Today we are privileged to highlight a hero on the front lines of conservation: Dr. Mwamba Sichande.

Dr. Sichande’s position was born out of need in 2012 after Dazzle Africa safari guests traveled to Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park and during their safari travels, witnessed a young bull elephant whose trunk had been caught in an illegal wire snare. The more he struggled the tighter the snare became and he struggled to breathe. Tragically, he died of suffocation a few days later without the help he needed. Our safari guests were so affected by what they saw, they wanted to make sure no other animal would die this way again without having the help it needed.

Photo credit: Conservation South Luangwa

Enter Rachel McRobb, founder and CEO of Conservation South Luangwa (CSL), an award-winning conservation organization focused on anti-poaching, human-wildlife conflict mitigation and community programs in South Luangwa. CSL was also trying to prevent tragedies such as this young elephant from happening in the future and we discussed the possibility of supporting a new position for a full-time wildlife veterinarian, only the second full-time wildlife veterinarian in the country of Zambia. 

At the time, Dr. Mwamba Sichande was working in Lusaka as a traditional veterinarian caring for domestic animals, but conservation called and Dr. Sichande answered. He moved his practice to Mfuwe and started his journey of caring for all animals, both domestic and wild. 

Photo credit: Conservation South Luangwa

To move from treating cats and dogs to hippos and elephants and lions was a big jump and has taken years of dedicated training, experience and practice to become the renowned wildlife veterinarian he is today! 

Dr. Sichande works equally with Conservation South Luangwa and Zambian Carnivore Programme, our two conservation partners in Zambia and when you travel with Dazzle Africa on safari you more than likely will meet him and hear about his work in person. 

On any given day, you may find Dr. Sichande helping the local community care for their domestic animals by spaying and neutering, vaccinating and treating animals that have been in accidents, like snake bites or wounded by other animals. Or taking care of the anti-poaching canines in the Delta Dog Detection team, but mostly you’ll find him in the field, treating wild animals that have been wounded by poachers or radio-collaring big cats to monitor their movements and collect scientific data to protect their species. 

Last but certainly not least, Dr. Sichande is a mentor and a teacher. As only one of two veterinarians in the region, he has used this opportunity to train the next generation. In the first six months of 2020, Dr. Sichande has trained eight different students who aspire to be veterinarians. Two of those students are sponsored through Dazzle Africa, with a big thanks to Lacey Miller and Zur Attias. You can see Mercy and Fitzgerald in action below! Teaching the next generation how to care for wildlife is one of the best gifts you can give and Dr. Sichande gives it daily.

Photo credit: Conservation South Luangwa

Dr. Sichande is a hero on the front lines of conservation. His work would not be possible without Caroline Jones and the Willits Foundation, and Michael Binger, who helped fund and provide a foundation to start this program, many other generous individual donors through the years and Cathy and Mike Smith who have funded Dr. Sichande’s salary since 2018. Together you have all saved thousands of animals and helped provide stability and inspiration to young Zambian citizens. We are grateful for each one of you!


Photo credit: Conservation South Luangwa

You can still help! Dr. Sichande requires costly medical supplies to treat and sedate animals as well as support to further his education and attend medical trainings. You can help by contributing or traveling to the region and visiting this project. Our Emerald Safari in February 2020 is the next trip we have available, but there are more trips in the summer of 2021 that you can also join. It is always a good time to be involved and we are always happy to welcome new members to our Dazzle family.