Flights within Sub-Saharan Africa are notoriously expensive. Malawi has one national carrier, Malawian Airlines, which serves the following destinations: Blantyre, Lilongwe, Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, Lusaka and Harare. Malawian Airlines have been in operation since 2013.
Long distance buses tend to leave at early hours in the day. They get full quickly and leave once, full, therefore you should plan to arrive early. Bus services are subject to frequent change, and bus stations are notoriously unsafe and theft is common. Keeping an eye (and hand) on all belongings should prevent any incident.
It is inadvisable to use 'public' minibuses or matola (pick-ups) no matter how persuasive the price or the driver, Malawi has very poor road accident figures, often minibus-related.
AXA Executive Coach Line is highly recommended, with air conditioning and refreshments. Some of their routes include:
Blantyre - Lilongwe via Zalewa and Ntcheu
Blantyre - Mzuzu via Zomba and Lakeshore
Blantyre - Karonga via Mzuzu
Lilongwe - Karonga via Mzimba and Mzuzu
Contact them at Agma House, Maselema, P.O Box 782, Blantyre, Malawi
Telephone: +265 (0)1 876 000/ 874 254/ 913 364;
Fax: +265 (0)1 872 497