Illinois Tourism & Travel

Crazy About Travel

Things to know before traveling to Malawi

Malawi is a hospitable put for readers, and Malawians are frequently eager to greet and interact with tourists. 

This is a little country, and you’ll in all probability locate yourself forming friendships and connections swiftly. It is also a inadequate state, and you might be solicited for revenue, in particular in the cities. A fantastic way to lead is to locate neighborhood social enterprises that are functioning for adjust, and supply both economical assistance or do some volunteering. Some of the best lodges operate tasks on their own or can link you with good courses close by. If you would like to make a donation for nature, contemplate the superb Lilongwe Wildlife Trust.

Here’s additional of what you need to know before visiting Malawi.

Understand the lingo

Learning a few Chichewa phrases before you go will assistance easy your travels and delight your hosts in Malawi. A handful of very good phrases to know are moni (howdy), muli bwanji (how are you), zikomo (thank you) and dzina langa ndi (my name is).

From November by April, rains make for lush vistas – and impassable streets © Ashley Cooper / Getty Photographs

Steer clear of viewing in the course of the rainy period

The rains in Malawi arrive from November by to April and can make some streets harmful or even impassable. Just after the rains, the state is at its most lush and beautiful, however wildlife recognizing is a lot easier in the hotter months of September and October, when vegetation is sparser.

Get immunized

Make positive your immunizations are up to date, which include Hepatitis A and B, rabies, typhoid, and yellow fever. Acquire your yellow fever document with you as you may perhaps need to exhibit it on arrival in Malawi. Talk to your medical doctor about malaria medicines, and be certain you go away adequate time because you will have to have to begin using the drugs numerous times right before your arrival in Africa. You may perhaps want to convey a mosquito internet with you to cling over your bed. You can donate it when you depart the country, possibly to a worker at your accommodations or to a regional college.

Smiling with a bicycle looking at camera talking on a mobile phone in a rural setting, Malawi
Just take time to greet Malawians you encounter on your vacation – it usually is the heat and energetic discussions that are the most unforgettable travel encounters listed here © wilpunt / Getty Photos

Choose time for greetings

The tradition in Malawi is to greet and talk to about every other’s health and often also the wellbeing of immediate and even extended household. If you can do this in Chichewa, so significantly the much better. Men and women like to talk politics, and generally it is the fantastic conversations, whole of humor and warmth, that are the abiding working experience of Malawian journey.


Get extra travel inspiration, suggestions and unique delivers sent straight to your inbox with our weekly e-newsletter.

Revamp your wardrobe

Throughout the President Hastings Banda a long time (1966–94), all sorts of weird sartorial laws ended up in position, with a ban on flared trousers and gals instructed only to wear long skirts, and never trousers or shorts. Those people days are long gone, and a lot of city Malawians have a magnificent style sense, combining Western street fashion with Afro chic. Material is cost-effective and wonderful in Malawi, and neighborhood tailors can immediately duplicate your current clothes or build outfits to your patterns.

Malawian culture is diverse and extra conservative in remote villages, where ladies ordinarily use a blouse, scarf and a duration of chitenge cloth wrapped around their bodies. You will get a hotter welcome if you gown modestly, covering your chest and legs, particularly so in predominately Muslim settlements. Gals travelers can have chitenge cloth to wrap all around their waistline or chest for village visits. The fabric is available in any industry and can make a excellent memento to acquire home.

Think right before you haggle

Malawi is not really a bargaining lifestyle numerous costs are preset. You may be charged a little bit more than a local in the marketplaces, but it is not likely that you will be terribly ripped off due to the fact honesty is a vital benefit in the place, even between individuals who are scraping only a little financial gain from their products.

The LGBTQI+ neighborhood is not supported

Homosexuality is unlawful in Malawi, nevertheless this is not likely to be an challenge for foreign vacationers. Continue to, simply because of the authorized circumstance open up dialogue of homosexuality may well make Malawians unpleasant.

Get a place

Flamboyant physical shows of passion amongst couples are not the norm in Malawi and may well result in offense.

Really don’t be tempted by Malawi Gold

Malawi’s hashish may perhaps be a temptation for travelers, but drug having and possession is illegal and carries punitive sentences.

An aerial shot of crowds on the beach and in the water at Lake Malawi
A swim in Lake Malawi is a single of the good pleasures of browsing this nation, but get a take a look at for bilharzia when you return household © erichon / Shutterstock

Avoid driving at night time

The best risk in Malawi is possible to be on the streets, where by dashing and wildly passing cars and trucks are typical. Driving at night time on the unlit streets need to be avoided entirely. When scheduling your excursion, contemplate utilizing Malawi’s mentor program and the lake ferry somewhat than driving on your own. Selecting the solutions of a driver/guide also normally takes the tension out of Malawi travel. 

Provide a h2o filter

Malawi does not have recycling amenities, so provide a transportable drinking water-filter bottle relatively than buying plastic h2o bottles and contributing to the country’s squander dilemma. You’ll want to drink a lot of h2o to remain hydrated in the heat.  

Use a condom

Fees of HIV in Malawi are substantial, and the ailment has had devastating effects. If you have intercourse with a Malawian or a fellow traveler, use a condom.

Beware of bilharzia

Bilharzia is a parasitic disease carried by freshwater snails, and it is clever to get a test for this disease 6 weeks immediately after you return from Malawi. The disorder can be picked up if you swim in Lake Malawi, especially in a reedy place. Bilharzia is easily treated, but if still left undiagnosed, it can lead to fever, rashes, abdomen discomfort and extraordinary fatigue. Never enable this place you off swimming in the lake, which is a person of the excellent pleasures of a visit – just be guaranteed to test on your return.