Malawian markets are full of life. The bustling and colourful local markets sell everything from fruit and vegetables to arts & crafts, meat and traditional dress. Even if you don’t need to buy anything, they are fascinating places to walk round and experience daily life and shopping Africa-style. If you are interested in making a purchase, be prepared to barter on price. Such negotiations can be fun and are usually very good natured. It’s important to keep a smile on your face and keep in perspective how much you are bargaining over and what that means to you and to the vendor. There is little to be gained by getting worked up about saving a few Kwacha!
One of the largest markets is the walled market in Lilongwe‘s Old Town, whilst the markets at Zomba and Mzuzu are slightly smaller but full of character and characters. Unsurprisingly, Blantyre also has a large traditional market, but most towns of appreciable size around the country will also have one.
Places offering Market Visits
Lilongwe is Malawi’s capital. The Old Town is distinct and has the appearance of a traditional African settlement, whilst the City has much in common with other twentieth century urban developments around the world.
The capital of the north is Mzuzu, with an interesting bustling market and is growing rapidly, with a selection of lodges close by.
Salima is an important service and trading centre set back from Lake Malawi whilst Senga Bay has a stretch of sandy beach with a range of hotels, lodges and campsites.
Zomba Town is in a beautiful setting below the plateau of the same name. This was the original capital of Malawi and the first settlement of the colonial administration.
Malawi’s people are its greatest asset - friendly, welcoming, colourful and vibrant. As well as the natural daily encounters with Malawians, there are widespread opportunities to visit real villages.
Tea is Malawi's second largest export, with acres of tea plantations in the south of the country. The Satemwa Tea Estate at Thyolo is a tourist hotspot for those wishing to take part in tea tasting.
Malawi has a wide range of performance arts to show its visitors from traditional dance to up and coming hip hop artists.
There is much to see of Malawi’s history, beginning with the pre-history remains of the Karonga district and the Stone Age rock paintings near Dedza. Elsewhere, the colonial period is preserved in buildings dating from the David Livingstone era.
Becoming a volunteer in Malawi's communities goes along way to provide a better future for Malawian people.