What to take into account when planning to Visit Malawi

Anyone who has ever visited Malawi always goes home with a remarkable experience.

The numerous Lakes and how the country preserves its wildlife always stay conspicuous for visitors.

Malawi holds different experiences for different people. Therefore, each tourist always has a separate story to tell after visiting this country.

Still, one thing that holds all their stories together is the smile and the dreaming experience that remains on their faces while speaking about Malawi.

As a traveler visiting Malawi for the first time, there are things you must know and places you must look out for if you must have an all-rounder experience of this place.

But before we begin, let us give you some fun facts about the country.

Facts about Malawi

The Republic of Malawi is found in the Southeastern part of Africa. 

Back then, no one called it Malawi but referred to it as Nyasaland.

However, to this day, people still fondly call it ‘the warm heart of Africa’ because the indigenes of Malawi are such warm-hearted and friendly people.

Malawi gained its independence in 1970 from the United Kingdom, and to this day, it’s been a free country.

Malawi was coined from ‘Maravi,’ the Bantu ethnic group language that hailed from Southern Congo.  

These Bantu people sojourned together from Congo in search of a settlement. But, getting to the west bank of Lake Malawi, they divided up. 

Half of the group settled on the western bank of lake Malawi, while the other group continued towards the east. Deciding on the bank of the lake was how the country got its name.

One very remarkable thing about the people of Malawi is their artistry. 

They are knowledgeable in basketry and carvings. Tourists who visit this country always stop to buy one of this beautiful artistry as souvenirs.

Furthermore, the Malawi kitchen is so diversified and exciting that you can’t but have a taste of their locally made foods.  

The main ingredients very dear to the heart of the Malawians are tea, potatoes, and fish. 

These items always feature in their local but tasty dishes.

So, when you plan to visit Malawi, get your taste buds ready because you might fall in love with their foods.

What you must expect when you plan to visit Malawi

We know that people always have different expectations when planning a trip, even when it is just for sightseeing or tourism.

For Malawi, you may not know what to expect because of how diversified they are.

 But we will try to magnify some vital things about the country so that you can be expectant as you pack your bags in readiness for a lifetime of the pure African experience.

#1. The weather

Visiting Malawi during the rainy season is not a good option because the rain may cause some roads to be unpliable and dangerous. 

Again, the rain may not allow you to experience the beauty and lushness of the country. It is why it’s better to visit Malawi during the dry season.  

Then, you will truly experience Malawi at its best. From the natural wildlife to the Game Reserve and its beautiful lakes.  

The dry season begins in Malawi between April to November. 

#2. Lake Malawi

If you must know, this lake has some emotional stories entwined around it.

Firstly, this was where the people of Malawi first naturalized. Also, Back in history, it was said that the first Scottish Missionaries passed through this lake.  

Besides history lovers, nature lovers can find a fun spot in the National Park they built. 

Talk about wildlife, Antelopes freely gallop around without the fear of getting caught, and even baboons run around their business while tourists click off their cameras. 

#3. Money

The United States dollar or the British pounds are the only foreign currencies you can use in Malawi.

You can change your money to their local Malawi Kwacha currency if you do not have any of these currencies. 

The people of Malawi also accept South African Rand if you do not have a US dollar, British pound, or the Kwacha currency.

#4. Means of identification

As a foreigner in Malawi, you must always carry a means of identification. 

Most tourists are from countries that do not require a visa to visit Malawi; however, always have something that will prove that you came into the country legally.

#5. Your state of health

Before you come to Malawi, have a working health insurance policy.

It is a must for all travelers visiting Malawi at any point. 

Also, vaccination is a big deal in Malawi, so you have to prove that you took vaccines against diseases like Polio, Yellow fever, and Hepatitis.

Again, do not forget malaria drugs because there are mosquitoes in Malawi, and you do not want to fall sick with malaria while trying to have fun.

#6. Means of movement

Malawi’s transportation is either by bus or by car. If you prefer to move around by bus, the daily bus services are available to take you around the city.

Meanwhile, this depends on where you reside during your visit because fewer buses ply the rural roads less often.

 Additionally, you can hire or rent a car when you arrive. There are car rental services that you can use if you meet their requirements.

#7. What to pack

Since you’ll be visiting a foreign country, the essentials that will help you stay comfortable in the country should be your top priority.

  • Now, during the dry season, Malawi becomes warm and tolerable. So, you may want to pack light clothes for your travel.
  • Do not forget to put a hat, and a pair of sunglasses in your bag, to shield you from the sun. 
  • Sunscreen will go a long way to protect your skin from the ultra-violent rays of the sun if you must explore or lazy around on the beach.
  • Your camera should accompany you because you wouldn’t want to forget about the fascinating sports you may counter.
  • Water filter. This will help you to filter your water and always have drinkable water on standby. It will help you to stay hydrated all through your stay.
  • Condoms, in case you plan to have sex while visiting Malawi.
  • Extra cash for tipping service providers after using their services and purchasing local arts.
  • Torchlight
  • Mosquito net or repellent to prevent yourself from mosquito bites on your skin.
  • Swimwear, if you plan to dive into the lake.
  • Comfortable shoes and hiking boots

#8. Have a tour guide

Malawi has many great places you can explore, but if you do not know your way around, you will end up not utilizing the opportunity.  

Therefore you need a tour guide, preferably an indigene who knows where the fun is at, and the best places to be during the daytime and at night.

Also, you will not worry about getting lost when all you want to do is just explore and have fun.

Furthermore, your safety should be paramount, so having someone who knows the landmark properly will help you stay safe.

#9. Experience the academic life

If you are an academician, you’d love to visit the Malawi University of Science and Technology. 

This school is making great strides in science and has launched information and communication technology in Malawi. 

Think about how interesting and refreshing it will be to walk into this great university, sit under one of the chairs, and soak up the great essence the school gives off.  

We know you wouldn’t mind some pictures of you standing behind one of the historical buildings in this great school.

#10. Watch out for the laws

A saying goes thus; when you get to Rome, behave like the Romans

In this context, it means you must abide by the laws of Malawi as a visitor. 

Ask questions so that you won’t be breaking the law unknowingly. 

For example, illegal drugs are not allowed in Malawi, same as the same gender relationship in public.

So, try to abide by the local laws. For example, if the law requires you to dress a type of way and put on clothes that get to your ankles or pull off your shoe when you get to a location, do not pick fights unnecessarily so that you won’t get into trouble.

See Also: Immigrate to Canada from Malawi – Workers, Students, Family

Frequently asked questions

Can you visit Malawi without being vaccinated?

Malawi has a strict law about vaccinations. Therefore, non-Vaccinated travelers or travelers without proof of their vaccinations do not enter Malawi. And this also includes COVID-19 test results, but the good news is you can take your COVID test right at the airport.

Is it expensive to visit Malawi?

Among other African countries, Malawi is one of the cheapest to visit. From the food down to accommodations comes with low prices. For example, you may spend just $4 for a meal.

Can women wear shorts when they visit Malawi?

Malawi takes dressing seriously, especially for women. However, they frown on women who wear shorts, so it is not entirely acceptable for female tourists to walk around the country in such dress. 

Most times, men do not even wear shorts but trousers in this country.

What are the health challenges in Malawi?

HIV is one of the serious health issues currently facing Malawi. Also, malaria plagues the people of Malawi due to the high presence of mosquitoes. 

How much is a Malawi tourist visa?

A tourist visa to Malawi is about $75 if you come for the first time with a single entry visa. Multiple entry visas cost more.

How long does it take to get a visa to Malawi?

After applying for your visa, it takes about ten days for the embassy to process your visa and give you a reply. 

Conclusion

When you visit Malawi, It will surprise you that the people love strangers and don’t mind spending time standing and greeting. This, out of many more reasons, will make you enjoy your stay in the country.

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