Best places for a bird photography trip and filming birds in Rwanda

Best places for a bird photography trip and filming birds in Rwanda

Best places for a bird photography trip and filming birds in Rwanda. Rwanda is best known as one of the top places in the world to see the Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees in their Natural habitat. But what many photography and filmmakers do not know is that it is also one of the world’s best bird watching spots and destinations as well. Rwanda has over 750 recorded bird species including a wide variety of species endemic to Rwanda within the Albertine rift. Rwanda has various best places for bird watching photography and filming birds offering you an exciting and rewarding adventure. National Parks are some of the best places for bird photography and filming in Rwanda where you will also have an opportunity to see various wildlife including all the big five animals and various primates depending where you choose to film the birds. Here below are the best places to film birds in Rwanda;

The Albertine Eco-region for filming the Albertine rift endemics

The Albertine region is made up of a chain of mountains that were formed through the upliftment and volcanic activity. It is home to over 40 bird species including 27 Albertine Rift endemics.

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is another great place to film birds in Rwanda. The park is home to about 165 species of birds including 17 endemics. During filming birds in this park you will have an opportunity to see various primates depending on the trails you use. The park is best known for filming Mountain Gorilla and Golden monkeys.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the best birding destinations in Africa. It is home to over 310 species of birds including 27 Albertine rift endemics some of the notable species include Regal Sunbird, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Batis, Red-collared Babbler, Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, Blue-headed Sunbird, Handsome Spur fowl and Albertine Owlet.

Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is home to over 500 species of birds with major species including Red-faced Barbet, White-collared Oliverback and Sousa’s Shrike. The park is also gives you an opportunity to film the Big 5 animals in Rwanda.

Best places for a bird photography trip and filming birds in Rwanda1

Requirements and permissions for filming birds in Rwanda

You will need to get a filming permit for you to be allowed to film birds in Rwanda. Rwanda filming permits are issued by the Ministry of Sports and Culture whereas Chimpanzee trekking permits are issued by Rwanda Development Board. Filming permits can be secured directly by contacting this ministry however if you want less hassle then Eco film fixers can assist you to do all the ground process to secure for you the Rwanda Filming permits. Filming permits in Rwanda cost $30 valid for 15 Days and $50 valid for 3 Days the permit is strictly issued by Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture. Then for your filming equipment will also need to be cleared with customs at the point of Entry in Rwanda. Contact us at Eco Film Fixers we will be able to process both the filming permissions with Local Authorities in Rwanda, Accommodation, and transportation for you as well guide and help you with clearance processes at the point of entry into Rwanda.

Rwanda Press Accreditation

After securing the Rwanda Filming permits for filming in Rwanda, all film crew members must have press Accreditation from the Rwanda Media High Council to be allowed to film birds in Rwanda. For you to get the press accreditation in Rwanda you will be required to fill in the Rwanda Press Accreditation Application Form (Which we normally send to you) with all details and then attached the following;

  • Official letter requesting for accreditation addressed to the Executive Secretary
  • Two colored passport size photographs
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of visa expect for those who come from countries that benefit from the Rwanda Visa Waiver For example From the East African Community member states, USA, COMESA Member states among others contact us here for more details
  • A copy of a press card from your country of origin
  • A receipt of Payment from Rwanda Revenue Authority
  • List of Filming equipment and kits to be used during your shoot

On top of this, we will need a letter from the filming company detailing who they are, why they are filming, where they will be filming and details of crew members on this shoot. We will attach this letter to all details provided and send them to Rwanda Media High Council for press accreditation. This takes 2-3 working days for the press accreditation cards to be ready.

For you to secure the Rwanda Press Accreditation you are required to pay as follows to Rwanda Revenue Authority depending on the length of your shoot in Rwanda;

  • $30 Press Accreditation Card valid for 01 to 15 days
  • $50 Press Accreditation Card valid for 15 days to 30 days
  • $100 Press Accreditation Card valid for 1 to 3 months
  • $200 Press Accreditation Card valid for 3 to 6 months
  • $300 Press Accreditation Card valid for 6 months to 1 year

Kindly note the rates above are used as a guide and these change from time to time. Contact us here for up to date rates for filming birds in Rwanda.

Rwanda Visa Advice

You will need to purchase the tourist or Business visa for you to get into Rwanda for Filming. Many film crews prefer obtaining their visas before they come to Rwanda but visas can be obtained easily upon arrival at any entry point and in this case Kigali International Airport upon paying either USD50.00 for a Tourist Visa you will be able to get it immediately.

Rwanda Vehicle Hire Services

Eco film Fixers organizes transport for film crews depending on their interest, budget and the nature of roads in such selected locations they are filming birds in Rwanda. For rough terrains, like in National Parks, we recommend Customized 4×4 Land Cruisers which costs from USD200-250 per vehicle per day with Driver/Fixer or 4×4 Safari Vans from USD200 per Van per day with driver/Fixer. For us to estimate how much it will cost in terms of fuel, we will need to look at your filming schedule to establish mileage and distance to be traveled. We also organize both charter and schedule air transport for those that need to fly in order to reduce on the number of drive hours.

Fixers in Rwanda to help you film birds in Rwanda

All our vehicles come with drivers who act as location fixers and most of them have been to almost all parts of Rwanda and are thus conversant with the local situations and are able to provide relevant information and fix any situation on ground. These act as intermediaries between you and our office while on location in Rwanda.

Where to stay during filming the Shoebill in Akagera National Park

Accommodation options to stay in during filming for a bird photography trip and filming birds in Rwanda range from Budget, mid-range to luxury options. You will choose what to stay in depending on your interests and budget. Contact us here for reservation and booking details.

What is the best time to film birds in Rwanda?

Filming birds in Rwanda is done throughout the year and the best time is during June, July and August every year during this time the fig trees have fruits that birds feed on commonly and this makes finding them easy.

Why use Eco film Fixers to film birds in Rwanda?

Eco Film Fixers is a local fixer company, we assist filming companies and Production agencies in Uganda and East Africa as a whole we have done this for the last 8 years. We handle all fixer services required with our professional team of local fixers and driver guides. We have all relevant connections with other service providers and government agencies in Rwanda to make sure that accreditation and filming permits are processed in the shortest time possible. Contact us for details and all relevant information you would like to know to film birds in Rwanda.