As of 1 June 2022, visitors from around the world (12 years or older) can enter Malawi EITHER if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 OR if they produce a negative PCR test obtained within 72 hrs of arrival. See below for further details:
- Malawi’s borders were fully opened in August 2021 to allow entry for all travellers with a negative PCR test obtained no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. (PCR Test requirement applies to all travellers over 12 months of age).
- As from 10 December 2021 all travellers are requested to show a valid electronic COVID-19 full vaccination Certificate at point of entry.
- To ensure the integrity of presented certificates at Malawi’s borders, the Ministry of Health (in collaboration with the African Union and Africa CDC) implemented an online system to authenticate and verify travellers COVID-19 certificates in line with the Trusted Travel (TT) framework. Click here for the announcement and click here for the guide to using the TT system.
- As from 1 May 2022, the previous requirement for all travellers departing Malawi to have a negative PCR test was removed. Requirements on PCR tests and vaccination status for departure will be determined by the destination country. Click here for the announcement.
- As from 1 June 2022, travellers can enter Malawi with EITHER a vaccination certificate OR a negative PCR test: All travellers that are fully vaccinated are no longer required to produce negative PCR tests. All travellers that are not fully vaccinated or don’t have a valid electronically verifiable COVID-19 full vaccination certificate are required to produce a negative PCR based COVID-19 certificate that is not older than 72 hours at the time of arrival in the country. These regulations apply to those aged 12 and over. Under 12s can enter Malawi unconditionally (accompanying vaccinated parents/guardians) Click here for the official announcement.
Flights to Malawi
For intercontinental flights from Europe Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways (also with KLM) offer good options to Malawi, with routes involving an aircraft change at their respective national hubs (Addis Ababa and Nairobi). Those international flights land in either the capital Lilongwe or Blantyre. South African Airways and Malawi Airlines also now connect Lilongwe and Blantyre to Johannesburg, allowing travellers to reach Malawi via all the international airlines that serve that busy intercontinental hub. That applies in particular to Star Alliance member airlines since SAA is a member, as is Ethiopian Airlines, which is a 49% stakeholder in Malawi Airlines. Regional links between Malawi and Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe are also provided by Malawi Airlines and such connections can sometimes be used in conjunction with another African or European airline flying to those countries from around the world. Malawi-based air charter companies also link Malawi to its neighbours.
Entering Malawi by Road
There are road routes into Malawi from Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique. Assume that border posts will be closed from about 18.00hrs and reopen at 07.00hrs. Visitors requiring a visa may find this difficult to obtain at border posts and are advised to obtain the documentation in advance. Requirements for vehicle documentation should be checked before travelling. As of March 2016, the following are the requirements for a vehicle to enter Malawi:
- Third Party Insurance – obtained at the border at a cost of MK21,000.00
- Temporary Importation – obtained at the border at a cost of MK10,000.00
- Vehicle Registration Certificate
- If the vehicle is not owned by the driver, a letter of authorisation form the owner or car rental company is required.
International Tour Operators
Most operators who organise tours to southern Africa will offer Malawi itineraries, or provide a tailor-made service. Information about companies can be found in the following sections of the Travel Directory: UK Tour Operators; European Tour Operators; North American Tour Operators; Worldwide Tour Operators.
International travellers over the age of 18 may import, duty free: 200 cigarettes or 225gm of tobacco; 1 litre of spirits; 1 litre of beer; 1 litre of wine; plus a “reasonable” quantity of consumable goods to meet the traveller’s immediate need while in Malawi.
Please see the separate Visa Guide for information on visas for Malawi, including a link to the e-visa system introduced in November 2019.