Abstract: Karroo basaltic lavas of southern Malawi are divided into two groups on the basis of stratigraphy, petrography, and the data from 20 newly analysed rocks. A lower group of porphyritic lavas is notably rich in plagioclase phenocrysts and has contents of K, Ti, P, Ba, and Zr unusually high for tholeiitic basalts. They are overlain by an upper group of aphyric or sparsely microphyric lavas whose chemistry is more normal for tholeiites and is comparable with that of the Karroo dolerite dykes in Malawi. Though they outcrop in the northern part of the Karroo province, the lavas and dykes have chemical characteristics more similar to southern province rocks, adding some complexity to the concept of geochemical provinces established by earlier workers. Inter-suite variations in incompatible trace element contents and ratios indicate that the basalts of each group were derived from heterogeneous mantle sources.