Karonga District

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Location of Karonga District in Malawi

Karonga is a district in the Northern Region of Malawi. The district covers an area of 3,355 km.² and has a population of 194,572. It is a border district between Malawi and Tanzania, mainly occupied by the Nkhonde tribe. Other tribes include Henga tribe (mainly occupying the southern part), Nyakyusa tribes (migrants from Tanzania) etc.

Karonga District is the main border from Tanzania into Malawi, and the chief town is Karonga Boma.


Over the last few years, there has been much development in the region due to the discovery of uranium at the Kayelekera mine, which officially opened in 2009, and many of the previously gravelled roads have been laid with tarmac.


There are many hotels and guesthouses in Karonga, along the shore of Lake Malawi. However, swimming is not recommended as bilharzia is rife in this area.

Government and administrative divisions[edit]

There are five National Assembly constituencies in Karonga:

  • Karonga - Central
  • Karonga - North
  • Karonga - North East
  • Karonga - Nyungwe
  • Karonga - South

Since the 2009 election Karonga Nyungwe has been represented by an AFORD politician, and the other seats are held by members of the Democratic Progressive Party.[1]

The traditional authorities are Wasambo, Kyungu, Mwakaboko, Kilipula, Mwirang'ombe and the central township of Karonga Boma.


The main languages of the northern part of Karonga District are Nyakyusa and Kyangonde (closely related to Nyakyusa). In the south, Tumbuka is spoken, and in the centre, including Karonga town itself, Chinkhonde (a dialect of Kyangonde heavily influenced by Tumbuka).[2] There are some pockets of Swahili speakers along the border with Tanzania, and a few speakers of Chindali, Chimambwe, and Cisukwa along the border with Chitipa District.[3]

Cities and towns[edit]

Notable Malawians from Karonga[edit]


Coordinates: 10°00′S 33°45′E / 10.000°S 33.750°E / -10.000; 33.750