Malawi’s international airport is in Lilongwe. You can connect via Johannesburg in South Africa or Nairobi in Kenya.
The 120 kilometre stretch of road between Mchinji on the Zambian border and Lilongwe is not bad.
Direct buses run from Lusaka in Zambia to Lilongwe, but it’s a long trip taking up to and over 20 hours.
To get into Malawi from Mozambique, take the bus from Tete in the northwest of Mozambique to Zobwe on the Malawian border. From there take the connecting bus to Blantyre.
Internal air connections can be made from Lilongwe to
Blantyre, Koronga, Mzuzu and Club Makokola on the southern Lakeshore,
but it can be pricy as Air Malawi has a monopoly on the domestic business.
Roads in Malawi are fairly well maintained with little traffic, which makes self-driving a good option. But avoid driving at night because road markings are poor and there are many stray animals on the road.
With Lake Malawi running along most of the country’s eastern border, travelling by boat is easy and enjoyable if you are not too luxury conscious. The Ilala and Mtendere ferries run from Monkey Bay in the south via the Likoma Island north to Chilumba and back once a week.
Buses of all shapes and sizes service the entire country. Although travelling by bus is the most inexpensive and reliable way to get around, the prefix “luxury” can seldom be added to the service. The Shire Bus Lines is a private company that operates most buses. Their Coachline is a daily “fast” service between Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu.
Alternative buses are the Express, Speedlink, Inter City, Yanu Yanu and Nyike Express. They have more stops.
The service is slow, often overcrowded and not too frequent.
If you do hitch, expect to be asked to pay for you ride. Look out for the roadworthiness of the vehicles. Accidents do happen rather frequently.