Film fixers Uganda offers you all the necessary travel advise for your filming trip in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
Every bird filming journey starts with an itinerary. There are a number of places that you might have to craft into your itinerary based on the kind of birds you wish to film. With our team of experts, we offer you all the necessary information while planning your filming itinerary.
Filming Birds in Uganda
Filming in Uganda requires press accreditation in form of media card which allows foreign journalists or Filming crew to carry out filming in Uganda. On addition, the filming crew need location film permit from Local authorities where filmmakers are planning to film.
To do filming in Uganda, you need to prepared to stay out for long hours (days) to be able to capture photos of different bird species. Some immigrant birds visit Uganda in particular seasons (Crustal Fixers Uganda will let you know when the migrantory birds come in). Every year migratory birds mostly from Europe and Asia migrate to Uganda to escape from harsh winter conditions. These species include black terns, swallows, raptors, passerines, flamingos, waders, storks among others.
Uganda is among the famous birding destination protecting more than 1050 bird species making it a preferred destination for bird filming in Africa. More so, it is a home to 24 of the Albertine rift endemics with the rest found in Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi.
Major bird filming destinations in Uganda include:
- Custom clearance of Filming equipment
- Lake Bunyonyi
- Lake Victoria
- Kazinga channel
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
- Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
- Mabamba swamp
- Semuliki National Park
- Murchison Falls National Park
- Lake Kyoga
- Lake Albert
- Lake Gorge
- Mountain Rwenzori National Park
- Budongo Forest
- Kibale National Park
- Nyamuliro swamp
- Mabira Forest
- Lake Mburo National Park
- Nabugabo wetlands
- Ngamba island
- Musambwa Island
- Lutoboko Point
- Ajai Wildlife Reserve
- Lake Bisina
- Lake Opeta
- Mount Elgon National Park
- Nabajuzi wetland
- Kibimba Rice scheme
Bird Filming can be done in protected areas and in private areas including swamps,forests, Savannah, agricultural lands, woodlands, rocky ridges and Afro-pine moorland among others.
Guidelines for Bird Filming:
- Choose Crystal Film Fixers Uganda to organise your bird filming in Uganda
- Organise your bird shooting itinerary
- Consider the best season of the year (Dry or wet season)
- Consider which sections of the day should be dedicated to different locations and bird species
- Exact time to film a particular specie of birds especially those which are fed by people
- Hire the best local birding guides
- Consider proper dressing as advised by the expert bird filming guide (Dark coloured clothes are the best)
- Study the bird specie you are planning to film (seek knowledge from your local birding guide)
- Set enough time -Crystal Film Fixers Uganda film crew team will advise on time to spend Film birding.
- Know your camera setting and during bird filming, switch of flashing lenses.
Camera Tips During Bird Filming
Birds are complex creatures which can allow or fail your filming activities if the exercise is not handled well. Birds can give you second to capture their photos before they fly to the next destination.
- Shoot in slow-motion, at 60 fps, if possible. This method allows you to maximize the few seconds that a bird might perch.
- Filming in 4k is critical when the bird is further away, which can often be the case with more wary species.When shooting in low light, pay attention to ISO. Practice in the field before your main shoot. Understand how high you can push the ISO on your camera and still shoot usable footage.Use a tripod as much as possible in low light conditions.
- In decent light, it’s possible to shoot at 60fps using a handheld camera setup. However, in this case, it’s vital to control your breathing to reduce camera shake by keeping your heart rate steady.
FILMING BIRDS IN RWANDA
Rwanda is a landlocked country lying south of the Equator in east-central Africa. Known for its breathtaking scenery, Rwanda is often referred to as ‘a land of a thousand hills”. Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda located in the centre of the country on the Ruganwa River. Rwanda is endowed with four National parks namely Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe national Park, Akagera National Park and the newly crated Mukura – Gishwati national park. When we deal with bird filming, the four national parks of Rwanda should be among the case studies.
Filming permit in Rwanda currently cost US$30 – 15 days or US$50 – 30 days and the filming permit is issued by Rwanda Academy of Language and culture.
Rwanda is a haven of birds with 703 species of birds including 29 albertine rift endemics and several Lake Victoria basin endemic. Other specialties include Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Nightjar, Grauer’s Warbler, Regal, Blue-headed and Purple Breasted Sunbirds, Grauer’s Swamp Warbler and Neumann’s Warbler. Major bird filming sites in Rwanda include:
Nyungwe National park:
Filming birds in Nyungwe National Park – 322 bird species as well as 13 primate species and numerous endemic plant species. So far 29 are bird species have been found here. Serious bird filmmakers should look for Red-collared Babbler, Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Nightjar, Grauer’s Warbler, Regal, Blue-headed and Purple Breasted Sunbirds, Grauer’s Swamp Warbler and Neumann’s Warbler.
Akagera National Park:
Its is a protected area in eastern Rwanda covering 1,122 km2 (433 sq mi) along the international border with Tanzania. The park is situated in eastern part of Rwanda. It’s characterized by woodland, swamps, low mountains and savannah thus a good play ground for elephants, lions, Buffales, Antelopes, water bucks, leopards among others.
Bird filming in Akagera National Park focuses on 490 bird species which are currently considering Akagera National Park as their home. Serious filmmakers should look for Northern Brown-throated Weaver; Papyrus Gonolek; White-Winged Swamp Warbler; Carruthers’s Cisticola, White-collared Oliveback, Grey-crowned Cranes and shoebill birds which are seen in Akagera National Park regularly.
Birding in Democratic Republic of Congo:
Popular birding destinations in Democratic Republic of Congo include Virunga National park, Kahuzi Biega National Park among others. Birding in DR Congo is done in forested areas, wetlands, rivers and lakes.
Some of the birds expected to meet in Democratic Republic of Congo include Uganda woodland-warbler, Pale-breasted illadopsis, Chapin’s mountain-babbler, Wattled sterling, African thrush, Spotted flycatcher, Black-throated malimbe, Pale-billed firefinch, Grey throated barbet, Yellow-billed barbet, Congo sunbird, Glossy-backed drongo, Rockefeller’s sunbird, Prigogines’s greenbull, African River martin, Cameroon Indigobird, Fuelleborn’s longclaw, Reichard’s seedeater, Golden-breasted bunting, Congo bay owl, Congo peafowl, Schalow’s turaco, yellow-billed turaco, Blue malkoha, Coppery-tailed coucal, Fiery-breasted bushshrike, , Bedford’s paradise-flycatcher, Northern fiscal, Cape crow, Violet-backed hyliota, Stripe-breasted tit, White-tailed lark, Red-capped crombec, Long-tailed nightjar, Brown-nightjar, chestnut-headed flufftail, Spotted thicknee, Pied Avocet, Brown-chested lapwing, Little stint, Wood sandpiper, Bronze-winged pratincole, Whiskered tern, Mountain Buzzard, Congo Serpent-Eagle, Blue-naped mousebird, Bare-cheeked trogon, Forest woodhoopoe, Red-billed dwarf hornbill, white-bellied kingfisher, Rosy bee-eater, Racket-tailed Roller, Least honeyguide, Amur falcon, Rose-ringed parakeet, purple-throated cuckooshrike, Black-tailed oriole, Chinspot batis, Retz’s helmetshrike, Zitting cisticola, Marsh warbler, Square-tailed sawwing, Pale-olive greenbul etc.
Best birding time in Democratic Republic of Congo
Birding in Democratic Republic of Congo is all year round activity however, the best time is during the dry season, from June to August, and to a lesser extent in December and January when it rains slightly less. Migratory bird species are present from November to April every year.
Dressing code during birding in Democratic republic of Congo
Packing list during birding:
-Long sleeved shirt
-Wear long trousers
-A speed shoot camera and pair of binoculars
-Strong hiking shoes
-A rainproof jacket
-Pack enough drinking water
-Carry a guidebook
-Get your backpack
-Other items include: Flashlight, iPad/tablet, Chargers & cables, Universal adaptor, Cold & flu/hay fever medication, Tonic/energy booster, Cough drops/lozenges, Buff or bandana among others.