Chikwawa is a town with a population of 6,114 according to the 2018 census[1] located in the Southern Region of Malawi on the west bank of the Shire River.[2] It is the administrative capital of the Chikwawa District. Chikwawa lies almost 50 kilometres (30 mi) south of Blantyre, the commercial capital of Malawi.[3]

The location of Chikwawa in Malawi (at the red dot)

Chikwawa was the first town in Malawi to be seen by European explorers when David Livingstone's Zambezi Expedition steamed up the Shire River in 1859.[4] The surrounding region was ravaged by Portuguese slave traders in the nineteenth century.[5]

The Majete Wildlife Reserve, the Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve and Lengwe National Park lie in the vicinity of Chikwawa. Large numbers of hippopotamus and crocodiles inhabit the Shire River area.[6]

The city has a railway station on the Sena railway, part of the Malawi Railways.


  1. ^ "2018 Population and Housing Census Main Report" (PDF). Malawi National Statistical Office. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  2. ^ Briggs, Philip; Bartlett, Mary-Anne (2006). Malawi: The Bradt Travel Guide. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 230. ISBN 978-1-84162-170-8.
  3. ^ Bulletin - Malawi Geological Survey Department. Malawi Geological Survey. 1963. p. 7.
  4. ^ Carter, Judy (30 October 1987). Malaŵi: wildlife, parks and reserves. Macmillan Publishers. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-333-43987-6.
  5. ^ Lamba, I. C. (1983). Primary History: Malaŵi, an Early History. Dzuka. p. 40.
  6. ^ Briggs, Philip (2010). Malawi. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 209. ISBN 978-1-84162-313-9.

Coordinates: 16°02′06″S 34°48′04″E / 16.035°S 34.801°E / -16.035; 34.801