UK warns its citizens travelling to Malawi of ‘muggers and bag snatchers’: Visa fees from 1 July

Britain is advising its citizen planning to visit Malawi that despite the country being peaceful they should be cautious about “muggers and bag-snatchers.”visa

In a statement posted on the UK government website, the British citizen are advised that most visits to Malawi are trouble-free, but “you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself from muggers and bag-snatchers.”

The statement said: “Most thefts from visitors take place around the main bus stations in Lilongwe and Blantyre, and at the main ports for the Ilala ferry.”

Britain has also advised its citizens that from 1 July 2015 Malawi will introduce a visa fee of $75 (K33 375) payable on arrival for UK visitors (and nationals of other countries that charge a visa fee for Malawian nationals).

According to a June 17 2015 circular addressed to ‘All Diplomatic Missions and International organisations accredited to the Republic of Malawi’, delivered to all diplomatic missions in the country, the visa payment shall exclude nationals from all Southern African Development Community (Sadc), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), diplomats and government officials.

UK nationals and those from the United States of America (USA) are among those who will be paying the fee.

“The Government of Malawi, through the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, has effective 1st July, 2015, introduced an entry fee of $75 into the Republic of Malawi for nationals whose countries require Malawians to pay visa fees,” reads the second paragraph of the circular.

Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security has said it is not aware of such a circular hich is bearing a stamp of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has a signature at the bottom in blue ink but does also mention Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security as being party to the introduction of the new visa fees.

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70 thoughts on “UK warns its citizens travelling to Malawi of ‘muggers and bag snatchers’: Visa fees from 1 July”

  1. Naphiri140 says:

    There is so many attractions in Malawi. If we can be strict and raise the visa price high our economy will be increased. There is so many British people that visit Malawi Student, tourist, volunteers. We are also a country we deserve respect.

  2. Real Patriot says:

    Mr Ivan you shouldn’t generalise the situation as if all Malawians survives from British tax payers.The Britons too benefits from British projects in Malawi employing their own people,through administrative cost and others.Rich countries need countries like Malawi in another way.Rich countries have exploited poor countries by buying raw materials at a very cheap price and yet after processing them,they have made collosal profits.So don’t lie here as if Britain do not need countries like Malawi.British taxpayers do not pay our bills,pay fees for our kids.

  3. Issa Kabudula says:

    The Visa issue, one day its on the next day is off – I don’t know our law makers mind set, learn from the let Bingu Wa Mutharika – apite means apite full stop. The minister will say one thing, the department is doing the opposite.

    As far as Britain and America are charging Malawi Visa to enter their country, from the poor Malawians – where is the problem there?. Yes out of frustration Britain can warn its Citizens of muggers and bag snatchers – still Malawi is the warm heart of Africa. The problems of bag snatching has been there since the time of white man in Malawi, Kamuzu’s time, Muluzi’s which was extended due to closure of prisons and the time of Bing wamutharika, the time of Joyce band and now still bag snatchers are there.

    In Britain too bag snatchers are there, America, South Africa is worse – therefore we can not say Malawi is bad be warned of akaibani noooooo! please lets pay the visa as part of aiding Malawi to earn foreign exchange currency please Britain.

  4. Britain sinatithandize colony yabwino ndi france ndi portugal this britols r self centred and only used us if it means poor on us let it be coz its the their elders wanted us to be

  5. tamalankhoma says:

    stupid ideas these british people are poor and rude better be a freand of a dog than them.jelousy, hash,rude notorious and bad company.

  6. Mr-Ivan says:

    Some people should check their facts before making accusations. UK is NOT claiming that Malawi is not safe “as a response to visa fees” This is newspaper distortion.
    The advice for Malawi from the FCO hasn’t changed FOR MANY YEARS.
    In fact Malawi has one of the smallest advice posts in the whole of the FCO advice site.
    Certainly there is advice about taking care around the bus stations in Lilongwe and BT. Also a warning about the possibility of house breaking and carjacking. Are you trying to say this doesn’t happen? You only have to look at your own newspapers to get the facts.
    The UK has no interest in “controlling” Malawi, in fact we would be pleased to see you stand on your own feet. The UK has poured hundreds of millions of pounds into the country since independence, with all this money Malawi should be near self supporting by now, so where has all the money gone?, The British public is sick and tired of seeing its hard earned taxpayers money “disappear”.

  7. Wapsa tonola says:

    Visa charge is also new born challenge to tourism industry in malawi

  8. Learn2Fast says:

    Everyone has a right to an opinion. However, the problem with many commentators write without understanding the deeper blow back regarding this visa charge.

    The UK and US do indeed demand a fee for it’s visas. This fee however is taking into consideration the US is in proximity with less developed countries in the south who would overwhelm it’s borders if there were no restrictions and fees. So is the case with the UK, where illegal migrants are flooding in. The US, UK and other developed countries can afford to regulate the amount of people to enter it’s borders without suffering any economic hardship.

    The same can not be said about Malawi, because people are not flooding at our borders to warrant fees and restrictions, and we need more tourists to visit us.

    In this part of Africa, most American and European tourists frequent Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa and even Lesotho because these countries have better infrastructures, tourism industries and attractions that are light years ahead of Malawi.

    For $75, we are Penny wise and Pound foolish.

  9. Otoche says:

    why the debate on the charge? every country has its own policies and programs as a state. why is it proper for uk, and the same not proper for Malawi. Wake up you people, wake up time is gone for licking and worshiping some so called master. we are going global cant you see? if the same is applied somewhere let Malawi also apply. Why are you britons introducing that warning now?

  10. Chief Bag Snatcher says:

    I look at Britain as our parent as our colonial masters. However I do correlate our poverty with their presence in our country as colonial masters. They are jealous people. How can Britain our parent describe us as bag snatchers and muggers on international podium, simply because of the tit for tat over visa.Revenge is always painful. I thought you are the same people who encouraged the government to implement its reforms. Now the government has started reforming with you, and you are complaining. With such approach, that’s why Bingu chased you guys. You have been taking Malawians for granted. Time for such free rides when coming to Malawi is over and over for good to you guys.You have to pay visa. If we pay visa to your country, what special for you not to be charged. I would have appreciated if the government would have charged Britain almost K900 billion for free entry to Malawi since independence.Now Britain is calling us bag snatchers and muggers. Yayayayayayay. Our colonial masters.Thus why Malawi is poor.We inherinted inferior complex from our colonial masters with thangata system. Finally we are not bag snatchers at all. Have you forgotten massive looting in Britain in August 2011 and more rootings that took place in your country thereafter.Britain must aplogize as we are not bag snatchers.If you want try to visit Nigeria, Tunisia, Congo DRC, Libya, Sudan,Eriteria, Somalia to witness bag snatchers. May be you have just picked up the term bag snatchers from the oxford dictionary.

  11. mangochi kabwafu says:

    This is total MADNESS. Thats yet another result of voting brainless into power. Whats there in Malawi to warrant visa fee? Like already mentioned by some wise people on the subject, tourists will simply go elsewhere and Malawi will end up becoming more POORER than currently is. Zopusa basi.

  12. Kaporo says:

    Zikhalani komweko kwazunguko koma dziwani chinthu chimodzi kwanu ndi kwanu basi mthengo mudalaka njoka in Swahili we say dhambi ya ugeni inakutafuna haata ufanye nini, hapo mulipo wewe ni mgeni basi.

  13. Anti Orange says:

    Assuming that the average tourist spends US$ 500 on their holiday here and the Govt takes .5% in VAT, plus tourism levy etc they will get US$ 82.50. By introducing another expense to visitors (most who come here to do charity work) will only discourage them. Would it not have been better to join with SAA who reduced their airfares to get more visitors.

    I will certainly not be bringing my family here for a holiday with such additional costs.

    1. Kaporo says:

      Hey Bhuti, don’t come up with your assumptions, our government is on the right track, if you choose not to visit Malawi you are most welcome but remember the sin of being a foreign wherever you are will always haunt you, home is best baba no one will push us in Africa what to do or not to do we have had enough with the Brits.

  14. gracium sitima says:

    zili bwino koposa anthu amenewa a zipereka visa basi, ka $75 ndi chani kwa iwo.

  15. dr bakha says:

    atleast our country will be getting a small contribution through this introduction of visas.we pay in your countries though you know that we are poor why not you rich people.all of the sudden you are warning about bag snatchers after the introduction of visas fees why?you guys you are taking advantage on us because of iur financial uk you chase refuse us visas even if you have proper documents but here you move freely.that is why you dont want to see africa is fool of your puppets.i salute this guy hate him because he knows the system.

  16. Ka Dziko Ka Bowa says:

    Mmalo mwa $75 ine ndizikalipira, $25. Ku Malawi nkwathu I know how things work. Kungomsiyira $25 wa immigration basi, akudindira chidindo mpassport.

    After all whichever way you choose to pay that money is bound to be abused anyway.

  17. Lutengano says:

    Zisamakomele mbuzi kugunda galu ayi. Kusauka kwathu chisakhale chifukwa asaaaa!

  18. Mr-Ivan says:

    This is what’s known as “shooting ones self in the foot”!
    Zambia tried this “tit for tat” with disastrous results. A massive drop in tourists.
    Those who think that the UK needs visitors like Malawi needs visitors are in dreamland.
    Kenya and Zambia visas are cheaper, and have MUCH greater attraction for tourists.
    Over the last 25 years I have spent thousands of pounds in Malawi, one attraction was the zero visa fee.
    If Malawi wants to make use of all the fantastic tourist opportunities, then they need to ATTRACT visitors, not find ways to discourage! Currently Malawi is “the poor relation” when it comes to attractions, and is often a bit “tacked on” to Zambia safaris, make it expensive, and the visitors wont come!
    I love Malawi and its wonderful people, but I despair with the security problem and now just another ill thought out move.

  19. Lutengano says:

    It’s standard for every nation to charge foreign visitors a visa anyway. Enafe timayenda mayiko ambiri akunja especially amene asali mudela lathu ndipo timalipira ndalama za visa zankhaninkhani mosatimvela chisoni. Zikakhala nkhani zoti mwina ndalamazo zizidzayenda munjila yolakwika nde chisakhale chifukwa because everything has it’s own challenges anyway. If we pay to enter their countries they pay too simple as that.

  20. Good idea says:

    For the past ten years Malawians have been ordered to have k120000 ( r3000) to get into South Africa which is in sadc region. Why does Malawi escarete sadc counter not to pay for visa? Think about poor people where do they get such a fortune money to show at the border post? Let everyone else who’s entering the country has to pay for a Visa

  21. Sungi says:

    Its all great jumping onto the bandwagon of charging for the visa…but have we examined this properly?
    Malawi is not the most sort after destination in Southern Africa. The small amount of tourist that we attract might not be the richest. They mostly also come for charity. Any costs over above what they’d spend elsewhere for the same experience, will turn them away and we will lose out…simple

    If I was comparing Kenya against Malawi, for example,and It came down to one seemingly small last thing to consider, this would definitely put me off.

    So…we need to seriously think about this decision

  22. Malipeya says:


  23. bob says:

    This visa fee has come in very late. It should have started from Independence and you can imagine how much the country would have made. However it might also have meant more money and more cash gate What a pity for poor Malawi

  24. my turn says:

    A warning to malawians travelling to Britain.

    Britain is a declining western country where living standards have detereorated to pre victorian levels. Education standards are now ranked amongst the worst in the so called G7 countries. The Countries roads are full of potholes Public services are in decline. Incidents of racial discrimination and hatred of anything foreign are on the increase. People that are deemed poor especially those from third world countries are no longer welcome and the poor locals are under attack from their own government. Walk down the street and one is likely to spot a heavily tatooed lay about in the street blaming all the countries problems on foreigners and gloating about the past imperial achievements. Drunkedness is the norm of the day as people drown their sorrows and weep from the sad state of affairs. Obesity is a major problem from gauging on the fat processed cheap food that sustain the masses. Everything is old and dated and past it. Let the truth be known

    However there are still a few nice people left but i dont encourage anyone to visit. Holiday in our beautiful natural attractions in malawi. Let the money stay there and develop.

    You know the welcome that awaits you the moment you land in uk when you encounter a vicious immigration official who thinks wealthy chinese and russians are the only people worth being nice to.

  25. UK Citizen says:

    Why not just privatise the whole thing. The govt has alot on its plate. No hassle as long as the private co reaches the target. These are some of the things our govt shud be considering. Thegovt can not handle everything. That’s where things go wrong.

  26. UK Citizen says:

    That’s a very good idea of generating revenues. But did the govt put in place measures to minimIse corruption. If this Idea was carefully planned and implemented. The revenues can help alot . But I smell a rat. Now that the donors are tight with their money the easiest way is creating money making ideas without proper plans for more cashgate not development.
    If indeed these pple are serious about corruption, they will lead from the west how they handle govt finances. Almost everything is electronic. Money goes straight into the acc no need for pple to be handling money. These leaders know if those measures are implemented their selfish, inhumane egos will not be satisfied.

  27. Pulizi says:

    Bola makobidiwo asathele cashgate. Adye bwino anyamata ndi atsikana pa airport.

  28. Bonafide malawian says:

    Azilipira pali vuto?As longer as those funds are used wisely.Nakonso kwa azungu kulibe chaulere.They have abused Africa for so long.They also need to pay for visas like the way Malawian nationals pay when they go to their countries.Ngati pali munthu wokonda ndalama pa dziko lapansi ndiye mzungu.Asatipusisepo apa.Nawonso amapezako za phindu.Palibe munthu analemera mpaka kufika size yosafuna mzake.They also benefit something from these poor countries.Their countries were built with resources from Africa and they still want to continue abusing Africa.

  29. Kaporo says:

    It’s a good thing for the country but as one writer already stated ndalama zavisa kumalipira polowa NDE chiani, zimenezo ndizongodyedwa ndimabwana kumagula magalimoto anyatwa ndimabanja awo. Taganizaponi bwino zamalipiridwe. Azungu azilipira basi zaulele zinatha ndi Kamuzu pamene wakuti kuli chiani Ku Malawi sakuyidziwa Malawi ameneyo.

  30. john telford says:

    when I pay my visa fee at Lilongwe airport can any Malawian seriously tell me the $75 will not be shared out by all the crooks in uniform?. I would not trust those scum bags with One dollar let alone 75 . Stuff your horrible stinking Aids ridden country up your arse.

  31. opportunist says:

    Is this true .Maybe am leaving in country

  32. zimkambani says:

    The whole idea of visa is great. Put in mechanism of checking terrorists and not only to look at it as fund raising for the zero deficit budget. One wuestion,is it multi entry or single entry? Please make it very clear to avoid people getting stranded in the process

  33. Tikumasule Namz says:

    Namz kaporo wa azungu don’t think that we are all dying of going to the mzunguland whether we are poor or not.We live our lives,pay our own bills,pay fees for our kids.So if u are used in picking the queen’s crumb in uk or wherever don’t generalise the situation.The west always reports negatively about Africa as if everybody waits for their alms.Their donations get squandered by politicians not ordinary Malawians.They are supposed to pay visa fee when coming here as the way the struggling malawians folks from their pockets.Why are they looking for free things when they claim to be very rich?

  34. Mirella K says:

    aMalawi ndife anthu omvetsa chisoni kwambiri…you mean monse muja azungu amabwera mziko muno ulere? aaaaaah zandikwiitsa!!!

  35. namz says:

    A Malawi learn to accept the truth. When was the last time you walked ku market freely without clutching your bag? We are forced to drive in the hot sun without putting windows down chifukwa cha akuba. There is a big security problem kwathu and what’s worse is the inefficiency of the police. As for the visas, it’s a good move. Koma let it be done electronically so that it goes to the department and utilised the right way. Otherwise zizingolowa mmanja mwa anthu izi. Those of you who are saying tit for tat,what does malawi offer in comparison to the UK that would make people flock to it? Get real,the UK have every right to charge for those ridiculous prices because there’s a lot that people want there. What does malawi have? Our own piece of gold(the lake) we’re failing to make use of it. Let the Tanzanians take it muzaone mmene izasinthile lake ija. Mumadana ndi chilungamo a malawi. Eish shame!

  36. good movie, mmmmmmmm but tit for tat

  37. Mfumu Magombe says:

    I entirely support the idea of introducing visa fees on a reciprocal basis for those countries which charge visa fees for Malawian nationals. Malawi has been losing lots of forex in this way. It is now payback time. AS for bag snatchers and muggers, I also had the misfortune of being robbed of a laptop bag right inside a departmental store. And I have evidence that the perpetrators were workers in that shop. So, the British should not pretend as if they are saints.

  38. Maggie Lucious says:

    These whites give us hell to go to their country yet we allow them to come here, marry, work and stay for free only because we are poor? Good move Malawi akagwere uko

  39. Chief justice says:

    Let them pay.What is so special with them?For how lon’ will Africans bow to the Caucasian?Why do they want to ‘et anythin’ for free?Let them pay like the way we pay when we travel to their countries.

  40. Traveller says:

    What the issue if US and UK pays the visa fee?I thot Malawians too pays visa fee to their countries.Why should poor people pay visa fee when they visit their countries.Snatchers are all over the world.Even in Britain they will lie that they are Romanians from eastern Europe.Ku US ndiye kosayamba mwina UK can be decent.

  41. commenter says:

    This is a good development, we pay huge sums of money just to get to their country like UK and USA. It is not that expensive and very fair!! Ngati sakufuna they should go VISIT Iraq where they will not be charged their fee. SIMPLE!!!

  42. Bornface c Mwale says:

    Umphawi Ku Malawi wafika poipa mpaka bag snatchers is this worm heart of Africa?

  43. VIYAZI TEMBO says:


  44. Hendrina Maseko says:

    Tit for tat. Good move

  45. joshua says:

    Good news, they makes us pay much to enter UK fair enough, but still they pay less increase it so it will be equal.

  46. Totolitotoli says:

    That is a good development,how come when we go to their countries they charge us visa fees yet when the British enter Malawi they pay nothing.

  47. Kassim mabvuto says:

    Life is cheap these days

  48. Funzo says:

    Nothing new in the first part about muggings. Sceptical about the visa fee memo widley distributed!

  49. Marley says:

    Good move. Let’s hope the revenue will be used appropriately…

  50. MARTIN MUBISA says:


  51. ujeni says:

    DPP a party of thugs, now can the clown Nankhumwa come out and clarify or refute this at international level. Who issued the directive and signed the document is it Ben Phiri? confused lot this DPP..

  52. wagule says:

    boma lachita bwino pa mavisapog.titolere ma dollarswo basi

  53. koma says:

    Why is our visa fee that cheap when we pay alot to go to them?

  54. Daud Sabulani says:


  55. make chikomukomu says:

    thats agood step forMalawigovernment …osamaphweketsa we have got beautiful scenes of which these Britons Americanos enjoy and benefits

  56. peter muthanyula says:

    Put your house in order guys. We have seasoned career civil servants who know how the process of Visa introduction works. Ma short cut bwanji. Government is an art guys, be serious.

  57. namacherenga says:

    Yes, it’s high time these Europeans paid visa fees. We pay lots to enter their countries. In fact competitively, the charge we pay is much higher. We give too much respect to these people. This is our country. $100 would be better.

  58. How I wish it was true

  59. Kenkkk says:

    The ministry of home affairs doesn’t know about visa fees but the minister of foreign affairs does know about the visa fees, what also about the tourism ministry or dept? What is going on? No consultation and coordination between the two or three ministries on this important visa issue?

    Please tell us the real position now, are we charging visas for foreign nationals or tourists wanting to visit malawi from July next month?
    Chaponda and atupele, sort this mess out please. Do you talk to each other you guys or still jostling for positions?

  60. Masoambeta says:

    Malawi has become ungovernable. Lawlessness is commonplace.

  61. muthu muoneke says:

    Mozambiccque also should be on the list

  62. tumbuka of nyika says:

    Do not reverse this idiots. If they are charging us for visas we should also charge them period! Now they are killing black people in churches, why should we treat them with kid gloves.

  63. Charter says:

    Yachepa imeneyo! We pay much more to visit western nations.

  64. ahoy says:

    We returning the favor. They charge us y not us

  65. The Binoculars says:

    Ati “Muggers and Bag snatchers”that’s scarring indeed.So Malawians have now waken up from the slumber kaah!They have started stealing big now!

  66. captain says:

    Britain is not democratic here u can keep ur pple by discouraging them but u need to know that we are bn victimized to visit ur country by too much restrictions hence u need visa free to us .no if u charge visa we charge the same if u don’t charge we don’t do the same after all ur tourists are backpackers they don’t bring real money. Azungu ake ambili amabwela kuno amayenda wapansi aja? Nanga tourist amapezeka Ku Depot ya minibus ndiye chani chimenecho mesa real tourists must hv a car hire here to make us earn more

  67. Concerned says:

    So is there a fee or not. As always playing hide and seek.

  68. Christian life says:

    It’s long overdue, please go ahead. I have visited Malawi myself but the situation is far reaching. Men and women go for free services. Unfortunately no resource. We could assist our fellows anyway but our government is equally stingy when it comes to issues of poverty alleviation. Security lapse goes in same way as poverty. who is to blame?

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