Malawian kwacha (MK)

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than US$50

  • Dorm bed: US$10
  • AXA bus from Lilongwe to Blantyre: US$16
  • Carlsberg beer in a bar: US$1

Midrange: US$50–150

  • Flight from Lilongwe to Blantyre: US$90
  • PADI Open Water dive course: US$380
  • Guided wildlife walk: US$20

Top End: More than US$150

  • Flight from Lilongwe to Likoma Island: US$295
  • All-inclusive single room in wildlife lodge: US$350–550
  • Restaurant main course: US$11


At craft and curio stalls geared towards tourists, bargaining is expected. Some vendors might initially ask for double the price they’re willing to accept; haggle until you arrive at a mutually agreeable price. Try not to have the attitude that people are trying to rip you off. If the price seems fair and affordable to you, there’s no point in bargaining someone down just for the sake of it.


Banks, including Standard Bank, are clustered around the intersection of Glyn Jones Rd and Victoria Ave. Standard changes cash and travellers cheques and has 24-hour ATMs, as does the National Bank of Malawi and its second branch.

You can change money on the black market with the Rastas at the craft stalls.

Standard Bank ATM

Standard Bank ATM