The mesmerising country of Malawi is known to many as the “warm heart of Africa”, not so much for the climate but for the kind hearts and smiling faces of the Malawian people. But it’s not just the hospitality and welcomes that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy – the hot weather will too! With high temperatures ranging from 26°C to 30°C+ across the entire year, you’ll be promised a toasty time when you visit. But with a dry season and a wet season to consider plus a number of other factors affecting this beautiful, landlocked nation, it’s important to be prepared. Here are some tips on when best to visit Malawi on safari.
Winter Season (May to October)
The winter season in Malawi is the dry season and runs from the beginning of May to late October. Whilst winter can get chilly up north (near the Nyika Plateau), the shores of Lake Malawi will stay balmy throughout. So if you want great beach weather, winter is the perfect time to travel. Visibility is also at its best during these months plus big game will always gravitate towards watering holes when the weather is dry, so this is the optimum season for game viewing.
* June to August – this is peak season and during these months, days are warm and clear (averaging 26°C / 27°C) but the nights can become a lot cooler so it’s important to wrap up for a night game drive. There are many cloudless days at this time of the year making game viewing spot on.
* September to October – expect temperatures to average at around 30°C or even 32°C. The low lying areas of the lake will especially become hot during the daytime so make sure you pack enough sun protection.
Summer Season (November to April)
The summer season runs from November to April and is also known as the wet season. Temperatures remain high but rainfall will increase dramatically, making it uncomfortably humid and sticky for some travellers. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel within these months as the high rainfall can have its benefits too, such as the lush greenery which can be seen at the end of the season plus birdwatching is at its finest during these months.
* November – this can be a good month to travel as you may still benefit from the warm, clear days of October but you may also experience some of the wet season’s first rainfall. For birdwatchers, this is also the time that many species will start to shed their winter feathers for brighter breeding colours.
* December to March – during these months, rainfall will be at its highest. Temperatures remain in the 30-32°C region so humidity can be an issue and mosquitos could be a concern too. Travellers should be prepared with mosquito repellent, anti-malaria medication and clothing to cover the legs and arms.
* April – by April, much of the rain has stopped and towards the back end of the month, you’ll have the perfect window of opportunity as rainfall is low, temperatures are warm, and the landscapes is looking lush and green.