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Filming in Dodori National Reserve

Filming in Dodori National Reserve

Filming in Dodori National Reserve

Filming in Dodori National Reserve: Dodori National Reserve was established in 1976 and it started as the protected area found in the eastern Lamu district at the coast province in Kenya. The National reserve spans for about 877 square kilometers and it features swamps, savannah grassland, the mangroves, baobabs, the coastal beaches and the gingatic. Dodori National Reserve was named after the river that flows into the Indian Ocean at Dodori Creek and serves as a breeding ground for dugongs. It includes an important woodland and forest area where large populations of elephants, lions, buffaloes, coastal topi, gazelles, antelopes, and water birds once lived. Boni is located near the Somali border, in the traditional home region of the Boni hunter tribe, which has been reduced to a few hundreds of people. Dodori Reserve is named after the river that empties into the Indian Ocean at Dodori Creek, a dugong breeding site. Dodori’s vegetation consists primarily of coastal and riverine forests, mangroves, swampy grasslands, and savannah. Massive baobabs are scattered among impenetrable thornbush away from the rivers and channels. Waterholes in the Dodori coastal area are frequently visited by gazelles, antelopes, and water birds. All these are available for the filming in Donori National Reserve.

What to film in Dodori National Reserve

Filming wildlife in Dodori National Reserve:  The film crew fixers in Kenya will have a chance to visit and film Dodori’s main asset known as topi, which is among the largest in Kenya. Elephants, gazelles, lesser kudus, zebras, and lions are among the other mammals. The channels serve as breeding grounds for green turtles and dugongs, or sea cows, which are endangered aquatic mammals that feed on sea grass.

Further, visitors can film various species of birds in Donori National Reserve: The bird life at Boni and Dodori has not yet been thoroughly studied. A large number of palearctic migratory birds visit the wet areas. Pelicans and other water birds are common in the channels and waterholes, and prey birds are plentiful. Brown-hooded kingfisher, Violet-breasted sunbird, European and carmine bee-eaters, honey buzzard, palmnut vulture, southern banded harrier eagle, and brown-breasted barbet are among the bird species seen.

Where to stay while filming at Dodori National Reserve

Yes, we can say that it is difficult to get where to stay while filming at Dodori National Reserve. However, the film crew member can still film the wildlife of the Dodori National Reserve in the nearby village of Kiwayu Safari Village with a rustic luxury safari lodge   situate on Kiwayu island  which is definitely close to the  Kiunga marine Reserve and the Lamu marine reserve. Because of the gun men that attached the British visitors, this hotel was closed in the year 2021. Further, it is should be note that Dodori National reserve does not have any camping facilities. Because of the dangerous situation in the area, staying alone is strongly discouraged. If you want to learn more about the regulations and the current risk level, you can contact officials in Lamu and Garissa counties.

How to get to Dodori National Reserve for Filming

The film crew member can access the Dodori National Reserve through the following ways;

Dodori is located 280 kilometers north of Mombasa. As previously stated, the reserve can be accessed but visitors or the film crew members and their guide need to receive the best guidance from the security officers. Accessing the Dodori National Reserve, require the visistors to hire a 4WD vehicle. There are few roads, and the only way to get there is to take the road D568 inland from Lamu and turn right at Bodhei. This trail connects both reserves and leads to Kiunga, at the northernmost tip of Kenya’s coast. A track along the road, near the town of Mangai, allows for wildlife observation on both banks of the Dodori River. Once in Kiunga, the road to Mkokoni follows the coast and leads to some waterholes in the bush. . The area, however, is only accessible during the dry season. The best way to get there is by sea, especially if you want to see the rich marine wildlife at Dodori. The creek, its channels, and mangroves are accessible by boat or dhow.

Requirements for filming in Dodori National Reserve

Filming permits

To film in Dodori National Reserve you will need to secure a filming permit from the Kenya Film Commission and the authorities by writing a letter requesting and filling out an application letter and providing a copy of your screenplay, a summary of your program, and a filming schedule with your application. These will be forwarded to the Kenya Film Commission’s Film Licensing Officer. Permits are issued in minutes for feature films, documentaries, short films, music videos, corporate videos, and commercials. Television series and feature film applications are processed within 48 hours of submission. Contact us at Africa Adventure Vacations and we will assist you in obtaining filming permission from Kenyan officials to ensure successful filming in Dodori National Reserve.

Filming fees and costs in Dodori National Reserve

For any person interested in filming in Dodori National Reserve, they will have to pay some costs and fees to be granted permission to do any filming activity. As such, the filming challenges in Dodori National Reserve include:

  • 8,000 shillings ($80) per person, per week or part-week;
  • For six (6) to ten (10) people, the weekly or part-week rate is Ksh 12,000 ($115).
  • 20,000 (2.00) for more than ten (10) people for one week or part of the week.

Kenya filming costs

  1. a) Kenya Shillings (Kshs/USD) filming rates
  • Adverts, documentaries, dramas, short features, still photographs, Khs. 5, 000(50 dollars)
  • TV series and feature films in their entirety cost Ksh. 15, 000 ($150).
  • Daily filming fees of Ksh. 1,000($10)
  1. (b) Liaison officer’s service charges
  • The Ministry charges Ksh. 400 ($5) per day to cover the Liaison Officer’s services provided by a government Liaison Officer to be attached to the crew.
  1. C) Other charges
  • Before participating in any filming, each guest must pay Ksh. 2,000($20) to the Department of Immigration Services for a special pass. While the filming special permission is being processed, artists may enter Kenya on a visitor’s pass.
  • On presentation of a film license, a small non-refundable fee of 1% of the equipment’s worth or Ksh 30, 000 ($300) (whichever is less) is payable to the Customs Department.

In addition to the above, you will need to pay for press accreditation, lodging, and transportation to successfully shoot the video in Dodori National Reserve.

Press Accreditation

To film in Dodori National Reserve all film crew members must be accredited by the Kenya Film Commission. Local filming agencies and private production companies or individuals must apply through a local agent registered with the Ministry. This is a prerequisite for all applications to make feature films and documentaries. Each crew member must fill out the Kenya Film License Form (which we normally send), scan it, and return it to us along with a copy of their passport and one photo for the filming license. We will then require a letter from the filming company specifying the name of the filming company, the reason for filming, the location of filming, and the film crew’s contact information. This letter is subsequently forwarded to the Kenya Film Commission for the film license to be processed. A film license is usually awarded within 2-3 business days.

Vehicle hiring services

You need a 4×4 vehicle when going to do filming in Dodori National Reserve. When you trust Africa Adventure Vacations as your film fixer, then you will get the opportunity to book for yourself a strong vehicle that will transport the crew members to and from Dodori National Reserve in Kenya. We offer the vehicle based on the preferences of our clients and their budget, but also the location where you are going to film, because it may also determine the kind of vehicle that you might need. Because of the nature of the terrain, which might make you travel long distances, we kindly urge you to book our customized tour.

Daily, these cost about $200 to $250 per vehicle, and this price includes the fuel and the driver. You can also opt for our 4×4 safari van, which is available for $200 daily. By contacting us, we shall make sure that we calculate everything, and thus we shall inform you and give you the inclusive price. Each of our vehicles is accompanied by drivers who work as area fixers, and many of them have traveled to nearly every part of Kenya, so they are familiar with the local conditions and can provide critical information and resolve any situation on the ground. While in Kenya, these serve as intermediaries between you and our office. And please contact us for any film fixers in Kenya. We are available 24 hours a day to be able to help you with all the information relating to filming in Dodori National Reserve in Kenya.

All of our vehicles include a driver who serves as the location fixer. Most of them have visited practically every section of Kenya and are thus familiar with local conditions and can provide relevant information and resolve any local issues. While on location at Dodori National Reserve, they work as liaisons between our clients and our office.

Visa recommendation

You’ll need to get a tourist visa. Many film crews choose to get a visa before visiting Kenya. Visas, on the other hand, are easily obtained upon admission into the country. In this situation, you can obtain a tourist visa at the Nairobi International Airport for USD51

When is the best time to do filming in Dodori National Reserve?

Filming in Dodori National Reserve is an adventure that is done all year round, but the best time for filming is during December and then from June to October. This time, weather conditions are dry and this makes filming activities so much more fantastic. However, the best time to do filming in Dodori National Reserve in Kenya is during the rainy season, when the green vegetation blooms and provides an amazing scenic view (November to May), while the dry season offers the best photo opportunities, both on short and long hikes (May to October).

Why should you book your Kenya filming safari with Africa Adventure Vacations?

Africa Adventure Vacations is a popular tourist company based in Uganda that operates in East African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and South Africa. We have more than ten years of experience assisting filming and production companies and individual travelers who are interested in filming Hells gate National Park, nature-related wildlife and African culture. We offer services such as obtaining filming permission, clearing filming equipment, reserving lodging, and arranging transportation to filming businesses, all in the shortest amount of time possible. Other wildlife tours are available in all of the countries mentioned above, including gorilla tours in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a result, you should not hesitate to choose us as your East African film fixers, especially in Kenya for your Kenyan filming experience.