Valleys and Highlands Near Shire River in Malawi’s Southern Region – February 21st, 201015.7S 34.9E
The Shire River is visible meandering more or less vertically down the middle of this orthorectified image of the Southern Region of Malawi. The region, whose population was 5,876,784 as of 2008, covers an area of 31,753 km². Its capital city is Blantyre.
The Shire is the outlet of Lake Malawi and flows across Malawi and Mozambique into the Zambezi. Its length is 402 km; including Lake Malawi and the Ruhuhu, its headstream, it has a length of about 1200 km.
Here, west of the river, is the Majete Wildlife Reserve, situated in the Lower Shire Valley, a section of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, covering an area of 700 km2. Vegetation is diverse, ranging from moist miombo woodland in the western hills, to dry savannah in the east with prominent thickets along the riverbanks.
East of the river lie the Shire Highlands, with an elevation of 600–1,600 meters (1,969–5,249 ft), rising to elevations of 2,130 and 3,002 meters (6,988 and 9,849 ft) at the Zomba Plateau and Mulanje Massif respectively. In the extreme south, the elevation is only 60–90 meters (197–295 ft) above sea level.