Malawi named one of Lonely Planet's Best in Travel Top Countries for 2022! Find out more.
Malawi named one of Lonely Planet's Best in Travel Top Countries for 2022! Find out more.
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Ilala & Malawi Shipping Company

+265 1 587 411

The Malawi Shipping Company is a privately owned company, running services for both passengers and business on Lake Malawi, as well as shipyard activities.

Built in 1949, the mv Ilala is a 400 tonne passenger vessel which has traditionally sailed the full length of the lake. It has a total capacity of 450 passenger and offers cabin class, first class, second class and economy class facilities as well as bars and restaurants. The Ilala’s weekly travels along Lake Malawi, have, for years, provided passengers with spectacular views of constantly changing scenery. For further information on the Ilala click here.

In 2014, the Malawi Shipping Company launched a brand new boat, the mv Chilembwe, which took on Ilala’s routings while the old boat underwent some essential repairs. However the Ilala is now back in operation and the Chilembwe will be used as a relief boat whenever the Ilala needs to be taken off the water.

The Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 3307 Chilembwe was commissioned by Malawi Shipping Company and built by Damen of The Netherlands, in Monkey Bay shipyard in central Africa.  It is 32 metres long and 7 metres wide, with two fixed-pitch propellers and two Caterpillar C32 TTA (WOSR) engines rating 2460 bkW (3300 bhp) power. It will carry 120 passengers and 20 tons of cargo, including food and medicines, at a maximum speed of 22 knots.

The Ilalla currently operates between Monkey Bay in the south and Chilumba in the north, calling in at Likoma and Chizumulu Islands both northbound and southbound.

For the latest timetable of the Ilala please click here. 

For the latest fares in various classes please click here.

For the latest baggage rates please click here.

The Malawi Shipping Company is also operating the vessel ‘Chambo’ which  primarily serves the eastern, Mozambican shore of Lake Malawi, but also includes legs between Likoma Island and Nkhata Bay every Wednesday and Thursday. This is a lightweight boat but still capable of carrying up to 80 passengers and up to 10 tonnes of cargo – including vehicles which can board using the mount at the front of the vehicle.
To view Malawi routes for Chambo please click here.

Transportation & Cargo Services

Malawi Shipping Company is also a major maritime operator on Lake Malawi when freight and shipyard services are concerned; the company has at the moment in operation three cargo vessels, MV Katundu total capacity of 720 tons, MV Karonga total capacity of 300 Ton and MT Vipha Tug & Pontoon total capacity of 650 tons, able to transport break cargo: coal, sugar, fertilizer, maize, general cargo and containers, between Lake Malawi ports of Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi.

Shipyard Services: Vessel assembly, maintenance and refurbishments

Malawi Shipping Company also offers the following facilities; dry dock, slipway, workshops with modern facilities-mechanical, welding, carpentry, electrical and passenger jetty / others. These facilities are at the Monkey-bay Harbour. The shipyard at Monkey-bay is the only one serving the vessels from Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi itself on the Lake.  Several vessels have so far benefitted from our service at Monkey-bay, as assemble, refurbishment and general maintenance are part of the core activity at this facility. As reference one can note: the ongoing renovation works of Chauncy Maples Vessel; the ongoing assembly of MSC new passenger Vessel (120 pax), as well as, the construction of Chambo Vessel (100 pax) made last year to Mozambican Government.

MALAWI PORTS COMPANY: The headquarters for the company is in Lilongwe the capital city of Malawi, in NASRA House, Lilongwe3, P.O .Box 31379,Lilongwe,Malawi, Contact: +265 01 773 738 Fax: +265 1 773 735 / 6

Malawi Ports Company, a sister company to Malawi Shipping Company all under the management of MOTA-ENGIL, and provides services of wire houses/sheds, storage rooms, handling of all cargo, stevedoring, and workshop facilities and gantry crane/ mobile crane and  dredging, the actual existing Malawi ports are as follows: Monkey-bay Port;  Chipoka Port which  has rail and road connection  for Blantyre up to Indian ocean and Lilongwe road connection up to Zambia; Nkhata-bay port, road connection to Mzuzu/Zambia/Tanzania and Chilumba port, road connection to Tanzania/Zambia. All four ports mentioned here are ready to handle the traffic to be transported and you can hire the services of the Malawi Shipping Company to move your cargo on the lake.

Contacting Malawi Shipping Company

Landlines: +265 0 1 587 411/ +265 0 1 587 309 (Available between 7:30am and 5:00pm)
Cell: +265 0883429884
For hire and quotations of vessels, use the following cell numbers: +265 0999292370/ +265 0992116709/ +265 0881404546

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Contact Ilala & Malawi Shipping Company

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