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Malawi

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Malawi is a landlocked country found in Southeastern Africa, is characterized by highlands split by the Great Rift Valley and enormous Lake Malawi. Lake Malawisshares a border a National Park which is home to a variety of wildlife from colorful fish to baboons with clear waters that is known for famous for boating and diving.  Peninsular Cape Maclear recognized for its beach resorts.

Best Time to Travel
Most people prefer to visit during the dry winter season is most charming, April May to October stops in November. The possibility of rain is very low, daytime temperatures are usually in the 20s Celsius, and the low vegetation and restricted availability of water mean that game viewing is at its best, some of the best bird watching can be experienced from November to April. The orchids of Nyika best viewed from December to March and April. Malawi’s temperatures moderated by altitude. In the hottest month usually, November maximum heats will be around 30c. The coldest month typically July low maximum temperatures in the low 20’s. On the uplands like Zomba, Nyika and Viphya because it can get freezing at night. The hottest region, all year, is that at the lowest altitude – the Lower Shire Valley. Rainfall is scarce in the dry season, and even in the so-called wet season, the rains are usually short-lived storms, as is typical of the tropics, and at no time does the climate severely inhibit the traveler. Throughout the country, rainfall differs, with the highlands producing the highest numbers. Wilderness Safaris have created two helpful guides to the natural highlights of Malawi over the calendar year.

Health & safety
It is advised to have up to date with immunizations when coming to Malawi especially against tetanus, polio, typhoid and hepatitis A.
Yellow fever immunization may be needed only by visitors entering from a yellow fever region. Prophylactics should be taken because there is a risk of malaria. Get up to date information from your doctor. There is some risk of contracting bilharzia if bathing in some parts of Lake Malawi but the risk is negligible near the central beach hotels. Infection is moderately easily treated once diagnosed. To get more information about bilharzia in Lake Malawi click here. Malawi is also a high-risk area for AIDS.

Food and drinks
Top of the line fish dishes are universally available, especially near Lake Malawi. Most hotels and safari lodges serve “western” dishes with, sometimes game and infrequently local foods such as maize meal porridge. Soft drinks are available universally. Beers, spirits like Malawi gin and South African wines are reasonably priced and ordinarily available. For drinking, bottled waters should be used instead of to tap water.

Dress Code
The dress is commonly informal. Swimwear and very skimpy clothing should be left to the beach resorts. For safaris, “natural” colors should be worn in preference to light/bright colors. In the uplands, especially in the winter from April to September, it can be cold in the evening, and sweaters are needed because it can be freezing in morning or night safari drives.

Currency
Malawi’s unit of money is the Kwacha (abbreviated to MK internationally; k locally). The kwacha divides into 100 tambalas. Practically speaking, only the kwacha is used. Banks in the town are open on weekdays from 0800 to 1300. Mobile banks run along the lakeshore and in even more remote areas. Travelers Cheques or foreign cash hard currency notes are generally accepted. In case you have dollars to pay for your tours and accommodation, please note that that $1 bills will not be taken or exchanged; the minimum domination able to be changed is $5. Avoid black market currency traders. There is just no limit to the amount of foreign currency imported, but it must be declared and accounted for on departure. The only MK3000local currency may be exported. There are 24-hour ATM’s in Lilongwe, Blantyre, and Mzuzu. Only local money is dispensed, and that is limited to approximately the equivalent (depending on exchange rates) of GB85, Euro110; US$140 in any period of twenty-four hours.

Entering Malawi
Visas

As from 1st October 2015, Malawi has introduced new visa requirements to include nationals of those countries where Malawians are required to pay for permits. Please check the tables below k which nationalities need a visa.

Visas for the bulk of nationalities can be obtained on arrival in Malawi only excluding those defined below as having to get them in advance.  The professional officers at entry will try to make this process of obtaining a visa as easy as possible it is advised to get the visa before arriving in the country.

For permits to be purchased on arrival it is also  better, if possible, to take application information click here to download and the items  listed in the conditions below, plus the necessary visa fee in US$ cash:

  • Invitation letter (excludes tourists)
  • Air ticket/itinerary
  • Confirmed Hotel booking
  • Three months latest bank statements
  • A Valid passport for not less than six months
  • Two passport photos
  • Covering letter giving full particulars of the planned trip and written by travelers themselves or by their tour operator if one has been used.

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