How to travel Malawi like a local!

This is Lake Malawi in Malawi and that´s how the locals do their laundry in the Lake. Two locals showed me how they do it.

You can only get to know a country, it´s culture and traditions by meeting it´s locals. My 3 weeks Malawi road trip was the most amazing trip I have ever been on. “The Warm Heart of Africa” and it´s people have given me so much. With this post I am speaking out of experience and I want to encourage you to travel Malawi the way I did it.

I am sharing my top 10 list of how to travel Malawi to get as much local experience as possible:

1. Take local busses to get to your destination

2. Try the following street food:

  • fried cassava chips (like fries)
  • fried banana
  • Mandazi (fried balls made from flour and water)
  • Bonya (dried fish)

This is Bonya, which is dried fish and one of the favourite fishes of the Malawians.

  • Mpani (mice on a stick)

3. Eat out in local restaurants and try:

This is Fish Curry and Nsima, which is a traditional Malawian dish.

  • Nsima and Chambo (fish)

This is a traditional dish in Malawi. Chambo is a fish that can be found in Lake Malawi. Nsima is a side made of maize flour.

4. Let a local show you how to play the Malawians favourite game “Bawo”

This is the Malawians favourite game called Bawo.


5. Keep your dirty laundry and wash it in Lake Malawi like the locals do

This is Lake Malawi in Malawi and that´s how the locals do their laundry in the Lake. Two locals showed me how they do it.


6. Chat to as many locals as possible and make friends with them

The Malawians are one of the most heartwarming and hospitable people I have ever met. We made friends with locals everywhere. We got invited for breakfast, lunch and dinner to their houses. We were even spending the night at their homes. Especially in Kande Beach, which is a small village in the north of Malawi, staying with our friends was such an authentic African experience. They still use water pumps, have to carry the water for bathing and cooking to their homes and also cook on fire. The bathroom doesn’t have taps, nor do they have a shower or flushing toilets.

This is in a tiny village in Malawi where we got invited to our friends grandmothers house.

7. Party in a local night club, dance to African house music and taste the local beer “Chipoka” and a “green”

8. Learn to speak a little bit of Chichewa (the most widely known language of Malawi)

Here you can find my post and video about “How to speak Chichewa” with a few words and phrases you might need when traveling Malawi.

[Disclaimer: This blog post contains some affiliate links. These are products I truly recommend. They are designed and handmade in Africa and by purchasing them you support my sisters and brothers in Africa. Purchasing them may earn me a small commission as well at no extra cost to you for the product. This tiny commission will help support my blog hosting and other maintenance costs. All my opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way. Thank you!]

African Craft

9. Take pictures and videos with the local kids

Everywhere we stopped we did that. The kids loved being photographed.

10. Trade one of your items at the locals handcraft shops

I hope you will have the most amazing time in “The Warm Heart of Africa”.

Which country have you traveled like a local. Leave me a comment.

Watch my vlog of “How to travel Malawi like a local”:

Find more posts about Malawi:

Ultimate Guide: Road trip Malawi 1/3

Ultimate Guide: Road trip Malawi 2/3

Ultimate Guide: Road trip Malawi 3/3

How to cook Fish curry and Nsima – a traditional Malawian dish

Meet Samson – story of a local from Malawi

Meet Eminem – story of a local from Malawi

How I survived in Malawi for 2 days with just $1


CATEGORY: Africa, Malawi

Claudia Bartsch

Related items