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Lake malawi mangochi.jpg
Lake Malawi, on eastern edge of Mangochi
Malawi adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Malawi
Coordinates: 14°27′36″S35°16′12″E / 14.46000°S 35.27000°E / -14.46000; 35.27000
CountryFlag of Malawi.svg  Malawi
Region Southern Region
District Mangochi District
1,541 ft (470 m)
 (2018 Census [1] )
Time zone +2
Climate Aw

Mangochi is a township in the Southern Region of Malawi. Located near the southern end of Lake Malawi, in colonial times it used to be called Fort Johnston. As of 2018 it has a population of 53,498. [1]



Mangochi was founded by colonial administrator Sir Harry Johnston in the 1890s as a British colonial defence post on the littoral plain of the Shire River's western shore. [2] After this, Fort Johnston as the town was then known was an important slave market and administrative centre. [3]

The British gunboat Gwendolen, named after Lady Gwendolen Gascoyne-Cecil, daughter of the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, [4] was built in Mangochi in 1897. [3] [5] At 310 tonnes (340 short tons), it was the largest ship to sail on Lake Malawi until being scrapped shortly after World War II. [3] The gunboat, operated by the Protectorate of Nyasaland, is said to have fought the first naval battle of the First World War when it defeated the German vessel Hermann von Wissmann in August 1914. [6]

Rioting in June 2003 injured three people. [7] From March to November 2007, roughly 480 children were rescued from child labour on tobacco farms in Mangochi. [8] In July 2008, elephants terrorised areas around Maldeco Fisheries in Mangochi and caused several deaths and damage to property, mainly crops. [9] The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture proposed moving the elephants into several game reserves, although the proposal stalled when some residents said they wanted the elephants to remain. [9]


A diagram depicting the amount of rainfall in Mangochi from August 2007 to July 2008 Mangochi climate.gif
A diagram depicting the amount of rainfall in Mangochi from August 2007 to July 2008

Mangochi is at an elevation of 470 m (1,541 ft), near the southern end of Lake Malawi, between the main lakeshore road and the Shire River [3] and 8 kilometres (5 miles) south of its entrance into Lake Malombe. [2] The town is roughly 190 km (120 mi) northeast of Blantyre, Malawi's largest city. [7] It is situated 2.2 km (1+38 mi) from Mponda, 3.6 km (2+14 mi) from Chipalamawamba, 3 km (2 mi) from Mbaluku Laini and 2.2 km (1+38 mi) from Yangala.


Mangochi has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen: Aw).

Climate data for Mangochi
Average high °C (°F)30.1
Daily mean °C (°F)25.5
Average low °C (°F)21.6
Average precipitation mm (inches)194.2
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.3 mm)161413622221271481
Average relative humidity (%)78787673606662575050597265
Mean monthly sunshine hours 204.6187.6238.7252.0279.0255.0257.3279.0288.0300.7258.0207.73,007.6
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source: NOAA [10]


Population development

YearPopulation [11] [1]
Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
source: [12]

Languages and ethnicities

Yao, specifically of the Mangochi dialect, is the main language spoken in this town. [13] A Swahili settlement was also established in Mangochi. [14] Mangochi is mainly inhabited by the Yao people. [2]


Mangochi was developed as an agricultural centre and has marine-engineering shops. Cash crops grown in the area include tobacco, cotton, and groundnuts. [2] Rice and maize are intensively grown along the lakeshore, and commercial fishing is also important. [2]



Amenities include several shops, supermarkets, a post office and banks. [3]


Bakili Muluzi Bridge in Mangochi crossing the river Shire. Bakili Muluzi Bridge in Mangochi.JPG
Bakili Muluzi Bridge in Mangochi crossing the river Shire.

Within Mangochi there is the Bakili Muluzi Bridge, which Lonely Planet described as "scenic". [3]


The Lake Malawi Museum houses ethnic, environmental, and historical exhibits. [3] They include the Hotchkiss gun [3] with which the British gunboat Gwendolen defeated the German gunboat Hermann von Wissmann with a single shot in their brief naval engagement in August 1914. The museum has also a scale model of the Gwendolen. [3] An even older exhibit is a marine steam engine that was built in 1898 and powered the Universities' Mission to Central Africa's SS Chauncy Maples until 1953. [15]


Mangochi is home to a large mosque [3] as well as a modern Catholic Cathedral. [16]


Mangochi is home to a clock tower erected in honour of Queen Victoria, dating back to the early 20th century. [16]


Passengers boarding at the bus station Bus in Mangochi Malawi.JPG
Passengers boarding at the bus station

Mangochi is located just off the M3 road. [16] All buses travelling from Monkey Bay to Blantyre stop in Mangochi. [3] Minibuses travel to Liwonde, Zomba, and Blantyre. [3] Matolas travel to Liwonde National Park and to the border town of Chiponde. [3]


Mangochi is described by Lonely Planet as having a "vaguely Swahili feel", with "palm trees, Arab-looking people and coconuts for sale in the street." [3] There are several guesthouses and lodges for tourists in Mangochi. [3]

Related Research Articles

The History of Malawi covers the area of present-day Malawi. The region was once part of the Maravi Empire. In colonial times, the territory was ruled by the British, under whose control it was known first as British Central Africa and later Nyasaland. It became part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The country achieved full independence, as Malawi, in 1964. After independence, Malawi was ruled as a one-party state under Hastings Banda until 1994.

British Central Africa Protectorate British protectorate from 1893 to 1907 in present-day Malawi

The British Central Africa Protectorate (BCA) was a British protectorate proclaimed in 1889 and ratified in 1891 that occupied the same area as present-day Malawi: it was renamed Nyasaland in 1907. British interest in the area arose from visits made by David Livingstone from 1858 onward during his exploration of the Zambezi area. This encouraged missionary activity that started in the 1860s, undertaken by the Universities' Mission to Central Africa, the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland, and which was followed by a small number of settlers. The Portuguese government attempted to claim much of the area in which the missionaries and settlers operated, but this was disputed by the British government. To forestall a Portuguese expedition claiming effective occupation, a protectorate was proclaimed, first over the south of this area, then over the whole of it in 1889. After negotiations with the Portuguese and German governments on its boundaries, the protectorate was formally ratified by the British government in May 1891.

Harry Johnston British explorer

Sir Henry Hamilton Johnston, known as Harry Johnston, was a British explorer, botanist, artist, colonial administrator, and linguist who travelled widely in Africa and spoke many African languages. He published 40 books on African subjects and was one of the key players in the Scramble for Africa that occurred at the end of the 19th century.

Zomba, Malawi Place in Southern Region, Malawi

Zomba is a city in southern Malawi, in the Shire Highlands. It is the former capital city of Malawi.

Karonga Place in Northern Region, Malawi

Karonga is a township in the Karonga District in Northern Region of Malawi. Located on the western shore of Lake Nyasa, it was established as a slaving centre sometime before 1877. As of 2018 estimates, Karonga has a population of 61,609.

Nkhotakota Place in Central Region, Malawi

Nkhotakota (Un-kho-tah-kho-tuh) is a town and one of the districts in the Central Region of Malawi. It is on the shore of Lake Malawi and is one of the main ports on Lake Malawi. As of 2018, Nkhotakota had a population estimated at 28,350. The district had a population of 301.000.

Monkey Bay Place in Southern Region, Malawi

Monkey Bay or Lusumbwe is a town in Mangochi which is in the Mangochi District in the Southern Region of Malawi. The town is on the shore of Lake Malawi and is one of the main ports on Lake Malawi. The population of Monkey Bay was 14,955 according to the 2018 census. Monkey Bay is 206 kilometres (128 mi) from Lilongwe, Malawi's capital city, and 253 kilometres (157 mi) from Blantyre. Monkey Bay is a tourist resort and is often travelled through on the road to Cape Maclear.

This page list topics related to Malawi.

Mangochi District is one of twelve districts in the Southern Region of Malawi. The capital is Mangochi. The district covers an area of 6,273 km.² and has a population of 610,239.

Liwonde National Park

Liwonde National Park, also known as Liwonde Wildlife Reserve, is a national park in southern Malawi, near the Mozambique border. The park was established in 1973, and has been managed by the nonprofit conservation organization African Parks since August 2015. African Parks built an electric fence around the perimeter of the park to help mitigate human-wildlife conflict. In early 2018, the adjacent Mangochi Forest Reserve was also brought under African Parks' management, almost doubling the size of the protected area.

Majete Wildlife Reserve

Majete Wildlife Reserve is a nature reserve in southwestern Malawi, established as a protected area in 1955. The reserve's animal populations were decimated during the late 1970s and 1980s due to poaching and other human activities. Majete has been managed by African Parks since 2003, when the nonprofit conservation organization entered into a public–private partnership with the Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW). Since then, wildlife has been restored, the park has achieved big five game status, and tourism has increased.

MV <i>Chauncy Maples</i>

MV Chauncy Maples is a motor ship and former steamship that was launched in 1901 as SS Chauncy Maples. She spent her entire career on Lake Malawi and was regarded as the oldest ship afloat in Africa. After more than one hundred years' service it was intended to restore her for use as a floating medical clinic to support the several million lakeshore dwellers whose average life expectancy is 44 years. The Government of Malawi offered support for this in 2009 and charity fundraising was sufficient to make progress. The hull was found to be beyond repair at a viable cost so a more practical modern craft was proposed to give ambulance service around the lake.

<i>Hermann von Wissmann</i> (steamship) German steamship in Africa in early 20th century

Hermann von Wissmann was a German steamer on Lake Nyasa named after the German explorer Hermann von Wissmann who had raised funds for the vessel to be built in 1890 as an anti-slavery gunboat.

SS Gwendolen was a British steamship on Lake Nyasa that fought in the first naval action of World War I against the German steamship Hermann von Wissman which it caught on a slipway at Sphinxhafen, now known as Liuli.

John Buchanan (1855–1896), was a Scottish horticulturist who went to Central Africa, now Malawi, in 1876 as a lay member of the missionary party that established Blantyre Mission. Buchanan came to Central Africa as an ambitious artisan: his character was described as dour and devout but also as restlessly ambitious, and he saw in Central Africa a gateway to personal achievement. He started a mission farm on the site of Zomba, Malawi but was dismissed from the mission in 1881 for brutality. From being a disgraced missionary, Buchanan first became a very influential planter owning, with his brothers, extensive estates in Zomba District. He then achieved the highest position he could in the British administration as Acting British Consul to Central Africa from 1887 to 1891. In that capacity declared a protectorate over the Shire Highlands in 1889 to pre-empt a Portuguese expedition that intended to claim sovereignty over that region. In 1891, the Shire Highlands became part of the British Central Africa Protectorate. John Buchanan died at Chinde in Mozambique in March 1896 on his way to visit Scotland, and his estates were later acquired by the Blantyre and East Africa Ltd.

History of rail transport in Malawi

The history of rail transport in Malawi began shortly after the turn of the twentieth century.

Lake Malawi Museum is a museum on Lake Malawi in Malawi. Situated in the Old Gymkhana Club and organized by the Society of Malawi since 1971, the museum is located near the Queen Victoria memorial near the Bakili Muluzi Bridge in Mangochi town, Mangochi District, within the Southern Region of Malawi.

The name Karonga War is given to a number of armed clashes that took place between mid-1887 and mid-1889 near Karonga at the northern end of Lake Malawi in what is now Malawi between a Scottish trading concern called the African Lakes Company Limited and elements of the Ngonde people on one side and Swahili traders and their Henga allies on the other. In the 19th century, it was referred to as the “Arab War”, despite few actual Arabs being involved. Although these conflicts predate formal endorsement of a British Central Africa Protectorate west of Lake Malawi in 1891, European involvement, both by the African Lakes Company and by Germans attempting to prevent Swahili slave trading around Lake Tanganyika in German East Africa, had upset the previous balance between the Ngonde and their neighbours and created the conditions for this conflict.

Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve Military unit

The Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve (NVR) was a reserve infantry unit in the British protectorate of Nyasaland. The British Central Africa Volunteer Reserve was formally established by the colonial government in 1901 and was renamed when the protectorate became Nyasaland in 1907. In the initial years the unit was little more than a rifle shooting club with no uniform and no military training. The NVR was placed on a more formal standing in 1908 under the Volunteer Ordinance. This implemented residency and racial requirements for membership and made provision for the unit to be mobilised by the governor. The unit was initially formed of four sections but grew to seven sections by 1914 and by 1930 the unit had ten.

MV Vipya was a motor vessel used as a passenger-cargo ship that sailed on Lake Malawi in Southern Africa from 1944 to 1946. The ferry had a tonnage of 470 tons, was 140 feet (43 m) in length, 27 feet (8.2 m) in breadth, and had a twin crew. Equipped with a motor engine, it could travel up to a speed of 12 knots. It was built to carry 315 passengers and 100 tons of cargo. On July 30, 1946, the ship set sail with 194 passengers on board. It was caught up in a storm near Chilumba in Karonga where it capsized and sank. The disaster resulted 145 passengers and crew on board drowning. No remains of the bodies have been recovered. The sternwheel ferry disaster is the worst shipwreck in Malawi's history.


  1. 1 2 3 "2018 Population and Housing Census Main Report" (PDF). Malawi National Statistical Office. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Mangochi". Encyclopædia Britannica . 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Murphy, Alan; Armstrong, Kate; Firestone, Matthew D.; Fitzpatrick, Mary (2007). Lonely Planet Southern Africa: Join the Safari. Lonely Planet. p. 205. ISBN   1-74059-745-1.
  4. Janie Hampton, "Victory on Lake Nyasa", History Today, vol 64, no. 7, 2014]
  5. Jane, Frederick Thomas (1919). Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I. Military Press. p. 101.
  6. The Story of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland A. J. Hanna Faber and Faber, 1960
  7. 1 2 "Soldiers Sent To Help Quell Riots in Malawi". The New York Times . 29 June 2003. Retrieved 17 July 2008.
  8. "Attitudes to Child Labour Changing". UN Integrated Regional Information Networks. AllAfrica. 19 November 2006. Retrieved 17 July 2008.
  9. 1 2 Msiska, Karen (7 July 2008). "Mangochi against removal of elephants". The Daily Times. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  10. "Mangochi Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  11. "World Gazetteer: Malawi: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". World Gazetteer. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 17 July 2008.
  12. Malawi: Cities, Towns & Urban Localities
  13. Baldauf, Richard B.; Kaplan, Robert (2004). Language Planning and Policy in Africa: Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa . pp.  85–89. ISBN   1-85359-725-2.
  14. Baldauf, p. 91
  15. "The Ship". Chauncy Maples, Lake Malawi's Clinic. Chauncy Maples Trust. 2009–2011. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  16. 1 2 3 "Mangochi". Malawi Tourism. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.

Coordinates: 14°28′S35°16′E / 14.467°S 35.267°E / -14.467; 35.267