Transport and infrastructure in Malawi

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of Malawi with the average of all countries in Africa. The traffic routes have noticeable defects in many places and are often not in particularly good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Malawi ranks 115th in the world with 0.04 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 767 kilometers long.

Airports in Malawi

Back to overview: Malawi

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 15,452 km. For each of the country's 19.89 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 0.78 meters. This puts Malawi in 215th place in the global ranking. However, the country's size and population density of around 168 inhabitants per km² must also be taken into account. Countries with fewer inhabitants in the same or even larger area naturally achieve quite different values here and have to connect remote areas to the transport network despite a smaller population.

With an average of 5827 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in Malawi is considered very dangerous. This corresponds to 32.6 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

In Malawi, left-hand traffic is the rule on the roads, i.e. you drive in the left lane and overtake on the right. Oncoming traffic comes to meet you on the right side. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways15,500 km776.88 km130.42 m
Railroads800 km38.56 km6.47 m
Waterways700 km35.19 km5.91 m
Commercial harbors00.000.000


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways2,997,800 km2,151.40 km98.86 m
Railroads88,600 km63.57 km2.92 m
Waterways68,400 km49.09 km2.26 m
Commercial harbors7,9055.670.000

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Malawi: AirportsThe 4 airports in MalawiThe 4 biggest airports in Malawi
Malawi: ClimateClimate details in MalawiA climate analysis for Malawi incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing