Living Wall in West Kilimanjaro

Living Walls


The death of a cow, goat, or sheep represents a serious loss for rural people, who may kill wild predators in retaliation. We designed Living Walls as a win-win solution for people and nature.

Due to habitat loss and a decrease in their natural prey, large carnivores live closer to humans than ever before. As a result, they often turn to the livestock of local herders for an easy meal.

To reduce this type of human-wildlife conflict, African People & Wildlife (APW) partners with communities to build Living Walls – environmentally-friendly corrals that keep livestock safe.

What are Living Walls?

Designed hand-in-hand with local people, Living Walls are in high demand across northern Tanzania. Local involvement is strong, with individual owners contributing 25 percent of the cost. APW’s Warriors for Wildlife team monitors Living Wall conditions to ensure that the structures remain effective over time.

Positive Impacts

A recent study shows that people who own Living Walls are more likely to be positive and optimistic about coexisting with large carnivores. To date, more than 2,000 Living Walls positively impact 23,600+ people and keep more than 309,000 livestock safe every night. Living Walls have led to the planting of more than 344,000 living Commiphora or similar trees.

Raphael in front of a Living Wall

Benefits of Living Walls

  • Protect livestock from attack
  • Prevent the retaliatory killing of wildlife
  • Uplift livelihoods
  • Improve local attitudes toward large carnivores
  • Contribute to habitat preservation
  • Demonstrate the value of shared knowledge
  • Exhibit culturally appropriate solutions

Learn how a Living Wall has improved the life of a Maasai herder and his family.

Building a Living Wall

Step One

Community members harvest limbs of living Commiphora trees.

Commiphora tree in a Living Wall structure with chainlink

Step Two

With help from African People & Wildlife, community members plant the trees in a circle and dig a furrow around the perimeter.

Planting trees for a Living Wall in Tanzania

Step Three

Together, we ground the chain-link fencing in the furrow and wrap it around the trees.

Man showing how trees are added to Living Walls

Step Four

Finally, we secure the chain-link fencing to the trees. The trees continue to grow and add height to the wall.

Securing a tree in a Living Wall fence

Explore Living Wall Data

Open our Living Walls ArcGIS Dashboard to discover the latest updates and impact of the program in Tanzania.

Living Walls data dashboard
Living Wall with Maasai family

Our Living Walls are 99.9 percent successful in preventing attacks on livestock, which results in fewer retaliatory lion killings. No lions have been killed at homesteads where Living Walls are installed.

Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, African People & Wildlife


Impact Summary

Our programs positively impact 76 communities in 6 critical conservation landscapes across northern Tanzania.

Two lions sitting in the grass

Northern Tanzania Big Cats Conservation Initiative

APW helps to preserve some of Tanzania’s most threatened big cat populations.

Pair of lion cubs in the grass

Warriors for Wildlife

APW’s Warriors for Wildlife team provides rapid response to human-wildlife conflict events across communities in northern Tanzania.

Maasai warrior walking through the bush