A lioness sitting on a rock overlooking the savannah

Pride of Amboseli


Through our Pride of Amboseli Programme, we aim to reduce human-carnivore conflict and promote coexistence between people and carnivores in the Amboseli Ecosystem, Kenya.


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Amboseli Ecosystem, Kenya, east Africa.

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Human-lion conflict and retaliatory killings; habitat loss and lack of pasture; prey depletion; drought and water stress.

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Construction of predator-proof bomas; distribution of smart elements; human-wildlife conflict toolkit.

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Kenya Wildlife Service, Wildlife Research and Training Institute, Amboseli Ecosystem Trust, Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Lion Guardians, Big Life Foundation, local communities (e.g. Maasai).

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A photo showing a vast African landscape with mpuntains in the distance and green grass in the foreground. A single lioness is seen walking

A wild lion in the Amboseli Ecosystem (c) George Logan

According to the last National Wildlife Census in 2021, there are only an estimated 2,589 lions remaining in Kenya. 

The Amboseli Ecosystem covers 2,200 miles2 (5,700km2), and incorporstes Amboseli National Park and the surrounding group ranches (rangelands) including the Kimana, Olgulului, Eselenkei, Mbirikani, Rombo and Kuku group ranches. The ecosystem spans from Kilimanjaro to the Chyulu Hills, Tsavo West National Park and the Kenya-Tanzania border.

Pastoralism (a form of farming) is the main livelihood for the Maasai people living in Amboseli Ecosystem and keeping livestock is a way of life. Each time a large carnivore such as a lion, attacks and kills a sheep, goat, or cow, it causes devastating social, economic, and psychological impacts on the Maasai farmer. In retaliation for attacks, pastoralists, may decide to kill large carnivores by poisoning, snaring, or shooting them.

Retaliatory killings were historically high in Amboseli and, although they have dropped in recent times, incidents do still occur. This is concerning as lions are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN, and global populations are declining. Lions and other carnivores are also highly threatened by habitat loss, as expansion for agriculture and settlements occurs at a rapid rate.

Born Free has been active in the Amboseli Ecosystem since 2010, with the Pride of Amboseli programme being the first on-the-ground conservation programme initiated and delivered in Kenya by Born Free.


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To reduce human-lion conflict in conflict hotspot areas in the Amboseli Ecosystem.

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To provide community benefits and increase engagement in conservation activities, promoting coexistence between people and large carnivores, such as lions.

To achieve these objectives, we carry out several key activities

Find out more about each of our objectives below.
Cattle in a predator-proof boma

Cattle in a predator-proof boma © Peter Ndung’u

Since its conception, the Pride of Amboseli team has been on a mission to strengthen traditional Maasai livestock bomas (enclosures),  creating ‘predator-proof bomas’. These bomas comprise a traditional boma that is reinforced using strong metal posts (6ft [1.8m] from the ground), strong doors and rolls of chain-link fencing, which makes it considerably harder for lions and other carnivores, such as hyenas and leopards, to enter and attack and kill livestock. Predator-proof bomas have been demonstrated to have a 91% success rate at preventing livestock depredation.

Predator-proof bomas cost around £1,500 each to build and pastoralists contribute a ‘cost-share’, which is typically paid for in labour, materials or by selling a goat or sheep, which promotes a feeling of ownership and encourages good maintenance of their bomas, preventing them from falling into disrepair, and ultimately resulting in the predator-proof boma being an effective tool for mitigating human-lion conflict in the long-term.

We provide training on boma maintenance and repairs, and we assist with more considerable repairs, such as hanging new chain-link fences or sinking new posts.

A man wearing a Born Free uniform standing with a woman in traditional Maasaii dress, looking at solar lighting

Solar lighting recipient © Peter Ndung’u

We supply each newly constructed predator-proof boma with ‘smart’ elements which can have a big impact on reducing the reliance on precious natural resources. For every predator-proof boma, we provide ten energy-saving stoves, also known as jikos, which require far less firewood than traditional stoves, reducing the amount of natural firewood a household must collect from the surrounding natural habitat. Using jikos also has considerable health benefits as they produce less air pollution, improving peoples’ standards of living.

We also provide two solar-powered light units for every predator-proof boma, which help limit the use of kerosene lamps which negatively affect the environment and people’s health. Amboseli is a water-scarce region and so we provide 500-gallon water-gathering structures which prevent the need to trek long distances to pump for water, and reduce competition for water resources with resident wildlife.

Cattle with eyespots painted on their rears

Cattle with eyespots painted on their rears

Whilst predator-proof bomas are very effective at preventing livestock depredation when livestock are inside bomas overnight, livestock may also be attacked or killed when they are out grazing during the day. To help prevent this, we produce and distribute a conflict mitigation ‘toolkit’, which explains how individuals can use tried and tested, cost-effective and simple methods (such as painting  eye spots on the rumps of cattle) to prevent carnivore attacks on livestock.



Predator-proof boma in Amboseli

Predator-proof boma in Amboseli ©Born Free

We strive to ensure that all our conservation programmes are evidence based and that we can show the impact of our work. We do this in several ways:  

  • We conduct baseline and follow-up surveys with predator-proof boma owners, to monitor effectiveness and monitor changes in attitudes, benefits derived, standards of living and conservation behaviours to not only improve our activities but determine the impact of predator-proof bomas.
  • We carry out livestock market surveys with pastoralists to monitor changes in the cost of livestock and the breeds that pastoralists are keeping. This enables to adapt to changing conditions, and respond to crises such as droughts, when the cost of livestock falls, and conflict events become more frequent and severe.
  • We organise focus group discussions with key stakeholders, which give us insights into local knowledge and the needs of the community. These enable us to better provide activities that not only help wildlife, but also people.
  • Alongside our partners in the Amboseli Ecosystem, we analyse human-wildlife conflict trends to ensure that we respond quickly to issues which arise. This data also helps us determine the impact that our conflict mitigation solutions may be having in the area.

Programme outputs and impact

In 2022-23, the Pride of Amboseli Programme achieved:
A photo showing a vast African landscape with mpuntains in the distance and green grass in the foreground. A single lioness is seen walking
  • 23 Bomas constructed

    Benefitting approx. 300 people

  • 1600 energy-saving stoves


  • 70 solar units

    provided to communities

  • 23 water storage tanks

    given to beneficiaries

Programme outputs and impact to date*

Cows and goats walking into a predator-proof boma, with mountains in the background

Livestock entering a boma (c) George Logan


  • 384 predator-proof bomas built since 2010, benefitting over 7,000 people and 100,000 head of livestock.
  • 6,588 energy-saving stoves distributed.
  • 399 solar units distributed.
  • 248 water storage tanks distributed.


*As of March 2023

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