What to Take

  • UK electrical adapter
  • Mosquito/insect repellent
  • Antimalarial pills
  • Malaria test kit
  • Phone and laptop – wi-fi is widespread
  • Back-up bank card
  • US dollars
  • Rehydration solution – traveller's diarrhoea is common
  • Good walking shoes
  • Torch and car-lighter charging lead – power cuts are frequent
  • A towel if you're staying in hostels

What to Wear

Malawi is a relaxed country with regard to dress codes, although, as in most places, women may wish to dress a little conservatively to avoid unwanted male attention. That said, do pack your bikini for the beach, and T-shirts and shorts are practical for most of the year. Forget fashion and take comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.

Scientists remain unconvinced, but it's commonly believed that light clothing is less attractive to mosquitoes than dark . A sun hat, sandals and trainers for those mozzie-infested evenings and bush walks are all essential. If you're visiting elevated areas between roughly May and August, bring warm clothing and, for hiking on Mt Mulanje, waterproofs. On dawn wildlife drives, a long-sleeved top can be an asset.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Get a stash of US dollars – always useful in Malawi.
  • Check your passport has at least six months' validity.
  • Get travel vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis.
  • Check visa regulations, which can change.
  • Book bush and beach lodges and dive courses.
  • Arrange airport shuttles and internal flights.
  • Inform your bank you’ll be using your card in Malawi.