Filming Safari In Murchison Falls National Park
Filming is amazingly one of the many ways that visitors on Uganda safari can explore and experience Murchison Falls National Park. In Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park ranks among the very few most excellent filming destinations attracting several film crews fixers, media, production teams, those interested in documentaries, and more.
Murchison Falls National Park isn’t only the biggest Uganda safari park (occupying 3840sqq.kms) but also one of the oldest parks. Murchison Falls N.P is a popular home to 4 of the big 5 games (elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and lions)- a few amazing creatures worth interacting with while on a filming tour in this pristine protected area.
Murchison Falls N.P sits on 3840sq.kms making it Uganda’s largest park and making up part of the extensive Murchison Falls Conservation Area. The Murchison Falls Conservation Area also encompasses protected areas such as Bugungu Wildlife Reserve, Karuma Wildlife Reserve and Budongo Forest Reserve.
The extensive Murchison Falls N.P protects a diversity of wildlife and bird species plus other unique natural features worth filming. Over 76 mammal species, 450 bird species, and the world’s waterfalls- Murchison Falls all make Murchison Falls National Park the most preferred filming destination. The park’s interesting species of wildlife include leopards, lions, buffaloes, elephants, hippos, Nile crocodiles, antelope families such as oribis, duikers, hartebeest, and many others; the endangered Rothschild giraffes, Kobs, hyenas, warthogs, and more.
The 450 bird species that make Murchison Falls National Park a birder’s paradise include among others the elusive shoebill stork, black-headed lapwing, giant kingfisher, palm nut vulture, black-billed barbet, African jacana, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Denham’s bustard, black-headed gonoleks, African quail finch, black-billed barbet, goliath heron, swamp flycatcher, malachite kingfisher, silver bird, white-browed sparrow weaver, and others.
If you are visiting Uganda National Parks for commercial filming or Wildlife Reserves, filming permits are required. First, you will need to apply for the press accreditation or media card that will grant you permission to go on with your filming activity of any kind. Written permission from Uganda Wildlife Authority allows you or your team to do filming in the park or reserve of your choice.
Acquiring media cards/filming permits
Foreign journalists with plans to participate in filming in Murchison Falls National Park need to apply and obtain press accreditation. Every film crew must fill out Form G and later, each crew member will be required to attach scanned copies of passport, current passport-sized photo.
A synopsis talking about your shoot must be sent accompanying Form G and this should be sent by the team leader. The synopsis gives in-depth information about what the film or shoot is all about. Once you are done with the paperwork and also completed documents, you can then send them through email to our reservation team or directly to Uganda Media Centre.
Cost of press accreditation- all journalists planning to stay 30 days filming in Uganda pay US Dollars 175 per person, US Dollars 225 for those who plan to spend 30 days to 6 months of stay, and 325 USD for 2 years of stay.
Securing a permit for filming in Murchison Falls National Park
In order for filming in Murchison Falls National Park to take place then you require to reach out Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). The filming permit fees shall be evaluated based on what film crew is interested in filming, the number of days, and how many crew members. 40% fee for filming activity must be paid and 10% for monitoring. An agreement shall be drafted for film crews to sign making sure they observe the set guidelines.
What to film/filming opportunities in Murchison Falls National Park
- Lion filming Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is home to a significant lion population making it an ideal lion filming spot. The park has fully established game tracks like Victoria, Queen track each offering excellent lion filming experiences.
- Leopard filming in Murchison Falls N/Park
Leopards are elusive creatures and Murchison Falls National Park is amazingly one important location worth visiting for you to capture quality images of these beautiful cats while in the wild. Leopards can also be filmed at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, an en-route stopover point for most tourists on Uganda safari to Murchison Falls NP or Kidepo Valley National Park.
- Shoebill filming
Shoebills are among the numerous bird species Murchison Falls National Park boasts of and make it the top birding or bird filming destination. A total of 451 bird species all exist in this park and on shoebill filming, there are several others to be spotted. Shoebill filming is best conducted on a boat and film crews have 20kms to cover.
Other filming opportunities in Murchison Falls NP include elephant filming, chimpanzee filming, filming Murchison Falls and more.
- Best time to go filming in Murchison Falls NP
Filming tours in Murchison Falls NP are open to filmmakers at any time of the year due to the favorable weather conditions. But, to enjoy the excellent filming trip, the dry season is, without doubt, the best time and it starts from June, July, August to September and December, January, February.
Places to stay in Murchison Falls National Park while on filming tour
The available lodges, camps, and other accommodation to book for an overnight stay here include Heritage Safari Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge, Fort Murchison Lodge, Bwana Tembo Safari Lodge, and Camp, Pakuba Safari Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, and Nile Safari Camp among others.
By road transportation:
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s only park in the Northwest and accessing it takes up to 5-6 hours’ drive in a comfortable and well serviced 4×4 safari car. Film Crew Fixers drive beginning from Kampala taking the northern route, via Luweero-Masindi to Murchison Falls NP.
By air travel: Filmmakers also have an alternative of flying right from Entebbe International Airport to Bugungu Airstrip, Chobe or Pakuba airstrip of Murchison Falls National Park.