Handy guide to filming mountain gorillas – Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla filming tips – Gorilla filming permissions
Handy guide to filming mountain gorillas – Mountain Gorillas are shared in three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo where you can go for a Gorilla tours and safari including Gorilla tracking and Gorilla habituation experience.
Gorilla filming in Uganda is one of the most expensive activities compared to Gorilla tracking and Gorilla habituation experience. For one to film Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, you need to visit one of the Gorilla National Parks which include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in south western Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda or Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
When you decide to do Mountain Gorilla filming in Uganda, it’s very important to make prior communication to the authorities to avail you the prices and the procedures of applying for a filming adventure. Whether you are a Media Production House, or an individual it is expected that you indicate your intention of Mountain Gorilla filming. Mostly Mountain Gorilla filming is one way to create awareness in conserving the endangered species which are threatened by habitat loss, diseases and poaching.
Procedures for Mountain Gorilla filming
The procedure for Mountain Gorilla filming is quite different and sensitive; you therefore need more time before you acquiring permission from the rightful authorities.
A series of procedure acquiring the Mountain Gorilla filming permit fees include applying to Uganda Wildlife Authority on regards to Gorilla filming rules and costs. Upon approval you will be subjected through terms and conditions. Film Crew members fill in a formal application letter to Uganda Wildlife Authority management as a proof for commitment and on return from Gorilla filming you are therefore required to submit two DVD Copies of Gorilla filming to Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Mountain Gorilla Filming Fees
All filming fees to be charged at 40% of activity (Inclusive of the monitoring fee of 10%) per day
Filming fees with a drone will be charged at 50% of the activity.
In addition to book a Mountain Gorilla filming tour, you will have to first pay for Gorilla tracking permits meant for a day’s Gorilla family and then pay for the Gorilla filming fee. A single Gorilla permit in Uganda is at USD700 foreign non-resident, USD600 foreign resident and 250,000shs for East Africans.
In Uganda, Mountain Gorilla filming permit is charged at 40% of the activity and a gorilla permit is at $700 and so the Gorilla filming permit comes to $280. Add a 10% monitoring fee charge of the Gorilla permit fee ($700) which is $70.
In Rwanda a Gorilla tracking permit is at USD1500, Gorilla filming permit at USD5000, then you also entitled to pay USD2000 security fee which is refunded if you submit a copy of the film to Rwanda Development Board.
Mountain Gorilla filming permits can be directly secured from Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trusted tour operator. Great Adventure Safaris as a tour operator-offering Gorilla filming and trekking packages is here to help you arrange all what you need to book and secure your shoot. The advantage of booking with a tour operator is to organize a well-planned Gorilla filming trip including booking accommodations and welfare.
Other than securing Gorilla filming permits other necessities include Media cards and press accreditation which are issued by Uganda Media Council in Kampala -Uganda, clearing filming equipment through Uganda and Rwanda customs, and securing transportation and accommodation.
Besides Gorilla filming, one can still see Mountain Gorillas through Gorilla tracking at a cost of USD700 per person per trek in groups of 8 individuals where you spend ample time of an hour in the presence of a Gorilla family observing, taking photographs, and short video recordings.
Also, Gorilla Habituation Experience, a 4 hour interaction with a semi-habituation Mountain Gorilla family at a cost of USD1500 per person per trek, this activity allows visitors undergo the process in which the wild Gorillas are tamed to get used to human presence . Gorilla habituation is done with a company of rangers, conservationist researchers and trainers who take part in training. Currently the experience is only done in Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and 2 Gorilla families are undergoing training.
Gorilla tracking and Gorilla habituation experience are relatively cheaper compared to Gorilla filming however they all have a remarkable and memorable experience.
Necessary requirements for Gorilla filming trip
Good sturdy hiking boots and stockings
Long sleeved shirts and pants
Walking sticks and porters (optional) but helpful
Video Cameras and Lighting
Extra Rechargeable batteries
Handy back pack for packing snacks and drinking water