Dates in country: 8th January 2009 - 25th March 2010
Currency: Malawi Kwacha (200 - 250MK to £1)
Distance travelled: Too many kilometres to count!
Fuel used: Too much to count!
Cost of fuel: 199 - 234MK per litre
Visa/entry permit: 30 day visitor permit is free. NB Ask for the full 30 days - immigration official will invariably ask how long you plan to say and if you say 2 weeks will give you 2 weeks. After the 30 days visas can be extended for 2 further periods of 30 days at a cost of 5,000 MK per extension. Afetr 90 days you must leave the country. Extensions are available in immigration offices in bigger towns and also at the bigger ports where the ferry MV Ilala docks eg Monkey Bay.
Carnet/Temporary import permit: Border officials seem to know what to do with a carnet. Otherwise get a TIP for 30 days (cost c. 1,200 MK). These can be renewed for a maximum of 4 further periods of 30 days at MRA offices (Malawi Revenue Authority) in bigger towns.
Third party insurance: Required. Cost depends on vehicle specifications but should be c 2,000 MK for 30 days. NB At the border we were charged 5,000 MK - but this may be your only option. Providers include Prime Insurance, Citizen Insurance, Nico Insurance.
Additional requirements: None.
Customs: No problems encountered at either land borders or airports.
Roads: Generally good tar but rougher roads can be expected en route to and within National Parks. Road to Cape Maclear also quite rough.
Police blocks: Regularly encountered and occasional attempts to elicit "gifts" or payments. You will be fined for not displaying your insurance disc on the window. Otherwise they usually want to see your driving licence and sometimes carnet/tip - keep these to hand.