Landscape with village

West Kilimanjaro


The West Kilimanjaro landscape connects the slopes of Africa’s tallest mountain to Kenya's Amboseli National Park. Savannas provide forage for livestock as well as passage for Amboseli elephants and hunting grounds for large carnivores.

Human-wildlife conflict is a pressing issue in West Kilimanjaro as lions reestablish prides. In 2023, Warriors for Wildlife–our locally based human-wildlife coexistence (HWC) officers–recorded the highest number of lion observations here since our project began in 2016.

To foster coexistence between people and large carnivores, proactive community outreach is crucial. Programs like Warriors for Wildlife and Living Walls are creating change in communities and opening hearts and habitat to Africa’s carnivores.

Portrait of Mteriani

I can say that the community is now very much educated and informed on the importance of wildlife. Before that, they used to kill lions and other wildlife with poison as revenge for the killing of their livestock, or if they imposed any threat.

Mteriani Mesikana, Warrior for Wildlife

On the Ground in West Kilimanjaro

A Community Force for Conservation

As locally-based human-wildlife coexistence officers, Warriors for Wildlife have many crucial roles, from fostering public acceptance of large carnivores and promoting sustainable herding practices to installing Living Walls and conducting recovery efforts for lost livestock that are vulnerable to predation.

Officers also have the important responsibility of collecting data about potential and attempted retaliatory killings of predators. Whenever such attempts occur, they quickly implement mitigation techniques aimed at preventing the killing of big cats. In the West Kilimanjaro landscape, our 13 Warriors for Wildlife are particularly focused on preventing conflict at pasture as a part of the path to human-wildlife coexistence.

Living Wall in West Kilimanjaro

Curbing Conflict With Education

Data collected by officers in 2022 revealed that 72% of reported conflicts were occurring at pasture, where livestock lack the protection of predator-proof corrals like Living Walls and require constant supervision from herders. Targeted strategies were needed, prompting Yamat Lengai—part of our Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning & Adaptation (MELA) team—to conduct five herder education sessions in 2023.

These sessions focused on enhancing vigilance in pastures to keep livestock safe and were attended mostly by young men and boys, a critical demographic as they are often primary livestock caretakers and on the front lines of preventing conflict. With increased awareness among herders, we expect to see reduced lost livestock incidents and lion killing. Time and data will tell.

Yamat leading a MELA training

Making Room for Wild Dogs

Population growth and human activities such as livestock grazing and agricultural expansion have caused a rapid decline in large carnivore populations in East Africa, including African wild dogs. These highly social and intelligent animals require large open areas to hunt and roam, but habitat loss and disease outbreaks have led to their population decline. 

Despite this, a pack of wild dogs has been spotted in two local villages in the West Kilimanjaro landscape, where we also recorded an increase in big cat sightings in 2022. The increasing level of local tolerance for wildlife positively affects multiple species, and making room for wild dogs is one way that communities are showing their commitment to coexistence.

Wild dog in the grass
Woman stands with Living Walls

You Can Build Coexistence

Boma owners who install a Living Wall assist with construction and contribute some of the cost, in addition to planting needed trees. Your support helps cover the remaining costs! A monthly recurring gift of $46 funds a new Living Wall after one year.

  • 99.9% Success rate of Living Walls in preventing attacks on livestock, saving the lives of lions and other carnivores
  • 71 High-priority Living Walls on the waitlist in West Kilimanjaro
  • $550 Average cost of installing a Living Wall