A boma is a stockade in which we keep livestock safe at night and away from predators like lions and hyaenas.
In Zimbabwe, the traditional boma is made from timber poles with a single entrance. Traditional bomas are static and, as a result, manure (which is used on crops) builds up inside. This not only makes the boma unpleasant to work in, especially in the wet season, but can also be a breeding ground for disease. The build-up of smell attracts flies and predators alike.
The traditional boma takes a significant time to construct and given the amount of timber needed the construction has a very high impact on the native trees.
The open lattice design of traditional bomas means that livestock are visible, and this is a major factor effecting predation of livestock within.
Research has shown that if a lion can’t see through a barrier it won’t jump in. Similarly, for cattle, if they can’t see the lion outside the boma (even if they smell it and hear it) they won’t break out in panic, which in turn attracts predators.
Combined all of this means that the traditional boma has many drawbacks and provides insufficient protection from predation by lions. We addressed these limitations with a new design: The Zero-Visibility, Mobile Boma. In over 3 years of use, as we have tested the design, not a single animal has been killed in a mobile-boma by either a lion or a hyena.