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Shire fluss nsanje.jpg
Nsanje is located in Malawi
Location in Malawi
Coordinates: 16°55′00″S 35°16′00″E / 16.91667°S 35.26667°E / -16.91667; 35.26667
Country  Malawi
Region Southern Region
District Nsanje District
Population (2008)
 • Total 27,131
Time zone +2
Climate Aw

Nsanje (formerly Port Herald) is the main town in Nsanje District within the Southern Region of Malawi.


The town is the headquarters of Malawi Railways. The railway through Nsanje that connects Blantyre with Beira, Mozambique was severely disrupted by the Mozambique Civil War and remains closed. The main road north connecting the town to the rest of Malawi is being upgraded.


A project is currently underway to dredge part of the Shire River in order to make sea transport to Malawi viable. The Shire merges with the Zambezi River, near Caia, Mozambique, and the Zambezi then flows into the Indian Ocean. As of September, 2010, some of the main concrete work on the jetty was complete and the port was officially declared open in a ceremony attended by President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.[1] However, by August 2016 the port was still incomplete and unused, despite a feasibility study with positive results concluded a few months earlier, and talks were being held on restarting the project.[2]


Nsanje lies only about 46 meters above sea level. During the summer months, daytime highs can exceed 120° Fahrenheit (49° Celsius).


Year Population[3]
1987 11 009
1998 16 941
2008 27 131


Coordinates: 16°55′00″S 35°16′00″E / 16.91667°S 35.26667°E / -16.91667; 35.26667