Dedza - Geography

Rock outcrop

Rock outcrop

Bamboo forest

Bamboo forest

 

Dedza is about the same size as Norfolk 40 miles north to south and 70 miles east to west. The western part is on the Central African Plateau at an altitude of 1600m (5000ft). Higher mountain ranges, including Dedza Mountain (2198m, 7209ft) separate this from the land around Lake Malawi at 500m (1600ft).

During the wet season, from mid November to mid April, rain falls in heavy downpours, providing the annual rainfall of 800 to 1200mm - about the same as England gets over the whole year. There is hardly any rain in the other seasons. The temperature at this time of year is equivalent to a warm English summer day but the sun is more intense. In the cooler season night temperature in June and July can fall to below 10°C.

Season Months Max Day Temp Min Night Temp Monthly Rainfall Daily Sunshine
Wet Nov-Apr 23°C 15°C 250mm 5hr
Cool Apr-Aug 20°C 10°C 5mm 8hr
Hot Sep-Nov 25°C 15°C 8mm 9hr

The countryside is a mixture of natural woodland and commercial pine plantations on the mountains, interspersed with grassland and granite outcrops on the plains. There is also some bamboo woodland at the lower altitudes nearer the lake. The grasslands have numerous wild flowers and orchids can be found in the woodlands during the wet season.

Wildlife in the forest reserves includes baboons, monkeys (samango and vervet), small antelope (grey duiker and klipspringer) and various species of birds. There are also leopards and hyena but they are not likely to be seen.

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Dedza, Malawi

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