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Cape Maclear / Lake Malawi National Park

When to Visit Malawi

Malawi has a tropical climate, so it has two main seasons: summer (warm and dry) and rainy (wet and warm).

Much of the country lies on a plateau, with elevations that could reach up to 1,000 meters above sea level. In these much cooler regions, temperatures can go only as high as 25 °C (77 °F) during the day and drops to 14 °C (57 °F) at night.

The lower coastal areas around Lake Malawi, on the other hand, are generally warmer, with temperatures ranging from 27 to 29 °C (80.6 to 84.2 °F) and high humidity. This characteristically tropical climate extends up to the farthest reaches of the Shire Valley at the southern tip of Malawi.

The country’s dry season is from May to October; the rains begin to come in November.

For trips that are unspoiled by downpours and too much heat, tourists should take advantage of the cooler dry season from June to August. At this time, the landscape is lush with vegetation, and the cooler weather is much suited for hiking.

It is during these months that you can witness Malawi’s Freedom Day (June 14); Republic Day, or Independence Day (July 6); and the Malipenga Dance season (August), where you can witness local performances of this cultural dance.

If you stay a bit after August, you could also attend one of Malawi’s most famous festivals, the Lake of the Stars Festival, which is a yearly gathering of music artists from Africa. It takes place in the country around late September.