Malawi Travel, Backpacking & Gap Year Guide
Malawi is an incredible destination with stunning destinations, friendly people and exotic wildlife. Find inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to go travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Malawi.
Activities & Things to Do in Malawi
Travel to Malawi
View our comprehensive travel and backpacking guide with tips, ideas for the best things to see and do and information about itineraries, costs, how to save money, and more!
Our destination guide aims to give you all the information you need to have an amazing experience in this amazing country. Find affordable travel and backpacking ideas with advice for amazing things to do and how you can be more than just your average traveller. You can also get recommendations for budget travel tips, where to stay and advice how to stay safe.
Get inspired to visit Malawi today!
- Population: 13,014,000 (approx)
- Area: 94,080km²
- Currency: Malawian kwacha (MWK)
- Capital: Lilongwe
- Language: English, Chichewa + local languages
- Dialing Code: +265
- Accommodation: Malawi receives thousands of tourists every year and infrastructure is quite good on the ground in terms of accommodation. You will find good quality hotels in the large cities like Blantyre and Lilongwe, there are rooms for all budgets from the budget backpacker to the luxury traveler. There are also traditional safari lodges in the Game Reserves close to where the wildlife live
How to Get to Malawi
- You can get to Malawi fairly easy by plane, land and boat
- You can fly into Malawi from places like South Africa, Ethiopia and Nairobi - most arrive into the international airport in Lilongwe. You can also catch internal flights in Malawi from places like Lilongwe to Blantyre
- If you are looking to see a more rural area of the country you can cross by ferry from Likoma Island and Metangula in Mozambique
- Trains no longer operate so if you are looking to cross from a country nearby you will need to do this by bus
- You can also get to Malawi by road from Tanzania, Zambia or Mozambique, an easy way to experience this region of the world is on an adventure overland tour in Africa
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Malawi is a warm destination has a tropical climate with its dry season lasting from April until October. The dry season brings with it unbearable heat but the conditions are less oppressive from May to July although this does mean wildlife is less frequently spotted around the visible watering holes of the national parks. Temperatures vary between the highlands and lowlands with high humidity in the lowland regions and night time temperatures below freezing point in the highlands
Best Places to Visit in Malawi
These are some of the top destinations you should try to add to your itinerary:
- Cape Maclear
- Likoma and Chisumulu Islands
- Liwonde National Park
- Ntchisi Forest Reserve
- Majete Wildlife Park
- Mount Mulanje
- Nyika National Park
- Zomba Plateau
- Lake Malawi
Travelling in Malawi
Malawi is a really up and coming destination and perfect for people seeking an authentic African experience. When travelling indpendently in Malawi you are probably sure to pass by Lilongwe, this is a popular place to stop in where there are famous colourful tree's and a scenic old town. Malawi also hosts the Lake of Stars festival where dj's and musicians come from all over the world to play - this is one of the most unique music events in the world. People are very friendly and the cost of travelling here is very cheap.
Malawi Gap Year
Malawi is a beautiful destination with friendly people and stunning scenery. There are lots of exciting and life changing gap year trips in Malawi. You can help make a difference and see more of this country by signing up for a program through our website. We have gap year programs for students, graduates, career breaks but most trips are open to everyone including most nationalities. You can also view all our opportunities in this region by going to our Africa gap year page.
Health & Safety
Malawi is a very safe destination but always take precautions for example don't drink to excess, try to walk around with someone at night and don't flash valuables in public or attract too much attention to yourself. Food and drink is really tasty but basic, pack Imodium or something to help with diarrhea, sometimes the food in this region can be a shock to your system especially when you first arrive. Try to drink lots of bottle water to avoid dehydration and also buy fresh fruit in local markets which is really cheap. You will find most local people are very friendly, don't think everyone is out to mug you but also be a little cautious if someone is being overly friendly. Pack a sink plug, you might be suprised how useful this is like cleaning clothes to washing your face.