Before You Go

How to Visit Malawi on a Budget

Budget Travel in Malawi

Malawi is a country that can be visited on any budget.

Accommodation ranges from luxury safari lodges and hotels to cheap local hotels and dormitories in hostels.

The cheapest way is to bring a tent and camp.

A lot of backpacker hostels have areas for camping at a fraction of the price of rooms.

Food ranges from supermarkets and restaurants in big cities where food catering to a more Western taste can be found, to the cheap, market stalls and local food places where a plate of nsima (a dough like carbohydrate eaten with the hands) or rice with vegetable, meat or fish costs about Mk1,000 and a beer about Mk800.

Transportation ranges from taxi to minibus (TOYOTA HIACE).

It’s when you start adding in safaris and activities at the lake that the cost starts rising quickly.

So, your travel budget will depend on what you do and how you do it.

This is an example price lists for mid-ranges.


  • At local restaurant MK1,500
  • At fast food restaurant MK5,000
  • At restaurants, hotels and lodges MK8,000


At mid-range Restaurants, hotels and lodges MK10,000


  • Water (500ml) at mid-range restaurant Mk250-400
  • Soft drinks (350ml, Fanta and Coke) at mid-range restaurant Mk350-800
  • Beer (350ml) at mid-range restaurant and bar MK1000-1500


Taxi (30km/40min from Lilongwe International Airport to City center) MK20, 000-MK25, 000

Hotel and Lodges (Mid-range)

  • Dorm bed USD10pp
  • Single room USD25pp
  • Double room USD40pp