How to get to Mbeya from Malawi
Get from Mbeya to Malawi Border:
The first thing you must do to get from Mbeya to Malawi by bus is to reach the Malawian border. This is easy enough, but there are so many scams at the main bus station in Mbeya that claim to have a direct bus to different cities in Malawi.
Don’t go to the main bus station in Mbeya, there are no buses going to Malawi here! It’s a well-known scam in Mbeya, and they’ll go as far as actually making signs to confuse travelers and get them to pay for a fake bus ticket.
Get to Nane Nane station instead, This is where the real buses to the border of Malawi are found. It’s located about 10 kilometers outside of Mbeya, over the main highway (A104). You can take a dala dala to Nane Nane station anywhere if you stand on the highway.
Once at Nane Nane, take a bus that goes to Kyela (cost: 5000 TZS). Get off a bit early in Ipinda (the junction, see map below). Just tell the driver you are going to Ipinda or say “Malawi” and he will get it.
Once at Ipinda station, you can either walk one kilometer or take a moto taxi to the border.
Cross the Tanzania-Malawi Border by foot:
Get stamped out of Tanzania and walk over the bridge to the Malawian side. The bridge is filled with cargo trucks and money-exchanging touts.
When you have officially stepped into Malawian soil, you will have to follow the regular procedure to get a visa on arrival: fill in an entry form, a visa application, and pay the visa fee. The whole out-of-Tanzania-into-Malawi process took me less than twenty minutes. They were very friendly at the border.
***Malawi has a different time zone than Tanzania, so adjust your watch accordingly – the upside of this is that you just saved a one hour journey from Tanzania, the downside is that it gets dark earlier (6 pm or so).***
***If you want to buy a Malawian sim card, you can do so at the bridge or right before the border.***
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