Quick Links: Malawi General Info – Tourist AttractionsThe Geography

The Great Rift Valley runs through the country from north to south, and to the east of the valley lies Lake Malawi (also called Lake Nyasa), making up over three-quarters of Malawi’s eastern boundary. Lake Malawi is sometimes called the Calendar Lake as it is about 365 miles (587 km) long and 52 miles (84 km) wide. The Shire River flows from the south end of the lake and joins the Zambezi River 250 miles (400 km) farther south in Mozambique. The surface of Lake Malawi is located at 1,500 feet (457 m) above sea level, with a maximum depth of 2,300 feet (701 m), which means the lake bottom is over 700 feet (213 m) below sea level at some points.

In the mountainous sections of Malawi surrounding the Rift Valley, plateaus rise generally 3,000 to 4,000 feet (914 to 1,219 m) above sea level, although some rise as high as 8,000 feet (2,438 m) in the north. To the south of Lake Malawi lie the Shire Highlands, gently rolling land at approximately 3,000 feet (914 m) above sea level. In this area, the Zomba and Mulanje mountain peaks rise to respective heights of 7,000 feet (2,134 m) and 10,000 feet (3,048 m).

Malawi’s capital is Lilongwe, and its commercial centre is Blantyre with a population of over 500,000 people. Malawi has two sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Lake Malawi National Park was first listed in 1984 and the Chongoni Rock Art Area was listed in 2006.

Malawi’s climate is hot in the low-lying areas in the south of the country and temperate in the northern highlands. The altitude moderates what would be an otherwise equatorial climate. Between November and April the temperature is warm with equatorial rains and thunderstorms, with the storms reaching their peak severity in late March. After March, the rainfall rapidly diminishes and from May to September wet mists float from the highlands into the plateaus, with almost no rainfall during these months.


Central Region1 – Dedza
2 – Dowa
3 – Kasungu
4 – Lilongwe
5 – Mchinji
6 – Nkhotakota
7 – Ntcheu
8 – Ntchisi
9 – SalimaNorthern Region

10 – Chitipa
11 – Karonga
12 – Likoma
13 – Mzimba
14 – Nkhata Bay
15 – Rumphi

Southern Region

16 – Balaka
17 – Blantyre
18 – Chikwawa
19 – Chiradzulu
20 – Machinga
21 – Mangochi
22 – Mulanje
23 – Mwanza
24 – Nsanje
25 – Thyolo
26 – Phalombe
27 – Zomba
28 – Neno