Cost of living and prices in Malawi, prices of food, rent, shopping, etc 🇲🇼 Updated Jul 2023

Welcome to Malawi, a beautiful country located in Eastern Africa. With its stunning landscapes and warm people, Malawi is a great place to visit or live. Bordered by Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia, Malawi covers an area of 118,480 square kilometers. In Malawi, you'll find a population of 15,447,500 people, with a population density of 130.38 people per square kilometer. The official languages of Malawi are English and Chichewa, making communication easy for visitors. The country's GDP is $3,683,000,000, with a GDP per capita of $238. The Malawian kwacha is the currency used in the country, with top-level domains in Malawi being .mw. When it comes to the cost of living in Malawi, the prices are quite affordable. Housing, transportation, and food are relatively cheap, making it a great destination for budget travelers. However, the country is still quite poor, with many people living in poverty. Despite the challenges, Malawians are known for their resilience, optimism, and friendliness. If you're looking for a beautiful and budget-friendly destination in Africa, Malawi should be on your list. From its stunning lakes and mountains to its vibrant culture and friendly people, Malawi is a country that will capture your heart and soul.

Cost of Living Estimate in Malawi

Total cost of living in Malawi for two person with average consumption for one month will be 649.91 USD, no rent price included. Click here to calculate cost-of-living estimate in Malawi

You can calculate cost of living in Malawi by changing quantity using input near each good or service. Resulting total will appear in a floating box in the bottom of your screen.

Restaurants prices

If you're traveling to Malawi, you won't be disappointed with the variety of dining options available. Malawi has a rich culinary heritage, and there are plenty of local restaurants where you can try authentic Malawian cuisine. These restaurants use a variety of ingredients that are specific to the area, including fish, beans, and grains. The food is often spicy but bursting with flavor. If you're looking for something less adventurous, there are also international restaurants serving everything from pizza to sushi. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available at some restaurants, making it easy to find something suitable for every taste and dietary requirement.

For travelers who prefer to eat on the go, there are a number of street food vendors in Malawi who sell a variety of snacks and meals. From skewered meats to samosas and savory pancakes, these vendors offer a taste of local cuisine at an affordable price. However, it's worth noting that the hygiene standards of street food vendors can vary, so it's always best to choose a vendor who is busy and has a good reputation. Alternatively, supermarkets and convenience stores throughout Malawi carry a wide range of snacks and packaged foods, perfect for travelers who want to grab a quick bite on the go.

Meal in Inexpensive Restaurant
3.57 $
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course
27.96 $
McMeal at McDonalds or Alternative Combo Meal
4.15 $
Domestic Beer, 0.5 liter Draught
0.93 $
1.93 $
Coca-Cola, 0.33 liter Bottle
0.50 $
Imported Beer, 0.33 liter Bottle
3.11 $

Markets prices

In Malawi, market prices can fluctuate depending on several factors such as seasonality, availability of goods, and transport costs. For instance, during the harvest season, prices of fresh produce such as maize and vegetables tend to be lower due to high supply. On the other hand, during the off-season, when supply is limited, the prices tend to increase due to high demand. Additionally, transportation costs also play a critical role in determining market prices, especially for goods that need to be transported long distances.

Another factor that affects market prices in Malawi is market competition. Areas with more traders selling similar products tend to have slightly lower prices compared to areas with a limited number of traders. In such areas, traders might take advantage of the limited competition and set higher prices for their goods. It's also worth noting that the prices of goods sold in formal markets tend to be slightly higher than those sold in informal markets. This is primarily due to factors such as rent and taxes incurred by traders operating in formal markets.

Imported Beer, 0.33 liter Bottle
1.49 $
Water, 0.33 liter Bottle
0.29 $
Milk, Regular,1 liter
1.01 $
Loaf of Fresh White Bread, 0.5 kg
0.37 $
White Rice, 1 kg
1.25 $
Eggs, 12 pack
1.31 $
Local Cheese, 1 kg
10.00 $
Chicken Breasts, Boneless and Skinless, 1 kg
2.08 $
Beef Round or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat, 1 kg
3.48 $
Apples, 1 kg
2.33 $
Banana, 1 kg
0.87 $
Oranges, 1 kg
2.17 $
Tomato, 1 kg
0.61 $
Potato, 1 kg
1.21 $
Onion, 1 kg
0.97 $
Lettuce, 1 head
0.25 $
Water, 1.5 liter Bottle
1.00 $
Bottle of Wine, Mid-Range Price
7.54 $
Domestic Beer, 0.5 liter Bottle
0.63 $

Transportation prices

Malawi is a country that offers numerous transportation options for travelers visiting this vibrant African nation. One of the most popular means of transportation in Malawi is the mini-bus, which is often used for both short and long-distance travel. These buses are typically packed to capacity and can be a fun and authentic way to experience local culture. However, it's worth noting that the ride can be bumpy and uncomfortable, especially for long journeys. For those who prefer a more comfortable ride, taxis and private cars are also readily available, although they may be more expensive than the mini-buses.

If you're looking for a unique journey, consider traveling by boat on Lake Malawi, which runs along the length of the country. This is an unforgettable experience that allows you to take in the stunning views of the lake and the surrounding landscape. Boats are available for both short trips and longer explorations, allowing you to visit remote villages and beautiful beaches around the lake. For those who prefer a quicker mode of transportation, domestic flights are also available within Malawi. These flights are a great option for travelers who want to maximize their time and explore multiple destinations in one trip.

One-way Ticket, Local Transport
0.25 $
Taxi Start, Normal Tariff
2.42 $
Taxi, price for 1 km, Normal Tariff
2.46 $
Taxi, price for 1 hour Waiting, Normal Tariff
1.78 $
Gasoline, 1 liter
0.92 $
Honda Civic 1.6 Or Alternative New Car
23,379.43 $

Utilities Per Month prices

When traveling to Malawi, it is important to be aware of the utilities cost. The cost of utilities such as electricity, water, and gas can vary depending on the location and season. In some areas, access to these utilities may be limited or intermittent, making it important to plan accordingly. Keep in mind that conservation is key when it comes to utilities in Malawi, as resources can be limited.

It is also worth noting that the cost of utilities in Malawi may be relatively higher compared to other countries in the region due to infrastructure limitations and reliance on imports. This can be especially true for accommodations and businesses that cater to tourists. However, this does not mean that travelers should avoid Malawi altogether. Instead, they should be mindful of their water and energy usage and consider staying at eco-friendly establishments that prioritize sustainability.

Basic utilities for 85m2 Apartment including Electricity, Heating or Cooling, Water and Garbage
22.27 $
Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local, price per 1 min, No Discounts or Plans
0.20 $
Internet, 60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL
52.33 $

Sports And Leisure prices

Sports and leisure activities in Malawi offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in a unique blend of adventure and relaxation. The country boasts a diverse range of activities, from hiking and birdwatching in the mountains to kayaking and snorkeling in the clear waters of Lake Malawi. For those who prefer a more tranquil experience, there are secluded beaches and forest reserves that offer a retreat into nature. Malawi's national parks and game reserves also offer an unforgettable safari experience, with opportunities to catch a glimpse of wildlife such as elephants, lions, and leopards in their natural habitats.

Beyond nature-inspired activities, Malawi has a rich sports culture that visitors can experience firsthand. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in the country, and there are plenty of opportunities to watch local teams play. Visitors can also participate in other sports such as basketball, volleyball, and rugby, or even try their hand at traditional Malawi games such as bawo and chisolo. Additionally, many of the lodges and resorts throughout the country offer facilities for sports such as golf and tennis. With so many options, Malawi truly has something for everyone when it comes to sports and leisure activities.

Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult
49.65 $
Tennis Court Rent, 1 Hour on Weekend
2.47 $

Salaries And Financing prices

Salaries and financing in Malawi may differ greatly from what travelers are used to in their home countries. The average salary in Malawi is relatively low and may be a shock to many visitors. However, this low cost of living can make traveling in Malawi more affordable than other destinations. It's essential to keep in mind the exchange rate when exchanging money to ensure that you are getting a fair deal.

It's always recommended to have cash on hand when traveling around Malawi, as it may be difficult to find ATMs or banks outside of the major cities. Credit card usage is limited, and many establishments do not accept them. Additionally, it's important to note that tipping in Malawi is not customary, so it's not necessary to factor it into your budget. With careful budgeting and proper planning, travelers can enjoy the beauty of Malawi without breaking the bank.

Cinema ticket, 1 Seat
4.35 $
Average Monthly Net Salary, After Tax
815.06 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages for 20 Years Fixed-Rate, Yearly, Fixed-Rate
0.04 %

Childcare prices

Childcare prices in Malawi can vary greatly depending on the location and the quality of care offered. In urban areas such as Lilongwe and Blantyre, there are many private schools and kindergartens that offer high-quality care and education for children. These facilities often have modern facilities and experienced teachers, which can make them more expensive than other options.

However, in rural areas of Malawi, childcare options may be more limited and less expensive. Many families in these areas rely on informal caregivers, such as grandparents or other family members, to watch their children. While this option may be more affordable, it may also lack the structure and educational opportunities that formal childcare facilities can provide.

Private Preschool or Kindergarten, Monthly for 1 Child
272.59 $
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child
8,037.08 $

Clothing And Shoes prices

Malawi is a country where clothing and shoes are relatively affordable compared to other countries. There are a variety of places to buy clothing and shoes, from markets to shopping malls. The markets offer a wide selection of secondhand clothing and shoes at a lower price point, while the shopping malls provide options for new and branded items. People can find clothing and shoes for all ages and sizes, including traditional Malawian clothing. Whether you are on a budget or looking for high-end brands, Malawi offers options for all.

In Malawi, the dress code is generally conservative, with long dresses, skirts, and pants being the norm. However, people also express their fashion sense through vibrant and colorful patterns. The footwear varies from traditional sandals and flip-flops to sneakers and formal shoes. The climate in Malawi is warm and humid, so light and breathable clothing and shoes are highly recommended. While the options for shopping might not be as vast as other countries, people in Malawi have access to clothing and shoes that are both practical and stylish.

Pair of Jeans in a Chain Store Like George, H&M, Zara, etc.
39.89 $
Summer Dress in a Chain Store Like George, H&M, Zara, etc.
12.68 $
Pair of Running Shoes, Mid-Range Price
49.13 $
Pair of Leather Business Shoes
77.48 $

Rent Per Month prices

Malawi offers a variety of short-term stay and rental options to its visitors. From cozy homestays to luxurious apartments, there is something for everyone's preferences, needs, and budget. The majority of renting options include amenities like Wi-Fi, utilities, and home essentials to ensure the guest's comfort and convenience. Meanwhile, those preferring short-term stays can choose from a range of hotels, hostels, and lodges scattered throughout the country. The accommodation types vary in pricing, with budget-friendly options for backpackers and affordable apartment rentals for families, while luxury lodges cater to those looking for a more upscale experience.

For visitors who wish to explore the local culture and experience life in Malawi intimately, homestays are an excellent option. These homes offer an authentic experience of Malawian culture, including meals prepared by the host family, opportunities to participate in local activities, and cultural ceremonies. This option appeals to budget-conscious travelers seeking to reduce their expenses while immersing more deeply in the country's culture. Similarly, backpackers and adventure travelers can opt for guest houses and hostels, which offer a more laid-back ambiance and social atmosphere. Regardless of the chosen accommodation option, Malawi provides affordable, clean, and comfortable spaces for every traveler's taste and budget.

One bedroom apartment in city centre
233.85 $
One bedroom apartment outside of city centre
96.72 $
Three bedroom apartment in city centre
897.71 $
Three bedroom apartment outside of city centre
188.11 $

Buy Apartment prices

Malawi offers a variety of real estate buying options for both domestic and international buyers. From apartments to standalone homes, there are properties available for every budget and preference. Properties located in popular areas such as Blantyre and Lilongwe tend to be pricier than those in more rural areas.

Additionally, prices can vary depending on the condition and age of the property, with newer constructions generally coming with a higher price tag. While the overall real estate market in Malawi is not as active compared to other countries, there are still excellent opportunities for buyers looking to invest in the growing economy and beautiful landscape of Malawi.

Price per m2 to Buy Apartment in City Center
4,634.06 $