Malawi Museums and Art Galleries

(Malawi, MW, South-East Africa)

Photo showing the Sunbird Ku Chawe Inn on the Zomba PlateauMalawi's museums and galleries are generally quite modest in terms of size and facilities. However, paying a visit to a regional museum, such as the Lake Malawi Museum, or a national heritage centre such as the Museum of Malawi, is a great way of getting to know more about where you are staying and the people that live there.

Many of the collections on display are often fairly eclectic, including everything from fossils to steam engines.

Museum of Malawi

Address: Chichiri, Blantyre, Malawi, MW, Africa
Tel: +265 01 889 6213
Also known as the Chichiri Museum, this is a museum of culture, natural history and ethnology. The attraction comprises a main exhibition hall, in which visitors can browse display cases of natural history and geological specimens. An outside display of Malawian transport, including a locomotive engine, is a welcome diversion for younger family members. Guided tours are available, as well as occasional traditional dance and music performances.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

Lake Malawi Museum

Address: Mangochi, Malawi, MW, Africa
Situated in the town of Mangochi, the Lake Malawi Museum helps visitors to gain a better understanding of the life, history and environment of the people who live on the shores of this simply enormous lake. Nearby is the cannon from HMS Gwendolen, which was fired during a First World War naval battle on the lake and is therefore of great historical significance.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

Mandela House / Mandala House

Address: Blantyre, Malawi, MW, Africa
One of Blantyre's oldest houses, the Mandela House (also often spelt Mandala) is now home to an art gallery, museum and cafe. The gallery in particular is worth a visit if you are interested in locally produced African carvings and paintings, with a good choice of souvenirs being available to purchase.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 16:15; Saturday - 08:30 to 12:00
Admission: charge

Mtengatenga Museum

Address: Namaka, Malawi, MW, Africa
Midway between Blantyre and Zomba is an old roadside postal rest hut. Dating back to a time when all Malawi's postal services were carried out on foot, this once served as a place for mail to be exchanged. Today, the rest hut has found a new lease of life as a museum dedicated to the history of postal and communication services in the country.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

Chamare Museum and Research Centre

Address: Mtakataka, Malawi, MW, Africa
Tel: +265 01 262 706
Established by a Canadian missionary back in the 1970s, the Chamara Museum is set within the grounds of the Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art. A visit to the attraction's three rooms is a great way to find out more about the fascinating Chewa, Ngoni and Yao ethnic groups of Central Malawi. Photos, displays and artefacts are exhibited to illustrate traditional rituals and beliefs, and in particular the influences of Islam and Christianity in the region. Perhaps most striking of all is the vast collection of Gule Wamkulu, or 'great dance' masks on display. Look out for the murals that feature on the exterior walls of the museum - they tell the story of the country's history in pictures.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 07:30 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge

Mzuzu Regional Museum

Address: Mzuzu City, Malawi, MW, Africa
Situated in the northern part of Malawi, Mzuzu's small museum is worth a brief visit if you have time to linger in the area. The exhibits tell the story of the local northern people and the land in which they live and work. As well as a range of traditional tools on show, you will also find frequent events, such as well-attended performances of music and dance.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

Cultural and Museum Centre Karonga (CMCK)

Address: Karonga, Malawi, MW, Africa
Tel: +265 01 362 574
The Karongi district is an archaeologist's dream. Constructed as recently as 2004, the Cultural and Museum Centre Karonga is home to some very impressive recent fossil discoveries, including those of the plant-eating dinosaur know as the Malawisaur. When alive, this huge creature weighed in at over ten tons. Other specimens on display include early humans and prehistoric specimens.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge