How would you like to travel through Malawi & Zambia?
largest lake in the world – Malawi Lake
elephant shrew, buffet weaver, leopard turtle, ant lion and rhinoceros beetle
of the country is water
different fish species in Lake Malawi
of all exports are tobacco
Malawi is one of the insider tips of south-eastern Africa. Officially it is one of the poorest countries in the world, but rightly also one of the friendliest and liveliest. The inhabitants of Malawi are also considered to be among the most beautiful people in Africa.
Basically, however, the long-haul flight usually takes you to another African country such as South Africa (South African Airways and Lufthansa & Co.). Another alternative is the Star Alliance member Ethiopian Airways with its flights via Addis Ababa.
Tours through Malawi also with the own car become more and more popular. Malawi is also often combined with trips through Zambia and Tanzania – for example on the route from Victoria Falls to Zanzibar.
To enter Malawi you need a valid passport. This passport has to be valid for another six months. Please inform yourself in good time before you start your journey about any necessary entry regulations and visa requirements.
In order to avoid the loss of identity documents and the associated problems, we recommend that you take both your passport and identity card with you on your journey and keep them separate from each other on site.
We also recommend that you bring a copy of your passport with you. So you can always take a copy of your passport and your identity card with you, while your passport can be kept safely e.g. in a hotel safe.
Please also remember to take your vaccination pass with you when travelling, as well as your driving licence incl. international driving licence when travelling by yourself.
In the following, we are only allowed to give advice on this subject, a consultation is exclusively reserved for your doctor and/or a tropical institute.
Please note that some countries require vaccinations to obtain an entry permit. Please take your vaccination pass with you on your Africa trip! This also applies if you plan to enter Malawi only. Flight schedule changes and other unforeseen developments can always mean a stop in another country.
For Malawi you usually need vaccinations (incl. Hep A+B) as well as Cholera (and possibly rabies, typhoid, meningococcus). Depending on the transit country or other travel countries along your route, you will also need a Yellow fever vaccination, as proof of this will be required depending on your previous destination. This also applies to a transit-related stopover.
At the latest three months before departure you should check the effectiveness of our standard vaccinations, because in case of necessary refreshments often relatively large distances to travel vaccinations have to be kept. This can have a decisive influence on the “vaccination plan”.
Important: The vaccination regulations can change at short notice! Be sure to inform yourself in good time about infection and vaccination protection and again shortly before the start of the trip. We assume no responsibility or liability with regard to vaccinations and medical information.
A typical round trip through Malawi begins and ends in Lilongwe, the geographical centre and capital of the country. In a big loop we first go into the northern mountains with the Nyiaka National Park.
Then you reach Lake Malawi, which marks the eastern border of the country. It is about 450 kilometers long and 80 kilometers wide (which is about the same as Switzerland). If you come over the mountain slopes and descend to the lake, you inevitably think you are at the sea, because with beach and waves and only (fresh) water up to the horizon, it is difficult to assume anything else.
Finally the Nkhtakota Wildlife Reserve is waiting in the south. From here it goes back for example via Lilongwe. Alternatively you can extend the trip to one of the neighbouring countries like Zambia or Tanzania.
For a detailed impression you should have a look at our Best of Malawi tour:
Nyiaka National Park
The Nyiaka National Park is the largest in Malawi. Besides the game with leopards, zebras, lions, buffalos and elephants, the flora is a special sight. In the rainy season, over 200 species of orchids bloom all over the park. With over 400 bird species, the excursion is also worthwhile for hobby ornithologists.
More than 600 species of fish live in Lake Malawi, more than in any other freshwater lake in the world. The lake runs through almost the whole country and is an important source of food for many Malawians. Countless fishing villages stretch along the coast, but there are also long stretches of uninhabited golden beaches that are the perfect place to relax.
Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve
Nkhotakota is Malawi’s largest reserve. With lions, buffalos. Antelopes, elephants and much more there is a real wealth of big game. Whether hiking, fishing, bird watching or rock climbing, in the changing landscape of wild forests, rivers and large grass plains there is something for everyone.
Lilongwe became the capital of Malawi in 1975. The old town has retained the flair of a traditional African settlement, while the rest of Lilongwe resembles other modern African cities.
The boom in Malawi came in 2006, when the number of tourists rose from 420,000 to over 630,000 compared to the previous year. Since then, the tourism sector has remained constant, welcoming over 800,000 visitors for the first time in 2014.
In recent years, the tourist infrastructure has been continuously expanded so that good accommodation can quickly be found even in more remote areas and national parks.
In our experience, a round trip with your own car is no problem in terms of infrastructure or safety, the friendliness and helpfulness of the people is huge!
Like the other countries in the region, Malawi was “infested” by slave traders between the 17th and 19th centuries. Only with the missionary Livingstone, who denounced the existing conditions, the area was proclaimed a protectorate of the British Crown and the slave traders were expelled.
The white settlers began to build large plantations. The living conditions of the black population of Malawi hardly improved, however, which led to some uprisings. After many riots and the dissolution of the Central African Federation, consisting of today’s Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, Great Britain granted the countries internal autonomy in 1963/64.
The first president, Banda, appointed himself for life in 1971 and banned all freedom of the press and resistance. It was only through ever-increasing political pressure from inside and outside that Banda released a vote on the multi-party system. The first democratic elections were held in 1994. Despite democratization, Malawi’s status as one of the poorest countries in the world has not improved.
Today, Malawi is a stable presidential republic with gradual economic and tourist growth.