A guide to filming in Kenya compiled by Kenya fixers

This is a comprehensive guide to filming in Kenya compiled by expert Kenya film fixers and local producers in Nairobi. It answers the frequently asked questions that are needed for anyone interested in filming in Kenya as well as hiring a Kenyan fixer.  In this guide you will find information on how to process filming permits, hiring a local film fixer in Kenya, how to get special passes, hiring and flying drones in Kenya, casting, all production and pre-production services in Kenya and so much more contact our line producers here.

What are the necessary permits and permissions required to film in Kenya?

Filming in Kenya will require you to have a general filming permit that is issued by the Kenya Film Classification Board. Secondly, you will have to acquire work permits/ special passes to be able to do any work as a foreigner in the country. These passes are issued by the Department of immigration services of Kenya.  The following documents are necessary for your applications to be approved. Let our location film fixer in Kenya Nairobi assist you with the below.

  • Passport scanned, including bio and cover page
  • Passport photograph
  • CV or biography of the crew
  • Entry visa
  • Introductory letter of the company.

Depending on where you will be filming, most especially places that are not private location permits will be needed. These permits are issued out by the authorities responsible for those locations. For more information regarding this, please reach our resident Kenya fixer.

How can one obtain a filming permit in Kenya?

You can get a permit by applying for it. The Kenya Film Classification Board is responsible for giving out filming permits. For your permit to be authorized, you have to go through a local film fixer.

What is a Special Pass, and how to get it?

A special pass is a document that allows you to legally work in Kenya. The pass is issued by the Directorate of Immigration services, the process requires us to fill out a form and attach documents; passport copy, passport photograph, introductory letter, CV and entry Visa. The cost for a special in Kenya is currently at 150usd per person.

What requirements are needed for travel authorization in Kenya?

Kenya’s Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system is currently up and running. As of January 2024, all travelers—including newborns and children—must register for an ETA online, with the exception of Kenyan citizens and partner states.

The following are the requirements for ETA applications:

  • Valid passport (6 months from the date of arrival in Kenya, with a minimum of one blank page)
  • Passport-style photo
  • Contact information (home address, email address and phone number)
  • Itinerary details
  • Accommodation booking confirmation
  • Processing fee applicable, payable online
  • Proof of vaccinations (depending on country of residence/travel history)

ETA applications can be submitted by travelers up to three months before their intended arrival date in Kenya. A confirmation will be sent to the email address provided in the application when it has been submitted. The ETA will be given to the same email address after approval. The ETA website allows users to check the progress of applications at any time by providing their ETA reference number. The standard processing time for ETAs is three to five working days.

Are there any specific guidelines for drone filming in Kenya?

Kenya has rules and regulations for drone filming. If you want to import your drone, first and foremost is to get your drone temporary permit from the civil aviation authority of Kenya. You will need to have identification documents for the drone, a license for flying the drone, state the areas of operation, and a valid visa to indicate your period of stay. Please note that this process is very lengthy and requires at least two months. The other option is to hire a drone locally, which comes with all the necessary permissions. When flying the drone, you must adhere to the rules regarding public places, the height to not exceed, and so much more. Are you planning to come with your drone to capture some captivating shots in Kenya? Get in touch with our Kenya film fixer to assist you with the relevant paperwork needed.

Is it possible to import filming equipment into Kenya, and what are the customs procedures?  

Equipment importation is possible in Kenya. Kenya is not part of a carnet system, meaning you must go through an authorized bonded agent. A comprehensive list of equipment and value needs to be submitted through a bonded clearing agent for the issuance of a Temporary Import Permit (TIP). A fee equivalent to 10% percentage of the value of the equipment is payable. This fee is non-refundable but will guarantee you safe entry and exit with your equipment. We work with trustworthy bonded agents who have done this for many years and guaranteed clearance for our clients on many occasions. Do you need help with customs clearance for equipment? feel free to contact our Kenya logistics production fixer by email or phone.

Does Kenya have local talent and crew that can be hired for filming?

Kenya has professional and capable talent. For those interested in using local crew, be assured that you will be able to find talents that are able to work with you, these range from producers, directors of photography, sound engineers, media managers, photographers, and more. For local talent we do have a number of casting agencies that we can get in touch with to provide the cast and also secure the rights as well.

Which languages are used in Kenya?

English and Swahili are Kenya’s two official languages. The two are widely spoken. However, even among second-language learners, Swahili is more generally spoken than English. East African Bantu speakers speak Swahili, while English is a holdover from British colonial control. The several ethnic groups that makeup Kenya usually speak their native tongues inside their own localities.

What are the popular filming locations in Kenya?

Kenya as a country, has a great number of places that are great for filming. Depending on the type of project you are working on, you will be able to find a suitable place to film. Some of the popular places to look out for when in Kenya include the following. Nairobi is the capital city of the country.  You can look out for museums that house interesting artifacts. The country is well spring of wildlife, with several parks in different regions of the country, one of the most popular ones being the Masai Mara region. In addition to this, you can visit wildlife trusts and sanctuaries that focus on conserving different wildlife species.  You can visit the marine parks which are found in Mombasa. Regions like Nakuru, Watamu, Kisumu, Mombasa, Malindi, and Nairobi are to look out for when filming in Kenya. If you are interested in any of these locations or more, please feel free to reach out to us .

Are there any safety considerations or precautions for filming in certain areas of Kenya?

Kenya is generally a safe country. If you are considering filming in Kenya, Stay updated on the local security situation and assess potential risks. Consult with local authorities or experienced professionals to determine any necessary safety precautions and measures during your shoot. And when on shoot. It is always advised to have a local fixer with you, especially in remote areas

What are the regulations for filming wildlife or working with animals in Kenya?

When filming wildlife in Kenya, you are supposed to follow the conservation rules and regulations of the Kenyan Wildlife conservation laws such as no hunting and capturing wildlife.

You are required to have all the necessary permissions from Kenya Wildlife Service that allow you to work with animals.  In addition to this, you will have to acquire extra permits that are needed for the locations you will be filming in, such as national parks.

The Kenyan wildlife service has a code of conduct which must be followed. Some of the regulations include keeping a safe distance from the animals, not damaging the environment, refraining from animal disturbance, and so on.

How long does it typically take to process a filming permit in Kenya?

The Standard time for getting the general filming permit is 2 to 3 weeks. However, if you want to fast-track it, it can be done for an extra fee and you can be able to get the permit in 4 to 5 working days. if you want assistance with processing a filming permit, dont hesitate to reach out to us

What are the local labor laws and regulations that apply to filming in Kenya?

Employment Contracts: It’s crucial to have formal agreements describing each crew member’s obligations, salary, and other pertinent terms with regard to their employment.

Working Hours: The typical workweek in Kenya consists of 45 hours or a maximum of 8 hours per day. There may be a need for overtime labor, but it shouldn’t go over 3 hours per day or 15 hours per week. The amount paid for overtime should be at least 50% higher than the standard rate.

Work Permits: In order to legally work in Kenya, non-Kenyan crew members most likely need work permits or special visas. These licenses can be acquired from Kenya’s Department of Immigration. All foreign crew members must have valid documents, which is essential.

Health and Safety: Employers are required by law to give their workers a safe and healthy workplace. This entails providing the proper safety equipment, taking the required procedures to prevent accidents, and abiding by health and safety laws.

Insurance: To reduce potential risks and liabilities, it is advisable to have complete insurance coverage for the production, including liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and equipment insurance.

Kenya has a number of unions and groups that represent the various facets of the business, including performers, filmmakers, and technicians. To make sure that the rules and regulations are followed, it might be required to interact with the respective unions or professional groups.

Taxes and Permits: Kenyan government agencies like the Kenya Film Commission may issue permits for filming there. The production may also be subject to tax duties, such as withholding taxes on wages paid to non-resident crew members.

Are there any restrictions on using public spaces for filming in Kenya?

Filming in public spaces will require you to have a filming permit and the necessary location permits for the area you are filming in. When filming in public places, please be mindful to not distort other people and their activities. in addition to that, maintain the rules and regulations of that given location to avoid any hindrances.  certain Public spaces are not for filming and in these cases, the authorities will inform you about it. For more guidance on this, please feel free to contact us.

Can I use local transport services for moving equipment and crew within Kenya?

Yes, you can. The transport system in Kenya is very efficient and safe. You can choose from a variety of options. This choice will depend on your budget, the size of crew and equipment, and any other preferences you may have. Africa Fixers provide these transportation services with drivers who are professional and well-versed with the local areas of Kenya. Contact us for more information regarding this matter.

Does one need a fixer to film in Kenya?

For a successful shoot in Kenya, it is important that you hire the services of one of our Kenya fixers in the country. Both for preproduction and production. Having a fixer in Kenya with you at all times during your shoot will ensure that any issues that may come up in the process will be dealt with. Shoots can be dynamic and any small thing can erupt into a big issue halting your shoot but with a fixer on ground, you get to eliminate such. If you are looking for a reliable fixer to work with in Kenya look no further .

What are the services offered by fixers in Kenya?

The services of a Kenya fixer include customs clearance, Equipment, and talent sourcing, and location scouting. Our Kenya Fixer also helps in securing all the filming permissions that are necessary for your shoot.

How much should I pay for a Kenya film fixer resident in Nairobi?

Kenya film fixers are paid depending on pre-production, production, and post-production duties to be performed or required of them. The fee also depends on shoot days. On average our film fixers in Kenya are paid from $250 to $400 depending on the magnitude of the work as well as production days. Are you on a tight budget? Kindly contact us and lets work out a budget that will see you hire one of our top local kenya film fixers employed by us.

 

Why use Film Crew fixers?

Africa Fixers is a local fixer company in East Africa with expert Kenya fixers and producers you can rely on. We assist filming companies and production agencies in countries located listed on our website, including Kenya. Over the years, we have worked with various production companies on several projects, making us very experienced in this industry. 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 in Kenya to make sure that accreditation and filming permits for filming in Kenya are processed in the shortest time possible. Contact us for details and all the relevant information you would like to know for successful filming in Kenya.