Uganda Gorilla Filming Permits
Uganda Gorilla Filming Permits- Mountain gorillas are now regarded as endangered species of primates living in the tropical and sub-tropical rainforests of Virunga national park DR Congo, volcanoes national park Rwanda, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, and Mgahinga national park in Uganda.
Several travelers who have met face to face with mountain gorillas which happen to be human closet relatives have taken back home remarkable memories and stories that have made many more people come to trek mountain gorillas in Africa as they can not survive in the zoos.
Tourist intending to visit gorilla parks for gorilla filming should bear in mind that filming mountain gorillas with flash cameras is not allowed as this frightens or threatens the gorillas or even provoke them to charge. You are strongly advised to bring a flash-less camera oh turn off the flash when filming gorillas.
Travelers who want to do gorilla filming in Uganda must clear at Entebbe international airport for media cars, gorilla filming equipment for all crew members, journalists, individuals, or professional photographers.
Uganda gorilla filming permits can be purchased from the Uganda wildlife authority a government body in charge of all Uganda national parks or from any trusted tour operator. When purchasing a gorilla filming permit you must indicate the number of days for filming, age, and exact date of filming.
Filming permits And Associated Costs
Mountain gorilla filming permits in Uganda cost $4200 per hour and on top of this money, every person on the crew must pay the gorilla trekking permit fee. To have the best gorilla filming you should pay for gorilla habituation which is $1500 and with this, you will be allowed to be with mountain gorillas in their natural habitats for a maximum of 4 hours. The cost of gorilla trekking permits in Uganda is $700 per person per trek.
When intending to visit Uganda for gorilla filming, you are advised to book your permits in advance of about 3-4 months due to the high demand for permits most especially in the peak season. You will be refunded back $100 only if you are given a copy of your CD to the Uganda wildlife authority so that they can use it for marketing Uganda mountain gorillas.
The filming crew must pay for 8 gorilla permits that is $5600 regardless of how many individuals are in the crew. There is also payment of 5% of total gorilla filming fee which is a separate additional fee charged for environment effects, monitoring and research. And finally you will be required to pay $1000 which will later be refunded after you have shared a copy of the film with Uganda wildlife authority. The total cost of a gorilla film is about $12000.after all this you will then think about accommodation, transport, Uganda media center and clearances at the airport.
For one to have more time with the gorilla, we encourage them to go for gorilla habituation experience. The habituation takes you a whole day and 4 hours with gorillas. The habituation is for $1500 and they will give you all the hours you need to be with gorillas unlike standard gorilla trekking. The gorilla habituation experience is only done in Bwindi impenetrable national park in south western Uganda
Apart from mountain gorilla filming, tourists can also take part in gorilla habituation in the Rushaga sector of the Bwindi impenetrable forest of Uganda. Gorilla habituation is the process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence and this takes about 2 – 3 years with trackers and researchers visiting the gorilla family going through habituation on a daily basis after all this a mocking exercise is introduced and if they pass the exam, they will be open for trekking.
Best time for gorilla filming
Uganda can be visited at any time of the year but some months are better than the rest. the best time to visit is the dry season which happens to be from June to September and December to February when filming can be easier with thin vegetation, the trails are also not muddy and slippery during this period.
What to carry for gorilla filming?
Mountain gorillas stay on higher elevations of tropical rain forests that can receive rainfall at any time of the day even sometimes during the dry season, tourists should pack garden gloves, enough drinking water, rain jackets, wear long-sleeved clothes, waterproof hiking boots, energy-giving snacks, incest repellents, sunscreen and much more.
Filming mountain gorillas in Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi forest national park
Uganda is lucky that mountain gorillas can be seen in 2 national parks that is Mgahinga and Bwindi impenetrable national park. Uganda has the highest number of mountain gorillas in the whole world with about a half of the total population found in Bwindi national park. Uganda has 20 habituated gorilla families with 19 in Bwindi impenetrable national park and one in Mgahinga national park. Because the country has the highest number of mountain gorillas, it makes it the best country to trek gorillas in the Africa. Uganda having the biggest number of gorilla families it makes it easy for film crews to have a choice of the group they want to film and the park they want. Mgahinga national park has a very large gorilla group and more than 3 silverbacks.
Mountain gorilla filming in Uganda is controlled and managed by Uganda wildlife authority and it’s a must to book in advance at least 4 months before the actual filming day for better planning. Uganda wildlife authority is also responsible for all national parks in Uganda. But the first step to be done when you want gorilla filming is to apply for a medical card from Uganda media Centre before every member of the film crew must have this card. The Uganda media Centre is a separate entity from Uganda wild authority. The Uganda media Centre would like to know your names, address, nationality, passport and the purpose of the visit as well as how many days you will stay in the country. This approval from the Uganda media might take 3-5 days. Any trusted gorilla tour company can help you to get the form Uganda media Centre and they will be able to guide you on how to complete the filling correctly.
After getting the form from Uganda media, you then need to write a letter to Uganda Wildlife Authority with information about your filming company, the purpose of the filming company and the national park you want to go visit. After all information has been received, scanned and sent back, the filming company will enter into a written agreement with Uganda wildlife authority before being given a permit to document to mountain gorillas. A trusted tour operator can always help you to get the official form Uganda wildlife authority. The form will be sent to Uganda wildlife authority to come up with the final cost of the gorilla filming tour. Uganda wildlife authority will need a letter from you to confirm that you have chooses that tour company to help you with processing the filming permit.
On arrival in Uganda, the gorilla filming crew must show up their equipment at the airport for clearance. If you are intending to use a drone, you must get another approval from Uganda people’s defense forces and the aviation authority.