Malawi

Last updated: 4/19/2017

Malawi is among the world's least developed countries in Africa. The country is also nicknamed "The Warm Heart of Africa". The economy is heavily based in agriculture, with a largely rural population. Apart from the legendary Malawian friendliness, what captures you first about this vivid country is its geographical diversity. Thank you for considering and being a part of Bible translation with the MAST process.

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MAST

Visa:

  • We recommend that you use Travel Docs Travel Docs Visa information to obtain your visa.
  • It is easier to obtain a short term business visa than a tourist one. There are not as many documents required.
  • Passport with at least 6 months remaining before expiration.
  • Proof of departure, a letter of confirmation from your travel agent. The embassy does not recommend purchasing your ticket prior to Visa being issued.
  • Attach 2 passport photos. If you plan an extended stay you may need more.
  • A letter of invitation(on company letterhead) addressed to the Embassy of Malawi, Visa Section, Washington, DC. with addresses to be visited.
  • Right now you can get Tourist Visa on Arrival at the airport for $75 USD (suggested you have exact change).
  • U.S. citizens entering Malawi with tourist visas or visitor’s permits have been arrested, fined, and deported if found engaging in activities inconsistent with their tourist status, e.g., business or volunteer services.
  • Some airlines have required travelers to have Malawian visas before boarding connecting flights in European or other African airports.
  • Travel with at least two 2x2 passport photos.


Local Contact:

  • Your Wycliffe Associates Recruiter or Team Lead for MAST.


Medical:

  • You are encouraged to visit CDC Information for Malawi for the most up to date travel info.
  • Anti-malaria medication is also strongly recommended.
  • Contact your health provider for other recommended vaccinations.
  • Recommend that you carry medication for traveler's diarrhea and some electrolyte powder to avoid dehydration.
  • If you have a weak stomach, it is good to bring Pepto Bismol tablets and take one before each meal.
  • The government of Malawi requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are passing through yellow fever belt area before entering Malawi.

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Clothes:

  • For Men:
    • Casual western shirts and slacks. Shorts and tank tops not recommended. Whites not recommended due to dusty dry season. Good walking shoes and sun hat. You will see some people dressed in shorts, etc. in capitol but we do not recommend this since we must be examples.
  • For Women:
    • National women in the capitol are becoming more western in dress but this is not considered a good idea in the communities we encounter. Women should wear modest dresses/skirts and blouses. There are wonderful fabrics available for sale and a national outfit can be custom made quickly. Most women wear head coverings to church (head wraps, hats, or scarves).
  • Socially acceptable or expected footwear:
    • Nice shoes for church. Sandals or flats, or walking shoes. Please keep your shoes clean. Africans wash their shoes and are often shocked at the condition of many Expat's shoes. There is a proverb, "as you dress so shall you be perceived."
  • Make sure to check the local weather before you travel! Anywhere in the world can be chilly! A light sweater will suffice and an umbrella for rainy season.

     


Things to bring:

  • Bottled water is readily available and most apartments/guest houses where you will be staying will have filtered water available.
  • Bug Spray or wipes preferably with a high concentration of Deet
  • Sunscreen, small battery operated fan, flashlight, and umbrella.
  • A small power strip (250v) is handy and electrical adapter is required.
  • Any over-the-counter remedies, your toiletries. Toothpaste, shampoo, etc. are readily available but expensive.
  • Snacks (protein bars, trail mix, candy bars, etc.) if you wish but cookies, chocolate, some chips, and especially peanuts are readily available.
  • Have a copy of your itinerary of your return flight (with your name on it) and a copy of your travel insurance paperwork easily accessible (especially when traveling). It is always good to have a copy of your passport.

 

Things to Know:

  • Be prepared to do without water, electricity or internet on occasion.
  • There are few public restrooms so be prepared with tissues in your pocket.
  • The people are very warm and friendly.
  • We do not recommend sending mail to the US from there as the post office sells addresses and you will get letters asking for money.
  • Notify your bank that you will be in Malawi so that they won't block your card. Be very careful to cover your pin number when getting money.
  • There is a strong sense of expats not abandoning the projects that they start,  so it is important that we make sure that they are aware that we are making disciples to replace our presence there.