State Dept Travel Advisory - Level 2

Malawi Travel Advisory Issued by State Department

US travel advisory for the African country of Malawi issued by the US Department of State
malawi african village
Africa (Vax Before Travel)

A Level 2 Travel Advisory was issued for the Republic of Malawi by the US Department of State.

This ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ Travel Advisory for Malawi was issued on August 22, 2019, and is related to reports of civil unrest.

The State Department says 'Scheduled political demonstrations have recently occurred in several cities and towns in Malawi. On occasion, acts of vandalism and looting have accompanied these demonstrations, and police have responded by deploying tear gas.'

Additionally, both the Canadian and United Kingdom governments have issued high-level travel advisories for Malawi during August 2019.

These travel warnings are unfortunate news since Malawi is among the world's least-developed countries, with an economy heavily based in agriculture. Malawi has a population of approximately 17 million residents and is located on the southeastern coast of Africa.

If you decide to visit Malawi, the US Department of State suggests the following preventive actions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and large crowded public venues.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to any ongoing police action.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt, nor display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
  • U.S. citizens needing assistance can contact the U.S. Embassy Lilongwe Area 40, City Center, Lilongwe, Malawi, email: [email protected] 

Regarding health's risks when visiting Malawi, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested on August 2, 2019, that visitors are current with certain vaccines, such as Routine Vaccines and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Malawi is included in the CDC’s Global Measles Outbreak Notice, which was issued on June 10, 2019.

If you traveling from a country with risk of Yellow Fever virus transmission, you may be required to prove recent immunization with the Stamaril vaccine. 

Since the Stamaril and YF-VAX Yellow fever vaccines available in the United States is currently limited, you may need to travel some distance and schedule your appointment well in advance.

Pre-departure vaccination services, related travel medications, and counseling appointments can be scheduled with a local pharmacy by visiting Vax-Before-Travel.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report vaccine side effects to the CDC.


Article by
Dani Reiter