The Course:

The Malilangwe Course in Chemical and Physical Restraint of African Wildlife


The Malilangwe Course in Chemical and Physical Restraint of African Wildlife is conducted annually in Zimbabwe each year. The course is organized and coordinated by the Zimbabwe Wildlife Veterinary Trust (ZWVT) in conjunction with the Government Veterinary Services (GVS) Wildlife Unit and partners. The course originated in Zimbabwe over 30 years ago, when the GVS was asked to assist in the training of National Parks personnel in safe wild animal capture. For the past 13 years, this intensive program, over a 10 day period, has been conducted in the Malilangwe Wildlife Estate near to Gona-Re-Zhou National Park in the south-east lowveld of Zimbabwe. This course has educated wildlife health and management professionals from all over the world in the science and art of chemical and physical restraint of wild animals. Participants obtain a wealth of both theoretical and practical experience, and hands on training.

One of the key features of the course is the local, regional and international lecturers and wildlife managers that assist in teaching both theoretical and field aspects of safe wildlife capture, including the important human component. All are leaders in their particular fields, including wildlife veterinarians and pathologists, wildlife managers and researchers, game capturers and helicopter pilots. This state of art training course integrates a variety of topics including legislation, theoretical and applied pharmacology, theoretical and applied physiology, stress and capture related deaths, safety and first aid in the field, use of helicopters, principles, chemical immobilization and species requirements, drug injecting equipment, dart projectors, ancillary treatments in wildlife capture, transport of wild animals, and post mortem techniques. The course teaches both the art and science, with a strong practical field component.

Lectures are held in a modern, custom designed education/conference facility at Hakamela Camp, which also provides accommodation in comfortable chalets with 2 beds per chalet. Spill over accommodation is provided at Kwhali Camp near to the Estate’s HQ. The field aspects of the course are conducted at various locations within the Estate. This allows for a comprehensive education in both the theoretical and practical aspects of wildlife capture. The field aspects are conducted in a wild and free-roaming environment, so safety is paramount.

The course is held for 10 days every year (next course: 8-17 February 2019)

The course has been designed to service both local and international veterinarians and wildlife management specialists. The week’s lectures and practicals culminate in both a written and oral exam. Upon successful completion of the examinations, candidates will receive a course certificate for the Chemical & Physical Restraint of Wildlife, those who fail will get a certificate of attendance. Veterinarians do not have to write the exam and sit orals but are encouraged to do so.

The Malilangwe Wildlife Estate has been host to the course since 2000. Malilangwe is a large multi-use game ranch situated in the Chiredzi District of south-east Zimbabwe, an area known as the ‘lowveld’. The reserve is operated under the Malilangwe Trust, a non-profit Zimbabwean organization dedicated to both wildlife and environmental conservation, and rural development. The estate has a large amount of wildlife, including elephant, hippo, buffalo, eland, giraffe, lion, wild dog and many other species that have been introduced onto the land by the Trust.

This course represents the evolution of ideas, knowledge, and experience over the last 30 years that can only be of benefit to the wildlife industry in southern Africa and those professionals around the world working with captive or free-ranging wild animals. In addition, this course provides tremendous opportunities to network with fellow professionals, and is an experience that will not be forgotten for years to come.