Malawi Seasons & Weather
Typically Malawi can be divided into the following seasons:
- Wet season December – April
- Dry Season May – November
So, what are the highlights of travelling during these seasons?
The topography of Malawi is a little different from its neighbours, we have lots of mountains and a giant lake! Typically the higher up you go the colder it is. So, the tea estates and the northern parks can be chilly in winter, you may even get some frost – no snow though! However, the lake typically stays warm all year-round, as someone who steers clear of a tepid shower to rather endure 3rd-degree burns, I can confirm I have swum in the lake in both seasons and have thus far not felt cold. Swimming pools, however, can be a different matter so, be sure to test the temperature before you jump in!
When is the Rainy Season in Malawi?
From December through May we have our rains, the farmers rejoice, the frogs come out and the country turns into a tropical green paradise! The rain is not cold like the sleet of Scotland but rather lukewarm in which you can re-create a herbal essence advert if you so wish.
With the plant in full foliage, this is a great time to visit the green and lush tea estates or some of our national parks to see all the baby animals and the incredible birdlife. From the migrants to the breeding plumage this is the time to watch as they court or nest, having flown thousands of miles from overseas. Liwonde is one of the best birding spots in Africa and has an abundance of land and aquatic birds with many migrants, therefore we would highly recommend a stop here for avid twitchers.
Not to mention the hippos, rhino and elephants. Have you ever seen a pudgy baby Elle as it discovers how to swim, charge or use its trunk…? Let’s not forget all the newly introduced species of cat, the cheetah seems to be permanently pregnant – did you know a baby cheetah mimics the look of a honey badger to deter predators? Come see for yourself!
And of course this time is one for a bargain hunter, the prices come right down thanks to a few thunderstorms and showers, which is the perfect time to take a well-deserved drink break! It’s warm enough to wear shorts and a T-shirt and cheap enough to stay double the length!
Negatives- Mosquitos, they love the rain but regular sprays of your preferred choice of repellant and a few extra sundowners, you’ll forget all about them!
When is the Dry Season in Malawi?
June – August can be cooler, it’s the sort of weather that a European would still wear a jacket and shorts in or a South African a jumper and slops. During this time, the rains have subsided and there are fewer insects around.
The days are warm and sunny but the evenings are cooler. This is ‘peak season’ but don’t let the name fool you it isn’t peak because this is when most of the animals are around it is peak because of the prices!
September to November is when it starts to get hot! Not too hot though – thanks to the mountains – but you may want to consider a lodge with AC over the beautiful eco-lodges that can offer you hot views but not a cooling fan! During this period water sources in parks are drying up and you will often see lots of animals congregating around one water hole. Unlike the lake, this is not a safe space to splash around and snorkel for fish, the rivers are teeming with hungry crocs ready to snap up their next meal. It’s quite the sight to see the animals congregate in large numbers but it can be unsettling to see the wildlife conditions deteriorate and of course, kills are not for everyone.
When to visit Malawi?
Malawi is a fantastic place to visit throughout the year, depending on what you want to see and do and what climate you prefer should influence when you visit, but no matter when you visit you are guaranteed to have an amazing experience.
If you are planning a trip to Malawi and would like to know more about what weather you can expect during the time of your visit, drop us a message!
Chloe is our marketing manager, hailing from Scotland she has swopped the snow for the sun and joined us in July 2017. She has a rich background in the industry starting out as a guide in South Africa and then working in sales for the last 6 years. She has travelled Africa extensively from the jungles of the Congo to the plains of the Serengeti and now has found herself immersed in Zambia & Malawi. She is a keen explorer and has a firm love of the bush if you can’t reach her in the office she will most definitely be knee deep in elephant poop looking for her beloved dung beetles!