Official Travel Advice for Malawi
Summary - revised information on planned protests by Civil Society Groups throughout July; if you’re in Malawi, avoid large crowds or demonstrations, monitor this travel advice and local media for updates and keep any local travel plans under review
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 18 Jul 2019.
Malawi held Tripartite Elections (Presidential, Parliamentary and local council) on 21 May 2019. The official result of the Presidential election was announced by the Malawi Election Commission on 27 May. The legitimacy of these results is being challenged in the High Court by two political parties. Protests took place in central Lilongwe on 4 and 5 July and at times turned violent, with some reports of looting and damage to property. Civil Society Groups plan to hold further demonstrations throughout Malawi during the month of July with the possibility of more unrest. If you’re in Malawi, avoid large crowds or demonstrations, monitor this travel advice and local media for updates and keep any local travel plans under review. You may also wish to stock up on petrol, food and essentials, including any medication, in case normal service provision are disrupted in the short term.
On 8 March 2019, the President of Malawi declared a State of Disaster in areas of southern Malawi affected by heavy floods. The floods have caused at least 45 deaths and more than 80,000 people have been displaced. If travelling to affected regions, you should take extra care, monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and follow any advice given by the local authorities. See our Tropical cyclones page for advice about what to do if you’re caught up in a storm.
Since July 2018 there have been reports of possible incidents of unrest and violence in rural areas of Mulanje, linked to rumours of bloodsuckers. This is further to similar incidents of violence and unrest reported during the period September to December 2017 in the areas of Mulanje, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Phalombe and also in rural parts of Blantyre, Zomba and Nsanje districts. You should continue to exercise extreme caution if you’re travelling in these areas, especially after dark, avoid any demonstrations or large groups of people and follow local security advice. See Safety and security
You will need a visa to enter Malawi as a visitor. See Visas
Most visits to Malawi are trouble-free, but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself from muggers and bag-snatchers. Most thefts from visitors take place around the main bus stations in Lilongwe and Blantyre. See Safety and security
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Malawi, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:Malawi
Drive on the: left
Visitors/Tourists: 767,000 in 2011
English (official language) 63%
Lilongwe (also largest city)