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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 requirements and health precautions.

Bear in mind that Malawi is a Malaria area, we advise that visitors take prophylactic medication prescribed by a Doctor. Please also take precautions such as using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and trousers in the mornings and evenings, 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.

There are places in Malawi where it is not advisable to drink water from the taps. Please note however, that the water at Rafiki Safari Camp is from a borehole, and therefore perfectly safe to drink.

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 we advise that you are mindful and respectful of this, 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 local, it is in 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 on 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 50USD. Multiple entry visa for 6-months costs 150USD, and for 12-months 250USD.

For more information visit: foreignaffairs.gov.mw and immigration.gov.mw All 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 does accept foreign currency but please note that Malawi does not have a dual economy.
Foreign Exchange Bureaus can be found 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 being the most widely accepted. ATMs are available in most major towns around Malawi. However please do not take the use of cards as commonplace.  For an idea of current exchange rates, visit http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/.

Wifi and phones

SIM cards and mobile credit can be purchased cheaply in Malawi and can be found in most villages. Bear in mind that the internet is very slow.

Rafiki Safari Camp has limited Wifi available to guests.

Travelling further?

Rafiki Safari Camp is located in the Nkhotakota district and is close to the shores of Lake Malawi. We recommend including a trip to Lake Malawi during your visit.

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

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