Travel Tips for Visiting Malawi

Jane Renaldi writes about travel, culture & more at homeequityloan.net.

Sleeping quarters in Nyika National Park – one of Africa’s most scenic national parks and a get away from a busy lifestyle

Malawi is a beautiful land locked country located in southeast Africa. It is one of the least developed countries in the world.

This is truly a destination for anyone looking to get away from large cities.
Because they are a rural country, and its people are well known for being very friendly and warm.
A trip to Malawi would be a truly marvellous experience. Here, are 5 traveling tips when visiting this beautiful country.

Driving

Caution should be taken when traveling at night. The roads are in excellent shape, but too narrow to drive for long distance  driving at night. So its
advisable to avoid driving at night.
Another thing to take note is that the roads are poorly marked, so it is extremely easy to get lost.
Checkpoints are a common sight. But there is no need to panic because police are looking for illegal contraband, anyone with proper identification will be fine.  Plan to stock up on gas especially when driving long distances because the shortages have become common in recent months although there has been a notable improvement since a new President was sworn in last April.

Language

Like most of the world, English is widely spoken in Malawi. This is especially true in cities and among an emerging middle class. The first language of most of the residents is Chichewa. Knowing a few basic phrases and greetings will go a long way in Malawi. It will really help one to integrate into the culture, and may even get one invited over for dinner.

Respect

The culture of Malawi is extremely open, and the people are extremely friendly, remember that they think differently than westerners. Women should dress conservatively although this is slowly changing.
Many of the smaller villages do not often see people with white skin, and sometimes they will be amazed. This should not be taken with offense, as they truly find this intriguing. Sometimes, when men speak, they hold hands, even with other men, this should not be taken as a sexual advance; this is part of their culture.

Safe

Malawi has remarkably little crime, though caution should be taken.
Homosexuality is illegal in Malawi, so gay couples should exercise caution when in public. Keep in mind, like many countries in Africa, the prevalence malaria is high; caution should be taken by sleeping a net and taking anti-malaria drugs.

Money

Credit cards are accepted at many hotel chains and tourist restaurants, and there are plenty of ATM’s in the city. Leave the American Express at home, Visa is the card of choice by almost all hotels. Foreign currency, including the pound, the euro, and the dollar are accepted by many vendors. In fact, it is often easier to avoid getting local currency at all, and just using United States dollars.

Malawi is truly a breathtaking country with incredibly nice people. A great time can be had by just about anyone. When traveling to Malawi, exercise caution and learn a little bit about the culture. Due to the varying terrain, a lot of amazing sites can be taken in, even on a short trip.