When to Visit Malawi

Best time to visit Malawi

Planning a trip to the Warm Heart of Africa? But not sure when to visit? Malawi truly is an all-year destination, however, for some, November may be too hot and February too wet! The climate isn’t the only factor that influences when to visit a country; there are events and costs which can weigh in on the decision making.

Let’s take a closer look at the calendar and see what you can expect throughout the year.

January – March

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Seeing in the new year in a foreign country is an exceptional experience and that is no different in Malawi – partying throughout the night and waking up to the vast lake and the scorching sun is an instant hangover cure… Unfortunately, in January in Malawi, this isn’t a guarantee. January and February are mid-summer months, temperatures are hot, uncomfortably so for some, and rainfall is at its highest. But hey, there are worse places to get rained on!

Several lodges on Lake Malawi host vibrant New Years Parties with a diverse crowd, attracting more people each year. 

If partying isn’t your thing and you aren’t visiting just for the lake, January – March is an exciting time to safari, particularly if you are an avid birder. This is a fantastic time for birdwatching. Over 650 different species of bird have been identified in Malawi with about 10 per cent not being seen in other parts of southern Africa.

January, February and March fall into the off-season – during this period lodges offer cheaper rates. Providing an opportunity to save a few pennies!

April – June

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Come April the clouds are, almost, rained out! The country is in bloom, the landscape is a sea (or lake) of green and looking very pretty. There is an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables for sale by the roadside and temperatures are dropping during this time. The average temperature in April is 26°C, 25°C in May and 23°C in June.

As well as being cooler, June is the windy month so it’s a great time to head to the lake for sailing and relaxing at the lakeshore.

The lush landscape and cooling temperatures make May and June an ideal time of year to hike Mount Mulanje. Bear in mind, temperatures can drop below 0 in the highlands so take lots of layers (we will advise you on exactly what to pack if you hike with us).

July – September

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The landscape still retains its beautiful rich colours from the rains and the temperature is cool. During September, the temperature is on the rise – expect temperatures of 27°C in Lilongwe and higher at the lake – so this is ideal for those of you wanting prime sunbathing conditions.

A hugely popular event on the Malawi calendar is Lake of Stars. The festival returns this September after a year hiatus. The festival brings together tourists, locals and volunteers for 3 days of music, arts and culture. This is a magnificent and unique occasion – how often do you get to dance around under the scorching sun on a beach in southern Africa?

October – December

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October and November are the hottest months, expect average temperatures of 30°C and highs of 35°C. October – December (and September) are the best months for diving and snorkelling. The lake is calm and the temperature of the water is ideal.

November and December, typically, mark the beginning of the rains, short in November and long in December.

When is the best time to visit Malawi?

Each period of the year has its appeal. Depending on what you want to see and do and the climate you enjoy will guide you in deciding which is the best time to visit.

Broadly speaking, the best time to visit Malawi runs from mid-May to August, being the coolest period of the dry season. However, if you enjoy the heat in mid-August, September and October may be a better choice.

Whenever you decide to visit us here in the Warm Heart of Africa we guarantee you will have an incredible time and visit again – maybe during the same sizzling month or a different period. The rains are spectacular…!

Want to know more about what to expect and when? Contact our team and they can tell you all about Malawi.

Common questions about visiting Malawi

What are the seasons in Malawi?

Typically Malawi can be divided into the wet season and the dry season. 

Usually, the wet season is from December to April and the dry season is from May to November. Within this  May to August is a cooler time of year with bright sunshine and fresh evenings.

What is the average temperature in Malawi?

Malawi doesn’t experience extreme temperatures however temperatures vary throughout the country where altitude changes.

Throughout the year the minimum average temperature in, the capital, Lilongwe is around 15˚C and the maximum around 25˚C.

Does it rain a lot in Malawi?

The precipitation in Malawi comes mainly in December, January, February and March, though the rains arrive slightly earlier and leave slightly later the further north you are, and Malawi’s higher areas generally receive more rainfalls.

Most of the rain has faded by April and May, leaving a green landscape. Of course, the amount of rain does vary year on year.

How safe is Malawi?

Malawi is a very safe country. It is one of the safest countries in Africa and according to some indexes, safer than the UK and America.

For more information, check out our blog post ‘Is it safe to travel to Malawi?‘.