- Days: 18 days
- Period: September / October 2007
- Weather: Dry and warm. In the moring and evening however it is a bit cooler and very comfortable. In the mountains in Nyika NP it got very cold after sunset, during the day however it was quite hot.
Currency: Malawi Kwacha (MKW)
Internet: Widely available throughout the country. Quite a few lodges and campsites have internet as well.
ATM's: In many towns there is an ATM for Visa. ATM's for Cirrus and Maestro are also available in most bigger cities. Standard bank and NB (National Bank of Malawi) offer both services
Creditcards: Creditcards are accepted in some hotels and restaurants but not used a lot. Fuel can only be paid in cash.
Safety: Malawi is a very safe country. The atmosphere is relaxed and people are extremely friendly.
Prices (per October 2007)
Value Money: €1 = around 192 MKW
Fuel: 178,7 MKW per liter diesel. In the whole country the price is the same.
Camping: Between 250 and 1000 MKW per person per night. Camping in the National Parks is more expensive. Nyika NP was 8 US$ per person per night.
If your are Dutch you can get it on the border free of charge.
Visa is a single entry visa and valid for the time you request. We asked for a month but we do not know what the maximum is.
ENTRY: We've entered from Tanzania at Songwe. This was the quickest and cheapest border so far. In less than 10 minutes everything was finished and without any costs. Immigration and customs are in the same building. When entering the country the ask for your insurance. The Comesa we bought in Nairobi is also valid in Malawi so we did not needed an insurance, but if you do, it is available at the border.
EXIT: We left Malawi at Minchji (border with Zambia). No costs and quick and easy.
Highlights or not
Malawi itself: As soon as you enter the country you will notice it. The whole country breathes an atmosphere of calm and the people are extremely friendely. Malawi is called "the warm heart of Africa" and it really is. Just to experience this was a highlight for us.
Nyika NP: Rolling hills covered with high grass. The place is quite remote and not visited a lot, but we did liked it. Except for some gazelles we did not see many animals and activities are very expensive here. The campsite is a very nice place.
Lake Malawi: Lake Malawi is one of the main attractions of Malawi. Around the lake you will find many lodges and campsites and most of them offer a wide range of activities. We visited the lake at Chitimba, Kande Beach, Senga Bay and Cape Maclear. They were all very nice places.
Coming from Tanzania, you do need to get fuel or cash in advance. Not far from the border, in Karonga, you can get fuel and there is a visa ATM.
Make sure you have an insurance when entering Malawi. If you do not have it you can buy it on the border. The police stopped us quite often and every time they wanted to see our insurance.
There is a very good Chinese restaurant in Blantyre (Hongkong)
Just south of Nkhata Bay there are many rubber plantations. Here just along the main road you will find people selling the famous Malawi rubber balls. You must bargain.
On your way to Zambia, fill up your tanks in Malawi. Fuel is very expensive in Zambia, especially just over the border.
Labour is very cheap in Malawi so if you have a problem with your car that will costs you mainly labour instead of spare parts, it might be interesting to have it done in Malawi. Especially in Blantyre there are some good workshops and dealers.
Roads (October 2007)
Songwe (border with Tanzania) - Chitimba: Reasonable tarmac with some few deep potholes.
Chitimba - Livingstonia: about 1 hour, steep piste with 20 sharp hairpin curves. Ok, when it is dry.
Livingstonia - Rumphi: 2 hours, beautiful but very dusty piste through the mountains.
Rumphi - Entrance Nyika NP: 50 KM, about 1,5 hours. Dusty piste with some corrugation.
Entrance Nyika NP - Chelinda Camp: 60 KM, about 2 hours, rough piste and very slippery when wet.
Rumphi - Mzuzu: about 1 hour, good tarmac.
Mzuzu - Nkhata Bay: bad tarmac, many big potholes.
Nkhata Bay - Kande Beach: good tarmac, rubber plantations just south of Nkhata Bay
Kande Beach - Senga Bay: 100 km good tarmac.
Senga Bay - Lilongwe: good tarmac.
Lilongwe - Blantyre: 300 km good tarmac.
Blantyre - Ulongwe: good tarmac.
Ulongwe - Cape Maclear: Very bad tarmac with many big potholes. The last 18 km is piste with heavy corrugation.
Cape Maclear - Kapiti: To Kapiti it is mainly piste with bad corrugation.
Kapiti - Senga Bay: Via Golomoti and Salima is good tarmac.
Iringa - Mbeya: good tarmac.
Lilongwe - Minchji (Zambia border): 2 hours, good tarmac.
|Nederlands consulaat Malawi|
|Kabula Hill, Blantyre|
|P. O. Box 5096|
|New Year||1 January|
|Clilembwe Day||15 January|
|Easter, Pinkster||March / April|
|Labour Day||1 May|
|Day of Freedom||14 June|
|Day of the Republic||6 July|
|Boxing Day||26 December|
Grid: Lat/Lon hddd°mm.mmm"
|Karonga||S09.56.102||E033.56.545||Banks||National Bank of Malawi||Visa ATM|
|Mzuzu||S11.27.765||E034.01.436||Banks||National Bank of Malawi||Visa ATM|
|Blantyre||S15.47.108||E035.00.325||Banks||Standard bank||Visa ATM|
|Chitimba||S10.35.117||E034.10.518||Camping||Chitimba Beach resort||Nice place with friendly Dutch owners. Hot showers and restaurant. 560 KW pppn|
|Livingstonia||S10.35.128||E034.07.663||Camping||Lukwe Eco Lodge||Eco friendly lodge. We found the manager a bit too pushy. Hot showers and restaurant. 725 KW pppn|
|Nyika||S10.35.097||E033.47.956||Camping||Chelinda Camp||Quiet place with a stunning view. It can get very cold at night. The staff will make you a great fire before they leave. Hot showers and a free campfire. 8 US$ pppn|
|Mzuzu||S11.27.425||E034.01.676||Camping||Mzoozoozoo||Friendly place close to the center. Hot showers and restaurant. 500 KW pppn.|
|Kande Beach||S11.57.096||E034.07.289||Camping||Kande Beach Resort||Good place on the lake. Hot showers, restaurant, watersports, internet and internet. 600 KW pppn|
|Senga Bay||S13.42.936||E034.37.726||Camping||Steps Campsite||Clean place but lonely and very expensive and you get eaten by ants. Hot showers and electricity. 1000 KW pppn.|
|Lilongwe||S13.59.966||E033.45.575||Camping||Mabuya Camp||Close to the center and you will meet a lot of travellers. Hot showers, restaurant and internet. 420 KW pppn.|
|Blantyre||S15.47.015||E035.00.909||Camping||Doogles||Nice place and good facilities, however camping grounds are not that great. Hot showers, restaurant, swimming pool, internet. NO DOGS allowed. 435 KW pppn.|
|Cape Maclear||S14.01.435||E034.50.469||Camping||Fat Monkey||At the southern tip of Lake Malawi. You can camp very close to the beach. Tough road to get here (lot of corrugation). Hot showers, restaurant. 400 KW pppn.|
|Senga Bay||S13.43.850||E034.37.154||Camping||Cool runnings||This place is much better than Steps CS and less than half of the price. Camping on real green grass. Hot showers, restaurant, library. 400 KW pppn.|
|Blantyre||S15.47.033||E035.00.279||Restaurant||Hong Kong||Very good Chinese restaurant|
|Blantyre||S15.47.197||E035.00.247||Restaurant||Kips||Good Fastfood place. Serves good icecream as well.|
|Lilongwe||S13.58.425||E033.45.416||Junction||Junction road from Lilongwe to border with Zambia|
|Blantyre||S15.47.871||E035.01.130||Garages||City Motors||Landrover / BMW dealer and workshop|
|Nyika NP||S10.50.096||E033.35.441||Place of interest||Thazima Gate||Main gate of Nyika NP|
|Manchji||S13.44.863||E032.47.678||Border||Border between Malawi and Zambia|