Malawi Southern Region
The Southern Region is the most populated and developed region, with a wide variety of landscapes, including as it does the highest and lowest points in the country. The mixture of highlands and plateaux, this is also the region with the most visited game park and the most popular stretch of lakeshore.
It covers an area of 31,753 km² (19,730 mi²) with a total of thirteen districts. These districts are Mangochi, Balaka, Machinga, Zomba, Phalombe, Mulanje, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Blantyre, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mwanza and Neno.
The region borders Mozambique to the east, south and south-west.
The headquarters of the Southern Region are in Blantyre. Blantyre, the commercial capital, and Zomba, the old colonial capital, are in the south. This region has three National Parks and two Wildlife Reserves, including the Lake Malawi National Park, and a number of forested highland areas.
|DISTRICT||LAND AREA (km²)||LAND AREA (mi²)|
|Mangochi||6,273 km²||2,422 mi²|
|Balaka||2,193 km²||847 mi²|
|Machinga||3,771 km²||1,456 mi²|
|Zomba||2,580 km²||996 mi²|
|Phalombe||1,394 km²||538 mi²|
|Mulanje||2,056 km²||794 mi²|
|Chiradzulu||767 km²||296 mi²|
|Thyolo||1,715 km²||662 mi²|
|Blantyre||2,012 km²||777 mi²|
|Nsanje||1,942 km²||750 mi²|
|Chikwawa||4,755 km²||1,836 mi²|
|Mwanza||826 km²||319 mi²|
|Neno||1,469 km²||567 mi²|
The Ngoni, Yao, Lomwe, Nyanja and Sena ethnic groups are the man inhabitants of the Southern Region. They are Bantu speaking language groups. Major towns in the region are multi-ethnic with a large population of Asians and Europeans.
Blantyre is Malawi’s centre of finance and commerce, and the region’s main economic hub with several heavy and light industries.
The main cash crop grown in the region is tobacco. Other crops include cotton, tea, maize, sugarcane and rice. Other economic activities include mining (titanium, gold, limestone, fluorite, diatomite, uranium and niobium), production of hydroelectric power, food processing, livestock rearing, fishing, iron and steel production, timber, cement, soap and textile manufacturing, furniture production and irrigation.
Fishing is mainly carried out in Lake Chilwa. Textile manufacturing is done at Blantyre, Zomba and Chiromo. Boat building and repair is done at Mpwepwe, Mangochi District.
The region is served by Chileka International Airport (Blantyre) and a network of roads that links it to neighbouring countries and other districts.