Land Area (km²) / Rank 1,942 km² / 21st out of 28 districts
Population (2018) / Rank 299,168 / 22nd out of 28 districts
Population Density / Rank 154 persons/km² / 19th out of 28 districts

Nsanje is the southernmost district in Malawi and is surrounded by Mozambique on three sides.

Nsanje is known primarily for the Nsanje World Inland Port built under the Mutharika administration with the intention of opening shipping routes along the Shire and Zambezi rivers to the Indian Ocean.

The port was officially declared open in a ceremony attended by President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, President Rupiah Banda of Zambia, and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe in 2010.

However, since then the port has yet to receive its first ship. Today the port sits choked with hyacinth, unused save for a few fishermen in dugouts and washerwomen on the empty quayside.

Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve lies in the north-western part of Nsanje district, and Elephant Marsh lies partially in the northern part of the district.

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...

The people of Nsanje are traditionally Sena people or Mang’anja.

The predominant language is Chichewa, but Chisena, Chimang’anja, English, and Portuguese are also spoken.

  1. Nsanje is the southernmost district in Malawi.
  2. Nsanje is known primarily for the Nsanje World Inland Port.
  3. Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve and Elephant Marsh lie in the district.

Getting there and away

There are regular minibuses to/from Blantyre, and irregular matolas to the remote Mozambican border post at Marka/Villa Nova da Frontiera, some 20km south of town. Note that transport on the Mozambican side is very irregular, and neither visas nor insurance for self-drivers is available at this crossing.