Plan a Trip

Border Crossing To/From Malawi

Border crossing

To/From South Africa

There are a number of bus companies running services from Lilongwe and Blantyre to Johannesburg. Intercape is the most upmarket service and highly recommended. It operates a service daily at USD60 (as of November 2018) that depart from Lilongwe at 5:20am and offers online booking at a cheaper price.

More information Intercape (099 9403398; www.intercape.co.za)

To/From Tanzania

The only viable road route from Tanzania to Malawi connects Mbeya (in the southern Tanzanian highlands) to Karonga via the Songwe border post. Most people cross in stages. From Mbeya, there are plenty of minibuses through to Kyela, the closest town to the border. Ask to be dropped at the turn-off to the Songwe border, a few kilometres before Kyela. From the turn-off, walk the 6km to the border post, or hire a bicycle-taxi. If you need to overnight here, the only accommodation is on the Tanzanian side. However, plenty of minibuses run from here to Karonga, so unless you arrive ridiculously late in the day, the chance of getting stuck at the border is minimal. You can change money with the bicycle-taxi boys but beware of scams.

It is also possible to travel directly between Lilongwe and Mbeya or Dar es Salaam with the Taqwa or Falcon on Devil Street in Lilongwe (099 9334299) and there are five buses per week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday), leaving Lilongwe at 19:00 and arriving at Dar es Salaam around 11pm the next day.

TAQWA BUS FARES (As of November 2018)

Lilongwe to Kigali MK75,000
Lilongwe to Bujumbula MK75,000
Lilongwe to Nairobi MK55,000
Lilongwe to Dar es Salaam MK30,000
Lilongwe to Morogoro MK28,000
Lilongwe to Iringa MK25,000
Lilongwe to Makambako MK20,000
Lilongwe to Mbeya MK17,000
Lilongwe to Songwe Border MK15,000

To/ From Zambia

The most frequent used border is Mchinji, on the main road between Lusaka and Lilongwe. There are direct buses everyday between them (MK30,000 as of November 2018), departing from Devil St – the journey takes around 14 hours.

You can also do the trip in stages. Regular minibuses run between Lilongwe and Mchinji, (MK2,000 as of October 2018). From here, it’s 12km to the border. Local shared taxis shuttle between Mchinji and the border crossing for around MK800 per person, or MK3,000 for the whole car (Price is as of October 2018). From the Zambian side of the border crossing, shared taxies run to Chipata, which is about 30km west of the border, from where you can reach Lusaka or South Luangwa National Park.

KOB’S BUS FARES (As of November 2018)

Lilongwe to Lusaka MK30,000 ZK390
Lilongwe to Luwangwa MK27,000 ZK320
Lilongwe to Nyimba MK24,000 ZK250
Lilongwe to Minga MK21,000 ZK230
Lilongwe to Petauke MK20,000 ZK220
Lilongwe to Sinda MK19,000 ZK210
Lilongwe to Katete MK18,000 ZK200
Lilongwe to Chipata MK12,000 ZK140
Lilongwe to Zambia Border MK3,000 ZK50

To/From Mozambique

Malawi and Mozambique share a long border. Indeed, the large wedge of Malawi to the south of Lilongwe is surrounded by Mozambique on all sides. There are several border posts between Malawi and Mozambique, but the following three border posts are straightforward for tourists.

Mandimba Border Post

  • Border Opening Times: 06:00-18:00
  • Location: Approximately 55km East of Mangochi in Malawi and approx. 3km from Mandimba in Mozambique
  • GPS Coordinates: -14.371304, 35.615248

Of the various northern road crossings, the Mandimba Border Post between Mangochi and Mandimba is quite straightforward. Regular transport to the border leaves Mangochi from the main bus station, stopping en route at Namwera, a small town with plenty of rest houses. Since there is 7km between the Malawi and Mozambique border posts, it’s recommended to hire a bicycle taxi.

Zobue Border Post

  • Border Opening Times: 06:00-18:00
  • Location: Approximately 95km West of Blantyre in Malawi and approx.118km North East of Tete in Mozambique
  • GPS Coordinates: -15.585946, 34.439093

Coming from southern Mozambique, most people use the Zobue border post between Blantyre and the Tete Corridor (named after the Mozambican town of Tete). Regular buses with Malasha and several other companies run between Harare and Blantyre, stopping at Tete, and minibuses also cover this route, though you’ll need to change vehicles at Mwanza/Zobue, where the respective border posts are just under 6km apart. Driving up to this way from southern Africa, be warned that officials along the Tete Corridor have a reputation for finishing drivers for transgressing a variety of obscure or non-existent road regulations, but the road itself is in excellent condition.

Milange Border Post

  • Border Opening Times: 06:00-18:00
  • Location: South of the Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve in Malawi and approx. 3km from Mlange in Mozambique
  • GPS Coordinates: -16.080508, 35.736936

The Milange border post between Mulanje and Mocuba is worth considering only if you’re determined to visit Quelimane. It’s easy to get a bus from Blantyre or Mulanje to Muloza, where there’s basic accommodation on both sides of the border, bus transport from Milanje on to Mocuba is erratic.

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