Malawi

malawi essential Information

Malawi - complete budget travel guide

Long overlooked as a top African destination, Malawi is a surprisingly diverse country that is just waiting to be explored. It contains Africa’s third largest lake – Lake Malawi which offers opportunities to dive, snorkel, kayak or plain relax by and is one of the highlights of the continent. In the south, the soaring peaks of Mt Mulanje and the hikes across the Zomba Plateau offer fantastic vistas enhanced by the exotic wildlife on offer. Called the “Warm Heart of Africa” in the native language, Malawi boasts some of the friendliest locals anywhere in the world and throw in the easy visa situation, there really is no reason for you not to visit.

Visas

Visa friendly if from the West

Depending where you’re from, the first 30 days are free. You can extend up to two more months – 30 days at a time – for $10 USD for every 30 days. Like in Zambia, you’ll need to extend a day or two before the expiration date visiting an immigration office.

You’ll find immigration offices in most large towns across Malawi.

No visa – 30 days

Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa to enter for up to 30 days:

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Free Transit Visa24 hours

All countries not on the list below are eligible for a free transit visa, providing they have confirmed onward tickets for a maximum transit time of 24 hours.

Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, Georgia, Hungary, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen.

All other countries

Citizens of all other countries (apart from in visa free travel) have to apply for and obtain a visa in advance before entering the country. A list of Malawi embassies can be found here and information on what you’ll need here.

Guest Post: 16 Things to be aware of when backpacking and hitchhiking in Malawi - Malawi (16)

Advantages of hitchhiking in Malawi

Like Zambia, Malawi is one of the friendliest places I’ve encountered. Known as ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’ it lives up to its name. It’s the most densely populated country in Africa and there isn’t a road empty of people walking, riding bikes or herding cattle. The folks on the road are more than willing to help you and even go out of their way to drop you off at a better hiking place. They’ll give you tips on what to look out for or even ask someone local where they drop you off to help you out.

I took a truck that broke down and then hitched a ride north where I was dropped in the village of Sani on the outskirts of Nkhotakhota. I was invited to ‘chat’ with a group of men (‘chatting’ means drinking and smoking). What I thought would be an hour’s break from hitching turned to me being drunk, high, playing guitar and staying the night at my new friend’s place (where I encountered my first Black Mamba).

Disadvantages of hitchhiking in Malawi

Depending on the time of year you go, the weather is divided into two seasons – wet and dry. The wet season starts from about November and lasts until around April. The rains are monsoon and I got caught out a couple of times. Malawi is also intensely hot. It’s so hot it’s offensive.

The main areas of hitching are always overloaded with buses and vehicles taking passengers. ‘Transportation officers’ will try to hustle you into waiting cars so most of the time you’ll need to hike out of the town to hitch. Shade is a rarity.

Luckily, Malawi is a small country and towns (aside from Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre) are easily walkable. Distances vary, pending on where you want to go. During the rainy season, most roads become impassable so keep your ears to the news (I left Malawi mid-January when a national state of crisis was declared due to heavy flooding in the south. 60,000 people were displaced, roads and villages were washed away, about 48 people went missing).

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Almost all drivers ask for money so either you’ll have to negotiate or convince them to take you without money. If you do get a ride, you might be crammed into a car that is overloaded with baggage and people. And it’s not uncommon to sit in the back of a pick-up truck (I caught a ride on a bakkie – a pick-up truck – that began with 8 people and ended with 21).Pack waterproof clothing and a splash guard for your bag (large plastic bin liners also do the trick).

A lot taxis and buses will stop beside you, mostly already overloaded with people and cargo and take up valuable hitching time to talk with you as potential rides zip by.

Most hitching places are packed with local people waiting for rides who’ll pounce on a vehicle even if it’s obvious it stopped for you. Mannerisms go out the window and they’ll talk with the driver as though you don’t even exist.

If you have Mastercard, get a Visa. Mastercard isn’t recognised in Malawi and will be impossible to draw money from any ATM. Most places deal in cash-only so either come with cash to convert or hope your visa works.

Police are corrupt. Most bribes are in the form of soft drinks or food but cash won’t be denied.

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Food & Drink

What food to expect

Like everywhere else I’ve been in Africa, the staple local cuisine is nsima (pap in South Africa, nshima in Zambia) which they eat three times a day. I can only tolerate it once a day as it sits like a brick in your stomach. It has no protein and is 100% carbohydrates. And very hot (temperature-wise) so let it cool down a bit.

It’s the cheapest feed you can get with a side of chicken/pork/goat/beef/fish and some steamed vegetable called rape (don’t ask). It’s traditionally eaten with your right hand. Rice and beans are also popular. A dish will cost you about 900 Kwacha (about $1.80 AUD) and it’s eaten everywhere (to compare, western food like pizza or burger ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 Kwacha, about $8-10).

The most popular fish you’ll find are bait-fish called ‘capiente’. They are usually eaten either dry or deep-fried – head and all. Other fish are catfish, also either dried or deep-fried.

Caterpillars and worms are also served (best grilled).

As with most African nations, Malawians cook with a lot of salt and oil and love sugar. A lot of the times I was tempted to ask for some food with my salt (or tea with my sugar).

All food is cooked over charcoal fire, usually outdoors. Order food about an hour before you actually want to eat. It takes that long to cook. African time.

Short on cash?

There is street food but since refrigeration is an issue I didn’t take the risk with the barbecued/deep-fried meat on offer (which will usually include goat intestines). Grilled corn (maize) and grilled cassava roots with salt are great. Deep-fried hand-cut potato chips are the thing (although how often the oil is changed is debatable). Great after a night out. You’ll find them outside of most bars.

If you hit the right season (Nov-Jan) mango trees are heavy with some of the best you’ll ever taste. You can go to any village or household and ask for mangos off the tree and no one will deny you the succulent fruit. In some places you can just pick them off the trees in the street.

What to drink?

Malawians drink mostly soft drinks (locally known as softies) such as Coke or Fanta. A lot of them will drink a cheap local beer that is sold in cartons and they start that from early in the morning. Cheap spirits are sold in plastic sachets. These are the burn-a-hole-in-your-stomach kinda spirits so eat something before getting on the piss. A local home-made moonshine is called katchasha which you can run a car on.

The local beer is KucheKuche. It’s weak, about 3% and usually sold only in long necks (or quartz; also known as 40s in USA). The most popular beer is Carlsberg known simply as ‘green’ (walk into a bar and ask for a ‘green’). Usually sells for 400Kwacha at a local bar or up to 800 Kwacha in most hostels and lodges and western-styled bars.

Tea is more popular than coffee (there are stunning tea plantations in the south) and they like it strong with a lot of sugar. Water is safe from the tap in most areas. Always ask first.

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Accommodation

Where to sleep?

You’ll be surprised where you can find couchsurfers in Africa. From the smaller, lesser known towns and villages to the big cities. Hostels and lodges are abundant (I’m not sure about prices) everywhere – even by truck stops.

Wild camping is possible, just always ask someone local if it’s cool to pitch up.

Prices vary from a thousand Kwacha for camping up to 6,000 Kwacha for a dorm bed – depending on the lodge.

Recommended guest-houses:

Nkhata Bay: Mayoka Village (amazing guacamole)

Senga Bay: Murfasa’s Backpackers, Lakeside Hotel, PTS Resthouse

Mzuzu: Mzuzu Zoo Lodge, Joy’s Place (great Korean food)

Livingstonia: The Mushroom Farm Eco-Lodge (ask about Mr Banda’s restaurant. Don’t pass on the banana pancakes).

Zomba: Pakachere Backpackers

Nkhotokhota: YanuYanu Lodge

Cape Maclear: Cape Maclear Eco Lodge

Chilamba (bottom of Livingstonia): African Teacher’s Lodge.

Guest Post: 16 Things to be aware of when backpacking and hitchhiking in Malawi: Malawi (14)

Weather

Prepare for the heat and the rain 

Malawi has a tropical climate. the rainy season runs November through April with very little rainfall in the remaining months.

From September to April along the lake and in the lower Shire Valley it is hot and humid with average daytime temperatures between 27 to 29 °C. Lilongwe has a similar climate but perhaps a little less stiflingly humid. The rest of the country is hot in this period with an average daytime temperature of 25 °C.

In summer, Malawi is an oven during the day with temperatures reaching mid-40s. From the crack of dawn it can already be in the late 20’s, cracking the 30° by 8 am. Temperatures can fall quite significantly at night to 10–14 °C. Higher altitude areas are obviously colder.

Daylight only lasts for about 13 hours. The sun begins its rise from about 04:30 (the coldest time of day) and it sets anywhere from 17:30 to 18:00, getting completely dark by 19:00.

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Culture & traditions

Religious views

Malawi is a very religious country. It’s Christian (although there are pockets of Muslims) and everyone believes in Jesus and God (or Allah). The radio blasts gospel music and evangelical preachers. A lot of folk carry the Biible around and will even have a copy in their cars and grace is said at every meal. They’ll ask about your beliefs. I always told the truth, that I believe in Karma and explained the philosophy of do good and good happens.

What clothing is acceptable?

It’s inappropriate for women to wear short-shorts and revealing skirts in the day (go to a club/bar and it’s a whole different world) but you don’t need a head scarf.

There’s no issue in wearing bikinis while going for a swim although it might be better to wear short-shorts rather than the bikini bottom (a lot of African men I’ve encountered have aspirations of sleeping with a white woman. Regardless of marriage).

Men can wear shorts.

Women tend to wear shitenges. Their hair is usually a weave made of either synthetic material or for those that have money, human hair.

Gender rights and roles

Women do a lot of the field work. I’ve heard from volunteer medical professions that women will give birth and then 40 minutes later walk out with the baby strapped to their back and work in the field.

There is no gender equality. Once a man is married, the wife slaves about the house, cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping. She serves the man and any guests, pouring the water over his hands before meal times and at the end, setting the table and then clearing it.

Men and women don’t sit together at the table in most homes. The women will sit with the children on the floor in a separate room for meals while the men sit comfortably on seats and chow down.

Monogamy is non-existent on the male side. They’ll go out and have no qualms about sleeping with another woman. The wife, who may or may not know, won’t leave him either. He’ll probably father some kids from several different women.

You’ll always be asked if you’re married and if you have kids. In Malawian culture (as is with most African traditions) marriage is from a young age and the more kids you have, the wealthier you are regarded (although most families can’t afford to have more than two kids, the average is six).

Attitude towards LGBT is, I guess, hidden under social coverings. No one speaks openly about homosexuality and even though it’s common for men to walk hand-in-hand, it doesn’t mean that they’re in a homosexual relationship. It’s just part of the culture.

Conversation topics and how to be polite

Africans love the English Premier league. The majority support Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United.

When greeting elders, women should bend slightly at the knees as though bowing, both genders should shake hands with the right hand and place the left under your right elbow. Handshakes are in the 3-form variety – from the usual stance, to the switch back to the usual.

They’ll ask if you are safe which means, ‘Are you alright?’

They’ll say ‘sorry’ (pronounced: Soh-ri) if anything happens to you: If you trip, rip your bag, swallow a fly, spill a drink.

Africans talk loudly as though they’re yelling and use a lot of hand gestures. Make sure you don’t get whacked in the head. They also struggle to pronounce the letter ‘L’. It will be pronounced as an ‘R’.

How the locals stay clean

Folks that live by a river or the lake use it for washing, bathing and cleaning of the dishes. You’ve never seen anyone so meticulously scrub themselves down than an African.

Dishes are washed in waterways (rivers or the lake).

Toilets are usually outhouses and squats. Always carry toilet paper in case (most lodges have western toilets).

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Language

What languages will you need?

Malawi’s population is made up of the native Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, and Ngonde ethnic groups, as well as populations of Asians and Europeans. So as such there are numerous languages in use in the country. Some of the major ones include Chichewa, spoken by over 57% of the population, English, Chinyanja (12.8%), Chiyao (10.1%), and Chitumbuka (9.5%).

Other languages include Malawian Lomwe (250,000 speakers in the southeast,) Kokola, (200,000 people: southeast), Lambya (45,000: northwestern), Ndali (70,000), Nyakyusa-Ngonde(300,000 in north), Malawian Sena (270,000 south) and Tonga (170,000: north).

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Money & Costs

What are the costs?

The unit of currency in Malawi is the Malawi kwacha (MWK). It is subdivided into 100 tambala (t). Bank notes are in the following forms MK200, MK100, MK50, MK20, MK10 and MK5. Coins are MK1, 50t, 20t, 10t, 5t and 1t, although small tambala coins are in essense worthless.

At big hotels and other places that actually quote in US dollars you can pay in $ or kwacha. Be aware that changing money in the country can prove to be extremely difficult.

backpacking and hitchhiking in Malawi: money & costs table Malawi

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Current exchange rate

Health & Safety

Crime issues

I always felt safe in Malawi although, like with most big cities, it’s not recommended to walk the streets on your own late at night. Malawians love to drink and everyone is affected differently when it comes to alcohol.

I didn’t experience any crime but as is with anywhere, keep your valuables close. Walk in groups at night or with a local you befriended. Always ask permission to take a photo of someone.

I stayed up in the Mushroom Farm near Livingstonia and two Americans were struck with rocks and had gear stolen. I’ve heard of similar attacks on Mt Mulanji although now that you must climb it with a guide, I doubt you’ll encounter any issues.

I didn’t have any issues in leaving my bags by the roadside when a truck would take a runway’s length to pull over.

Health issues

Malawi has a high rate of HIV so if you’re going out and getting it on, always – ALWAYS – use a condom (most police stations give them out for free). You should always use a condom anyway but if in doubt, there are free clinics about to get tested.

Malawi is well known for malaria so travel with a mosquito net, use repellent and don’t camp by water ways. I don’t use any anti-malarial medicine.

Belhazaria is a parasite carried by snails that reside in and around Lake Malawi. They enter the human body by burrowing tiny holes. Once you play host, they go for the neurological parts of the brain and feast themselves. They can kill you but that can take anywhere from a year to ten years. There’s no known prevention but there is treatment. Over-the-counter medicine that is recommended to take 4 weeks after you’ve left Malawi. Always take medicine on a full stomach – especially this one. It’s powerful. It’s like dropping an H-bomb on your body. Each large pill equates to 15 kg meaning, if you weigh 60 kg, you’ll need 4 pills. I’m told it’s not the most sympathetic of medicines so clear out a weekend for it. Eat a full meal before taking the pills (if you take it on an empty stomach you’ll experience cramping of the likes of going into labour).

Wild animal issues

Wild animals are contained to national parks. Malawi is home to cobras, boomslangers and Africa’s deadliest and perhaps the world’s most aggressive snake – the black mamba. It’s notorious for its aggressive attitude and has been known to chase people. It just also happens to be the fastest snake with speeds of 25 K’s an hour on flat surface and the most venomous in Africa. It can reach up to 9 feet in length and sometimes hides in trees and may drop on you.

Although crocs are usually in the rivers, during the big storms some crocs can get washed down into the lake. These are usually hunted and shot.

Scorpions are abundant as are deadly spiders of the likes I’ve never seen before (and I’m from Australia). As well as scorpions, caterpillars that can leave you with a nasty itch, tsetse flies (that carry sleeping sickness) and centipedes are quite common.

Guest Post: 16 Things to be aware of when backpacking and hitchhiking in Malawi: Malawi (13)

Political Problems

Best stay clear

Corruption is rife in African politics. Some say the president is good. Others say negative things (in some countries you’re not even allowed to criticise the political leaders). I find it best to steer clear of political conversations.

Types of roads

There are 15,451 km of roads in Malawi, of which only 6,959 km is paved. There are 4 major classifications of roads in the country but on maps generally only 3 are displayed. A road’s classifications may not accurately reflect actual driving conditions. Road conditions may vary considerably in different sections of a road. Generally, roads are busy in Malawi. The country is densely populated with most residents living in urban areas.

Surprisingly, even though Malawi is one of Africa’s financially poorer countries, its roads are much better than Zambia’s (a fast-growing economic powerhouse in Africa). Except when the monsoon hits and washes away the roads. Shoulder lanes are non-existent and there are always cattle, goats, chickens, dogs and children. Drivers have to zig and zag to avoid them (I was on a truck to the Tanzanian border and we had to swerve to miss a cow, almost hitting the people on the roadside).

I got to drive from Cape Maclear to Blantyre and I was constantly on the lookout for animals and kids. Goats bleat away at the sound of the horn, chickens get confused and cows can be stubborn. Remember, animals are people’s livelihoods. You hit one, pull over and do the right thing and pay the owner (just make sure it is in fact the owner and not some passer-by trying to make a buck).

On your way to Livingstonia is a very windy road with a beautiful view of the lake. Baboons congregate there having learnt that cars equal food. Baboons are highly aggressive (they have longer canines than lions).

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Main Roads (M) connect the major settlements in the country and are generally in good condition. A useful road is the M 1, Malawi’s main north south road. The speed limit on all Main roads in 80 km/h

Secondary Roads (S) supplant the Main road network and conditions vary depending on the stretch. Like all speed limits in Malawi in depends if the road is urban (50 km/h) or rural (80 km/h)

Tertiary roads (T) are generally in poor condition and often impassable in the rainy season when over half of the residents are cut off from the national road network

District roads (D) are indicated as Tertiary roads (T) on maps and are seldom paved. Many are impassable in the rainy season.

There are two general speed limits in Malawi

o Urban areas 50 km/h

o Rural areas 80 km/h

Road map of Malawi

Malawi hitchhiking essentials: road map of Malawi

source: ezilon.com

Absolutely essential hitch-hikers phrasebook

English is the official language of Malawi, so in theory communication shouldn’t be a problem. Irrespectively, knowing a few words of the largest spoken indigenous language, in this case Chichewe, is always much appreciated.

So try and slip in the following:

Bobo or Wah-wah – Hello (seriously. My new favourite word for ‘hello’).

UliBwanji? – How are you?

BwinoBwanji – I’m good.

Mayuka – Good morning

ZikhomoKhombini – Thank you very much.

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Malawi Border Crossings

Malawi neighbours 3 different countries: Tanzania (to the north), Mozambique (south & east) and Zambia (west). Malawi’s border crossings are generally open 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Waits may be long at border crossings on main transport corridors.

Malawi – Tanzania

There are one  border crossings between Malawi & Tanzania

  • The only border crossing is the Songwe River Bridge, located in northwest Malawi. The river forms part of Malawi’s border with Tanzania. Buses and minibuses provide transport to and from the border daily.

Malawi – Mozambique

There are four border crossings between Malawi & Mozambique

  • The busiest border crossing is at Zobue (Malawi) – Tete (Mozambique). Arrive as early as possible if you want to avoid long waiting times and be warned that it is closed at night. There are buses providing transport to Blantyre and other main cities once the border has been crossed.

Malawi – Zambia

There are three border crossings between Zambia & Malawi

  • The most accessible and busiest crossing is the southernmost and can be found at Mchinji (Malawi) – Chipata (Zambia). It is the best crossing between the two capitals of Lusaka & Lilongwe and is also the recommended route if travelling between Zambia and Mozambique due to higher quality of roads.

Malawi border crossings

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Malawi Top Destinations

Nkhata Bay

Malawi (5)Diving through Aqua Africa, kayak trips through Kayak Dave (ask around for him, he’s well-known and much cheaper than Monkey Business) are just some of the things on offer. Mayoka Village, which is the party capital, offers free boat rides on Tuesdays which includes fish eagle feeding, cliff jumping and playing on the beach with locals. You can also get the ferry to Likuma Island where it is suggested to stay at Mango Drift (I never made it there but word on the street…). Just make sure the ferry is running as sometimes it breaks down. Try also to play drums with Rasta Kalvin just before the shortcut to Mayoka Village and learn how to play Bao which is a lot of fun. Every Sunday there’s a beach party at Chikala Beach, a 10-minute walk from Mayoka Village. It starts at about 15:00 and goes until about 20:00 or 21:00. Kaya Papaya has the best Thai food in town and Take Away Palace has the best Indian food. YazuYazu is the local bar an experience you’ll never forget no matter how much you’ll drink. Also, ask about Punki’s bar which has the cheapest beers in town.

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Livingstonia

Malawi (6)To reach Livingstonia, you need to get off at Chilamb and either hike up the 8km to Mushroom Farm Eco Lodge or pay about 1,500 Kwacha for a ride. I opted to hike about 9 bends (total of 22) before I got a ride. There are shortcuts. Watch where the locals go. Some tourists have been attacked and robbed so watch yourself.

Mushroom Farm Eco-Lodge has the best views. It’s a cliff-hugging lodge with panoramic views of the lake. It’s located just 2km from Manchwe Waterfalls, the highest in Malawi at 120m (500 kwacha entry fee. Good luck shaking off the kids trying to play tour guides. Easily self-explorable). There’s also a cave/den behind the waterfall. The Zomba Plateau is located 5km from the Mushroom Farm. Take plenty of water and fruits. Great views and a steep, 500m ascent to the peak. Stop in at Manchwe Forest Reserve Restaurant where Mr Banda will serve the cheapest and best dishes I’ve ever sampled in Malawi (it takes about an hour to cook so have patience. It’s worth the wait).

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Mt Mulanji

Malawi (18)Mt Mulanji is the highest peak in southern Africa. Located about two hours east of Blantyre, a huge, sprawling city in the southern district. You must register at the Forestry Offices located at the base of the mountain (fees are 100 Kwacha per person or 200 per car) in the village of Likhubulu. It is possible to pitch a tent on the lawn. Ask first.

Robberies have occurred on the mountain but now that guides are a must, I think that’s been eradicated. You can’t go up without a guide. Only use a registered guide with the Mt Mulanji Guide and Porters Association. They work on rotation and can be picked at the offices. You’ll get hassled by locals claiming to be guides and porters. I wouldn’t trust them with eyes open. I highly recommend Chris who can be reached at: christopherjailos4[at]gmail.com. Guides are about $25 a day. Porters aren’t essential but they can make things easier (the Chambe Skyline track is the steepest). You can reach the top in two days but it’s a hectic six-hour climb. Or you can spread it out over a few days. There are huts at sites to fill up water and it’s customary to tip the caretakers. Cooking is on open fire or bring your own gas fire.

Sapitwa (meaning ‘don’t go there’) is the highest peak at 3,001 meters. It can only be climbed in perfect conditions. Rainy season is not the time to do it. I lucked out and missed the last 300 meters (people have died on the mountain). The weather is unpredictable. From blue skies it can turn to a foggy mist within minutes and then rain making everything dangerously slippery.

There are showers (cold using rainwater) and squat toilets but there’s no power on the mountain.

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Thuma Forest Reserve

Malawi (7)Located about 80km from Salima, Thuma Forest Reserve is a pristine forest area untouched by tourism. Home to elephants, buffaloes, kudu, duikers, warthogs, hyena, baboons, vervets and an abundant of insects and spiders. You can only reach it through WAG-Malawi – Wildlife Action Group. Contact Lynn or go through the website: www.wag-malawi.org. You can volunteer for a few days all the way up to six months or pay to spend the night in traditional mud huts.

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Malawi map with question mark

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 And what would you recommend?

What should be our number 5 in your opinion? We are very curious to hear where you’ve been and what you liked, so please share your knowledge and experience in the comments!

We will add the best recommendations to our map!

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Malawi Top Destinations Map

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Simon’s overall experience

Malawians love to drink and party harder than you think.They are a proud nation and the people are always smiling and willing to help.The food and drink are cheap and the scenery ever changing and breath-taking.

You don’t really need signs as most people don’t read them. They’ll stop and ask where you’re headed.

Be open, friendly and greet everyone on the street. You’ll be surprised at the adventures you’ll end up having.

The Animal - Simon's travel companion

written by: Simon (The Nomadic Diaries)

Tired of society’s rinse ‘n’ repeat lifestyle, Simon has decided to dedicate the rest of his life to hitch-hiking the globe without flying or using money. Instead, he barters for food and board and adventures. Life is one shot. Go live it.

Check out his blog at: thenomadicdiaries.wordpress.com