Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens exercise increased caution in Malawi due to crime. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for each entry stamp/visa that will be required. A visa is required. US citizens will need to get in touch with the country’s embassy or nearest consulate to obtain a visa prior to visiting the country.

US Embassy/Consulate

+(265) 1-773-166, 1-773-342 and 1-773-367 (Dial "0" before the "1" within Malawi); EMER: +(265) (0) 999-591-024 or +(265) (0) 888-734-826; US Embassy in Lilongwe, PO Box 30016, 16 Jomo Kenyatta Road, Lilongwe 3, Malawi;; https

Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

Ambulance: 998; Fire: 999; Police: 997


An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is required for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and for travelers having transited through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. See WHO recommendations. On 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Malawi is currently considered a high risk to travelers for polio; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine.


Sub-tropical; rainy season (November to May); dry season (May to November)

Currency (Code)

Malawian kwachas (MWK)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

230 V / 50 Hz / plug types(s): G

Plug Type G

Major Languages

English, Chichewa (common), Chinyanja, Chiyao, Chitumbuka, Chilomwe, Chinkhonde, Chingoni, Chisena, Chitonga, Chinyakyusa, Chilambya

Major Religions

Protestant 33.5%, Roman Catholic 17.2%, other Christian 26.6%, Muslim 13.8%, traditionalist 1.1%

Time Difference

UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Potable Water

Opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit


Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Lake Malawi; Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve; Likoma Island; Liwonde National Park; Zomba Plateau; Chongoni Rock-Art

Major Sports

Soccer, rugby, track and field, basketball, tennis

Cultural Practices

Making a circle with the thumb and index finger can be taken as an insult.

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping is completely voluntary and dependent on the quality of the service you receive. Group guides and general hotel staff should receive $5-10 (USD) per day.


Carved wooden masks, statues, and toys; tribal jewelry; hand-woven baskets and twig rugs; Batik wall hangings, clothing, and bags; wood/cane/raffia furniture and decorative items; soapstone carvings; ceramics/pottery

Traditional Cuisine

Chambo (fish) with nshima/nsima (a thick porridge made from cassava, corn, or other starchy flour)

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Wednesday, October 05, 2022