The Three best National Parks for filming lions in Uganda are Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park. According to recent nationwide censuses on Uganda’s lions which were carried from 2007 to 2017 shows an estimate of about 408 lions 2007 to 2010 and then showed an increase to 493 lions from 2011 to 2017 country-wide. Of these national parks, it noted the lion population in Uganda is only increasing in Kidepo Valley National Park due to great conservation programs and collaboration with the local communities. For the past decade lion population in Uganda has demonstrated a lot of resilience to human-induced threats including poaching and human-wildlife conflicts which has caused many killings of various lion populations especially in the neighboring areas of the above national park. Below are the best National Parks to film lions in Uganda;
Kidepo Valley National Park
The park is located furthest in the North Eastern parts of Uganda and bordering south of Sudan and Kenya. The park covers an area of 1442 square Kilometers which is dominantly covered by savannah grassland and over looked mount molongore, Narus Valley and the seasonal kidepo valley river. Lions in Kidepo Valley national park are best seen in areas of Narus Valley.
Murchison Falls National Park
The park is located in the Northern region of the Albertine Rift Valley and North of Kampala and Entebbe. The park is endowed with several attractions including over 76 mammal species with four members of the big five, the lion, the leopards, the elephants, and the Buffaloes. Lions in Murchison Falls National Park are best sighted in northern parts of the park that is Pakuba areas.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National park is located in the southern part of Uganda neighboring other national parks that is Kibale Forest National and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, it is ranked as the second-largest conservation area in Uganda after Murchison Falls National park, as well it is one of the best savannah national parks in Uganda for viewing wildlife and with this you have chances of seeing all the Big 4 animals. Lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park can be found in many parts of the park that is Mweya and Kasenyi plains as well as Ishasha wildernesses where you have chances of filming the tree-climbing lions. In Queen Elizabeth National Park you can as well film lions through the lion tracking experience which gives you a much more up-close encounter with lions at this park.
Requirements to film lions in Uganda
All National Parks in Uganda are managed by the Uganda wildlife Authority and with this, you will need to get a filming permit from the Authority to enable you to film lions in Uganda, on top of this you will also need media cards from Uganda Media Council. Then for your filming equipment will also need to be cleared with customs at the Point of Entry in Uganda. Contact us at Eco Adventure Safaris Uganda we will be able to process both the filming permissions with Local Authorities, Uganda Media cards, Accommodation, transportation for you as well as guide and help you with clearance processes at the point of entry into Uganda.
Filming fees and cost to film lions in Uganda
According to the new tariff that is effective starting 1st July 2020, all those interested in filming lions in Uganda’s National Parks will have to pay 40% of the activity fee, and then on top of this you will also pay 10% monitoring fee to enable Uganda Wildlife to mitigate any impact caused on the environment during filming of lions. A filming contract will have to be designed and signed between the client Eco Adventure Safaris and Uganda Wildlife Authority. You will need to cover Press accreditation, accommodation, transport and others for a successful shoot as below;
All film crew members are by law supposed to be accredited by Uganda Media Council. Once this process is completed, each crew member will be given a media card which costs USD175.00 for 30 days of filming and USD225.00 for up to 60 days of filming. Each crew member is required to fill Form G (which we normally send to you) with all details, scan and send it back to us with a copy of his/her passport as well as one photograph to be put on his/her media card. On top of this, we will need a letter from the filming company detailing who they are, why they are filming, where they will be filming, and details of crew members on this shoot. We will attach this letter to all details provided and send them to Uganda Media Council for Media card processing. This takes 2-3 working days to have these media cards ready.
You will need to purchase a tourist visa online paying USD50.00 for Tourist Visa you will be able to get it immediately.
Vehicle Hire Services
Eco Adventure Safaris organizes transport for film crews depending on their interest, budget and the nature of roads in such selected locations. For rough terrains, like in National Parks, we recommend Customized 4×4 Land Cruisers which costs from USD200-250 per vehicle per day with Driver/Fixer or 4×4 Safari Vans from USD200 per Van per day with driver/Fixer. For us to estimate how much it will cost in terms of fuel, we will need to look at your filming schedule to establish mileage and distance to be travelled. We also organize both charter and schedule air transport for those that need to fly in order to reduce on the number of hours. For those filming on water bodies, Eco Adventure Safaris works with other credible service providers who are in a position to hire us boats.
Fixers in Uganda
All our vehicles come with drivers who act as location fixers and most of them have been to almost all parts of Uganda and are thus conversant with the local situations and are able to provide relevant information and fix any situation on ground. These act as intermediaries between you and our office while on location in Uganda.
Accommodation options to stay in during filming range from Budget, mid-range to luxury options. You will choose what to stay in depending on your interests and budget. Contact us here for details.
What is the best time to film lions in Uganda?
Uganda has a modified equatorial type of climate with two rainy seasons and because of this people tend to associate dry seasons to be the best time to film lions in Uganda. This is true because when it is raining, it becomes hard to drive through the national park trails because of the heavy rains that make the trails too slippery. The best time to film lions in Uganda is during the months of December to February and then June to October which are relatively dry than March to May and November, but still all year around you will be able to film lions in Uganda given the fact at most times you can tell when it will rain due to climate change and nature.
Why use Eco Adventure Safaris to film lions in Uganda
Eco Adventure Safaris is a local responsible tour operator based in Uganda, we also work as a local fixer company for Uganda and East Africa, we assist filming companies and Production agencies in Uganda and East Africa as a whole. We handle all fixer services required with our professional team of local fixers and driver guides. We have all relevant connections with other service providers and government agencies to make sure that accreditation and filming permits are processed in the shortest time possible. Contact us for details and all relevant information you would like to know about your planned filming lions in Uganda.