Best Time to go: May to November
Best For: National Parks, Lake Malawi
Malawi offers visitors unique scenery, rare wildlife and stunning valleys. Evergreen forests and waterfalls can be viewed from the heights of the plateaux. The national parks are attractive places for wildlife and game viewing in the most unspoilt of settings. Go wildlife and game viewing in the national parks, without the tarred roads filled with convoys of 4-wheel drive vehicles.
Top parks and reserves include Nyika, Vwasa Marsh, Liwonde and Lengwe. Visit the world`s first freshwater national park and its renowned settings and attractions. Lake Malawi National Park, close to Monkey Bay, lies towards the southern extremity of the lake. Snorkelling or scuba-diving reveals tropical fish and further inland klipspringer, bushbuck and vervet monkeys can be seen. The resorts on the lake offer boating, swimming, waterskiing, pedaloes and sunbathing on their lovely beaches.
Hike the Nyika Plateau, a popular attraction for trekking and walking. There is excellent walking on the Zomba and Viphya Plateaux and climbing on Mount Mulanje, which, at 3,000m, is the highest mountain in central Africa. Dedza, Michiru, Ndirande and Chiradzulu also offer challenging slopes.
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Capital: Lilongwe (LLW)
Currency: Kwacha (MWK)
Dialling code from SA: + 265
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +2 hours (Same as South Africa)
Side of the Road: Left. South African drivers` licences are recognised in SADC countries (Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). It is recommended that a letter of verification be obtained from the South African Department of Transport.
Plugs: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. The standard plug is square three-pin.
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Milk is unpasteurised.
Health: Medical facilities are very limited. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage.
Customs: Dress should be modest. Swimwear should be reserved for the beach.
Local Offences / Laws: Homosexuality is illegal.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Credit cards are not widely accepted and ATMs are scarce.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Malawi by passengers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty: • 200 cigarettes or 225g of tobacco in any form.
• 1L of spirits and 1L of beer and 1L of wine.
Prohibited Imports: Prohibited or restricted imports include arms and ammunition, flick knives, game traps, pharmaceutical products, gold, sugar, wild animals and their products, and some foods (eg bananas, potatoes and uncooked meat).