FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Frequently Asked Questions

What airport can I fly into?

Kamuzu International Airport in the capital city Lilongwe is the closest airport. It’s approximately a four-five hour drive from the festival site. Leave plenty of time to travel safely and obey the laws of the road.  

What is the best way to get to the festival?

We recommend hiring a car, booking a reputable private taxi transfer or booking a space on a shuttle bus service.  

Malawi on the Map are running a service between Lilongwe and the site. For more information contact: malawionthemapmw@gmail.com / +265 (0) 994 287 338.

Anna’s Car have a variety of vehicles to hire, for more information : reservations@annascarrentals.com / + 265 (0) 999 268 571.

We strongly advise travelling during the daytime hours where possible, leave plenty of time to get there.

When should I arrive?

The festival opens at 2pm on Friday afternoon with no access to the site available until then. Live music will start at 5pm. There are other lodges along the norther lake-shore so you could consider travelling to the area beforehand and then transferring to the festival on the Friday

When does the festival end?

The festival programming will finish early hours of Monday morning. Guests will be able to camp at Kachere Kastle beyond Monday but will need to organise and pay the lodge separately for this

How big will the festival be?

The capacity is limited at 1000 so don’t wait too long with purchasing your ticket

Can I buy an access-only ticket without camping?

No, all tickets come with camping on site. In order to experience the full Lake of Stars Discovery atmosphere we encourage everybody to stay on site for the 3 days of the festival. However if you choose to organise accommodation off site you will still need to purchase a full price ticket.

Are tents and camping equipment provided in the cost of a standard ticket?

No the ticket covers your space in the festival campsite only. It is the responsibility of ticket holders to provide their own equipment. On site there will be showers, toilets, food and drink vendors, lockers and campsite security. There is some camping gear available to buy within Malawi at Game in Lilongwe. 

No camper vans or rooftop tents will be allowed on to site. 

Where is the car park / drop off point

The road leading down to the festival is narrow so the main carpark and drop off is located around 1.5km from the festival entrance. A free festival shuttle bus will be running every 30 mins to transfer people to the gate, or you can choose to walk if you wish. Although it is a safe, quiet route, the road won’t be lit all the way at night so walking is undertaken at your own risk. No vehicles will be allowed on site.

Do children need to buy a ticket?

Children under the age of 12 are able to access the festival for free with no ticket required. Children over the age of 12 are required to purchase a full price ticket. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a full paying adult.

Am I allowed to leave and re-enter the festival site?

Yes, however in order to experience the full festival atmosphere we encourage everybody to stay on site for the 3 days of the festival.

What food and drink is available at the event?

There will be a range of festival bars serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. No drinks other than drinking water may be brought onto the event site, there will e water stations available to re-fill water bottles. There will also be a range of food vendor stalls on site including limited vegetarian / vegan food.

Can I bring my own food and drink to the event?

You are not allowed to bring any  food or drinks, excluding drinking water, into the campsite and festival, unless required for medical reasons. Bags and body searches may be in operation and any unopened containers will be confiscated.

How does Lake of Stars support the local community?

As part of the Lake of Stars ethos we always strive to bring benefits to the local community in which the festival happens. Some of our past community initiatives include recycling wood from festival stages into desks for schools; organising community outreach progammes with festival goers and artists taking part in sports and cultural activities; organising a clean-up operation to collect rubbish and debris; and hosting a free Ideas Festival for local students the day before the main event

What currency is used?

The currency used is the Malawi Kwacha and ATMs are fairly widespread in the cities and bigger towns. Check xe.com for rates. Credit cards are not widely accepted although Visa is more popular than Mastercard. All lodges used to international tourists will accept US Dollars although the exchange rate will sometimes vary.

The festival site will be cash (MWK) only.

What will the weather be like?

During September and October when the festival takes place Malawi is experiencing its ‘hot-and-dry’ season. This lasts up until the rains come in November/December. During this time expect temperatures between 25°C and 35°C with the lake warming up to a balmy 28°C! So pack plenty of sun screen and don’t forget your hat and sunnies.

Are vaccinations required for international visitors?

Yes vaccinations are strongly recommended for travellers visiting Malawi. Please visit your GP or travel clinic in plenty of time to arrange these. Taking anti-malarial tablets is also highly recommended as Malawi is in a malarial area.  

What other health precautions should be taken?

There is a risk of contracting bilharzia (a dangerous parasite that lives in the gut) if bathing in some parts of Lake Malawi but the risk is small and only present under certain conditions. Medication is available over the counter and can be taken as a precautionary measure after exposure. You can be tested for this 8 weeks after you have swam in the lake.

As with most of Africa, Malawi has relatively high levels of HIV amongst the population and precautions should be taken accordingly. 

Is road travel safe in Malawi?

Generally travelling during the daytime is safe, however it's reccomended that visitors avoid driving or being driven for long distances at night as road conditions and driving habits can sometimes be dangerous.