Besides Masai Mara and Serengeti national parks, Uganda remains East Africa’s most hidden gem. Film fixers Uganda and its partners have a enough expertise to link you as well as advise you on where to go for the specific kind of wildlife that you have with in your filming plans. Whether all you need are forest elephants, or forest buffaloes or you wish to break not the Savannah life, Film Fixers Uganda is the way to go.
Wildlife Filming in Uganda
Uganda wildlife Authority is under control of the protected areas and above all the savanna National parks below:
- Murchison Falls National Park
- Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Lake Mburo National Park
- Semuliki National Park
- Kidepo Valley National Park
Not only National Park, Uganda is also endowed with game reserves/ wildlife Reserves which are not yet attained the status of a national park:
- Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve.
- Bokora Wildlife Reserve.
- Matheniko Wildlife Reserve.
- Pian -Upe wildlife reserve
- Kyambura Wildlife Reserve.
- Kigezi Wildlife Reserve.
- Toro- Semuliki Game Reserve.
- Karuma Wildlife Reserve.
- Bugungu wildlife Reserve among others.
The filmmakers/ filming crew requires media cards to be authorized to film in Uganda. Media cards are obtained from Uganda Media Council (UMC). At this stage, crystal Film Fixers Uganda comes in to assist in the process of getting media cards for filmmakers.
Filming in any of the above savanna National park and game reserve requires prior permission from Uganda Wildlife Authority. All filming requests must be done and sent to UWA at least 3 weeks to beginning of film shooting.
UWA will asses the requests of the film makers but ensures that the photographers/ film makers or the filming crew meet their objectives.
The Communications Manager will be happy to quote for a range of additional services based on your specific requirements.
No filming can take place without prior payment.
How is filming done in savanna parks?
In savanna parks, filming is done during game drives. You can go morning game viewing drive, afternoon game drive or night game drive. Crystal Fixers Uganda uses 4×4 wheel drive safari vehicles with pop ups to enable filming crew have good views and focus for proper photography/ filming.
Our experienced drivers together with Uganda wildlife Authority ranger guides ensure that the filming crew is taken to famous colonies of stocks of animals like elephants, buffaloes, Hyenas, Leopards, Warthogs, Antelopes, Kobs, Impalas, water bucks, Zebras, Giraffes, Lions among others. The amazing birds to film in Uganda Savanna parks include Shoe-bill storks, Great Blue Turaco, Marabou Stork, African Green Broadbill, Doherty’s Bushshrike, crested cranes, Saddle-billed Stork among others. Other attractions suitable for filming include vegetation, drainage features, topography, insects to mention but a few.
Wildlife Filming in Rwanda
Just like in Uganda, game drive viewing in Rwanda’s Akagera National park offers great views and film shooting of different wild life. Akagera National Park is the only savannah park in Rwanda which is situated in the north eastern and reached between 2-3hrs drive from Kigali- the capital city of Rwanda. It was named Akagera National Park from River Akagera which flows along its eastern boarder.
Akagera National Park protects a great diversity of wild animals among which are: elephants, lions, buffaloes, hyenas, zebras, giraffe and several antelopes like the bush bucks, roan antelope, Topis, klipspringer, Oribis, Cape eland, water-buck, duikers and impalas among others. There are a number of primates species found within this park such as the olive baboons, Vervet monkeys, and the nocturnal bush babies. The shallow waters of Lake Ihema are home to a large number of crocodiles and hippos which can best be viewed during boat rides.
Over 520 species of birds are found in Akagera National park. Red faced barbets, and the swamp fly catcher as well as the elusive shoebill stork all found in Akagera National park. Other species include: fish eagles, Grey-backed Fiscals, Cattle Egret, Black-headed & Viellot’s Black Weavers, Hamerkop, Pied Crow, Sacred & Hadada Ibis, Long-crested Eagle and the Augur Buzzard.
Its should be noted that powerful camera with powerful lenses, binocular and so on are highly recommended to be able to capture great films. However, if you do not have strong cameras Crystal Film Fixers can assist you hire powerful cameras.
Commercial Filming in Akagera National Park requires permit and permission which should be granted before actual filming. Each Foreign journalist must apply for Rwanda Filming permit – fill the Form and submit to Ministry of Sports and Culture and wait for the response. The ministry can deny or grant permission to the Filming crew or individual film maker.
Gorilla Filming in Rwanda is done in Volcanoes National Park. VNP is the most visited park as many travelers yearn to trek Gorillas. There are ten habituated gorilla families for filming in Rwanda. Each filming crew member requires to purchase a gorilla filming permit at US$500 each on addition to Gorilla trekking permit at US$1500 each.
During standard gorilla tracking, tourists are allowed one hour with the primates. In that one hour, they may take photos and videos of the primates without any extra charges. Some travelers go to see the gorillas with the sole intention of filming, making documentaries or videos of the primates.
Filming expeditions can not be complete without both Gorillas and chimpanzees filming. After Gorilla filming in Volcanoes National Park, visit Nyungwe National park for chimpanzee filming. Chimpanzee filming permit cost US$1000 (for a maximum of 3 people) on top of the cost of chimpanzee trekking permit. On addition to that, each filming crew member must purchase chimpanzee permit.
On addition to the Filming permit, the film maker or crew requires press accreditation – its a license that grants permission to carry out journalism in Rwanda. Media or press accreditation applies for both foreign and local crew member intending to film in Rwanda.
The media organization must apply for press accreditation with a letterhead of the media company, signed by the authorized person and clearly shows their contact information. Attach copies of passports, colored passport, provide a list of the filming requirement, value, serial numbers and years of manufacture.
Wildlife Filming in Kenya
Kenya is among the popular destinations for tourists. Game drives in Kenya National Parks makes African safaris more fascinating. Kenya is stocked with a variety of wildlife hiding in the following National parks and wildlife reserves:
- Masaai mara national Park
- Aberdare National Park
- Amboseli National Park
- Arabuko Sokoke National Park
- Central Island National Park
- Chyulu Hills National Park
- Hell’s Gate National Park
- Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park
- Kora National Park
- Lake Nakuru National Park
- Malindi Marine National Park
- Malka Mari National Park
- Meru National Park
- Mombasa Marine Park
- Mount Elgon National Park
- Mount Kenya National Park
- Mount Longonot National Park
- Nairobi National Park
- Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
- Ruma National Park
- Saiwa Swamp National Park
- Sibiloi National Park
- Tsavo East National Park
- Tsavo West National Park
- Watamu Marine National Park
Some animals and birds can be seen while on nature walks or hiking tours due to mountainous nature of some parks like Mount Kenya National Park, Mount Elgon National Park and Mount Longonot National Park and so on.
How to apply for Kenya filming permit?
Every film maker must write an application request for filming pass. The application letter must be accompanied by a well filled out form
Submit your request to Kenya Filming Commission (KFC)
Attach the following: Cover Letter, Synopsis, Screenplay, Shooting Schedule & List of Equipment should be attached to applications for Short Film, TV Series, TV Series Episode and Feature Film.
(b) Cover Letter, Shooting Schedule, List of Equipment and either Synopsis, Screenplay, Treatment, Script Outline, Running Order or Storyboard should be attached to applications for Documentary, Feature, Infomercial, Corporate Video, Music Video, TV Commercial (TVC) etc
The process may take a maximum of 7 days thus important to do it in advance by the help of the local film fixers on the ground.
Game Filming in Tanzania
All foreign filmmakers must get a Tanzania filming pass first. It is only after receiving this permission that you will be eligible to be granted other permits.
Tanzania Filming fees:
All filmmakers must pay a fee of $1000 to the Tanzania Film Board (TFB)
Filming application must be submitted 30 days prior filming date and the processing may take up to 2-3 months. So, make sure to file your application in advance.
Express filming permit can be obtained within 7 days at higher cost of $3000.
What information is necessary to get this permit
Provide all the necessary information when completing your permit application, to ensure you are granted permission and to avoid any delays. This information includes the following:
Names of each crew members
Synopsis of the film
Names of any Tanzanian Nationals you intend to use or interview in the film
Locations where you plan to shoot
Estimated dates of filming.
Further, you must ensure that all crew members are able to travel to Tanzania. Being part of a film crew means that you are not able to enter Tanzania on a tourist visa, but instead you should come on a Business Visa, which allows visa holders to remain in Tanzania for 3 months. A business Visa always requires an invitation from a registered host organization in Tanzania.
Validity of the Tanzania Censorship Board filming permit
Once the permit is issued, it will be valid for three months. It is necessary for you to complete all filming during this time-period, or re-apply for another permit.
After getting the filming permit which will be valid for 3 month, the filmmakers will be able to re-apply for other filming contracts which allows filming in National Parks parks like Nyerere National Park, Katavi National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro conservation areas, Tsavo national Park, Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, Ruaha National Park among others.