We entered Malawi from Tanzania and left at Mchinji border to Zambia. We got a 3 week Visa for USD 50,-. At the border with Tanzania there were big signs with “One-stop border”, just that it was not ready yet and we had to stop on both sides.
The border to Zambia was finished and we had one modern building where everything was done quickly with no fixers around.
Tax & Fees:
we had to pay carbon tax, which was 11,500.- Kwacha (10.- Euros) and road tax, which was 68,- USD! One dollar for 10 potholes maybe?
we bought an Insurance for 40,- USD for a month at an Insurance company next to the border post, where we had to climb through the fence to get there – this is Africa 😉 Malawi doesn’t accept a foreign insurance and they check it shortly after the border and send you back, if you don’t have one.
at the border with Tanzania we could change our money at the black market, otherwise we could mostly pay with credit card (they always tried to add some percent for that) and get money at the ATMs without fee.
we had heard stories about diesel shortage in Malawi, but when we were there, diesel was available at most of the filling stations. More often, petrol was scarce, with queues where it was available.
many roads are dotted with deep potholes, others are fine. After a year in Africa we didn’t find the roads that shocking, we had had worse, at least in Zambia.
fees are moderate, but we went to only one, which was Kasungu NP, which felt like empty of animals. We will explore the south of Malawi on our second visit, where we expect more in that department.
we had bought an Airtel Sim Card at Karonga, the first town, as IOverlander had warned us, that they charge much more at the border. The Internet didn’t work very well in many areas.
there are road blocks regularly, but they mostly waved us through or stopped us for a friendly chat, nobody asked for a bribe. Sometimes they checked the insurance.
we found that there are numerous nice campsite in Malawi, especially at the lake or near Mzuzu and Lilongwe.
We will be back later that year and will tell you more then.