Malawi Guide

Malawi Guide

Country data

Location: South Africa

Time zone: CET + 1 (during summer time: CET)

Total area: 118,484 km²

Land area: 94,080 km²

Water area: 24,404 km²

Length of the state border: 2,881 km

Bordering countries:
Mozambique: 1,569 km
Zambia: 837 km
Tanzania: 475 km

Coastline: 0 km

Capital: Lilongwe

Regions: 28
Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Dedza, Dowa, Karonga, Kasungu, Likoma, Lilongwe, Machinga, Mangochi, Mchinji, Mulanje, Mwanza, Mzimba, Neno, Ntcheu, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Ntchisi, Phalombe, Rumphi, Salima, Thyolo, Zomba

Telephone code: 00 265 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Sapitwa 3,002 m


Population: approx. 17.4 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 3.3% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 147

Life expectancy: 58 (male), 62 (female)

Official language: English, Chichewa (native language)


  • 82% Christian
  • 13% Muslim
  • 5% other


The subtropical climate is very pleasant all year round. The dry season lasts from May to October. Rainfall is frequent during the remaining months, with the main rainy season being from December to March.

Temperatures around the plains of Lake Malawi are highest (22-32 ° C). The further you go into the mountains, the cooler it gets (13-24 ° C).


Currency / finance

Currency unit: Malawi Kwacha (MWK)

Classification: 1 Malawi Kwacha = 100 Tambala

ATMs: In larger cities at the banks Stanbic and National Bank.

International credit cards: Only in very large hotels and shops in Lilongwe.

Regulations: The national currency can be imported and exported up to an amount of 3,000 Kwacha.

There is no limit to the amount of foreign currencies that can be imported. The export is limited to the amount of the declared import.

All exchange receipts should be kept until departure.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 225 g of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

You should have valuable items declared upon entry so that there are no difficulties when leaving.

Travel advice

The most common offenses against foreigners at present are pickpocketing, burglary and car theft. These take place more and more often through the use of armed force.

The regions on the border with Mozambique are subject to a higher security risk.

Behavioral advice

  • do not wear money and jewelry visibly
  • lock your car at any time (even while driving)
  • do not drive overland at night


Malawi is one of the poorest economies in the world. with a high level of corruption.

Most of the population works in agriculture. Corn, tobacco, tea and sugar are grown here.

All other branches of industry are closely linked to agriculture (mechanical engineering, product processing).

Industries: agriculture, light industry, tobacco growing

Natural resources: bauxite, coal, farmland, uranium, hydropower

Land use:

  • Usable land: 34%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 20%
  • Forests: 39%
  • other: 7%


The dry forests, which are particularly located in the flat regions of the country, change into tree savannahs and grasslands with increasing height.

The most common trees include baobabs, acacias, and conifers.

In recent years, very large areas of land have fallen victim to agricultural use.


Malawi’s diverse wildlife includes monkeys, antelopes, elephants, hippos, cheetahs, giraffes, cobras, crocodiles, rhinos and zebras.

Many animals live in particularly large numbers near Lake Malawi.

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