Natural resources of Malawi

Natural resources of Malawi

Malawi is endowed with diverse natural resources, ranging from land, water, forests, livestock and minerals. The resources are detailed below;


Out of a total land area of 9.43 million hectares, 36% is under forest cover, including forest reserves and plantations. Common types are Baobab, acacia, and conifers.



Land is the most valuable resource for Malawi in view of its agro-based economy. Arable land is about 38% of the total land of Malawi.

Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi comprises about 20% of total area of Malawi. Lake Malawi is the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa; it is also the ninth largest in the world. The lake is reported to have more species of fish than any other body of freshwater in the world.


The government of Malawi is in carrying out oil exploration on Lake Malawi. However, Malawi has failed to be at peace with Tanzania which claims ownership of about 50% of the lake. There is no drilling so far as drilling Lake Malawi for oil will take a long time, possibly between 15 and 30 years.

Animal life

Wild animals in Malawi include elephants, rhinoceroses, giraffes, zebras, monkeys, and several varieties of antelope. Hippopotamuses inhabit the lake shores. Snakes, crocodiles and other reptiles, birds, and insects are plentiful, and the rivers and lakes abound in fish. Malawi has 5 national parks; Liwonde National Park, Kasungu National Park, Lake Malawi National Park , Lengwe National Park and Nyika National Park. Lake Malawi National Park is the world’s first freshwater Park.

Mineral resources

  • Rare earths
  • Coal
  • limestone
  • Graphite
  • Black granite
  • Aquamarine
  • Tourmaline
  • Rubies
  • Sapphires
  • Bauxite
  • Marble

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