Zimbabwe History | Overland Africa

Malawi Overland Travel

Malawi is a thin sliver of a country landlocked between Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania, and is often bypassed by travellers on their way to East or Southern Africa for safari.

But Malawi is a destination in its own right, and while densely covered in mountains, forests, game parks and villages, its biggest attraction is enormous Lake Malawi, home to amazing dive sites, tiny islands and over 550 species of fish.

Many Malawi overland tours and safaris take a few days off from their busy schedule to relax by the lake, fish, dive, swim and enjoy fresh seafood, while some tours venture deeper into Malawi’s wilderness areas or cities like Lilongwe.

Known as the ‘warm heart of Africa’, the Malawian people are probably the friendliest in Africa, and proud of their impoverished yet beautiful nation. Overland travellers in Malawi can enjoy superb bird watching, laze away in hammocks on the lake shore or buy a wood carving or two. But most visitors marvel at the great scenery and enjoy a laid-back African atmosphere.

Malawi Overland Travel Guide


• Malawi is a long skinny country, only 850km long and 160km wide, and lies at the southern end of the Great Rift Valley, connecting East Africa to the South.
• Malawi is home to world’s ninth largest lake - Lake Malawi, which dominates the whole country.
• The highest point in Malawi is Mount Mulanje in the south east which reaches a peak of 3 200m.
• The vegetation is mainly rough scrub in the countryside, while the central plateau is densely forested. The highlands are cool and wet, while the low lying regions can get humid in summer.
• Malawi is known as the ‘warm heart of Africa’, based on its temperate climate and warm friendly people, who are known for their traditional wood carvings.
• The rainy season runs from November to March, with flooding always a possibility. It’s wise to take all types of clothing when visiting Malawi - you never know when you’ll need what!

Travel Tips:

  • A full valid passport is required for entry into Malawi
  • Most Commonwealth countries, the European Union and USA do not need visas
  • The Kwacha is the Malawian currency which you can exchange in Lilongwe & Blantyre
  • However, curios and most activities can be paid in US dollars
  • Malaria medication is recommended for Malawi
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Dont forget to:

  • Relax in a hammock on the beach
  • Play soccer with some of the local kids
  • Drink a green or brown Carlsberg beer
  • Bargain for curios in Lilongwe’s market
  • Look for otters on a fresh water dive or snorkel
  • Enjoy a swim on horseback in Lake Malawi

Quick Facts:

  • Malawi is a long skinny country, only 850km long and 160km wide!
  • It’s dominated by vast Lake Malawi, the world’s ninth largest
  • Mount Mulanje in the south east is the highest point at 3 200m
  • Known as the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’, the people are some of the friendliest anywhere
  • The rainy season runs from November to March - bring an anorak!
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