Malawi Shopping and Districts

(Malawi, MW, South-East Africa)

Chitimba market imageShopping in Malawi can range from a trip to a supermarket in Lilongwe, to a quick visit to a small town local store, or even a stop-off of at a roadside stall in the middle of nowhere.

Handcrafted souvenirs are a popular choice for most visitors. Visiting a market or small village offers a great opportunity to barter, as well as soak up the traditional African atmosphere.

Roadside market photographShops in Malawi open relatively early. They also tend to close earlier than perhaps we are used to in Europe and North America, so it is advisable not to leave your shopping to the last minute.

Where to Shop

Malawi boasts several of its own supermarket chains, including PTC, Kandod and ShopRite. In the more cosmopolitan cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre, it is possible to find a few European-style shops as well.

Further view of roadside marketLilongwe's Old Town Mall, located close to the Nico Centre, caters perfectly for visitors looking for something special to take home. The Mall's shops offer everything from craft items and gifts to upmarket clothing and fast food. The newer Crossroads Shopping Centre, located on Lilongwe's Mchinji Roundabout, is also a popular place to shop.

Visitors can't fail to miss Lilongwe's Shoprite store, located right in the city centre. It's a good place to stock up on provisions before heading further afield. For a more local experience, groceries can also be bought at the likes of the more modestly-sized Food Worth or 7-Eleven store.

Picture of local market at LilongweMore adventurous visitors might like to venture into Malawi's many craft markets to buy interesting examples of local craftwork. In particular, look out for woodcarvings and woven straw items. In Lilongwe, a craft market is regularly held by the city's post office.

Visitors travelling around Malawi are often tempted by local markets and roadside sellers plying their trade of traditional craftwork and local art. Whilst the finished quality of the products they sell can vary quite widely, bartering for something that takes your eye is all part of the Malawian experience.