Geography of Malawi – The Ultimate Free Guide 2021

Learn facts and Geography of Malawi including Major Geographical Features, Natural resources, Region, area, Capital, Border countries, rivers in Malawi.

  • Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in Southeastern Africa formerly known as Nyasaland. Zambia borders it to the west, Tanzania to the north and northeast, and Mozambique to the east, south, and southwest.
  • Malawi’s capital is Lilongwe. Its second-largest is Blantyre, its third-largest in Mzuzu, and its fourth-largest is its former capital, Zomba.
  • The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name for the Chewa people who inhabit the area.
  • The country is nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa” because of the friendliness of its people.
  • The part of Africa now known as Malawi was settled around the 10th century by migrating Bantu groups. Centuries later, in 1891, the area was colonized by the British and became a protectorate of the United Kingdom known as Nyasaland.
  • In 1953, it became a protectorate within the semi-independent Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
  • Malawi is among the world’s least-developed countries. The economy is heavily based on agriculture, and it has a largely rural and rapidly growing population.

Geography of Malawi

Geography of Malawi
Figure: Malawi Map


118,484 km2





Bordering Countries:

Malawi is a south-east African country bordered by Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Mozambique.

Total Size:

45,747 sq mi

Geographical Coordinates:

13°57′S 33°42′E

World Region or Continent:


General Terrain:

Plateaus, highlands, and valleys.

Geographical Low Point:

junction of the Shire River and international boundary with Mozambique 37 m

Geographical High Point:

Sapitwa (Mount Mlanje) 3,002 m


sub-tropical; rainy season (November to May); dry season (May to November)

Major cities:

  • Chitipa
  • Chilumba
  • Ekwendeni
  • Karonga
  • Likoma
  • Livingstonia
  • Mzimba
  • Mzuzu
  • Nkhata Bay
  • Rumphi
  • Chintheche
  • Embangweni
  • Ntchisi
  • Salima
  • Aaron
  • Chipoka
  • Dedza
  • Dowa
  • Kasungu
  • Lilongwe
  • Mchinji
  • Mponela
  • Mua
  • Namitete
  • Nathenje
  • Nkhotakota
  • Nkhoma
  • Ntcheu

Major Land forms:

Relief. While Malawi’s landscape is highly varied, four basic regions can be identified: the East African (or Great) Rift Valley, the central plateaus, the highlands, and the isolated mountains

Major Rivers and Lakes:

Major Rivers:

  • Bwanje River.
  • Lilongwe River.
  • Diampwe River.
  • Likuni River.
  • Bua River.
  • Dwangwa River.
  • Luweya River.
  • South Rukuru River.
  • Kasitu River.
  • Rumpi River.
  • North Rukuru River

Major Lakes:

  • Lake Nyasa, also called Lake Malawi is biggest lake in Malawi.

Natural Resources:

  • limestone,
  • Arable land,
  • Hydropower,
  • Unexploited deposits of uranium,
  • Coal, and
  • Bauxite.

Major Geographical Features:

Biomes & Ecosystems:

Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands


Malawi’s topography consists of high, well-watered plateaus broken by large hills. Malawi covers 46,066 square miles and is about the size of Pennsylvania. A deep depression, its chief physical feature, runs through the center and forms part of the Great Rift Valley.


The Indian Ocean


  • Chizumulu Island
  • Likoma Island
  • Chilwa Island
  • Tongwe Island

Mountain Ranges:

  • Mulanje (Sapitwa)
  • Nakodzwe
  • Dzole
  • Namasile
  • Chinzama
  • Khuto
  • Manene
  • Matambale
  • Tsunga
  • Vitumbi

Districts of Malawi:

  • Dowa
  • Kasungu
  • Lilongwe
  • Mchinji
  • Nkhotakota
  • Ntcheu
  • Ntchisi
  • Salima
  • Chitipa
  • Karonga
  • Likoma
  • Mzimba
  • Nkhata Bay
  • Rumphi
  • Balaka
  • Blantyre
  • Chikwawa
  • Chiradzulu
  • Machinga
  • Mangochi
  • Mulanje
  • Mwanza
  • Nsanje
  • Thyolo
  • Phalombe
  • Zomba
  • Neno

See Also:

World Map – The Ultimate Free Guide


Naveed Tawargeri

Hi, I'm Naveed Tawargeri, and I'm the owner and creator of this blog. I'm a Software Developer with a passion for Programming. 

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