Filming Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Filming Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Uganda is known to have at least half of the mountain gorilla population of the whole world and the best place for Filming Mountain Gorillas in Uganda is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The endangered species are an attraction to people all over the world. In Uganda, they can be filmed in the following places.

BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK.

Bwindi forest is one of the few remaining tropical rainforests that has been preserved in Uganda and Africa as a whole. This forest is located in southwestern Uganda. The national park is very popular for being home to the mountain gorillas. Bwindi has half of the mountain gorilla population in the whole world. The park was established to protect the forest’s mountain gorilla population from poachers and habitat loss. The gorillas in the park are divided into different families that can be trekked every day. The park is also divided into different sectors, namely Rushaga, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Buhoma. While filming in this park, you can also get a chance to film the native Batwa people and other communities that surround the national park.

Filming gorillas in Bwindi

MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK

This is the smallest national park in Uganda and is located in south-western Uganda in the Virunga   Mountains. The park is made up of three inactive volcanoes namely Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabinyo. The park is home to primates that include mountain Gorillas and Golden monkeys. The park also has a variety of mammal species that include black and white colobus, leopards, elephants, and giant forest hogs among others. Activities that can be filmed include mountain gorilla tracking, golden monkey tracking, volcano hiking, nature walks, and experiences with the Batwa community.

How to obtain Uganda Gorilla Filming permits step by step?

A Gorilla Filming Permit is obtained from the Uganda Wildlife Authority, which is applied for in writing. The film crew is required to write a detailed letter to the Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Authority and, in the letter, detail who you are, what you want to shoot, where the shoot will be featured, and who the crew members are. You will share this letter, and we will submit it to the relevant offices on your behalf. The process usually takes about a week or two to get the first feedback. A draft for the rates will be drawn and shared with the crew to confirm that what has been quoted is exactly what the team requested. You have the option to choose between the one-hour filming with the gorillas habituated for tourism or you choose the habituation experience that gives you up to 4 hours with the Mountain Gorillas when you meet them. If the crew proves that the rates are all good and the dates as well, you are required to pay the stipulated sum, and then a contract will be drawn up for you. If you need assistance with this, please feel free to contact us.

What documents do I need to secure permits to film in the National Park?

All you need is an introductory letter detailing what you want to shoot and passport copies of the crew. Pay 40% of the total activity rate and 50% if you are using a drone to the Uganda Wildlife Authority for filming. That is if you choose the one-hour filming with the gorillas habituated for tourism you will need to pay 40% of $700 which is $280 Filming fees and on top you will also pay for the Gorilla Permit $700 total will be $980 Per Person or if you choose to film the habituation experience that gives you up to 4 hours with the Mountain Gorillas you will need to pay 40% of $1500 which is $600 Filming fees and on top you will also pay for the Gorilla Habituation Permit $1500 total will be $2100 Per Person.

How long does it take to process Uganda Gorilla Filming permits

The process of organizing and applying for the Gorilla filming permit usually takes about 2 weeks at most to have the process done.

What is a Gorilla trekking permit?

A Gorilla trekking permit is a document that allows people access to spend time with the Gorillas in different sectors of the country. This permit comes in two types. The normal type and the Habituation type.

How much is a Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda

A normal gorilla permit costs 700 USD for foreigners, 600 for foreign residents, and 70 USD for East Africans.  The Habituation permit costs 1500 USD. Please note that these prices are charged per person per trek

Where can I buy Gorilla permits?

Gorilla permits are authorized by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. This is the organization in charge of wildlife and national parks in the country. Our long-term working relationship enables us to get them on your behalf easily. Don’t hesitate to contact us for help acquiring Gorilla permits.

When is the best time to secure Gorilla permits?

When planning a shoot, securing your permits at least 4 months prior is best. This is major because Gorilla permits are given out on a daily basis and are limited to a specific number of people. Booking them in advance allows you to secure your spot to be able to film the Gorillas.

What is included in the gorilla permit

Gorilla permits include the park entrance fee, a ranger guide in the forest, and the tracking of the Gorillas.

What is excluded from the gorilla permit

It excludes transportation to the park and any sort of logistics and welfare.

What are the requirements to process media accreditation to film Gorillas?

All members of the crew are supposed to be accredited by the Uganda Media Council to be able to film In the country. Media accreditation is a must for all applications to make feature films or documentaries. The requirements for media accreditation in Uganda include the following; an Introductory letter addressed to The Secretary Media Council of Uganda, a Passport copy, a passport-size photograph, a certificate of good council, and filled-in Form G; You should have applied for a special pass. 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. Crew members will also be required to seek letters of Good conduct from Interpol (it’s a must-have). We will attach this to all details provided and send them to the Uganda Media Council for Media card processing and follow-up. This takes about 2-3 working days

Custom clearing

Uganda is not a member of the Carnet Free Systems Unions, so Carnet’s are not valid. The only process to get your equipment in and out of Uganda is through a bonded Agent. A comprehensive list of equipment and value needs to be submitted to URA through a bonded clearing agent for the issuance of a Temporary Import Permit (TIP). A fee equivalent to a 10% percentage of the value of the equipment is payable. This fee is non-refundable but will guarantee you safe entry and exit with your equipment. We are able to handle clearing for you as we have a trusted bond agent. On the other hand, you can choose to source gear and equipment from the country to avoid the hustle of clearing.

Visa Advice

In the case of visas, we advise you to get a tourist or business visa. Both can work well. You will need to apply and get the Uganda Visa in advance online before travelling to Uganda You can apply for the Uganda Visa here.

Vehicle Hire Services

Eco film fixers will help you organize transport for film crews to film in Uganda. The transportation services all depend on your interest, the nature of the roads, and the schedule. For us to have a final estimate of how much it will cost in terms of fuel, we will need to look at your filming schedule to have an established mileage and distance to be traveled. We also organize both charter and scheduled air transport for those who are interested in flying to reduce the number of hours.

Accommodation when Filming Gorillas in Uganda

When Filming Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, you have a range of accommodation options to choose from ranging from Budget, and mid-range to luxury options. You will choose which lodges to stay in depending on your interests and budget.

Best Time to Film Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Uganda’s climate is of both dry and wet seasons. Filming can be done all year round but the best time is during the months of December to February and June to October which are in the dry season.

Why You Should Use Eco Film Fixers to Film Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Eco Film Fixers assists filming companies and Production agencies that are interested in filming in East Africa. We are very capable of handling all fixer services required. our team of local fixers and driver guides is very professional Over the years, we have been able to get all relevant connections with other service providers and authority agencies to make sure that accreditation and filming permits are easily processed. Contact us for details and all relevant information you would like to know for successful Filming Mountain Gorillas in Uganda.