FILMING MOUNTAIN GORILLAS; VIDEO SHOOTING, FILM CREW FIXTURES IN UGANDA & RWANDA
Mountain gorilla filming involves recording live videos of gorillas in their natural habitat and is done by professional film crew members who do good documentaries that enable awareness of mountain gorilla conservation. Mountain gorillas are found in three countries in the whole world that is Uganda, Rwanda and D R Congo in national parks Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Mgahinga national park, Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park. When visitors go for gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation they are allowed to take pictures and videos of these endangered species but these videos are usually short and for personal use. Gorilla filming is allowed in all countries but there are some requirements that one has to fulfill to be allowed to do gorilla filming in any of these countries.
Gorilla Filming in Uganda
Gorilla filming in Uganda is done in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park. For anyone interested in gorilla filming in Uganda, he/she needs to sign a memorandum of understanding with Uganda wildlife Authority (UWA) a government body in charge of all national parks and other protected areas in Uganda. Filming fees are charged at 40% of activity (inclusive of 10% monitoring fee) per day and filming fees with a drone are charged 50% of the activity. All the crew members will also need to buy a gorilla permit costing USD 700 per person per hour. An environmental fee of 5% is also charged on the total cost. Gorilla filming in Uganda costs USD 4200 for one hour with the gorillas for 5 members in the crew.
When booking the gorilla filming permits you will be required to present a media accreditation card that is obtained from Uganda media center a separate body from UWA and this can be got in about 3 working days. The card is issued depending on how long you stay in the country ranging from 30 days to 2years. A form called Form G has to be filled and other documents like scanned copy of passport and passport photos have to be attached.
The company or individual going for gorilla filming needs to clear with Uganda customs office all the equipment to be used in filming and pay the necessary fees required. Remember to do your bookings on time about 4 months in advance and also to use services of a local tour operator in booking all the services necessary because they have the best knowledge about what is best for you. When using a tour company to book on your behalf, you must provide a letter allowing them to process your permits.
Gorilla Filming in Rwanda
Gorilla filming in Rwanda requires you to have a gorilla filming permit that costs $5000 paid to Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and every crew member has to buy a gorilla permit that costs $1500 per person for one hour with gorillas. You will then sign a memorandum of understanding with RDB. An extra $2000 refundable fee is paid to RDB and its only refunded if you provide a copy of the material you filmed.
All the above costs are exclusive of the personal expenses like transport, accommodation, meals, tips and any other expenses during your stay. Gorilla filming is done to increase awareness about mountain gorilla and also collect funds to conserve and protect these endangered species.
When filming gorillas people need to follow the gorilla rules for example don’t visit when sick, leave a 7m distance between you and gorillas, don’t liter the park and more. Remember to pack all the necessary requirements like appropriate hiking attire, cameras, extra batteries, a hat, sunscreen and more.