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Coordinates: 13°02′S 33°29′E / 13.033°S 33.483°E / -13.033; 33.483

Kasungu is located in Malawi
Location in Malawi
Coordinates: 13°02′S 33°29′E / 13.033°S 33.483°E / -13.033; 33.483
Country  Malawi
Region Central Region
District Kasungu District
Elevation[1] 4,403 ft (1,342 m)
Population (2008 est.)[2]
 • Total 59,696
Time zone +2
Climate Cwa

Kasungu is a town in the Kasungu District of the Central Region of Malawi. The population of Kasungu is estimated to be 59,696 as of 2008.[2] Kasungu is approximately 130 kilometres (81 mi) north-west of the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe, and is 35 kilometres (22 mi) east of Kasungu National Park.[3] The main industry in Kasungu is tobacco-growing.[4]


A farm close to Kasungu was the birthplace of the first President of Malawi, Hastings Banda.[4]

Geography and climate[edit]

Kasungu is in central Malawi, lying at a height of 1,342 metres (4,403 ft). It has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cwa) and a rainy season that lasts from November–December to March–April.[1] The dry season lasts from May to October.[3] The town receives, on average, between 500 millimetres (20 in)–1,200 millimetres (47 in) rainfall each year.[1]

Climate data for Kasungu
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) 22.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 213
Source: Climate-Data.org[5]


Year Population[2]
1987 11,591
1998 26,137
2008 (est.) 59,696


Chichewa is the language spoken in Kasungu.[6]



Kasungu is served by buses and minibuses that travel to Lilongwe and Mzuzu.[3] In June 2008, Central East Africa Railways announced plans to extend the rail line from Lilongwe to Kasungu.[7]


There are guesthouses, bars, restaurants, a supermarket and a petrol station in Kasungu; according to Lonely Planet, there are "no major attractions" in Kasungu.[3] In June 2008, there was a petrol shortage in Kasungu, causing an increase in the sale of black market fuel.[8] In May 2006, a branch of the Opportunity Bank of Malawi opened in Kasungu.[9]

Emergency services[edit]

Kasungu has a police station.[10] The town is also home to a 179-bed government-funded district hospital. The hospital is often overcrowded, and suffers from a lack of nurses and anti-retroviral drugs.[11][12] The hospital's 13-bed paediatric department can receive over 100 patients, leaving some patients on the floor.[13] UNICEF-Hamburg has sent over US$6000 to train care-workers in Kasungu.[14]

Land and economy[edit]

The land in Kasungu lacks nutrients and water, and is mostly "sand veld";[4] the Kasungu area is suffering from depleted forests.[15] A tribal chief stated in 2004 that over 250,000 people in Kasungu own no land.[16] Tobacco is the only cash crop grown in Kasungu,[1] and the area has been described as a "tobacco heartland" by Xinhua News Agency.[17] The opening of Kasungu National Park in 1970 has increased tourism in the area.[4] Due to their poverty, most residents of Kasungu live in houses made of hand-made dung bricks, covered by roofs of straw or corrugated iron.[18] According to AllAfrica, Kasungu is a "child labour hotspot."[19]


Kasungu is a "stronghold" of the Malawi Congress Party.[20] The Member of the Malawian Parliament for Kasungu Central is Carrington Jimu.[21] The MP for Kasungu North North West is Rodger Sithole,[22] and the MP for Kasungu North West is Gerald Jere.[23]

Foreign links[edit]

Kaluluma School in Kasungu has formed a relationship with Greenford High School, Southall, England.[24] A church in Kasungu also formed a relationship with two churches near Peterborough, England in 2001. Parishioners from the two churches have travelled to Kasungu several times and have built a new church and a fish farm. In February 2008, the church group built a maize mill in Kasungu.[18]

Notable events[edit]

Famine and disease[edit]

Over 100 people died in a famine in 2002, according to official estimates; Kasungu was the worst affected area in Malawi.[25] In 2005 a famine occurred in Malawi, affecting 4.2 million Malawians. The efforts to distribute food to the needy were concentrated in Kasungu.[26] During 2004 and 2005, there was an outbreak of cholera, with eight people recorded to have suffered the disease.[27]

June 2003 riots[edit]

In June 2003, Kasungu Muslims rioted with police, after five Malawians, suspected of being al-Qaeda operatives, were arrested and taken into United States custody. One demonstrator was treated for "serious gunshot wounds".[17][28]

Evacuation of President[edit]

In May 2005, Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika evacuated to a palace in Kasungu after he claimed that the presidential palace in Lilongwe was haunted by "evil spirits".[29][30]

Chess championships[edit]

In January 2008, the African Junior Chess Championships were held at the Kamuzu Academy in Kasungu.[31] The academy, which The Nyasa Times describes as "highly regarded" and "Eton in the bush", was founded by the first President of Malawi, Hastings Banda.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Thangata, Paul H.; Hildebrand, Peter E.; Gladwin, Christina H. (2002). "Modeling Agroforestry Adoption and Household Decision Making in Malawi". African Studies Quarterly. University of Florida. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  2. ^ a b c "World Gazetteer: Malawi: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  3. ^ a b c d Murphy, Alan; Armstrong, Kate; Firestone, Matthew D.; Fitzpatrick, Mary (2007). Lonely Planet Southern Africa: Join the Safari. Lonely Planet. p. 196. ISBN 1-74059-745-1. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Kasungu". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  5. ^ "Climate:Kasungu". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Baldauf, Richard B.; Kaplan, Robert (2004). Language Planning and Policy in Africa: Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. p. 21. ISBN 1-85359-725-2. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  7. ^ Msiska, Karen (2008-06-23). "CEAR promises to compliment Shire-Zambezi Waterway". The Daily Times. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  8. ^ Moyo, Judith (2008-06-16). "Motorists stranded as fuel pumps run dry". Nyasa Times. Archived from the original on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  9. ^ "Oibm Kasungu Branch Opens Today". AllAfrica. 2006-09-05. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  10. ^ "Malawi: The Wider Angle". AllAfrica. 2002-09-02. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  11. ^ Bosely, Sarah (2003-02-18). "Athenase Kiromera, doctor". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  12. ^ Bosely, Sarah (2004-02-16). "One small miracle brings hope to thousands threatened by Aids". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  13. ^ Riotta, Gianni (2004-12-09). "Tra gli orfani nel Paese dell’Aids". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  14. ^ "Unicef: Wo die Spenden bleiben". Die Welt (in German). 2002-06-13. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  15. ^ Kitabu, Gerald (2007-12-24). "Alternative source of income may help to protect forest". IPP Media. Archived from the original on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  16. ^ "Traditional leader says 250,000 people in central Malawi landless.". Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. 2004-11-11. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  17. ^ a b "Malawi police fire on Muslim demonstrators". Xinhua News Agency. 2003-06-30. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  18. ^ a b "Lent is about giving something back for Canon Malcolm". Peterborough Evening Telegraph. 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  19. ^ "Malawi: Story Workshop Fights Child Labour". AllAfrica. 2002-12-11. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  20. ^ "Malawi police arrest 12 persons for electoral violence.". Panafrican News Agency. 2004-11-23. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  21. ^ "Malawi: MP Quizzes Govt Over Stadium Funds". AllAfrica. 2006-04-27. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  22. ^ "Malawi: MPs Defection Detrimental to Democracy - Kadzamira". AllAfrica. 2006-01-25. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  23. ^ Kashoti, Dickson (2008-06-18). "Gondwe throws out 50% salary hike for teachers". The Daily Times. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  24. ^ O'Leary, Sarah (2008-02-16). "Teachers fly out for charity". Ealing Times. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  25. ^ Tenthani, Raphael (2002-05-14). "Malawi's 'worst-ever' famine". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  26. ^ "Malawi se enfrenta una crisis alimentaria que durará varios meses". El Mundo. 2005-09-15. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  27. ^ "Report on cholera outbreak in Malawi". MIJ FM. 2005-01-24. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  28. ^ Tenthani, Raphael (2003-07-02). "Malawi Muslim group condemns violence in protests of Al-Qaida arrests". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  29. ^ "President flees 'haunted' home". News24. 2005-03-12. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  30. ^ "Un mundo raro - Ahuyentan fantasmas del palacio presidencial al mandatario de Malaui". El Universal (in Spanish). 2005-03-17. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  31. ^ Herbert, Allan (2008-01-20). "UWI celebrating 60th anniversary". The Barbados Advocate. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  32. ^ "Malawi’s Bingu: Eliminating dissent Kamuzu style". The Nyasa Times. 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2008-07-22.