Lion-proof bomas have been constructed across 5 different community-managed group ranch areas adjacent to Kenya’s famous Amboseli National Park. The process is based on a cost-sharing approach, whereby communities also contribute towards the cost of the materials needed for strengthening their traditional thorn enclosures (bomas) while also providing labour to help with construction. Demand is high and priority is given to individuals in the areas of highest predator conflict. To assist further a natural thorn barrier can be planted outside and the old pre-existing thorns used to protect the boma fence from cattle damaging the boma from the inside. The process of constructing a lion-proof boma can be achieved within a day.
Lion-proof bomas are a simple, cost effective approach to protecting livestock from predation at night. Each consists of erecting a ring of strong poles, spaced 3 metres apart, around the thorn boma; then a 2m high hexagonal steel wire mesh is put in place and finally doors are made from recycled oil drums.
Born Free manages a local team of technicians who are now expert at erecting bomas, and lead by a coordinating officer based in Nairobi.
One lion proof boma can accommodate up to 800 cows and 400 sheep or goats and to date we estimate that at least 2,500 people and 32,500 livestock are now better protected as a result of this programme and this number is set to increase tremendously thanks to partnerships with the Land Rover, African Wildlife Foundation and others and Boma construction is soon to be extended to West Kilimanjaro, adjacent to Amboseli, in Tanzania.
You can help
Lion-proof bomas do make a difference! They save both lions and livestock. The list of community members wanting to sign-up to this approach continues to grow, but we need further assistance to be able to build more bomas on a cost-sharing basis with local people. Each boma costs around £1,200, why not think about raising the money to sponsor a boma with colleagues or friends?
‘’When Born Free came here and took the measurements of my manyatta [boma], I was so overwhelmed with joy. I now know that my livestock will soon be safe and I will be able to sleep peacefully. I am really looking forward to the day when the team will assemble here for us to construct the manyatta together" - Ole Muenta, a village elder at Risa.