Malawi Southern Region

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.

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.

Economic Activities

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.

Main Tourist Attractions

Liwonde National ParkLiwonde National Park (Entrance gate: early-18.00 daily, USD10 for ...
Lengwe National ParkLengwe National Park (Entrance gate: early-18.00 daily, USD10 for i...
Lake Malawi National ParkLake Malawi National Park Lake Malawi is Africa’s third largest lak...
Majete Wildlife ReserveMajete Wildlife Reserve (Entrance gate: early-18.00 daily; USD20 fo...
Mwabvi Wildlife ReserveMwabvi Wildlife Reserve (Entrance gate: early-18.00 daily, USD10 fo...
Elephant MarshElephant Marsh Elephant Marsh is part of the floodplain of the Lowe...
Mount MulanjeMount Mulanje Mulanje Massif, as it is also known, is composed of h...
Zomba PlateauZomba Plateau Zomba Plateau is a great slab of a mountain rising to...