Malawi Travel Overview

Malawi Travel Overview

At a glance

Capital: Lilongwe

Official language: English, Chichewa

Currency: Kwacha

Continent: East Africa

The warm heart of Africa

Malawi is not only known for its lake, but also for its tea cultivation.


According to Countryaah, Malawi is a landlocked country in southern Africa. The country is criss-crossed from the north to the south by Lake Malawi, which separates it from Tanzania. Other neighboring countries are Zambia in the west and Mozambique in the south and east.


Lake Malawi has clear water and its beaches are a popular destination. It has a number of national parks that are well worth a visit. For a long time the forests of Malawi were cut down by the settlers, which has seriously affected the landscape. Today the forest is increasingly being reforested and the stock can slowly recover.

Important facts

Capital: Lilongwe

Official language: English, Chichewa


Currency (sub-unit)

Kwacha (100 tambala)

ISO 4217 code

MWK / 454


Continent: Africa

Region: east

Geo coordinates: S -13 ° -15 ‘-15.5 “E 34 ° 18’ 5.5”

Highest mountain: Sapitwa (3,002 m)

Total area: 118,480 km²

Mainland: 94,080 km²

National border: 2,881 km


Dependency: Great Britain until 1964

UN member since: 1964

Other political affiliation: African Union

Form of government: Presidential Republic


Malawi GDP - gross domestic product

Export goods: Tobacco, tea, peanuts, corn

BSP: $ 1,872,600,000

GDP: $ 2,272,000,000

GDP share of agriculture: 32.1%

GDP share of industry: 18.2%

GDP share of services: 49.7%

Inflation rate: 17%

State budget revenue: $ 952,000,000

State budget expenditure: $ 997,000,000

National debt: 183.7%

Export: $ 422,000,000

Import: $ 697,000,000

Foreign debt: $ 3,479,000,000

Gold and currency reserves: $ 163,000,000

Electricity consumption: 1,550 million KWh

Oil consumption: 8,400 million m³

Cultivation area: 21.51%

Bovine: 760,000 pieces

Pigs: 477,000 pieces

Fishing: 39,000 t

Demographic data

Residents: 13,014,000

Residents in cities: 1,999,800

Average age: 16.5 years

0-14 years: 46.5%

15-64 years: 50.8%

> 65 years: 2.7%

Population growth: 2.38%

Birth rate: 43.13 / 1,000 residents

Death rate: 19.33 / 1,000 residents

Ratio men / women: 0.99

Fertility: 5.92 children / woman

Infant mortality: 94.37 ‰

Life expectancy men: 41.93 years

Life expectancy women: 41.45 years

Country codes and abbreviations

ISO 3166 Alpha 2: MW

ISO 3166 Alpha 3: MWI

ISO 3166 numeric: 454

Top Level Domain: mw

IOC country code: MAW


Source: Abbreviationfinder


Telephone connections: 162,000

Cell Phones: 274,000

Radios: 6,040,000

TV: 74,000

Computer: 29,000

Internet users: 106,000


Railway lines: 797 km

Paved roads: 5,883 km

Cars: 33,000


Number of doctors: 570

Daily food intake: 2.190 kcal / resident

HIV- infected people: 980,000


Illiteracy: 36%


Foundation: 1390

Last sovereign since: 1964


Main religious group: Christians


Prison inmates: 9,900


Armed forces (troop strength): 5,000

Defense Spending: $ 18.4 million


Arriving by plane

Malawian Airlines (3W) connects Lilongwe with Harare, Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam. Kenya Airways (KQ) connects Nairobi (Kenya) with Blantyre . Ethiopian Airlines flies from Ethiopia to Blantyre . There are also flight connections between Malawi and South Africa with South African Airways (SA). Proflight Zambia (PO) operates the Lusaka (Zambia) –Lilongwe route.

Flight times

US $ 30. The fee must be paid in US dollars in cash. Children under 2 years of age and transit passengers (24 hours) are excluded.

An entry fee of US $ 75 can be introduced at any time.

Arrival by car

Malawi is connected to all neighboring countries by roads. Roads lead from Mozambique to Mwanza in southwest Malawi and to Chiponde in the east. A bridge on the Songwe River in the northwest connects Malawi with Tanzania. The Lilongwe-Lusaka route runs from Chipata in the west to Zambia. The connection to Zimbabwe via the Tete Corridor in Mozambique still poses an increased security risk. Border crossings are i. General open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Arrival by ship

Ferries connect Malawi on Lake Nyasa from Nkhata Bay to Mamba Bay in Tanzania. There is also a ferry connection to Metangula and Cóbuè (Mozambique).


Traveling by plane

Malawi Airlines (3W) connects Lilongwe with Blantyre. Several private charter airlines fly regularly to the country’s major tourist attractions.
Flight times

from Lilongwe to the following major cities (approximate hours and minutes):

plane Bus / car
Blantyre 0.40 4.00
Mzuzu 1.00 5.00
Zomba 4.00
Karonga 1.30 6.30
Salima 1.00
Mangochi 1.00 4.30

Departure fee

200 MWK for all domestic flights.

On the way by car / bus

All major roads and most of the minor roads can be used in any weather. The road network covers over 13,500 km. The great north-south expressway to Karonga in the north is paved.

Long-distance bus:
Good bus connections, including an express service, between major cities. The drive from Mzuzu to Karonga is particularly impressive. Luxury coaches run between Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

Rental cars are available in the larger cities (reserve in advance). Chauffeur-driven cars are also available.

International driver’s license.

Traffic regulations:
left-hand traffic.

Traveling in the city

City buses operate in Blantyre and Lilongwe. There are regular buses in all major cities.

Taxis are few and far between and cannot be hailed in the street. Taxi drivers expect tips.

On the go by train

Central East African Railways operates the country’s rail network, which extends to the border with Zambia in the west and the border with Mozambique in the east. The Beira Corridor to the border with Mozambique in the south has been closed for decades. The main route runs from Mchinji via Lilongwe, Salima, Chipoka, Blantyre, Limbe and Nsanje to the Mozambique border. For more information, contact Central East African Railways, PO Box 5144, Limbe (Tel: 01 64 08 44). The trains tend to be slow and crowded, and little used by tourists.

Out and about by ship

Regional shipping companies run tours on Lake Malawi. Cabins are available and meals can be taken on board. The local travel agencies can provide more information.