Cost of Living in Malawi, Africa

Cost of Living in Malawi, Africa

How much does living in Malawi cost on the average? From eating-out to utilities, let’s take a look and see, how far you can stretch that budget?

 

 

 

Living in Malawi is not as cheap as before, locals say. The strength of Malawi Kwacha (MK) is currently unstable. Fuel rising cost and prices on most products has increased the past months.

 

 

Dining-out Price range (MK) US $ Conversion
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 800.00 – 1,000.00 2.26 – 2.82
Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant 3,000.00  – 4,000.00 8.47 – 11.29

 

Compared to the Philippines where I come from, the cost of luxury items and services as dining-out is fairly the same. Clothes and electronic items cost a little higher in Malawi. Most items are basically same price as in the Philippines. The culprit lies on the wages of most people, its way below minimum standards compared back home.

 

Most areas of Malawi remain very underdeveloped, major cities popular areas have caused property rentals in suburbs like Lilongwe and Blantyre to increase in the past years. Both the domestic and the increasing expats markets have contributed to the demand driven price increases which will likely continue in the future.

 

 A four-room accommodation in Salima

 

 

Rental categories Monthly rental price range (MK) US $ Conversion
Apartment (1 bedroom) city centre  3,000  –  6,000.00 8.47 – 16.94
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside city  2,500  –  4,500.00 7.06 – 12.70
Apartment (3 bedrooms) city centre 50,000 – 100,000 141.16 – 282.32
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside city  35,000 –  50,000 98.81 – 141.16
Utilities
Electricity, Water   (4 bedroom house Salima)  2,500.00 – 3,500.00 7.06 – 9.88
Minimum Prepaid Mobile Card 100 – 1,000.00 0.28 – 2.82
Internet (280MB-4GB) 30days 1,000 – 10,000.00 2.82 – 28.23

Most food items in Malawi found on grocery stores come from South Africa and Zambia. Food prices become expensive due to transport cost. Compared to Europe, with locally produced fruits, vegetables and meat from South Africa give someone great savings. Imported potato and specialty items are costly considering Malawi and South Africa’s distance from the world’s major producing nations.

 

 

Grocery items Price (MK) US $ Conversion
Fresh Milk(250 ml)(500 ml) 90.00180.00 0.250.51
Loaf Bread(500g) 230.00 0.65
Rice (1kg) 500.00 – 550.00 1.41 – 1.55
Eggs(1dozen/uncooked)(1 piece/cooked) 720.00 –  800.0060.00 –    70.00 2.03 – 2.260.17 – 0.20
Imported Cheese 1,500.00 –   3,500.00 4.23 – 9.88
Chicken (boneless/skinless)(500mg) 700.00  –  900.00 1.98 – 2.54
Apples (piece) 150.00  –  200.00 0.42 – 0.56
Oranges local (piece)   10.00  –   50.00 0.03 – 0.14
Tomato  (kilo)   700.00  –  800.00 1.98 – 2.26
Potato (2-3kg container) 800.00  – 1,200.00 2.26 – 3.39
Water (500 ml) 100.00 –     150.00 0.28 – 0.42
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 3,500.00 –  5,000 9.88 – 14.12
Domestic Beer (Kuchekuche)   250.00 – 300.00 0.71 – 0.85
Imported Beer (Carlsberg)   300.00 – 400.00 0.85 – 1.13
Transport
One-way fare Suburb 50.00  –  70.00 0.14 -0.20
City center/downtown area) 100.00  – 150.00 0.28 – 0.42
Taxi (Normal Tariff)(price depend on driver negotiation) 1,000.00 – 6,000.00 2.82 – 16.94
Petrol/Gasoline (1 liter) 750.00 2.12

 

Essential costs can be reduced by your choice of area, managing your expectations and budget carefully. Transport is important factor for someone owning and maintaining a car is expensive but often a necessity when living in less populated areas with no public transport links.

The above tables outline nationwide average prices of products including rent and groceries. They should only be taken as a guide as they are subject to changes due to world markets and the MK stability.

 

Brenda K. Diares is a VSO Volunteer currently posted in Salima, Malawi as District Climate Change Advisor/Coordinator.

 

One thought on “Cost of Living in Malawi, Africa

  1. Hiya..
    I thought I would just write a brief comment about this article..
    as I did find it very interesting indeed.
    thank you
    Chris and Annette Hadley.

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