Why We Love Malawi…
Affectionately nicknamed ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’, thanks to the incredibly warm welcome the locals give to all, Malawi has incredible geographical diversity from the Great Rift Valley and Lake Malawi to vast protected reserves and national parks which are home to many incredible species from lion to rhino.
If you are visiting Malawi, your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date you arrive and have at least 2 blank pages.
UK & US passport holders require a visa for entry into Malawi. They can be obtained on arrival or applied for in advance on the Malawi Immigration website.
Please check out your local travel advice and let us know if you’re travelling from a different territory.
You must be fully vaccinated to enter Malawi and will accept the NHS COVID Pass as proof. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to travel. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.
You must also present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, not older than 72 hours from your time of departure from your country of origin, in order to enter Malawi.
You may also be randomly selected for COVID-19 testing on arrival at your own expense. Passengers may be required to remain at the airport or a testing centre until their COVID-19 test results are known, usually within 24 hours.
Children aged 17 and under should follow the rules for fully vaccinated travellers to enter Malawi.
Please check the Government guidance if you are entering/returning to a different country, and do get in touch with our concierge team with any questions.
Transfers and Luggage
Roads are few in Malawi, so most journeys are made by light aircraft. There is a luggage allowance of 15kg total per person inclusive of hand luggage on all scheduled and chartered light aircraft flights. It is essential you pack into soft-sided duffel-style bags – lighter than suitcases and easier to stow in the hold of a light aircraft.
We strongly recommend that you carry overnight essentials and any prescribed medication in your hand luggage on international flights, particularly if connecting to an onward destination.
Most lodges and camps will offer laundry services, with a 24 hr turnaround but it’s worth noting that almost all do not do women’s underwear due to cultural reason.
We’re able to arrange your transfers for you, just let us know your flight number, and we’ll plan the route and let you know the cost! For multi-stop trips, we can also arrange your transfers between hotels/regions.
The summer months (November to March) are very hot and are when Malawi receives most of its annual rainfall while the winter months (April – October) are characterised by bright, warm days and cool nights and almost no rain. The best game-viewing months are during the winter season from April to October when the weather is dry and temperate. Nights can be very cold in May, June, July and early August so warm clothing for early morning game drives and evenings in camp are required (gloves and a woollen hat are also useful accessories).
Laws and Customs
Before you travel, please take a look at Zambia’s Laws & Customs here.
– You are required to carry a photocopy of your passport and visa at all times.
– Outside the main tourist areas, women should cover their legs and shoulders to avoid offending local sensitivities.
For Zambia there are three associated plug types, types C, D and G. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins, plug type D has three round pins in a triangular pattern and plug type G is the plug which has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern.
Zambian Kwacha are not available outside of the two countries so you should take US Dollars in cash. It is advisable to take dollars in small denominations and there is no need to change any money into local currency as US dollars are an accepted currency. US Dollar notes are not accepted with smaller heads on them i.e. the older notes so please check your money when you get your dollars.
Credit cards are also accepted in a number of hotels and lodges, but not in the bush camps – Visa and Mastercard are the most useful but you will usually be charged a fee of approx 5% for using them.
What To Pack
For advice on what to pack for a safari adventure, please head to our What to Pack on Safari blog.
We aren’t certified to give medical advice so always recommend you consult your doctor or a travel doctor, as they will know which vaccinations you have already and any additional ones necessary for your trip. You can also take a look here for travel vaccination information and advice on bringing medication into the country.
Tipping/Gratuities on Safari
We recommend travelling with USD in cash. For a couple, the guideline is $25 per day for your guide and the same again for the combined lodge staff – so around $50 per day total. The camp manager is always on hand on the ground if you have any questions.
Flights & Time Zone
The total flight duration from London to Malawi is 9 hours and 40 minutes
Malawi is GMT +2.
English, along with several major indigenous languages including Chichewa, Chinyanja, Chiyao and Chitumbuka.
Traditional, comforting and hearty – three words that encompass the delicious Malawi cuisine. Many Malawians don’t eat a lot of meat, chicken may feature occasionally and in Lake Malawi’s surroundings fish is a tasty delicacy – be sure to try nsima with chambo if you’re in the area!
Bolivia FAQs – From currency to transfers and plug types, we answer all the things you need to know in one handy guide.
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