Malawi

Malawi

Welcome to Malawi

In Malawi, you can chill on the beach, dive or snorkel in the clear waters of Lake Malawi, hike on Mount Mulanje and the Zomba Plateau. Walk along the Nyika Plateau. Watch for lions at the Majete Wildlife Reserve.

You’ll soon see why this charming sub-Saharan African country is known as the “warm heart of Africa.” It’s beautiful, compact and hospitable and offers an incredibly diverse level of sightseeing, culture and natural beauty.

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Need To Know

Unique Facts

  • The word Malawi means “fire flames.” The country is so named for the rising sun’s reflection on Lake Malawi.
  • There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malawi: Lake Malawi National Park and Chongoni Rock Art Area (127 sites of the richest collection of rock art in Central Africa).
  • Dance plays a vital role in Malawian culture. Traditional dances can be seen during almost every ritual and marriage celebration.
  • The largest number of fish species of any lake in the world is found in Lake Malawi. The cichlids, a popular aquarium fish, are endemic to the lake.
  • Tea bushes were first planted in Malawi in 1886 and it was the first African country to grow tea on a commercial scale. The country is the second-largest tea producer after Kenya.

Language

Malawi’s official language is English.

When To Go

The best time to go to Malawi is from early May to late October.

Airports

Kamuzu International Airport, Lilongwe

Passport Validity

Passport must be valid for six months beyond arrival date.

Visa Required By US Citizen?

Yes

Vaccinations

The CDC recommends the following vaccines for most travelers when visiting Malawi: Hepatitis A, Malaria and Typhoid. Depending on where you are traveling, you may also need Hepatitis B, Cholera, Yellow Fever and Rabies vaccines.

Electrical Outlets

Power plugs and sockets: type G. Standard voltage: 230V. Frequency: 50Hz.

Currency

Official local currency: Malawian kwacha

Getting Around

Most roads in Malawi do not have sidewalks, so be aware of pedestrians and livestock on the roadways both day and night. Secondary roads are poorly lit, in disrepair and may be impassable during the November-April rainy season.

Public transportation is unreliable and accidents are common. Opt for the modern coach buses that are increasingly common on the main cross-country routes.

Driver’s License

An international driving permit is required.

US Embassy Info

U.S. Embassy Lilongwe
Area 40, City Center
Lilongwe, Malawi
Telephone: +(265) 1-773-166, 1-773-342 and 1-773-367 (Dial “0” before the “1” within Malawi)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(265) (0)999-591024 or +(265) (0) 888-734-826
Fax: +(265) 1-774-471 (Dial “0” before the “1” within Malawi)
LilongweConsular@state.gov

Local Visitor Info

Tourist Office
Lilongwe City Mall
Kenyatta Rd.
Lilongwe
Malawi
Tel: 0111 722702

Local Emergency Phone Numbers

General Emergency: 999

Safety and Security

Crime is common in Malawi. Most crimes against tourists involve property, including robbery and pickpocketing. Avoid traveling on foot at night.

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