What’s the Real Cost of Living in Lilongwe, Malawi?

When you think of living in Africa, what comes to mind? For many, it’s the bustling cities of Johannesburg or Cape Town, or perhaps the picturesque landscapes of Kenya. But have you ever considered Lilongwe, Malawi? 🤔

Understanding Lilongwe, Malawi

What's the Real Cost of Living in Lilongwe, Malawi?

As the capital city of Malawi, Lilongwe is a vibrant and bustling city that’s full of life. It’s a place where tradition meets modernity, where the hustle and bustle of city life is balanced by the tranquility of nature. But what’s the real cost of living in Lilongwe, Malawi? Let’s dive in and find out. 🏊‍♂️

Housing Costs in Lilongwe

First things first, let’s talk about housing. As with any city, the cost of housing in Lilongwe can vary greatly depending on the location and type of property. For instance, a modern, three-bedroom house in a prime location can cost around $1,000 per month to rent. However, if you’re willing to live a bit further out, you can find similar properties for around $500 per month. 🏡

Food and Groceries

Next up is food. The cost of groceries in Lilongwe is relatively low compared to many Western countries. For example, a loaf of bread costs around $1, a dozen eggs around $2, and a liter of milk around $1.50. Eating out is also quite affordable, with a meal at a mid-range restaurant costing around $10 per person. 🍽️

Transportation Costs

When it comes to getting around, public transportation is the most affordable option. A one-way ticket on local transport costs around $0.30, while a monthly pass is around $15. If you prefer to drive, petrol costs around $1.10 per liter. 🚗

Healthcare and Education

Healthcare in Lilongwe is relatively affordable, with a visit to a private doctor costing around $30. Education costs can vary greatly depending on the type of school. International schools can be quite expensive, with annual fees ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. However, local schools are much more affordable. 🏥🎓

Leisure and Entertainment

Finally, let’s talk about leisure and entertainment. A cinema ticket in Lilongwe costs around $5, while a gym membership is around $30 per month. If you enjoy the outdoors, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy, such as hiking, bird watching, and visiting local markets. 🎥🏋️‍♀️


Is Lilongwe a safe city to live in?

Yes, Lilongwe is generally considered safe for both locals and expats. However, like any city, it’s important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

What is the average salary in Lilongwe?

The average salary in Lilongwe is around $300 per month. However, this can vary greatly depending on the industry and level of experience.

What is the cost of living index in Lilongwe?

The cost of living index in Lilongwe is 35. This means that it is 65% cheaper to live in Lilongwe than in New York City.


In conclusion, the cost of living in Lilongwe, Malawi is quite affordable compared to many Western countries. While housing can be a bit pricey, especially in prime locations, other costs such as food, transportation, and healthcare are relatively low. Plus, with its vibrant culture and beautiful natural surroundings, Lilongwe offers a unique and enriching living experience that’s hard to beat. 🌍

So, if you’re considering a move to Africa, why not give Lilongwe a second look? You might just find that it’s the perfect place for you. 😊

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.