When and where is Zomba City Festival

It starts on Friday 28th April and finishes on Monday 1st of May 2023. The festival takes place at 8 different venues on town for visitors to explore and enjoy the city.

What is Zomba City Festival?

Zomba City Festival wants to put Zomba on the map; we want visitors to enjoy the beauty of this historical town at the foot of Zomba Mountain. We want to showcase local talent and create business opportunities for local businesses.

The festival has lots of activities for

  • sporty people (aerobics, weight lifting and yoga),
  • families (children’s activities can be found at all locations),
  • culture vultures (visual art exhibition in Botanic Gardens; poetry & book fair at The Heritage Centre; theatre and films at Pakachere), and
  • party people (live music The Mixed and Vogue Africana)
  • 100% live music with Malawian bands at Domino’s on Saturday afternoon

Admission tickets

This year tickets are MWK 20,000 pre-sale and Mk 25,000 at the door. A ticket gives access to all venues for the weekend.

Children supervised by at least 1 adult, get in for free.

VIP tickets are Mk 100,000

Day tickets will be available for Saturday & Sunday at the door for MWK 15,000!

Ticket outlets: Lilongwe Kaza Kitchen, Mbowe filling station and Four Season garden centre | Blantyre to be confirmed | Zomba Pakachere and The Mixed | Nkhata Bay Butterfly Space | Cape Maclear coming soon

Day tickets?

This year there will be day tickets available at the door only. Price is MWK 15,000 for a full day; from 9AM to 4AM!

Do children need to buy a ticket?

No, children under 12 years old accompanied by adults get in for free. For the duration of a Festival all teachers/parents/guardians/carers are responsible for the continuous care and supervision of their own children/pupils. If they are unable to attend personally, they must delegate their responsibilities to an identified adult and ensure that their children/pupils are aware of the identity and name of the person responsible for their care. This includes supervision throughout all Festival venues, practice and changing areas that may be provided.

Where to buy tickets

Presale tickets are for sale from February at various locations in Malawi.

Lilongwe: Mbowe filling station, Kaza Kitchen & Four Seasons

Zomba: Pakachere and The Mixed\

Blantyre: Kwa Haraba

Nkhata Bay: Butterfly Space

At the festival, tickets are for sale at Pakachere, Mixed and Domino’s (Saturday) and Botanic Gardens (Sunday).

Health & Safety

Every venue has a first aid kit, we have a doctor on standby and an ambulance for emergencies. In case of an emergency, please call 0991434395

We work with Zomba Private Ambulance; a great service and we have medics on site.

Where is the car park / drop off point (updated soon)

That depends which venue you want to go to. Most places have car parks. For Pakachere, you are asked to park opposite the police station on the car park of the Education Office.

How do I get from one venue to the next?

Most venues are close together, so you can walk. You can choose to drive, but we strongly recommend not to drink and drive!! There will be shared taxis on standby to get you from one place to the other in a save way.

Shuttle Service

There will be a shuttle service, taking accredited visitors with festival wristbands from 1 location to the next (only for people with a festival ticket). Expect a bus going at 6PM & 8PM from Pakachere to The Mixed; and at 10PM & midnight from Pakachere to The Mixed and from The Mixed to Vogue. This is ONE-WAY only!! You have to organise your own transport back home to where you stay.

What food and drink is available at the event?

There will be food and drinks available at all venues, either served by the lodge or there might be stands. Pakachere serves breakfast every day. Dinner can be found at Pakachere and The Mixed.

There is a food fair at the Botanic Gardens on Sunday.

The Heritage Centre has coffee tasting sessions every morning between 9-11AM and serves breakfast and lunch.

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

For activities on the mountain and in the Botanic Gardens, you can bring your own food and drinks. At venues you are not allowed to bring in glass bottles or alcohol. Some snacks and drinks for children is allowed. Bags and pockets will be checked at the entrance of the venues.

Lost & found

If you have lost something, please go to the information stand or find the location manager of the venue. All lost & found items that are handed in, will be at the box office or with the location at the venue and at the end of the day, all found items will be brought to the production office at Pakachere. The Festival cannot take responsibility for any property left unattended.

Press accreditation

Journalists, photographers, videographers and bloggers from established and reputable media platforms are invited to apply for media accreditation for the festival taking place from 28 April to 1 May 2023.

Our official media partner is Zodiak.

Zomba City Festival welcomes media accreditation applications from authorised journalists, bloggers, photographers or videographers from the following:

  • Recognised local, national, regional or international daily newspapers, wire and news services
  • Recognised local, national, regional or international magazines
  • Recognised local, national, regional or international radio and television stations and network
  • Recognised local, national, regional or international blogs or websites

Zomba City Festival does not offer allowances or transport to accredited media personnel.

Accredited media personnel will receive tickets for the festivals but NOT for partners or guests. Media access does NOT enable access to backstage areas or other secure areas.

Please contact Laura to request accreditation and to book in interviews. Laura 0883 68 85 30

Partners & Sponsors

We are currently in the process of securing sponsorships


A stall for the festival is Mk 50,000. For 50,000 you get 2 wristbands and a table. Please let us know if you need electricity

We also have a no-frills stall; MK 20,000 for 1 ticket, no table and no electricity or 25,000 if you are selling food.


ZAP has been training volunteers and currently we do not need extra people.


Some lodges have special offers for the festival. For example, Pakachere gives a discount if you stay for 3 nights. Pakachere has a campsite where you can stay for MWK 5,000 per person per night.

Where to stay?

Pakachere for dorms, glamping and camping. Click here for prices

Trinity Homes & Treats for single and double rooms

It is illegal to carry or to deal drugs. No smoking of marijuana allowed at all festival venues.

ZCF23 is a festival for all ages! There’s no minimum age to visit Zomba City Festival. There is something for everyone, but children need to be supervised at all times. Some venues are not recommneded for children under 18.

We love pets but they’re not allowed at Zomba City Festival.


If you want to go for a hike on the mountain, you can go up and meet the local tour guides on top. They are happy to show you the beauty of Zomba Plateau.

If you fancy just an easier walk or just with your own group, please book one of our accredited tour guides from Zomba Tour Guides Association

Get a guide for your hike

Want to stay informed? Follow Zomba City Festival via Facebook, Twitter or  Instagram or keep an eye on this website. Share your photos with the hashtag #ZCF23 so we can see them 🙂

Any further questions? Please contact us via bhobho@zapmalawi.com or pop us a message on our social channels. 


All subject to change!

Subject to change