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Filming in Shimba Hills National Reserve

Filming in Shimba Hills National Reserve

Filming in Shimba Hills National Reserve

Filming in Shimba Hills National Reserve: In 1903, Shimba hills was gazetted as the national reserve and with the expansive grassland areas incorporated in 1924 and other expansions added onto it to present it to its current size. Most of this reserve was later double gazetted as the prominent Shimba Hills National Reserve. The National Reserve of the Shimba Hills 30 kilometers to the southwest of Mombasa and not far from Kwale County, Kenya is a dissected plateau that rises steeply from the coastal plains. On most of the plateau, the surrounding escarpment rises from about 120 meters to 300 meters, reaching a maximum height of 450 meters at the Marere and Pengo hills. All hills have vantage points that provide breathtaking views of the hilly, forested surroundings as well as far away as the Indian Ocean, Chale Island, and the Tsavo Plains and Taita Hills in the West.

There are a lot of things and attractions in Shimba Hills National Reserve which is extremely interesting. The Kenya Wildlife Service offers guided walks to the Sheldrick Falls, which is a great opportunity to see the birdlife in the forest and one of the many wonderful things to do in Kenya. Compared to African savannahs, game drives in the reserve are more challenging because it is harder to spot animals. Since Shimba Hills National Reserve is the only place in Kenya where you can see Sable Antelope and where you can take guided forest walks up to the breathtaking Sheldrick Falls, a safari game drive there can be very rewarding. The reserve is also well-known for its elephant herds, and tourists can find the captivating Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary there, along with five picnic areas and nearby scenic vantage points.

What to film in Shimba Hills National Reserve

Filming wild animals in Shimba hills National Park: Majorly the visitors will mostly film the elephants because the Reserve has got a lot of elephants which are found within the reserve.  You will film elephants on your close-up sightings although you will need to be much focused because they are easily hidden by the forest, but getting a bird’s-eye view of the forest from one of the lookout points, particularly Elephant Hill, frequently bears fruit. The endangered Sable Antelope, Giraffes, Leopard, Genet, Civet cat, Hyenas, Waterbuck, Bush pig, Buffalo, African Bush Baby, Bushbuck, Black and White Colobus, and Blue Duiker are among the other animals that can be filmed in Shimba Hills National Reserve. The Red Duiker, Greater Galago, Sykes Monkey, Black and Red Shrews, Serval cat, and Knob-bristled Suni Shrew can all be found in this area.

Filming bird species and trees in Shimba Hills National Reserve: There are more than 22 coastal endemic bird species which can be filmed in this great reserve and among others these include the Ostrich Eagle, African Hawk, Cuckoo Falcon, Kenya Crested Guinea-fowl, Greater Honey Guide, Crowned Hornbill, Blue Quail, and Uluguru Sunbird, have been identified at Shimba Hills NR. The reserve is a region of grassland, woodland, and coastal rainforest. Over half of Kenya’s 159 rare plants can be found there, making it a significant area for plant biodiversity.

Filming the Sheldrik falls in Shimba Hills National Park: you can as will film these falls while in the reserve but it is recommended for you to go with ranger guide while filming these falls for security reasons. Bring a hat and water with you because the path leads through a hot, steep grass plain before reaching the gallery forest. David Sheldrick made the discovery of the waterfalls (1919-1977). To reach these magnificent falls, which provide water to Tiwi and Diani, take a two-hour, pleasant walk from the parking area. It takes 45 minutes to descend and 1 hour to return along the path that leads to the cascade. Avoid attempting to climb the cliff at the fall because it is slick, but take a 25-meter-high cold shower, safely swim in the pool of cool water, or even have a picnic by the sandstone cascades. The pool’s level varies depending on the season: in the rainy season, it is easy to swim there and there is one fall; in the dry season, there are two spring waterfalls.

Requirements for filming in Shimba Hills National Reserve

Filming permits

To film in Shimba Hills 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 Shimba Hills National Reserve.

Filming fees and costs for Shimba Hills National Reserve

For any person interested in filming in Shimba Hills 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 Shimba Hills National Reserve include:

  • Ksh 8,000 ($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 expenses

  1. a) Filming rates in Kenya Shillings (Kshs/USD)
  • 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 Shimba Hills National Reserve.

Press Accreditation

To film in Shimba Hills 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 Shimba Hills 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 Shimba Hills 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 Shimba Hills 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 Shimba Hills 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 USD51.00.

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

Filming in Shimba Hills 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 filing at Shimba Hills National Reserve -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).

How to get to Shimba Hills National Reserve for filming

Accessing Shimba Hills National Reserve by road transport: From Mombasa, Diani Beach, or any of the other beach resorts south of Mombasa, Shimba Hills is a simple day trip. Shimba Hills day trips are frequently provided by hotels in Mombasa and Diani, or you can rent a car for the day.

 Accessing Shimba Hills National Reserve by Air transport: the Reserve has got only one airstrip which is near the headquarters.

Where to stay during filming in Shimba Hills National Reserve

Budget, mid-range, and luxury lodging options are available in the Shimba Hills National Reserve for filming. Depending on your interests and financial situation, you will decide where to stay. To make a reservation, please contact Africa Adventure Vacations. Options include Sable Bandas and Shimba Safari Lodge, among others.

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 Shaba National Reserve, 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.