[All content and prices updated February 2013]

Why you should add Malawi to your Indie/RTW trip

  • Malawi has some of the friendliest, most open and hospitable people in Africa. It’s impossible to leave Malawi without a few friends in tow.
  • Sometimes called “Africa for beginners,” Malawi is one of the easier places to get around, with (semi) reliable and comfortable transportation.
  • Malawi is one of the cheapest countries in Southern Africa, and you can see all of its amazing sights for around $25USD a day.
  • Options. Malawi is definitely the spot for lovers of the outdoors. Visit the isolated villages that dot the northern lakeshore of Lake Malawi, or the beautiful Liwonde National Park rests at its southern tip and take a stab at freshwater diving and snorkeling. Take a trek in the misty heights of Mouny Mulanje, or experience an authentic African city in Lilongwe.
  • Cost. Malawi is one of the cheapest countries in Southern Africa. Depending on your tastes, your dollar can go far, and to participate in some of Malawi’s great activities your budget can start at a mere $15USD per day.

Indie Travel Tips

Malawi is already a popular spot on the Southern Africa circuit because of its picturesque scenery and super friendly population, but there are still plenty of ways to get off-the-beaten-path:

  • Lake Malawi is a traveler’s paradise. Kayak through untouched islands, take your first freshwater scuba-dive, or relax on a near deserted beach.
  • See more stars in the African sky than you thought existed when you take in Lake Malawi’s shoreline on the ancient Ilala ferry. You can even sleep out on the deck.
  • Take a safari water-style in the Liwonde National Park. You can see hippos and crocodiles on the Shire River, and get up close and personal with elephants on its banks.
  • Hike Mount Mulanje for some of the most dramatic views that Malawi has to offer.


Malawi’s title as the “Warm heart of Africa” refers to the friendliness and generosity of the people, but it may just as easily invoke the climate of this tropical refuge in East Africa.

What to do

Malawi doesn’t get much press as a safari destination, but the vast Nyika National Park rivals even the massive Kruger Park in South Africa for sheer abundance and variety of wildlife.

Safaris and tours of the African ecosystem also bring travelers to Liwonde National Park, another massive stretch of plants and animals uninterrupted by development, industry or human influence.

For more in depth information on what to see and do in Malawi, read Indie Travel in Malawi for $25 Per Day.

Getting there

Malawi does not require a visa for visiting, although there is a departure fee of $30 when you exit the country. Flights to Malawi come through Johannesburg, South Africa or Dubai in the Middle East.

For getting around in Malawi, check out the transportation section of Indie Travel in Malawi for $25 Per Day.

Where to stay

Like most African countries with world-class parks, there are a few international luxury hotels in Malawi. Many of them are located on the banks of Lake Malawi. For guesthouses and hostels, the city of Blantyre is your best bet and for regular hotels, you can find them all over the country, with the best selection in Lilongwe.

For more in depth information on accommodations in Malawi, check out the accommodations section of Indie Travel in Malawi for $25 Per Day.

Chelsea Perino is an avid traveler and has spent a significant amount of time in Southern Africa. She traveled through Malawi as a solo female, but was so overwhelmed with the hospitality and friendliness of the Malawians that she never felt alone. Chelsea recently graduated with an MA in Public and Organizational Relations and is now a freelance Public Relations and Marketing consultant and writer in New York City. She is the Co-Founder of her own online lifestyle magazine

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