Lake Natron with flamingos

Greater Lake Natron


Located along the Kenyan border, this arid landscape stretches from the shores of Lake Natron to rangelands dominated by the volcanic Ol Donyo Lengai mountain. The region is home to a variety of wildlife, including zebras, giraffes, and antelope, as well as predators like lions, hyenas, and leopards.

Rising temperatures and drought are pushing pastoralists and nature to the limit, making climate change mitigation a top priority. Our work in the Greater Lake Natron Landscape is driven by the multi-partner Land for Life project which aims to protect wildlife and natural resources, improve wellbeing through community-driven conservation, and develop sustainable and nature-friendly enterprises.

In 2023, 38 Warriors for Wildlife served as human-wildlife coexistence officers, collecting data on conflict incidents, advising livestock owners on boma fortification, promoting better herding practices, and preventing retaliations against big cats. Their presence not only provides insights into conflict hotspots but also instills confidence in the community regarding our commitment to co-create solutions.

Additionally, our ongoing rangeland restoration efforts have garnered community and government support, with harmonization meetings aligning stakeholder visions for sustainable natural resource management. These activities have empowered communities with technical skills to initiate their own invasive species removal projects, showcasing the project’s inspiring impact on local engagement and environmental stewardship.

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Neovitus walks with a pastoralist in a restoration site
© Greg Armfield / WWF-UK
Neovitus Sianga walks with Saruni Njoke to observe restoration work

Through African People & Wildlife, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has seen impactful efforts to ensure that pastoral livelihoods and rangeland management are improved by building educational capacity as well as assisting in implementing projects to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Alfred Mushy, Senior Range Management Officer, Directorate of Grazing Land and Animal Feed Resources

On the Ground in Greater Lake Natron

Cross-Boundary Collaboration

The Land for Life project, funded by UK Aid and WWF-UK, is a collaboration between WWF-Tanzania, WWF-Kenya, African People & Wildlife, and the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO) as the implementing organizations. Together with partners, government, and 20 communities in Longido District, we developed a multi-pronged approach to holistic conservation that leverages APW’s community engagement expertise and our experience building landscape-scale datasets. 

In 2022, we integrated our data collection methods with SORALO's in southern Kenya to create one of Africa's largest transboundary human-wildlife conflict datasets, which is hosted on our Esri-powered system.

Community-Based Solutions Fight Climate Change

Climate change is a significant challenge across our landscapes, with drought particularly affecting pasture in the Natron region. In early 2023, we supported four villages with invasive and problematic species removal on 1,355 acres of communal pasture plagued by bush encroachment. To combat soil erosion, the activity also filled 40 gullies, totaling 5.6 kilometers.

Less than a year later, native plants are rebounding, aiding in gully stabilization and providing critical food sources for domestic and wild animals.

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A woman clears invasive species from the land, which will be used to fill gullies and slow erosion
Emily Paul/APW
A woman clears invasive species to be used in gully restoration

From Retaliation to Peaceful Resolution

Warriors for Wildlife (W4W) are the protectors of predators in the Greater Lake Natron landscape, trained to use technology to record data on conflict events and respond to incidents in a way that deescalates tensions. In 2022, the 44 W4W located here responded to 18 attempted retaliation killings and prevented 100% of retaliations targeting lions – saving 7 lions! Unfortunately, lions are often targeted for revenge killings despite only causing 1.2% of depredation events.

In 2023, W4W continued to support local communities with tools to reduce tensions and save predators, installing installing 176 Living Walls across the landscape.

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A male lion with stunning mane looks into the distance
Laly Lichtenfeld/APW
Male lion laying down
Goat herding at sunset

Climate-Smart Rangeland Conservation

The destructive nature of climate change puts rangelands on a dangerous path: water scarcity, invasive plant species, and soil erosion. With human wellbeing and wildlife populations on the line, our team takes collective action with local communities:

  • Educating local herders on drought preparedness with science-driven strategies
  • Supporting community members in filling gullies to slow soil erosion
  • Collaborating with ministry, district, ward, and village grazing committee officials and involving local community members to restore rangeland

Partners & Supporters

Land for Life Logo
WWF logo
UK aid logo