Malawi Travel and health essentials

Healthcare

Healthcare in Malawi is limited. We recommend that any visitors to Malawi contact their health-care advisor eight weeks prior to travel for up-to-date information on vaccination requirement and health precautions.

Bear in mind that Malawi is a malaria area, it is advisable that visitors take prophylactic medication prescribed by a doctor. Please also take precautions such as using insect repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants in the evenings and mornings and making use of mosquito nets.

Tsetse flies can be a problem in certain parts of the reserve. Tsetse flies tend to be attracted to dark colours so it is advisable that visitors wear khaki and lighter colours and make use of insect repellents.

Also, please be advised that drinking tap water unless it is boiled or filtered is not recommended. Bottled water is widely available in Malawi.

Safety

Malawi is known as the Warm Heart of Africa because of its friendly demeanour. However, visitors should take the normal safety precautions while travelling. Do not carry large amounts of money when walking around, and make sure your valuable items are securely locked away or on you at all times.

Dress

Please remember that Malawians dress very modestly and it is respectful to dress appropriately, particularly in rural areas or when visiting communities around the park.

Language

Chichewa and English are the recognized National languages in Malawi.
Some useful Chichewa phrases can be found on: www.malawitourism.com or just ask a friendly Malawian, it is Malawian nature to be friendly and hospitable.

Hello — Moni
How are you ? — Muli bwanji ?
I am fine — Ndiri bwino
Thank you — Zikomo

Visa Requirements

Malawi has imposed visa requirements for all countries that impose visa requirements on Malawi. It is advisable to obtain your visa in advance, however for most nations visas can be purchased at most major entry points to the country. A basic 30-day visitor’s visa (which can be extended) costs US$50.

For more information visit: foreignaffairs.gov.mw and immigration.gov.mw Passports must have a validity of at least six months from the day of entry into Malawi.

Money

The local currency is the Malawian Kwacha. Rafiki Safari Camp and Lodge does accept foreign currency but please note that Malawi does not have a dual economy.
Exchange bureaus are available in Lilongwe,Mzuzu and Blantyre. Banks, which will also change money are much more widely spread.

Credit Card facilities are becoming more common, with Visa card being the most widely accepted. However please do not take the use of cards as commonplace. ATMs are available in most major towns around Malawi. For an idea of current exchange rates, visit http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/.

Wifi and phones

SIM cards and phone credit can be purchased cheaply in Malawi and can be bought in most villages. Malawi has very good phone coverage and Internet coverage. However, bear in mind that the Internet is very slow.

Rafiki Safari Camp and  Lodge has limited Wifi available to guests, please enquire at reception.

Travelling further?

Rafiki Safari Lodge is located in the Nkhotakota district and is close to the shores of Lake Malawi, we recommend including a trip to Lake Malawi in your visit to Malawi.

Two useful websites for visiting Malawi are: http://www.malawitourism.com and www.tripadvisor.com

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