A practical currency and money guide to travel, living and doing business in Malawi and the Malawian kwacha (MWK).
What's in this Malawi currency guide:
The official currency of Malawi (country code: MW) is the Malawian kwacha, with symbol MK and currency code MWK.
The Malawian kwacha (MWK) is the official currency of Malawi, a country located in southeastern Africa. Here are a few things to know about the Malawian kwacha:
Malawi is aLakeland country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique to the west. Lake Malawi, which is also known as Lake Nyasa, is the third largest lake in Africa and the ninth largest lake in the world. Malawi is a landlocked country with a total area of 118,484 square kilometers (45,747 square miles).
Some of the best things to do and see in Malawi include visiting the Mulanje Massif, exploring Lake Malawi National Park, relaxing on the shores of Lake Malawi, visiting Likoma Island, hiking in Nyika National Park, and visiting the capital city of Lilongwe.
1. Most visitors to Malawi will need a visa. Nationals of certain countries may be eligible for a visa on arrival, so it is always best to check with the Malawian embassy or consulate in your home country before travelling.
2. Malaria is endemic in Malawi, so all visitors should take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers in the evening and sleep under a mosquito net.
3. The best time to visit Malawi is during the dry season, from May to October. This is when the weather is at its best and the country is at its busiest.
4. Malawi is a landlocked country, so the easiest way to get there is by flying into Lilongwe International Airport. There are direct flights from Johannesburg, which is the closest major city.
5. English is the official language in Malawi, so most people will be able to communicate with you. However, the local language, Chichewa, is also widely spoken.
6. Malawi is a relatively safe country to travel to, but it is always advisable to take precautions against crime. Don’t carry valuables with you and be cautious when walking around at night.
7. The currency in Malawi is the Kwacha. There are ATMs in most towns and cities, but it is always best to carry cash with you as well. US dollars are also widely accepted.
8. Malawi is a refreshingly friendly and welcoming country. However, it is always respectful to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.
9. Malawi is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in Africa. Lake Malawi is a particular highlight, with its clear blue waters and sandy beaches.
10. When travelling in Malawi, always be careful of wildlife. There are many dangerous animals, including hippos, lions and elephants.
Malawi is a safe country to visit. The people are friendly and welcoming, and crime levels are low. However, visitors should be aware of the risk of contracting diseases such as malaria and cholera.
Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.
By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in Malawi.
It is difficult to estimate the cost of living in Malawi, as it depends on many factors, including the specific location within the country, the individual's lifestyle, and the availability of goods and services. However, according to Numbeo, the cost of living in Malawi is generally low. For example, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant may cost around $2.50, and a bottle of water may cost $0.26.
The expat life in Malawi is unique in that it is a very small and close-knit community. There are not many foreigners living in Malawi, so those who do are often very involved in the local community. There are many opportunities to get involved in volunteer work, as well as to meet other internationally-minded people. The cost of living is relatively low, and the country is safe and stable.
There are a few things that foreigners should be aware of when travelling to Malawi. Exercise caution when travelling to rural areas as crimes such as robbery and assault are reported. Be cautious when travelling at night as there have been reports of robberies occurring. There is also a risk of contracting malaria in Malawi so it is advisable to take precautions against this.
Doing business in Malawi is generally considered to be fairly easy and straightforward. The World Bank's Doing Business Report 2020 ranks Malawi 155 out of 190 countries in terms of ease of doing business.
The Malawian economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, with about 80% of the population engaged in subsistence farming. The economy has been growing slowly in recent years, with real GDP growth of 3.2% in 2017. The country faces significant challenges, including high levels of poverty, high food prices, and limited access to basic services.
Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Malawi:
Understand Malawian kwacha currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the MWK exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.
Use a local Malawian kwacha bank account: A local MWK bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in Malawi. It may also be more convenient to use a local MWK bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.
Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Malawi. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.
Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Malawi. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.
Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Malawi, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.
The exchange rate of Malawian kwacha (MWK), or the amount of MWK that can be exchanged for a foreign currency, can fluctuate rapidly based on a number of factors, including economic conditions, interest rates, and political events. Below you can check the latest USD/MWK rate plus recent trend, chart, and historic rates.
15 May 2023
|0.1% ▲||2 Week|
28 Feb 2023
|0.1% ▼||3 Month|
29 May 2022
|25.7% ▲||1 Year|
30 May 2018
|42.6% ▲||5 Year|
31 May 2013
|207.8% ▲||10 Year|
03 Jun 2003
|1004.5% ▲||20 Year|
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make an International Money Transfer to Malawi or planning a trip or maybe living there, so will need to exchange and spend Malawian kwacha.
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It is important to note that the exchange rate of the Malawian kwacha can change rapidly and that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance. It is advisable to carefully consider the risks and factors that may affect MWK exchange rates before making any financial decisions.