Cost of living in Malawi

Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, offers several advantages for those looking to experience life in this unique African destination.

Firstly, Malawi is renowned for its warm and welcoming culture. The locals, known as Malawians, are known for their friendliness and hospitality towards visitors. This makes it easy for foreigners to settle in and feel at home in this beautiful country.

Moreover, Malawi is home to stunning natural landscapes, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. The country boasts magnificent national parks, such as Liwonde National Park and Nyika National Park, where visitors can spot a wide array of wildlife, including elephants, lions, and antelopes. The shimmering waters of Lake Malawi, the country’s largest lake, offer opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and water sports.

Additionally, Malawi is a budget-friendly destination. The cost of living is relatively low, making it an affordable place to live for expatriates or retirees looking to make the most out of their savings. Accommodation, food, and transportation expenses are generally reasonable, allowing residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.

Furthermore, the climate in Malawi is generally warm and pleasant throughout the year. With mild winters and hot summers, residents can enjoy outdoor activities and take advantage of the country’s natural beauty. This climate also contributes to the agricultural potential of Malawi, as it supports the growth of crops and sustains a thriving agricultural sector.

In conclusion, life in Malawi offers numerous advantages, including a welcoming culture, stunning natural landscapes, affordable living costs, and a favorable climate. Whether it’s exploring national parks, engaging with the local community, or enjoying the beauty of Lake Malawi, this country provides an enriching and fulfilling experience for those who choose to call it home.

Average salaries in Malawi

Here are some examples of average monthly earnings for popular positions in Malawi:

1. Teacher: The average monthly salary for a teacher in Malawi is around 150,000 Malawian Kwacha (approximately 170 euros or 200 US dollars).

2. Salesperson: A salesperson in Malawi can earn an average monthly salary of about 100,000 Malawian Kwacha (approximately 110 euros or 130 US dollars).

3. Driver: The average monthly earnings for a driver in Malawi is around 120,000 Malawian Kwacha (approximately 135 euros or 160 US dollars).

Please note that these figures are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as experience, qualifications, and location within Malawi. It’s also important to consider that the cost of living in Malawi is relatively low compared to European or American standards.

Food prices in Malawi

Meals in restaurants

Here is an example of meal prices in restaurants in Malawi:

1. Traditional Malawian dish (nsima with fish or meat): 2,000 MWK (2.20 EUR / 2.50 USD)

2. Chicken curry with rice: 3,500 MWK (3.85 EUR / 4.40 USD)

3. Beef stew with vegetables and rice: 4,000 MWK (4.40 EUR / 5.00 USD)

4. Grilled fish with chips: 3,500 MWK (3.85 EUR / 4.40 USD)

5. Vegetarian pasta: 2,500 MWK (2.75 EUR / 3.15 USD)

6. Pizza (margherita): 4,000 MWK (4.40 EUR / 5.00 USD)

7. Beef burger with fries: 3,500 MWK (3.85 EUR / 4.40 USD)

8. Chicken wrap with salad: 2,500 MWK (2.75 EUR / 3.15 USD)

9. Fried rice with vegetables and chicken: 3,000 MWK (3.30 EUR / 3.75 USD)

10. Fresh fruit salad: 1,500 MWK (1.65 EUR / 1.90 USD)

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the location and type of restaurant. It’s always a good idea to check the menu or ask the staff for the current prices.

Grocery shopping

Here is a list of basic food items and their approximate prices in Malawi, using the local currency (Malawian Kwacha – MWK) along with the approximate values in euros (EUR) and US dollars (USD):

1. Rice (1kg) – MWK 1,500 (EUR 1.50, USD 1.80)

2. Maize flour (1kg) – MWK 800 (EUR 0.80, USD 0.95)

3. Bread (loaf) – MWK 600 (EUR 0.60, USD 0.70)

4. Eggs (dozen) – MWK 1,500 (EUR 1.50, USD 1.80)

5. Milk (1 liter) – MWK 800 (EUR 0.80, USD 0.95)

6. Sugar (1kg) – MWK 1,200 (EUR 1.20, USD 1.45)

7. Cooking oil (1 liter) – MWK 2,000 (EUR 2.00, USD 2.40)

8. Chicken (1kg) – MWK 3,500 (EUR 3.50, USD 4.20)

9. Beef (1kg) – MWK 4,500 (EUR 4.50, USD 5.40)

10. Fish (1kg) – MWK 2,500 (EUR 2.50, USD 3.00)

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the location and the specific store. It’s also important to consider that the cost of living in Malawi is relatively low compared to European or American standards.

Cafes and bars

The average prices of beverages served in bars and cafes in Malawi are as follows:

1. Bottled water: MWK 500-1000 (€0.50-€1 / $0.60-$1.20)

2. Soft drinks (Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta): MWK 1000-1500 (€1-€1.50 / $1.20-$1.80)

3. Fruit juices (orange, pineapple, mango): MWK 1500-2000 (€1.50-€2 / $1.80-$2.40)

4. Tea: MWK 1000-1500 (€1-€1.50 / $1.20-$1.80)

5. Coffee: MWK 1500-2000 (€1.50-€2 / $1.80-$2.40)

6. Milkshakes: MWK 2000-2500 (€2-€2.50 / $2.40-$3)

7. Local beers (Carlsberg, Castle, Chibuku Shake Shake): MWK 1000-1500 (€1-€1.50 / $1.20-$1.80)

8. Imported beers: MWK 1500-2500 (€1.50-€2.50 / $1.80-$3)

9. Spirits (rum, vodka, gin): MWK 2000-3000 (€2-€3 / $2.40-$3.60)

10. Cocktails: MWK 3000-5000 (€3-€5 / $3.60-$6)

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the location and establishment. It is always advisable to check the menu or ask the staff for the current prices.

Accomodation

Flat rental in Malawi

The approximate rental costs in Malawi are as follows:

1. One-bedroom apartment in the city center: MWK 250,000-400,000 per month (€250-400 / $280-450)

2. One-bedroom apartment outside the city center: MWK 150,000-250,000 per month (€150-250 / $170-280)

3. Three-bedroom apartment in the city center: MWK 500,000-800,000 per month (€500-800 / $560-900)

4. Three-bedroom apartment outside the city center: MWK 300,000-500,000 per month (€300-500 / $340-560)

5. Studio apartment in the city center: MWK 200,000-350,000 per month (€200-350 / $230-390)

6. Studio apartment outside the city center: MWK 100,000-200,000 per month (€100-200 / $110-230)

Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the location, size, and condition of the apartment. Additionally, rental costs may be higher in popular areas or during peak seasons. It is advisable to research and compare prices before making a decision.

Buy a house or apartament in Malawi

The approximate costs of purchasing houses and apartments in Malawi are as follows:

1. Low-cost houses: These are basic houses with minimal amenities and are usually located in rural areas. The cost of purchasing a low-cost house in Malawi ranges from MWK 5,000,000 to MWK 10,000,000 (approximately €5,000 to €10,000 or $6,000 to $12,000).

2. Mid-range houses: These houses are of better quality and offer more amenities such as electricity, running water, and better infrastructure. The cost of purchasing a mid-range house in Malawi ranges from MWK 15,000,000 to MWK 30,000,000 (approximately €15,000 to €30,000 or $18,000 to $36,000).

3. High-end houses: These houses are luxurious and offer top-notch amenities such as swimming pools, gardens, and high-quality finishes. The cost of purchasing a high-end house in Malawi starts from MWK 40,000,000 and can go up to MWK 100,000,000 or more (approximately €40,000 to €100,000 or $48,000 to $120,000).

4. Apartments: The cost of purchasing apartments in Malawi varies depending on the location, size, and amenities offered. On average, a two-bedroom apartment in a decent neighborhood can cost around MWK 20,000,000 to MWK 40,000,000 (approximately €20,000 to €40,000 or $24,000 to $48,000).

It is important to note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on various factors such as location, size, condition, and demand. Additionally, it is advisable to consult with local real estate agents or property websites for the most up-to-date and accurate information on property prices in Malawi.

Transport in Malawi

Public transport

Here is a list of different forms of public transportation in Malawi along with their approximate prices in the local currency (Malawian Kwacha), euros, and US dollars:

1. Minibus (known as matola or dala-dala):

– Short distance within a city: 200-500 MWK (0.20-0.50 EUR / 0.25-0.60 USD)

– Inter-city travel: 1,000-2,000 MWK (1-2 EUR / 1.20-2.40 USD)

2. Bicycle taxi (known as kabaza):

– Short distance within a city: 200-500 MWK (0.20-0.50 EUR / 0.25-0.60 USD)

– Longer distance within a city: 500-1,000 MWK (0.50-1 EUR / 0.60-1.20 USD)

3. Motorcycle taxi (known as kabaza or boda-boda):

– Short distance within a city: 500-1,000 MWK (0.50-1 EUR / 0.60-1.20 USD)

– Longer distance within a city: 1,000-2,000 MWK (1-2 EUR / 1.20-2.40 USD)

4. Taxi:

– Short distance within a city: 1,000-2,000 MWK (1-2 EUR / 1.20-2.40 USD)

– Longer distance within a city: 2,000-5,000 MWK (2-5 EUR / 2.40-6 USD)

5. Train:

– Short distance within a city: 500-1,000 MWK (0.50-1 EUR / 0.60-1.20 USD)

– Inter-city travel: 2,000-5,000 MWK (2-5 EUR / 2.40-6 USD)

6. Ferry:

– Short distance within a city: 500-1,000 MWK (0.50-1 EUR / 0.60-1.20 USD)

– Inter-city travel: 2,000-5,000 MWK (2-5 EUR / 2.40-6 USD)

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the distance, location, and negotiation skills. It is always advisable to confirm the fare with the driver or conductor before boarding any form of public transportation in Malawi.

Fuel prices

Here are some examples of fuel prices in Malawi:

1. Petrol (unleaded): 1,000 Malawian Kwacha per liter (approximately 1.10 euros or 1.30 US dollars)

2. Diesel: 900 Malawian Kwacha per liter (approximately 1 euro or 1.20 US dollars)

3. Kerosene: 700 Malawian Kwacha per liter (approximately 0.77 euros or 0.92 US dollars)

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the location and current market conditions. It’s always a good idea to check with local petrol stations for the most up-to-date prices.

Fuel prices in Malawi are generally lower compared to many other countries, but they can still have a significant impact on the cost of living for the local population. The government of Malawi heavily subsidizes fuel prices to keep them affordable for the citizens.

The prices mentioned above are just for reference and may change over time due to fluctuations in global oil prices and local economic factors. It’s important to consider these factors when budgeting for fuel expenses in Malawi.

Vehicles rental

Here are some examples of rental prices for vehicles in Malawi:

1. Car rental:

– Economy car: MWK 30,000 per day (approx. €30 / $35)

– Mid-size car: MWK 40,000 per day (approx. €40 / $47)

– SUV: MWK 60,000 per day (approx. €60 / $70)

2. Scooter rental:

– 125cc scooter: MWK 10,000 per day (approx. €10 / $12)

– 250cc scooter: MWK 15,000 per day (approx. €15 / $18)

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the rental company, location, and duration of the rental. It’s always recommended to check with local rental agencies for the most accurate and up-to-date prices.

Malawi uses the Malawian kwacha (MWK) as its local currency. The euro (€) and the US dollar ($) are provided for reference purposes only.

Entertainment prices in Malawi

Here is a list of different forms of entertainment in Malawi, along with their approximate prices in the local currency (Malawian Kwacha), euros, and US dollars:

1. Movie ticket: 1,500 MWK ($2) – 2,000 MWK ($2.70) [10-15 euros]

2. Concert ticket: 5,000 MWK ($6.70) – 10,000 MWK ($13.40) [30-60 euros]

3. Theatre performance ticket: 3,000 MWK ($4) – 5,000 MWK ($6.70) [20-30 euros]

4. Music festival ticket: 10,000 MWK ($13.40) – 20,000 MWK ($26.80) [60-120 euros]

5. Sports event ticket: 2,000 MWK ($2.70) – 5,000 MWK ($6.70) [15-30 euros]

6. Nightclub entry fee: 1,000 MWK ($1.30) – 3,000 MWK ($4) [10-20 euros]

7. Bowling alley per game: 1,500 MWK ($2) – 2,500 MWK ($3.30) [10-15 euros]

8. Mini-golf per round: 2,000 MWK ($2.70) – 3,000 MWK ($4) [15-20 euros]

9. Amusement park entry fee: 2,000 MWK ($2.70) – 5,000 MWK ($6.70) [15-30 euros]

10. Art exhibition entry fee: 1,000 MWK ($1.30) – 2,000 MWK ($2.70) [10-15 euros]

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the specific venue, event, or location within Malawi. It is always recommended to check the latest prices and availability before planning any entertainment activities.

Basic services in Malawi

Here is a list of basic services in Malawi along with their approximate prices in the local currency, Malawian Kwacha (MWK), as well as in Euros (EUR) and US Dollars (USD):

1. Cinema ticket: MWK 1,500-2,500 (EUR 1.50-2.50, USD 1.70-2.80)

2. Haircut (men): MWK 1,000-2,000 (EUR 1-2, USD 1.10-2.20)

3. Haircut (women): MWK 2,000-5,000 (EUR 2-5, USD 2.20-5.50)

4. Beauty salon (manicure/pedicure): MWK 5,000-10,000 (EUR 5-10, USD 5.50-11)

5. Massage (1 hour): MWK 10,000-20,000 (EUR 10-20, USD 11-22)

6. Car mechanic (basic service): MWK 5,000-10,000 (EUR 5-10, USD 5.50-11)

Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the location, quality of service, and other factors. It’s always a good idea to check with specific service providers for the most accurate and up-to-date prices.

Malawi is a country in southeastern Africa known for its beautiful landscapes, wildlife, and warm hospitality. The cost of living in Malawi is relatively low compared to many other countries, which is reflected in the prices of basic services. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the average income in Malawi is also lower, so these prices may still be considered expensive for some locals.

Overall, Malawi offers affordable options for cinema, haircuts, beauty treatments, massages, and car repairs. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, you can enjoy these services without breaking the bank.

Healthcare

Here is a list of prices for private healthcare services in Malawi:

1. Visit to a specialist doctor: The cost of a consultation with a specialist doctor in Malawi can range from MWK 10,000 to MWK 30,000 (approximately €10 to €30 or $12 to $35).

2. Visit to a dentist: The cost of a dental check-up in Malawi can range from MWK 5,000 to MWK 20,000 (approximately €5 to €20 or $6 to $23). The price may vary depending on the specific dental procedure required.

3. Eye examination by an ophthalmologist: The cost of an eye examination by an ophthalmologist in Malawi can range from MWK 10,000 to MWK 30,000 (approximately €10 to €30 or $12 to $35). This may include tests for vision acuity, eye pressure, and other eye-related conditions.

It is important to note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the location and reputation of the healthcare provider. Additionally, the cost of any additional tests, medications, or treatments will be separate and may incur additional charges.

Private healthcare in Malawi is generally more expensive than public healthcare, making it less accessible to the majority of the population. The majority of Malawians rely on public healthcare facilities, which are often understaffed and under-resourced. The government is working towards improving the accessibility and affordability of healthcare services in the country, but there is still a long way to go.

Vacations and trips

Here is a list of prices related to vacations and trips in Malawi:

1. Accommodation:

– Budget guesthouses: from 10,000 MWK per night (11 EUR, 13 USD)

– Mid-range hotels: from 30,000 MWK per night (33 EUR, 39 USD)

– Luxury lodges: from 100,000 MWK per night (110 EUR, 130 USD)

2. Transportation:

– Local buses: around 1,000 MWK per trip (1 EUR, 1.20 USD)

– Taxis: starting from 2,000 MWK for short distances (2 EUR, 2.40 USD)

– Car rental: from 30,000 MWK per day (33 EUR, 39 USD)

3. Food and drinks:

– Local street food: around 1,000 MWK per meal (1 EUR, 1.20 USD)

– Restaurants: from 5,000 MWK for a basic meal (5.50 EUR, 6.50 USD)

– Bottled water: around 500 MWK per liter (0.55 EUR, 0.65 USD)

4. Activities and attractions:

– National park entrance fees: from 2,000 MWK per person (2 EUR, 2.40 USD)

– Boat trips on Lake Malawi: from 10,000 MWK per person (11 EUR, 13 USD)

– Safari tours: from 50,000 MWK per person (55 EUR, 65 USD)

5. Miscellaneous expenses:

– SIM card with data: around 2,000 MWK (2 EUR, 2.40 USD)

– Souvenirs and crafts: prices vary, but bargaining is common

Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the location, season, and individual preferences. It’s always a good idea to check current exchange rates and prices before planning your trip to Malawi.

Clothes and accessories

The average prices of clothing and accessories in Malawi are as follows:

1. T-shirts: MWK 3,000-5,000 (€3-€5 / $3-$6)

2. Shirts: MWK 5,000-10,000 (€5-€10 / $6-$12)

3. Jeans: MWK 10,000-15,000 (€10-€15 / $12-$18)

4. Dresses: MWK 10,000-20,000 (€10-€20 / $12-$24)

5. Skirts: MWK 5,000-15,000 (€5-€15 / $6-$18)

6. Shorts: MWK 5,000-10,000 (€5-€10 / $6-$12)

7. Shoes: MWK 10,000-30,000 (€10-€30 / $12-$36)

8. Sandals: MWK 5,000-15,000 (€5-€15 / $6-$18)

9. Bags: MWK 5,000-20,000 (€5-€20 / $6-$24)

10. Hats: MWK 2,000-5,000 (€2-€5 / $3-$6)

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the brand, quality, and location of the store. It is always a good idea to compare prices and negotiate if possible. Additionally, prices may be higher in tourist areas compared to local markets.