Getting Around Malawi

  • Axa Coach on the roadside
    Axa Coach on the roadside
    by MikeBird
  • Bicycles in Cape Maclear
    Bicycles in Cape Maclear
    by georeiser
  • Salima bus station in Malawi
    Salima bus station in Malawi
    by georeiser

Most Viewed Transportation in Malawi

  • frockland's Profile Photo

    MV Mtendere

    by frockland Updated Jul 10, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Since the beginning of 2004 the ´MV Mtendere´ is cruising the southern parts of Lake Malawi.

    ´MV Mtendere´ Weekly Voyage Schedule

    Port Day Arrival Departure
    Monkey Bay Wednesday 09.00
    Makanjia Wednesday 12.00 13.00
    Meponda (Moz) Wednesday 14.30 15.30
    Senga Bay Thursday 05.00 06.00
    Makanjia Thursday 07.30 08.30
    Monkey Bay Thursday 11.30

    Fares in Malawian Kwachas:
    Embarkation Port is Monkey Bay

    Port / Ensuite Cabin / Standard Cabin / Business / Economy

    Makanjia: 3.200 / 2.000 / 600 / 280
    Senga Bay: 3.800 / 2.000 / 800 / 380
    Meponda (Moz): 4.600 / 3.000 / 380

    First Class fares include English Breakfast and late afternoon snaks.

    ��MV Mtendere��

    Was this review helpful?

  • frockland's Profile Photo

    Stagecoach Busses

    by frockland Updated Jul 5, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    “There is a nation-wide bus service catering for the local population. They seemed to stop every hundred yards to on-load and off-load passengers: often burdened with the most improbably shaped packages and produce. These buses are crowded and lively. The seating allows the traveller to appreciate every rut and pothole on untarred roads! This service is unhurried and offers an unrivalled opportunity to share ´a close proximity travel situation´ with the very friendly Malawian people. At many stops the bus windows attracts swarms of children selling local snacks, drinks and curios. Main bus stations are always situated close to population centres and are thronged with street vendors – if you get that far. Breakdowns are far from uncommon” (“Guide To Malawi”)

    This changed during the last years. The number of vehicles on Malawi’s roads has increased significantly from 80.000 to more than 350.000 since the introduction of multiparty democracy in 1994, when transport sector was liberalized and the control of the import of vehicles was stopped.

    Nowadays there are only a few busses on the roads to find. For longer destinations there is usually only one day and one night bus.

    Minibusses and pick ups are far more common now.

    Lilongwe Bus Station

    Was this review helpful?

  • frockland's Profile Photo

    Bicycle - taxis

    by frockland Updated Jul 5, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Despite the increase of vehicles on Malawian roads there is still a chronicle shortage of public transport in rural areas due to the poor road conditions. As a result, most bus operators prefer to ply between cities and towns. To fill that vacuum more and more villagers are getting into the bicycle taxi business and it became a common feature on rural Malawian roads. Bicycles ranks can often be found at junctions. If there is an inefficient bus service locals offer this service for the “last mile”.
    The fare is determined by the distance and the weight of the passenger. Bicycle taxis also operate as courier service for the delivery of parcels.

    Taxi cyclists are usually organised with a chairman standing at the head of a rank. If someone got harassed he or she can complain to him and if the taxi owner is found guilty he can be suspended for two weeks to two month, if it was a serious offence.

    It may feel strange for a traveller to use this service that might look like a relict of old colonial days as the Muzungu is sitting on the back seat and the black man is sweating to pedal him through the days heat. But at least this taxi business is enabling villagers to earn some money for their living. Beside the taxi business some “side business” like bicycle maintenance developed and is offering some income for even more villagers.

    Bicycle Taxi in Karonga

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Boat at Lake Malawi

    by sachara Updated Sep 27, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At the Lake Malawi it's nice to make a boatride by hiring a boat of the local people, who are around at the beach or at guesthouses.
    It is not expensive, the scenery is beautiful and a meal or barbecue at the beach or an island can be included.
    We really enjoyed our boatride from Cape Maclear to one of the islands.

    boat at the lake
    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Lilongwe airport

    by sachara Updated Sep 27, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    By plane you will arrive at Kamuzu International Airport. KLM, Britsh Airways and some African airlines have flights between Malawi and Europe. We flight with KLM directly from Amsterdam.
    At the airport are banks, a postoffice and a pharmacy.
    All buses from/to Lilongwe to/from the north will stop at the airport, so it's easy to go by bus to the capital. We had a hired bus.

    Lilongwe airport

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    The Great East Road

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Dec 1, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Our two trips to Grand Beach were done by car from Luanshya, Zambia - a 600-mile trip each way. Once past Lusaka, the Great East Road was the direct link to Malawi at the Chipata border crossing. This was a good road with an 80 mph comfortable cruising speed, hardly any traffic and only two places to stop for any hope of supplies or gas. On the second trip, I kept hearing a funny noise every time the car went around a turn on the highway. When we finally reached the resort and checked in, the rear wheel rim of the Toyota Crown broke into two pieces while we were slowly driving to our accommodations (the slow speed must have placed additional stress on the weak point - one advantage of speeding!). No damage and we made it back on our spare tire at the end of the trip. Photo taken along the Great East Road in Zambia near the border, with a Baobab tree and landscape similar to Malawi's.

    Baobab beside Great East Road

    Was this review helpful?

  • Durbanite's Profile Photo

    Fly direct into Lilongwe or...

    by Durbanite Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fly direct into Lilongwe or Blantyre. There are many overland trippers also who approach from both South Africa / Zimbabwe and from the North via Tanzania / Kenya.
    Hitch hiking is relatively safe along the main roads. Road surfaces are very bad with deep potholes ( or they were when I was there) and riding in the back of a bakkie is not recommended for long distances. (unlike what someone else has said elsewhere !)

    Was this review helpful?

  • Imbri's Profile Photo

    Ride in the back of a pickup...

    by Imbri Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ride in the back of a pickup truck! It’s amazing how much fun it is to cling precariously to the
    sides of the truck as you careen wildly over Malawi’s less than perfect roads, trying to get
    comfortable amongst crying babies, bags of mangoes, dried fish, and a football team from
    Chikengawa. Pick up trucks charge a set fee. Flag them down from the side of the road.

    For a more in-depth description of this not-to-be-missed experience, please see my travelogue A Tambuku Parable.

    Was this review helpful?

  • georeiser's Profile Photo

    Bicycling

    by georeiser Written Nov 22, 2009

    Bicycling is the main means of transportation in Malawi. Cheap Chinese bicycles are everywhere in the country.

    Bicycling in Malawi Bicycling in Malawi Bicycling in Malawi Bicycling in Malawi
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Cycling

    Was this review helpful?

  • johanl's Profile Photo

    NO CARS - LOTS OF BYCICLES

    by johanl Updated Feb 27, 2005

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Most of the transport, of charcoal is done by bike. Heavy loads are on the back of the bikes and transported over vast distances, for just a few kwatcha.

    on the road to Monkey Bay
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • johanl's Profile Photo

    THE EASIEST WAY TO GET AROUND IN THE CITIES

    by johanl Written Feb 25, 2005

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the cities, the quickest way to get around is on foot. No problems with parking the car and it is for free. It allows you too to get in contact with the locals.

    Limbe pedestrian
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • johanl's Profile Photo

    BY BICYCLE

    by johanl Written Feb 25, 2005

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The locals get around by bycicle. Not only to get from one place to the other, but it is mainly used to transport charcoal, as most of the local people dont have a car.

    Bicycle repair shop
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • duke0123's Profile Photo

    Fishing on the lake

    by duke0123 Updated Dec 21, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    These boats are not really a way to travel to and from Malawi but it is more a way how fishermen near Lake Malawi do their work.

    Fishermen

    Was this review helpful?

Malawi Hotels

See all 19 Hotels in Malawi

Top Malawi Hotels

Lilongwe Hotels
50 Reviews - 108 Photos
Salima Hotels
8 Reviews - 11 Photos
Zomba Hotels
1 Hotel
Nkhata Bay Hotels
16 Reviews - 42 Photos
Mzuzu Hotels
1 Hotel
Mpingwe Hotels
See nearby hotels
Monkey Bay Hotels
16 Reviews - 40 Photos
Mangochi Hotels
1 Hotel
Liwonde Hotels
8 Reviews - 8 Photos
Likoma Island Hotels
26 Reviews - 62 Photos
Karonga Hotels
See nearby hotels
Kaningina Mountains Hotels
See nearby hotels
Kambwiri Hotels
See nearby hotels
Chipoka Hotels
See nearby hotels
Cape Maclear Hotels
71 Reviews - 267 Photos

Instant Answers: Malawi

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

65 travelers online now

Comments

Malawi Transportation

Reviews and photos of Malawi transportation posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Malawi sightseeing.
Map of Malawi