Dangers & Annoyances

During the day it’s fine to walk around most of Old Town and City Centre, although City Centre is quieter at the weekend, so you should be on your guard then. Malangalanga Rd and the area around the main bus station and market can be dangerous, and walking to Old Town from there is not recommended. Muggers' haunts en route include the Kamuzu Procession Rd bridge between Area 2 and Area 3.

Always watch out for your things while at the bus station, and if you arrive after dark take a taxi or minibus to your accommodation. As a general rule, it isn’t safe to walk around anywhere in the city after dark. Following a spate of carjackings, many local motorists jump red lights after dark.

Bus tickets should only be bought at the bus station; travellers have been conned out of money by buying tickets for non-existent services on the street.

You definitely don't want to be around Lilongwe Wildlife Centre after dark due to late-night hyena appearances – hyenas have taken a few locals over the years.

Police Stations

Embassies & Consulates

Emergency & Important Numbers

Ambulance0111 979605
Fire01-757999
Police01-753333
Rapid Response Unit01-754445

Entry & Exit Formalities

Internet Access

Web access is readily available, with wi-fi hot spots at most accommodation and restaurants (although they're not always free) and several cheap internet cafes in Old Town.

Post Dot Net Internet access. Branch also at the Crossroads Complex and Pacific Hotel.

Money

You can get good rates changing money on the black market with the Rastas in the car park in front of Lilongwe City Mall. This is an unregulated industry, so carry out the transaction in daylight, pay close attention to the exchange rate and the notes being counted out, and use common sense. There are banks and ATMs all over town.

Money Bureau Crossroads Complex; Centre Arcade Has good rates.

National Bank of Malawi African Unity Ave; Kamuzu Procession Rd You can change money here and get a cash advance on your Visa card. Has 24-hour ATMs that accept Visa.

Nedbank Lilongwe City Mall; off Independence Dr Another good bank with ATMs.

Standard Bank African Unity Ave; Kamuzu Procession Rd Offers the same facilities as National Bank of Malawi, but the ATMs also accept MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro.

Post

Telephone

Internet cafes can hook you up to Skype on their computers.

Lilongwe City Mall Has branches of the mobile networks Airtel and TNM.

Tourist Information

Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife & Culture Information and advice are minimal at this tourist office off Convention Dr. For details on tours, flights and hotels you’re better off at a travel agency.

Tourist Office Between Pep and Game, this government office has brochures and sells detailed maps of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu (MK500). Information is minimal; you’re better off at a travel agency.

Travel Agencies

Travel agencies and tour operators include the following.

Adventure Office Based in Lilongwe and Nkhata Bay, this team of personable and passionate Brits offers safaris, activities, adventures and volunteering opportunities nationwide.

Barefoot Safaris & Adventure Tours Organises activity-packed wildlife-watching safaris to the parks and lake, plus multicountry itineraries incorporating Zambia and beyond. Based at Barefoot Lodge, 10km west of Lilongwe, on the road to Mchinji (the western continuation of Mzimba St).

Central African Wilderness Safaris Specialising in trips to its high-end lodges in Liwonde and Nyika National Parks, CAWS is the country's top safari operator. It also operates lodges in Lilongwe and the Chintheche Strip, and offers packages including Likoma Island and Zambia's South Luangwa National Park. CAWS supports community and conservation programs including the 'Children in the Wilderness' eco-education camps, too.

Kiboko Safaris Specialises in affordable two- to seven-day camping safaris throughout Malawi and South Luangwa National Park (Zambia). For example, a four-day southern Malawi trip costs US$495, while a two-day South Luangwa trip costs US$350.

Land & Lake Safaris Covering both Malawi and Zambia, this trusted company, located off Laws Ave, offers scheduled and tailor-made tours for all budgets. Trips to Zambia's South Luangwa National Park start at around US$800 for four days. Many scheduled tours start on a Sunday and last 11 or 12 days, tying in well with two-week holidays. It also offers self-drive tours and operates a lodge outside Lilongwe.

M Expeditions Johnnie Kabwilo is a great guy who offers budget safaris and tours around Malawi and the surrounding countries.

Malawian Style Covering all the main parks and many other locations in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique, this adventure specialist offers tours from classic safaris to tailor-made trips.

Robin Pope Safaris This premium safari operator runs dazzling lodges at Majete Wildlife Reserve and Cape Maclear, and seven camps in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park. It offers tours throughout Malawi and Zambia, including eight- to 11-day Malawian itineraries, from a circuit of the tea estates, lake and Majete to a conservation-focused tour of the country's three major wildlife reserves.

Ulendo Travel Group Decades-old Ulendo is a one-stop travel shop for accommodation and car hire; Ulendo Airlink flights to hard-to-reach spots such as Likoma Island and the national parks; and a variety of expertly tailored tours and safaris in Malawi and Zambia. The reliable, specialist staff is a big selling point.

Ultimate Travel Flight tickets, car hire, Intercape bus tickets, day trips and tour packages. Located off Chilembwe Rd.