How to get to Malawi

By | May 4, 2022


Malawi is a country in Africa according to payhelpcenter. Malawi offers travelers a unique landscape with beautiful valleys and rare animal species. Evergreen forests and waterfalls can be admired from the heights of the plateaus. Every trip to Malawi includes safaris and hikes in absolutely untouched nature, far away from asphalt roads and tourist groups. Malawi has nine national parks and reserves, six of which are particularly suitable for visitors and uncrowded. There are also many beautiful and easily accessible forested nature reserves. The famous Lake Malawi stretches from the north of the country to Mangochi in the south. This enormous lake is home to some of the rarest species of tropical fish. Various species of eagles and kingfishers also live here.

Getting there

Arriving by plane

There are no non-stop flights to Malawi from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Ethiopian Airlines (ET) connects Frankfurt/M. via Addis Ababa and Blantyre with Lilongwe; Feeder flights to Frankfurt/M. are given with Lufthansa (LH) and the respective national airline from Vienna and Zurich.

Flight times

Frankfurt/M. – Blantyre: 14 hrs 35 mins; Vienna – Blantyre: 19 hrs 5 mins; Zurich – Blantyre: 18 hrs 40 mins; Frankfurt/M. – Lilongwe: 17 hrs 40 mins; Vienna – Lilongwe: 21 hrs 45 mins; Zurich – Lilongwe: 22 hours 35 minutes

Departure fee

Airport taxes of approximately €28 (US$30) are payable at the airport of departure for international flights. This does not apply to transit passengers whose stay in Malawi is less than 24 hours and children under 2 years of age.

Arrival by car

Malawi is accessible by land from all neighboring countries. Roads run from Mozambique to Mwanza in southwest Malawi and to Chiponde in the east. A bridge on the Songwe River in the northwest connects Malawi to Tanzania. From Lusaka (Zambia) Lilongwe can be reached via Chipata. Long-distance buses: There are bus connections between Lusaka (Zambia) and Lilongwe (journey time: 18-20 hours) and between Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and Mzuzu or Lilongwe. Tolls: When entering the country by car, a road toll of around €18 (US$20) has to be paid at the Malawian border. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.

Arrival by train

There is no cross-border rail traffic.


Traveling by plane

Ulendo Airlink (7Q) operates domestic flights in Malawi to destinations such as Lilongwe, Blantyre, Liwonde and Likoma Island.

Traveling by car/bus

The road network of Malawi has a total length of approximately 18,850 km and is connected to the road networks of all surrounding countries. The main road crosses the whole country in a north-south direction. Tolls: When entering the country by car, a road toll of around €18 (US$20) has to be paid at the Malawian border. Gas stations are plentiful, especially in the cities. There are far fewer gas stations for overland trips; a canister of petrol or diesel can often be of good service here.

Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic


Condition of the roads

Most of the country’s roads are open to traffic in all weathers. The major north-south expressway from Karonga in the north to Blantyre in the south is paved; mostly unpaved but easily passable roads branch off from this main connecting axis to larger towns in the interior of the country. The streets are hardly signposted. Unlit vehicles and other obstacles or pedestrians on the road often lead to accidents; night-time cross-country journeys are therefore strongly discouraged.

Road classification

The different road types of the Malawian road network are marked with either a letter and a number or just a number. Interstate roads begin with the letter M, secondary roads begin with an S, district roads begin with a D, tertiary roads are identified by numbers from 100 to 110, quaternary roads are identified by numbers from 300 to 302, and minor roads begin with a B.

Car rental

Rental cars are available at airports and in major cities, both with and without a driver. The minimum age for drivers is 21 years; additional fees are often charged for drivers under 25 or over 69 years of age.


Taxis can be found in all cities. It is advisable to ask the locals in advance about the current fares and then negotiate the price before starting the journey. Tourists otherwise often pay two to three times the usual fare.


The bus company AXA Coach Services connects the country’s larger cities. The National Bus Company also serves small towns. The drive from Mzuzu to Karonga is particularly impressive. Luxury coaches operate between Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.


Traffic regulations: – Alcohol limit: 0.8 ‰. Speed ​​limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – on rural roads: 80 km/h; – on motorways: 100 km/h.

Roadside Assistance

The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; for vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, for illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. The ADAC partner club is the AA Autoclub (Nexus Ltd.) in Lilongwe, Tel. +265 (1st )750 245. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.


In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.

Traveling in the city

Minibuses operate in Blantyre and Lilongwe, but these are usually overcrowded; it is advisable to take a taxi. Blantyre is also well explored on foot.

Locally on the way by train

Central East African Railways operates the country’s rail network, which stretches to the borders of Zambia to the west and Mozambique to the east. The main route runs from Mchinji via Lilongwe, Salima, Chipoka, Blantyre, Limbe and Nsanje to the Mozambique border. Trains tend to be slow and crowded, with little use by tourists.

Traveling by ship

Regional shipping companies offer cruises on Lake Malawi. Local travel agencies can provide more information.

How to get to Malawi