Traveling in Malawi. Visa and borders.

We visited Malawi in February 2015, during a complete trip,
8 months, through Southern and Eastern Africa.


If Spanish passport (and most UE), no visa needed for Malawi, 30 days stamp.
Possible to do an extension, with a fee, at the immigration offices, if staying longer.

Complete information:

Warning: October 1st 2015, the Malawi immigration law for visas has changed... and you will need now a VISA. According to the website, better to apply in advance but also possible to do it once at the border. Check well, try to get the last update!
Fees would be: 7 days visa 50/70 $  and 3 months visa 75/100 $(dependeing where you apply for the visa, inside/outside Malawi).

It´s important to bring your international  yellow fever document, because at the border the policeman can ask for.  We had an health control, having to show the passport and the yellow fever pass, before doing the immigration procedure at the Malawi border post.going to the passport oficer. They also did a fever test, but other travellers said no control.

If entering by car to Malawi, there´s a toll fee, different prices depending of car and origin.

If entering to Zambia from Malawi, you can´t apply for Kaza visa (Zambia-Zimbabwe, 50 $/month), only normal Visa on arrival for most UE passports, 50 US$ single (30 days), 80 US$ multiple (90 days).But just in case there´s a change, ask!

    CHIPATA - MCHINJI BORDER (Zambia - Malawi border)   

Easy border, hassle free, quick border post controls. Very little traffic. Open 24 hours.

Very limited direct public transport between Zambia and Malawi (just a few direct buses Lusaka-Lilongwe, not everyday). But possible and easy with "multi-transports" (2 shared taxis and 1 minibus) to do Chipata - Lilongwe (it will take around 4 hours in total, depending on time to fill the vehicules, it´s only 150 km). 
You can see conections, prices and time here, when we explain the details to go from Chipata to Lilongwe.
Note: there are other small border crossings between Zambia and Malawi, up north. But no information about them, propably bad roads and not very used. Good luck!

20 km from the border, in Zambia. Big town.
Everything needed, banks, supermarkets, accommodation. Bus station.
Complete information at Zambia chapter.

10 km from the border, in Malawi. Small town.
Bank with ATM, shops, a few lodges. Minibus station.

   SONGWE RIVER  BORDER  ( Malawi - Tanzania border)   

Easy border, hassle free, quick border post controls. Many trucks waiting.
You can see the details about public transport to cross from Malawi to Tanzania, in our chapter about Tanzania borders (right sidebar menu).


Not too many transport connections between the 2 countries, you will have to do transfers mainly. There are different borders, some busier than others. 

  • Chiponde - Mandimba border (east of Mangochi)
  • Mulanje - Milange border (south of Blantyre, more transit)
  • Liwonde - Nayuchi border (very limited, not good road conditions).

Keep in mind that during the rainy season, as the roads are not always tarred and good in Mozambique, the conditions can get harder.

Sorry, we didn´t go to Mozambique, limited information! 

Finally, we changed our plans because in that time (february 2015) to much rain and big floodings there.