kilimanjaro local guides

Filming in Tanzania Safari 

Posted by Joseph Mashehe on Feb 6, 2022 in Kiafrika Adventure blog

We offers a fast, reliable and efficient service to local and overseas filming in Tanzania safari.

We understands the needs of film crews and television production crews, from crew objectives, pre-production, shooting and post production.

As part of our services, we can handle the import and customs clearance of film and filming equipment, arrange ground and air transport and permits. We can assist in finding locations and actors as required.

In Filming in Tanzania safari , we will organize your itinerary from start to finish, booking hotel accommodation to meet your needs and budgets, supplying drivers and transport from our fleet of cars; land cruisers, mini vans and mini buses for your crew. Our agent will be able to assist you in bringing your equipment into the country and clearing customs and our professional English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Swahili speaking guides, can be assigned to you, to help you with your day to day requirements, translating and smoothing over any local difficulties

Contact us to arrange the services that you require.

Filming in Tanzania safari does require permissions and permits to be granted, it can be a daunting process without the help of professionals!

Film Permit

The first thing you require to filming in Tanzania Safari is a Film Permit that is issued by the government of Tanzania, in particular the Tanzanian Film Board.

We can assist you in completing the application form, putting together all information needed, getting it endorsed by your local Tanzanian Embassy, and then submitting it to the government for approval.

A Letter of Appointment addressed to KIAfrica Adventure that they will handle all the arrangements in Tanzania

A synopsis or script for submission with official application forms Film Permit and Business Visas

Film Permits can only be valid for 3 months at a time.

A regular Tanzania Filming permit costs US$1,000 if you apply 3 months in advance and a last-minute Tanzania Filming permit costs US$3,000.

Filming in Tanzania safari (East Africa ) involves important things that one might have issued before going to the filming sites.

We can assist on organizing the following

  • Bonding (there are 2 bonding options, 1. Deposit full amount as equal value of the equipment cost to the government of Tanzania and 2. deposit non refundable 10% to the freight/ custom agent)
  • Night filming and drone filming permits also requires special permit
  • Crew filming permit which changes regularly
  • Filming Fixers, the best crew for your quality tasks, filming production team
  • Personal info of each crew member (name, DOB, Profession, Passport #, Date and place of issue)
  • Dates of arrival in Tanzania and duration of shoot
  • List of TV and Film Equipment
  • Purpose of film

Please note that Permits issued for Tanzania are not valid in Zanzibar. If you wish to film in the Zanzibar archipelago, there is a separate application process, even if you have filming permits for mainland Tanzania. In Zanzibar, filming rights for 1 to 7 days costs $800 USD.

Equipment Freighting and Customs

If you choose Tanzania as your filming destination you will most likely need to bring film equipment into the country.  The best way to air freight the equipment is as ‘accompanied’ luggage on your flight.  The other option is to air freight it as ‘unaccompanied’ luggage. The latter incurs more expenses, and the equipment can sometimes sit in customs at the port of arrival.

Temporary importation of film equipment falls under a Bond system in Tanzania. You have the option of depositing the full value of the equipment with the Tanzanian Government for the duration of the shoot. On export you can apply to get this Bond money refunded.

Otherwise film crews can pay a non-refundable 10% of the total value of the equipment to a freight agent who will allow you to use his Bond. This is a quicker and easier process.

KIAfrica Adventure has a reliable and efficient Bond Agent whom we work with on most of our filming projects.

Other Permissions

Once we have obtained a Film Permit on your behalf there may be other permissions needed.  Permission to film inside a National Park or Conservation Area, drone filming and night filming. It is important to bear in mind that Tanzania is a developing country, one with many rules and regulations and therefore it is important to be properly guided through bureaucratic processes.

Film Fees apply within National Parks, Wildlife Areas and Conservation Areas.

Depending on where you want to film, there will probably be a film fee for the area. National Parks and Conservation areas have fees specific to film crews that change regularly. Filming fees are a huge factor to any project budget therefore we recommend contacting us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

NB. There is a newly instated single-use plastic bag ban in Tanzania. If you are travelling to Tanzania then make sure you don’t bring plastics bags with you, otherwise you might face a fine.

Filming in Tanzania Safari Locations

When it comes to filming Africa, Tanzania has it all!

Africa’s tallest peak; the plains of the Serengeti; superb beaches and island getaways; the 100-plus indigenous tribes and abundance of wildlife makes Tanzania the one-stop location for filming in Africa.

Tanzania, a developing nation has dedicated more land to wildlife conservation than any other African country ensuring wildlife numbers are protected and natural habitats maintain. The country is twice the size than it’s neighbour, Kenya and has almost three times as much coastline; much of this relatively untouched and undeveloped.

Filming in Tanzania Safari

Filming in Tanzania Safari

Tanzania had very little conflict and doesn’t suffer from tribal initiated violence. As far as African countries go, it is peaceful and safe.

The Wildlife

Tanzania has approximately 20% of the continents large mammal population.

Although like other developing countries Tanzania is experiencing encroachment of human populations, the country is till fiercely populated with wildlife.  There are 17 National Parks spread across 42,000 square kms or 38% of the country’s land.

Home to the Great Migration where it is estimated over a million beasts spend the majority of their time in Tanzania before briefly crossing into Kenya.

The main wildlife attractions to Tanzania include;

  • Chimpanzee’s in Gombe Stream NP
  • Wildebeest and Zebra Migration in Serenegeti NP
  • Large populations of Elephants; Tarangire and Lake Manyara NP
  • Tree climbing Lions of Lake Manyara NP
  • Flamingos of Lake Natron
  • Wild Dogs – estimated 20% of the continents population are found in Tanzania
  • A reported 1112 species of birds can be found

The People

With more than 120 tribes living relatively peacefully together Tanzania.

Olduvai Gorge is a site in Tanzania that holds the earliest evidence of the existence of human ancestors. Paleoanthropologists have found hundreds of fossilized bones and stone tools in the area dating back millions of years, leading them to conclude that humans evolved in Africa.

Tanzania is home to the last click-speaking hunter gatherer tribe, the Hadzabe.

The famous Maasai warriors of Tanzania are uniquely living a more traditional existence.

Smiling, happy and accommodation

Tanzanians speak a universal language – Swahili – that binds them together as one nation

The Scenery

Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact caldera in the world

Zanzibar, including its marine life and ancient trading cultures offer breathtaking island backdrops

The vast open plains, of the Serengeti National Park including the untouched and guarded, wilderness area of which KIAfrica Adventure has permissions to lead walking adventures and filming

Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak

Dar es Salaam offers the perspective of a large developing city; with a population of over 3 million it is fast becoming the home to international businesses.

Filming in Tanzania Safari Camps

There is no limit to where and what type of camping logistics we can provide for your filming needs. We have a variety of camps suitable for productions of a few days, to a few months, depending on the number of crew, the type of production and budget. KIAfrica Adventure has seasonal camps located within National Park locations that are seasonal, depending on where in Tanzanian you will be filming these could be appropriate, the camps be found on our Tanzania Safari Accommodation page.

Most often we provide a more lightweight camp that can be moved to veritably any location you desire. These camps are designed to give you the support you need, with the flexibility of movement.

The mid-sized camp is great for longer shoots, where you can spread out somewhat, include storage tents with desks and chairs if required. An office, complete with printers and potentially network connectivity. Each sleeping tent has an ensuite with walk-in shower and toilet. This type camp takes two days to set up so can’t be moved in a hurry.

Our Equipment and Resources

Vehicles

KIAfrica Adventure has a fleet of rugged Toyota Land Cruiser hardtops as their main fleet but for filming we also have customized Land Rover TDIs. The Land Rover’s can be customized with balcony’s or canvas flaps that make it easier for filming.

Vehicle prices that are quoted include a driver, the fuel and the driver’s expenses when in our camps.

Camps

KIAfrica Adventure has four levels of camping available. Luxury Tents, Mobile Tents, Walking Tents and Mountain tents. Depending on where you are filming, the size of your crew and the itinerary of the shoot we are able to offer the most practical camping options.

Staff

KIAfrica Adventure has a large group. Our Driver Guides are hugely experienced in wildlife filming

Some of our mountain and safari guide have also had the opportunity to diversified, working on film set and with production companies as camera assistants, translators and runners.

KIAfrica Adventure also has a huge team of cooks, waiters, crew and drivers that can be called upon to provide logistical support to any type of production.

Other Equipment

Electricity is non-existent in the Tanzanian wilderness, and sometimes also within urban areas therefore KIAfrica Adventure has several different sized generators for hire and can source almost any size that the shoot may require.

We can provide internet dongles and local sim cards for mobile phones. Alternatively all vehicles are fitted with VHF radios, and hand held walkie talkies can also be hired if required.

We have Satellite Phones for hire if required for the far to reach corners of Tanzania.

Our camera vehicles have a high hat and bowl fitted (this will be custom fitted to suit the camera person’s request).

Travel Requirements and Advice

International Flights into Tanzania

When planning your filming trip to Tanzania you will need to look for flights into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).   This airport is approximately one and a half hour drive to Arusha where you will find your overnight accommodation or our offices.

KLM is one of the best airlines to use from almost anywhere in the world as they fly direct into JRO from Amsterdam, Holland.

Alternatively you can fly into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) and get a connecting flight to JRO with Kenya Airways or Precision Air.

Visa Requirement

Depending on the shoot we recommend discussing the most appropriate visa with the Tanzanian Embassy you will have your film application approved.

Getting Around Tanzania

Tanzania is a vast country, depending on where your shoot will take place KIAfrica Adventure will suggest various forms of transport and itineraries to take into account travel.

Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) KIAfrica Adventure can arrange collection of the crew, as well as any equipment. Arusha or Moshi is the closest town. Depending on your arrival time, you can overnight or carry on to the first filming location.

From Arusha you can also elect to take a scheduled light aircraft out to your destination or go by road.  Scheduled light aircraft have a luggage restrictions therefore a chartered light aircraft may better suit your needs.

If you opt to go by road then expect the journey to take time which will need to be factored into your schedule.

Vaccinations and Health Risks

It is always best to consult your GP in your own country at time of travel.  Yellow Fever vaccinations are only required if you are coming from certain countries.

Malaria is the biggest health risk, again consult your doctor to find the current recommended prophylactic drug.

The mosquitoes that carry malaria are active early morning and late afternoon/evening time. Preventative measures can be to wear long sleeved shirts, long trousers and socks.  Also it is a good idea to bring insect repellent.

The sun in Tanzania is very strong,  a high factor sunscreen and sun hat  is also advisable.

KIAfrica Adventure provides safe drinking water on shoots, it is advised to always be wary of the food and water that is being consumed. Upset stomachs and diarrhea is a common discomfort in Tanzania from eating un-sanitized food, drinking unsafe water or forgetting to wash hands.

Cash and Money

Tanzania essentially works in two currencies; Tanzanian Shillings and USD. Most lodges and Western-style lodgings will quote in USD due to the ever-fluctuating Shilling. Your visa’s are also charged in-country in USD.

When buying things from local shops, or dealing with people Shillings is an appropriate form of payment.

KIAfrica Adventure can provide a service of buying or paying for all in-country requirements, then have this put on the final invoice. This avoids over paying, or the troubles of dealing with money while filming.

For personal money or spending money note that there no ATM’s outside of the major towns and the machines can sometimes not work. It is good to bring a small amount of USD cash just in case.

Language and People

Tanzanian’s are generally a warm and friendly people, who will be naturally inquisitive of work you are doing in their country. Additionally most people do not speak fluent English, Swahili is the National language. It is always advised to be accompanied by a Swahili-speaking Guide, Fixer or Translator at all times. KIAfrica Adventure Driver Guides and Fixer’s all speak fluent English, Swahili and generally one other tribal language.

Security

Filming in some parts of the country may require security escorts or support. Although generally a safe African country, there are some issues or topics that can insight a small amount of danger. KIAfrica Adventure works closely with any production team and will provide advice on security measure that may need to be taken. We have existing relationships with security firms.