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Moving to Lilongwe ?

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Brian Norris

Living in Malawi, from the UK

"Expat life in Malawi took some time to get used to, but on Internations I've found a group of other internationals to meet up with."

Stefania Spiazzi

Living in Malawi, from Italy

"I didn't like social networks, but the "invitation-only" approach from InterNations method convinced me to join the expat community in Malawi."

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Lilongwe at a Glance

Moving to Lilongwe

Lilongwe is a district in the central region of Malawi. If you plan on moving to Lilongwe, a valid passport and correct documentation are required to obtain your visa. To find out what else is important prior to your move, have a look at our Expat Guide.

About the City

For years, Lilongwe was just a small fishing village on the banks of the River Lilongwe. Lilongwe was a planned capital, and yet it has a population that is smaller than that of Blantyre, one of its neighboring cities.

There is a noticeable division between the Old and New Town of Lilongwe: the Old Town has a more traditional feel to it and is where vibrant markets and stalls can be found, whereas the new town is made up of new buildings, such as offices and modern residential areas.

Lilongwe is a district in the central region of Malawi, covering an area of 6,159 square kilometers and encompassing a population of almost 1.1 million inhabitants. The city was declared the capital city on 1 January 1975. Lilongwe is located 1,050 meters above sea level and has a temperature range between 18–24°C.

Finding Accommodation

There are a number of methods that are recommended to find accommodation in Lilongwe, including going out and looking for houses that are available to rent or buy. Sometimes there are complications with house listings, which can cause a delay (or failure) in the property being noticed by potential tenants and buyers. 

Look out for billboards advertising properties or promoting agencies that could potentially have a suitable property to meet your needs. A website that is becoming increasingly popular when it comes to finding accommodation in Lilongwe is Nyumba24.

There is a wide range of properties available in Lilongwe; this creates flexibility and makes it easier to find a suitable place to live, regardless of advertising issues. These properties cover all budgets, and it is possible to rent a hotel room from as little as 12 USD a night, or to buy a house for as much as 250,000 USD. 

Visas for Malawi

When moving to any country, it is important to make sure all correct documentation that is required has been secured and validated. To enter Malawi, a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of intended departure is required if you are from Australia, Canada, the USA or an EU/EEA country. When making an initial trip to Malawi, all nationalities must be in possession of a valid return ticket, although there may be some circumstances in which an exception is made — this could be for educational or working requirements.

The following nationalities require a visa to enter Malawi for any period of time: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Australians, Canadians, Americans and citizens from any EU/EEA country not mentioned above do not need a visa for tourists visits (for stays no longer than 30 days). After this period, visas can be extended. For particular requirements and more information, it is advised that you contact your nearest embassy or the Department of Immigration.

InterNations Expat Magazine