Malawi has removed visa restrictions for travellers from 79 countries in an effort to boost tourism and trade in the country.

The Homeland Security Minister, Ken Zikhałe, in a gazette notice on Wednesday, amended the immigration regulations, effectively lifting visa barriers for citizens from the UK, China, Russia, Germany, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, France and others.

Nationals from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) are also exempt from visa requirements.

This excludes countries that impose visa requirements on Malawian citizens.

The changes also include exemptions for certain groups such as diplomats and government officials, and countries that have mutual exchange agreements for multiple entry visas with Malawi.

The validity of multiple entry visas in Malawi is now up to 12 months, according to the new visa regulations.

“This monumental decision isn’t just about visas; it’s about unleashing the untapped potential of our beloved Malawi and inviting the world to experience its wonders first-hand,” Tourism Minister Vera Kamtukule told local media.

The British embassy in Malawi urged its nationals to take advantage of the relaxed visa restrictions to visit a range of popular tourist attractions in the southern African country.

Malawi joins Kenya and Rwanda in opening up their countries for African travellers without visa restrictions. The two East African countries have announced visa-free entry for African visitors.

Source: BBC