Are you planning to visit Uganda but you want to travel with a drone to make short films and aerial photographs, in this article we explain in detail the guidelines on the importation and operation of Drones in Uganda. Many travelers have been caught off guard at the customs desk and lose their drones note this guideline below to avoid this embracement. Since May 20, 2020, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced operating a drone in Uganda procedures and announced importation procedures for RPA/Drones in Uganda.
The CAA conducted research on operating drones in Uganda, and they described a drone as:
Public Notice Procedure for guidelines on importation and operation of Drones in Uganda
1. Identify the Ministry in Uganda within which the activity falls and write to that particular Ministry seeking a letter of no objection.
2. Write a letter to the Chief of Defence Forces Uganda seeking another letter of no objection (Attach the previous letter of no objection from the Ministry)
3. After the acquisition of clearance from the Chief of Defence Forces, you can proceed to import the drone to Uganda
4. At the point of entry in Uganda, either by air or land, acquire clearance from the Uganda Revenue Authority (Customs) for the importation of the drone. After importation, permission has to be sought from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority to operate the drone in Uganda by writing to the Director of Safety, Security and Economic Regulation on related guidelines.
6. Please note that all documentation of previous clearances at the various stages with the following additional requirements should be attached before further clearance is granted:
7. You will be required to pay the authorization fee of Uganda Shillings 200.000 + 18% VAT at the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Cash office located at Entebbe International Airport and submit a copy of the payment receipt.
8. On satisfying the above application criteria, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority will issue the following:
Requirements for filming in Uganda
For filming in Uganda you need to process and get media cards from Uganda Media Council. Then for your filming equipment will also need to be cleared them 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, National Forestry Authority for filming in Forest reserves, Uganda Wildlife Authority for filming in National Parks, Uganda Media cards, Accommodation, transportation for you as well guide and help you with clearance processes at the point of entry into Uganda.
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 the tourist visa. Many film crews prefer obtaining their visas before they come to Uganda but visa’s can be obtained easily upon arrival at any entry point and in this case Entebbe International Airport upon paying either USD50.00 for Tourist Visa you will be able to get it immediately.
Vehicle Hire Services
Eco Adventure Safaris Uganda 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 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 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 in Uganda. This is true because when it is raining, it becomes hard to drive through the forests trails because of the heavy rains that make the trails too slippery. The best time to film in Uganda 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 in Uganda forests 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 in Uganda.
Eco Adventure Safaris is a local fixer company, 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 work hand in hand with Uganda Wildlife Authority and National Forestry Authority and this is easy for us to process all your filming permissions. 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 about the guidelines on the importation and operation of Drones in Uganda.