What to pack for Malawi!

Packing is key to a successful trip and we want your adventure to be fantastic. Here’s a list of what you should consider packing before flying to the warm heart of Africa. Remember to pack according to the climate, Malawi’s generally tropical. The rainy season in Malawi runs from November to April. There is little to no rainfall throughout much of the country from May to October. The temperature and climate vary a lot depending on the terrain and altitude, the lake, for example, is warmer than Lilongwe. Mount Mulanje and Nyika Plateau can be pretty cold.

Zambia is situated in the tropics and receives good rainfall. It has a dry season from May to the end of October and a wet season from November to April. At this time many areas become inaccessible and most camps in Kafue, Lower Zambezi and some in South Luangwa close down during the rainy season. The Mfuwe sector of South Luangwa is accessible year-round. The further north, the earlier the rains arrive and the later they leave. Eastern and higher areas generally receive more rain than western and lowland areas. The dry season is divided into the cool dry season (May to August) and the hot dry season (September and October).

Packing list:

  • Passport
  • USD for visas and park fees
  • Malawian and Zambian Kwacha
  • Daypack
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Closed walking shoes
  • A basic first aid kit


  • Lightweight clothing is recommended for the day but at night and early mornings the temperatures can be very cool, especially in the winter months so we recommend packing warmer covered clothing. Avoid brightly coloured clothing for game viewing. Women are advised to wear clothing that is not too revealing and dresses etc that are to the knee or below
  • Swimsuit if you are planning to stay at the lake
  • Hat, scarf, and jacket, especially if you are climbing Mulanje during winter or planning to go up north.

Exchanging clothes:

  • It is worthwhile bringing unwanted clothing as locals will, normally, gladly trade their crafts for clothes.

Electricity supply:

  • Electric Power is 230V running at 50Hz in both Malawi and Zambia. The plug type used is a three pinned, rectangular blade plug – like the UK.

Packing for a safari:

  • Neutral colour clothes – although this is really only truly necessary for walking safaris. Lions are supposedly stressed by red and bright colours. However, on a game drive, this is really no big issue. Also, it is recommended that you stay away from camouflage prints and army fatigues as can attract unwanted attention at border patrols.
  • Beware of tsetse flies in the evenings. They are attracted to dark colours, so wear long trousers and stay away from blue or black – pack mosquito spray for the evenings as well.
  • Ladies – pack a sports bra…roads are always bumpy.
  • Book – for downtime between the morning and evening drives…
  • Batteries and external chargers -drives are usually a minimum of four hours and there can be power cuts at the lodge – bring a backup so as not to miss out on the money shot!
  • Jumper – depending on the time of year it can get chilly at night, especially on game drives.
  • Walking shoes/trainers
  • headlamp
  • sunscreen
  • mosquito spray
  • binoculars
  • water bottle
  • sunglasses

Now you know what to pack, you need to decide (if you haven’t already) which destinations you want to visit. Find inspiration from our destinations and our tour itineraries. Remember all tours can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Any questions, let us know info@malawianstyle.com.

Visit our sister site to find out what to pack for Zambia.

View our ‘What to pack for a safari’ infographic below.

what to pack for a safari infographic