Malawi Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving In Malawi
Malawi is generally a safe country to visit but it’s worth checking your Government’s website for up to date info before you travel. In my experience, Malawi is a pretty safe country to drive in, certainly by African standards. Even driving in the centre of Lilongwe or Blantyre is not too stressful – they have the feel of large towns rather than sprawling cities. EU photo licences are acceptable for Malawi for visits up to 90 days. Main roads are usually in good condition but secondary routes will deteriorate in the rainy season between Nov and April and will probably only be driveable with a 4X4 at that time. You should avoid driving at night as there are likely to be various hazards such as wandering animals and unlit vehicles. Police road blocks are common but problems such as bribe extraction are less common than in other African countries and providing you have the correct documents you should be able to pass quickly. Malawi suffers from fuel shortages occasionally and if this happens there will be large queues at petrol stations. The rental company will advise you is this is the case when you visit.  If you’re planning to drive in one of the national parks you’ll need a 4×4 vehicle and should make the rental company aware of where you intend to travel so they can ensure you receive an adequate standard of vehicle.

Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.

Malawi Car Rental –
Sixt and Europcar have branches in Lilongwe. Avis has branches in Lilongwe and Blantyre.

We currently have no local car rental partners in Malawi. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on

Malawi Self Drive Rules  I was unable to find specific details from Avis on whether cars can be driven outside Malawi.

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