Malawi Travel Budget - Visit Malawi on a Budget or Travel in Style

How much does it cost to travel to Malawi?

You should plan to spend around $38 (MWK63,328) per day on your vacation in Malawi. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $11 (MWK18,020) on meals
  • $13 (MWK21,859) on local transportation
  • $29 (MWK49,287) on hotels

A one week trip to Malawi for two people costs, on average, $526 (MWK886,590). This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to Malawi cost?

A one week trip to Malawi usually costs around $263 (MWK443,295) for one person and $526 (MWK886,590) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Malawi on average costs around $526 (MWK886,590) for one person and $1,051 (MWK1,773,180) for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Malawi will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Malawi on average costs around $1,127 (MWK1,899,836) for one person and $2,253 (MWK3,799,671) for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

How much do package tours cost in Malawi?

Organized tours are usually more expensive than independent travel, but offer convenience and peace of mind that your trip has been planned by a travel expert.

The average price for an organized tour package in Malawi is $145 per day. While every tour varies by total price, length, number of destinations, and quality, this is the daily average price based on our analysis of available guided tours.

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Is Malawi expensive to visit?

Malawi is a reasonably affordable destination to visit. It is in the top 25% of countries in the world for its affordability. If you're traveling on a budget, then this is a good destination with affordable accommodation, food, and transportation.

Within Africa, Malawi is reasonably affordable compared to the other countries. It is in the top 25% of countries in Africa for its affordability. You can find more affordable countries such as Nigeria, but there are also more expensive countries, such as Zambia.

For more details, see Is Malawi Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to Malawi?

The average Malawi trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these Malawi travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) MWK49,287 ($29)
Local Transportation 1 MWK21,859 ($13)
Food 2 MWK18,020 ($11)
Entertainment 1 MWK24,386 ($14)
Tips and Handouts 1 MWK1,047 - 3,141 ($1 - 2)
Alcohol 2 MWK4,970 - 14,910 ($3 - 9)
Accommodation Budget in Malawi
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Malawi is $15 (MWK24,643). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Malawi is $29 (MWK49,287). This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room

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Hotel Prices in Malawi

Looking for a hotel in Malawi? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Local Transportation Budget in Malawi
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in Malawi is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $13 (MWK21,859) per person, per day, on local transportation in Malawi.

  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Recommended Services

Food Budget in Malawi
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in Malawi can vary, the average cost of food in Malawi is $11 (MWK18,020) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Malawi should cost around $4.27 (MWK7,208) per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Malawi is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day

Entertainment Budget in Malawi
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in Malawi typically cost an average of $14 (MWK24,386) per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.

Recommended Activities

Tips and Handouts Budget in Malawi
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average cost for Tips and Handouts in Malawi is $1.24 (MWK2,094) per day. The usual amount for a tip in Malawi is 5% - 15%.

  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers

Alcohol Budget in Malawi
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $5.89 (MWK9,940) on alcoholic beverages in Malawi per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day

Water Budget in Malawi
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend $0.71 (MWK1,195) on bottled water in Malawi per day. The public water in Malawi is not usually considered safe to drink.

  • Water2 Bottled water for one day

Malawi On a Budget
Malawi Lake Malawi
Malawi is a landlocked country of Southeastern Africa defined largely by its highland topography and vibrant culture. One of its top features is Lake Malawi, the largest lake in Africa, which runs along most of eastern border. The lake sits in the Great Rift Valley, which is also home to a diverse array of wildlife.

Malawi is divided into three regions: Northern Malawi, Central Malawi, and Southern Malawi. Northern Malawi is home to the city of Karonga which is close to Malawi Lake and the Misuku Hills, Mzuzu which is the northern region's largest town, and Nkhata Bay a rocky bay towards the north of the lake with lodges popular for vacationing. Central Malawi is home to the capital city of Lilongwe, as well as the historic slave shores of Nkhotakota which is now ethnically diverse and renowned amongst tourists for golden sandy beaches and resorts. Southern Malawi is home to the country's largest city and economic capital, Blantyre. This city thrives with visitors and locals alike with an interesting downtown, good nightlife and music, a range of places to stay from upscale to guest houses, and a vibrant street and market culture. Other cities in the south include Monkey Bay, Mangochi, and Zomba - known for its British colonial architecture, markets for fabric and handicrafts, and some of the best Indian food in Malawi.
Looking for a hostel in Marrakesh, Cape Town, Nairobi, or Zanzibar?
Top Tourist Attractions
The country of Malawi probably has the most diverse landscape in all of Africa. From peaks that reach 10,000 feet to the lowest point barely above sea level, the Malawi topography is a range of plateaus, highlands, forests, mountains, plains, cliffs, and steep river valleys. The Great Rift Valley is the dominant feature, filled in by Malawi Lake, surrounded by popular resorts, bays, beaches, and abundant wildlife. The Central African Plateau lies to the west of the lake while the southern part of Malawi is best known for its highlands, with fresh mountain air and lush, green forests.

Lake Malawi is a paradise for boating and water sports activities. Some of the best freshwater diving spots can also be found here, right in Nkhata Bay. Like in many countries of Africa, safaris are also common with visitors. National parks and wildlife reserves offer the best opportunities for such activities. As one can see, the list of things to do in Malawi can be quite comprehensive, as this dynamic country has everything from culture to wildlife.

Nyika National Park is Malawi's largest national park, Ntchisi Forest Reserve offers a stunning rainforest in an area untouched, Liwonde National Park is home to some of the best wildlife in the area. On any safari visitors are sure to come across striking landscape and animals like hippos, crocodiles, lions, elephants, and leopards, amongst others.

Mount Mulanje is the highest peak south of Kilimanjaro and a favorite among climbers. Many attempt to reach Sapitwa Peak, the tallest of Mulanje's peaks.

Cape Maclear is another of Malawi's top destinations - a nice haven of beaches and crystal waters for backpackers, boaters, and vacationers. It sits as a laid back fishing village on the tip of a peninsula jutting out into the southern portion of Lake Malawi

Popular Foods
Traditional Malawian food, like Zambian, revolves around one staple grain called maize, which is served in one form called nshima. Nshima is a kind of thick porridge rolled into balls to be dipped in a variety of stews, commonly called relishes. The more specialty relishes include those of beef, chicken, or fish, while the more basic ones are made with beans, tiny dried fish (kapenta), peanuts, pumpkin leaves (chibwabwa), or other vegetables such as okra (ndelele), cabbage, and rape. Local restaurants generally serve nshima and relish for less than 5000K ($1). The nshima is more watered down into porridge for breakfast, usually with sugar. While this is a popular native dish, pretty much any kind of food, including Western cuisine, can be found in the city areas like Lilongwe and Blantyre. There are also many ethnic eateries in the city, and in most, pork products are not served to accommodate the Muslim population. Also be aware that tap water in Malawi is generally not drinkable unless boiled first. Bottled water is mostly available in the city areas, so be sure to stock up before a safari in the wilderness.
Visitors from most countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, European Union countries, Japan, Singapore, and South American Countries now require a visa to enter Malawi. A single entry visa on arrival is good for 90 days and cost $75 USD. A 7-day Transit visa costs $50 USD. 29 countries need to acquire a visa in advance at a Malawi embassy.

By plane, Malawi's largest international airport is in Lilongwe - known as Lilongwe International Airport or Kamuzu International Airport. There are also some flights from Blantyre to regional destinations. Most travelers connect via Johannesburg in South Africa, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, or Nairobi in Kenya.

There are no trains running in Malawi. It is possible to get in by car or bus.

Hitchhiking is a common practice in Malawi, though most people expect some form of payment, though it is usually cheaper than public transportation.

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase. Thus, the overall daily average cost is not a summation of the individual categories.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.

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