Malawi lies within the Great African Rift Valley, bordered by Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia. Travelers book flights to Malawi for one reason: its warmth. And it’s not just the temperature. The people of Malawi are famed as some of the friendliest toward travelers. Immediately upon leaving the Malawi flight, tourists feel welcomed in this small South African country.
Outdoor enthusiasts booking flights to Malawi will love a hike through the mountains, national parks and wildlife reserves. At 360 miles long and about 1,500 feet above sea level, Lake Malawi is the country’s most famous feature. The inland lake has miles of white-sand beaches and is surrounded by mountains, making it a focal point for tourists booking flights to Malawi.
Malawi is roughly the same temperature all year round. June and July are the coolest months of the year, when the temperature averages 70 F and nights are brisk in the highlands. The rainy season lasts from November to April and can be the cheapest time for flights.
Whether you’re relaxing by Lake Nyasa during the rainy season or scorching on its shores in the 90 degrees F summer days, flights to Malawi take you to a sultry, equatorial destination year-round.
When the sun drenches the landscape after the rainy season ends, flights to Malawi tend to fill up as the heat rises towards the end of April. Malawi’s Lake of Stars Festival takes place at the tail end of dry season, and draws international musical talent to promote eco-tourism while raising money to benefit disadvantaged Malawian children.
The best time to book cheap flights to Malawi is during the rainy season, when the highlands are covered in clouds from November to early April.
When it comes to travel within Malawi, the best and most comfortable way to get around is by coach. Shire Coach Lines offers non-stop trips between Lilongwe and other cities in Malawi. The busses tend to run far less frequently to rural parts of the country. The most efficient mode of transport is by way of matola, an informal bus that consists of a van or a pickup truck with people piled in the back.
You don’t necessarily have to book a flight to Malawi if you’ll be traveling from other points in Africa: Border crossing is an easy affair and currency exchange facilities are available on site. Cheap flights to Malawi from Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa are readily available throughout the year, but all three countries are reachable by coach and travel to Tanzania and Mozambique by ferry can be easily arranged. There are domestic Malawi flights from Lilongwe and a bus and train network, but train services are slow.
The road network varies. Major roads are generally in good condition, but smaller roads can be very poor. In many parts of Malawi, the motola system supplements public transport. Two inexpensive ferries travel between Monkey Bay and Chilumba once a week.
The following chart gives approximate journey times from Lilongwe (in hours and minutes) to other major cities and towns in Malawi.
(prices quotes are from London)