets, avoid carrying a bag or otherwise giving a potential thief reason to think you have anything of value and avoid isolating situations.
Potential dangers while at Lake Malawi include encountering a hippo or crocodile, but for travelers the chances of being attacked are extremely remote.
Popular tourist beaches are generally safe just be aware and keep you eyes open as you are in an African country where unemployment is high, therefore crime of varying sorts does exist.
01 January: New Years Day