Malawi is often called the Warm Heart of Africa, and if you are planning a trip there, chances are that you are going to have a wonderful time. You will experience a new culture, and you will have the opportunity to check out the wildlife, see the lakes, and be amazed by the country’s fantastic landscapes. With a little bit of planning, you can take it all in. However, there are a few things you should know before leaving for Malawi. After all, you are going to a foreign country, and there are some rules you should be aware of. That is why we decided to provide you with a little bit of information regarding tourism in Malawi.
First of all, you have to check if a visa is in order. According to Malawi’s visa policy, there are 33 countries whose citizens are exempt. If you happen to be among them, you can travel to Malawi and remain inside the country for a period that cannot exceed 90 days. However, there is one exception. If you are a citizen of Hong Kong, your stay is limited to only 30 days.
A visa on arrival for Malawi is also available, although further research on the matter is necessary because the information is often inconsistent. However, the nationalities that are not visa exempt can get a visa on arrival, with the exception of the citizens of 53 countries. To learn whether or not you are on that list, you must do a simple Google search regarding Malawi’s visa policy.
Last but not least, Malawi introduced the electronic visa system in November 2019. As a result, all nationalities that are not visa exempt can apply for a Malawi eVisa online. That is something iVisa can provide assistance with. Just access the application page, and you can have your travel document in a matter of a few days.
The best time to travel to Malawi is May through October. That is the dry season, and there is no humidity. Mosquitoes are in fewer numbers as well. Besides, the temperatures are not as high as the rest of the year, which will make your trip more comfortable.
While there are about 16 languages that are used in Malawi, the most commonly used is Chichewa. Learning how to speak it is not necessary since almost everyone in Malawi understands and speaks English. You should have no issues in getting around.
As to what you can see in Malawi, the possibilities are many. You should create an itinerary so that you can visit as many places as possible. However, one of the most popular sites visited by tourists is Cape Maclear. It is located on the southern end of Lake Malawi. You can relax on the beach sipping cold drinks, enjoy some water sports, or take a long walk along the lake, which can provide some beautiful sights. Most people who take a trip to Malawi make sure to see the lake before they leave because it is simply stunning.
Kande Beach is yet another popular place for tourists. In fact, many see it as the most beautiful beach in Malawi. You can decide for yourself whether that is true. In the meantime, know that Kande Beach is the ideal place if you just want to chill for a day or two.
If you are interested in the wildlife of Malawi, you should check out the most famous national park in Malawi. It is called Liwonde National Park, and you can spot a lot of wild animals there. The primary attraction is the elephants, although you can see several other species as well. Just make sure to follow the rules when going to see the animals, as you can get seriously injured if you get too close. Guides are available, as are car rentals.
If hiking is your cup of tea, we recommend Mount Mulanje. You can find some trails there that are suited for not-so-advanced hikers. The sights going up are gorgeous, and on your way up, with a little bit of luck, you can spot other wild animals. This is also the place where you can see the Mulanje Cedar, a massive tree that has been declared the national tree. The demand for this type of wood has increased in the last years, which is why it is close to extinction.
The food in Malawi is something that tourists seem to like. Malawians eat something called nsima, which is a type of porridge made from maize or cassava meal. It can be eaten with either chicken or beef, whatever is available. It is pretty tasty if you want to try it. At the same time, we recommend being careful about street vendors. Like any other place, Malawi has its fair share of not-so-clean food vendors. Make sure to check out the situation before you eat there.
Drinking tap water in Malawi is not something we recommend. While locals drink it in some areas, you may be a little more sensitive. If you visit rural areas in Malawi, the water from boreholes is usually safe to drink, but bottled water is available throughout the country if you do not want to take a risk.
The people in Malawi are incredibly lovely. It is the people that gave Malawi the name of the Warm Heart of Africa. They are hospitable, welcoming, and you can approach almost everyone on the street. They usually like tourists, and they will treat you with a great deal of respect. One of the best things about them is that the locals will always find a reason to party. You can check out the clubs and learn to dance to African house music. You should also try the local beer called Chipoka while there.
As far as health is concerned in Malawi, keep in mind that malaria is a common disease. You should get a vaccine before you leave for Malawi and carry malaria medicine. Of course, prevention is the best course of treatment, so make sure that you have nets for when you are sleeping and plenty of bug repellent. Safety-wise, you do not have cause for concern. Malawi is a relatively safe country to visit. You can easily walk alone on the streets at night. However, remember that Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, and if you display a lot of valuable items when you are walking around, you may tempt some not-so-honest locals to steal them. Use your common sense, and you should be alright.
The bottom line is that while Malawi may be a poor country, it has a lot to offer. The culture is vibrant, the people always seem to be in a good mood, and you can absorb a lot of its culture. Make sure to check it out if you ever want to take a trip to Africa.