Malawi Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Malawi: population and cities


According to Countryaah website, Malawi has around 19 million residents. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2002 and 2005 it was also hit by drought disasters. In addition, almost a quarter of the country’s population is now considered to be infected with HIV.

Ethnic composition

The population of Malawi is mainly composed of Bantu ethnic groups (Chichewa, Nyanja, Lomwe, Yao, Sena, etc.). A small minority of Indian descent also live in the country.


affiliation About 82% of the country’s residents are Christians (predominantly Presbyterians, Catholics and Anglicans), 11% Muslims and 7% followers of traditional religions. The number of Jehovah’s Witnesses persecuted during the Banda regime for their strict partisan neutrality has now grown to almost 65,000.

National languages

English is the official and business language in Malawi. The decreed national language of the country is Chichewa and is spoken by about 60% of the population. Other Bantu languages such as Chiyanja, Chiyao, Chitumbuka (mainly in the north of the country), Lomwe and Sena are also used as colloquial languages.

Capital and other cities

Blantyre (also Blantyre-Limbe)

In 1895 what is now Malawian Blantyre was founded as the first city in Central Africa. It was named after the Scottish town of the same name, where the famous missionary David Livingstone was born. About 750,000 people currently live in the ever-growing city in the Shire Highlands. Together with its sister city Limbe, Blantyre is the largest city in Malawi. One of the main attractions in this vibrant economic center with its numerous Malawian and international companies is the Presidential Palace. According to Abbreviation Finder, MWI stands for Malawi in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Kasungu Kasungu

spreads out at an altitude of 1,200 m, a city inhabited by around 45,600 people, which also serves as the gateway to the Kasungu National Park, only 20 kilometers away. The only school for the blind in Malawi is operated in Kasungu, the capital of the district of the same name, run by the Christoffel Mission for the Blind.


Lilongwe is Malawi’s capital, a city that was largely created on the drawing board, is inhabited by around 1.1 million people and is growing very quickly with wide boulevards, spread over large areas and often only accessible by car. The city is poor in terms of sights and is partly framed by dense rainforest and protea bushes. Close to the city, the Salanjama area is a veritable paradise for birds and ornithologists.


The also called Mangoche, quite quiet town with about 42,500 residents on the Shire River and at an altitude of 480 meters. For many travelers, the city is the starting point for Lake Malawi. It houses the Lake Malawi Museum, which is well worth seeing, and is not far from the Mangochi Forest Reserve. The interesting places Monkey Bay and Cape MacLear are also close to the city.


About 129,000 people live in Mzuzu, the capital of the Malawian Northern Region. The third largest city in the country is an important transshipment area for regional agriculture, which produces coffee, tea, tobacco, cotton and macadamia in particular. Mzuzu has had its own university since 1997. The city is also the starting point for hiking tours to the Viphya Forest and the Viphya Plateau.


Malawi’s fourth largest city extends at the foot of the Zomba Plateau. Around 100,000 people live in the country’s former capital, founded in the 1880s. In addition to many government institutions, Zomba is home to the headquarters of the University of Malawi.

Malawi: geography, map

Malawi is located in East Africa west of Lake Malawi, which takes up a large part of the country’s area. For the most part, it lies within the East African rift valley and therefore consists mainly of plateaus. The land has no access to the sea and covers an area of 118,480 km². Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Malawi. Thereof:

  • ForestAround 31% of the country are forest and bushland.
  • Meadow and pasture landAround 15% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
  • Fields and fieldsAround 25% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing tobacco, sugar cane, tea and maize.
  • Mountains

National borders

Malawi borders the following three countries:

– Mozambique with a border length of 1,569 km,

– Tanzania with a border length of 475 km and

– Zambia with a border length of 837 km.

Longitude and latitude of Malawi

Malawi extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from 9 ° to 17 ° 10 ‘southern latitude Δλ = 032 ° 40′ to 036 ° eastern longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For Malawi, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time (without summer time) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δ t (CET) = + 1 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in Lilongwe

Lilongwe lies at a southern latitude of around φ = 14 South °.

If the declination δ of the sun has the value of 14 ° south and thus the image point of the sun is exactly above the city, the sun is perpendicular there. This happens exactly twice a year, roughly 37 days before December 21st and 37 days after December 21st (for details see position of the sun).


If the image point of the sun and thus the declination δ is north of the latitude of Lilongwe, the sun is not in the south at noon, as in our latitudes, but in the north. In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us, it sets.



The highest mountain in Malawi is Mulanje (Sapitwa) with a height of 3,001 m. Other high mountains are the Nyika with a height of 2,670 m and the Chimaliro with a height of 2,058 m.



The longest river in the country is the Shire with a length of about 400 km. It flows through the Malombesee.

Other rivers in Malawi are Lilongwe, Songwe, Rukuru and Bua.


The country includes numerous smaller and larger lakes.

Lake Malawi

The largest lake is Lake Malawi (formerly Nyassa Lake) with an area of around 29,600 km² – at a maximum depth of around 700 m. After Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria, it is the third largest lake in Africa. In addition to Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique are also located on this lake. There are several smaller islands in Lake Malawi, the largest of which are Likuma and Chisumulti. Other larger lakes in Malawi are:

– Lake Chilwa, with an area of about 600 km² and a depth between about 1 to 2 m. However, the area of the lake changes significantly depending on the rainfall.

– Lake Malombe, with an area of about 450km², but the area also changes with the amount of precipitation. The lake is basically a great extension of the Shire River.

Malawi Population