A Guide To Filming In Liberia

Welcome to our guide to filming in Liberia compiled by our Film fixer in Monrovia Liberia. Questions like how to hire a fixer in Liberia and Monrovia, processing filming permits, filming and photography logistics, hiring and flying drones among others are answered in this guide. Though not as regularly as some other nations, Liberia has served as a filming location for a number of films and documentaries. Liberia provides an assortment of possible filming sites because of its varied landscapes, which include verdant jungles, coastal regions, and urban zones.

“Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” a documentary that documents Liberian women’s attempts to restore peace to their war-torn nation during the Second Liberian Civil War, is one noteworthy movie that was filmed in the country. The documentary highlights these women’s tenacity and resolve in promoting justice and peace.

The scenery and cultural aspects of Liberia have also been used by a few foreign directors to give their works more realism. However, film productions may encounter logistical hurdles due to the nation’s history of civil instability and infrastructure issues.

Despite these obstacles, Liberia still has potential as a shooting site. With careful preparation and organization, it can provide distinctive and captivating backdrops for a range of movies. To find out how we can assist you with bringing your production to Liberia, get in touch with us right now.

Do I Need Filming Permission To Filming In Liberia

Yes, obtaining permission to film in Liberia is usually necessary. Typically, the appropriate government agencies—such as the Liberian National Film Authority (LNFA) or the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism—are contacted to acquire this license depending on what the shoot is about.

You would probably need to make a formal request explaining the specifics of your filming project—locations, dates, number of crew members, equipment, and intended use of the footage—in order to get approval. In addition, the authorities might demand that you comply with local laws, pay any taxes or permits that are required, and provide proof of insurance.

Before you start filming, make sure you have all the required permits and paperwork in order to avoid any legal problems or delays in your movie. It is beneficial to work with a local production coordinator or fixer who is knowledgeable about the laws and procedures in the area when navigating the criteria for filming in Liberia. Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. Please contact us for location specific information. The following is needed for the application to be done;

  • Name of Production Company or organization
  • Topic and title of the shoot
  • Filming dates
  • The location you are interested in filming
  • List of equipment
  • Biodata information and passports
  • Any other pertinent information or contacts or host organization in Mozambique
  • Accommodation details
  • Emergency contacts

Visa Requirements Of Liberia

Film crew members who intend to work in Liberia, whether as directors, producers, technicians, or any other role, typically require a work visa. This visa allows them to engage in employment activities related to their film production work in Liberia. It’s important to note that obtaining a work visa usually involves demonstrating the purpose of the visit and may require sponsorship by a local entity or production company. Requirements for this include

Completed visa application form

Copy if passport valid for at least six months

two passport-sized photos.

Sometimes with these visa process it takes time so we advise that you give yourself and the crew ample time to start the process, at least one month is well in advised to avoid any last-minute panic and cause potential delays.

Filming Permit And Location Permissions

Filming Permit: The first step is to apply for a filming permit from the relevant government entity regulating film production, such as the Liberian National Film Authority (LNFA). An official application outlining your filming project, including the goal of the shoot, the dates and locations of the shooting, the number of people in the crew, the equipment, and any other pertinent details, must be submitted. After reviewing your application and confirming that all conditions have been completed, the LNFA or the appropriate authority will issue a permission.

Location permissions: You’ll need to secure authorization for particular filming sites in addition to the filming permit. Depending on where the filming will take place, this may entail getting permission from government agencies, local leaders, or property owners. For instance, you’ll need permission from the relevant authorities or landowners if you want to film in a national park, historical site, or private property.

It should be noted that this is best done with the help of a fixer as they know very well the procedure and the right offices to go to when it comes to the permit application, this will help you reduce on the time required to do the paperwork and it’s very easy for us to reach out in person where required.

Equipment Importation In Liberia

You will need to clear in the equipment that you are bringing in the country before coming to Liberia, we work with reputable customs agent who we contract on your behalf to deal with the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA). He will apply for a temporary import permission by supplying comprehensive records, including bills, equipment listings, and ownership or leasing agreements. A bond fee is paid fees as deposits. The equipment is declared to customs officers upon arrival in Liberia, together with the temporary import permit and any supporting documentation. During the process, following customs protocols is essential which our customs agent will guide you through. Re-exporting the equipment in accordance with the terms outlined in the permit happens when the filming project is finished or the temporary import period runs out and if you need to extend the period just let the agent know and he will do this.

Hiring Equipment In Liberia

Liberia has a pool of basic equipment available for hire. In order to know what is available, you have to send us your desired list of equipment and then we can be able to identify what is available and what is not and also provide alternatives. For big shoots that requires specific gear we recommend that crews fly in with their equipment and we can help with customs clearance at entry. The other option is for us to hire from neighboring West African countries which boosts with one of the largest film production industries on the continent hence has the high standard availability.

Hiring Production Support For Shoots

The film industry is still growing in the country as such there are not so many key production crew in the country but we can still get you the best that is available to work with. For key positions even though we have the crew available, we always advise that you bring those along and we hire the remaining support team.

If you need a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), grip, gaffer, stylist, PA/runner, production driver, or any other member of the film crew for your shoot in Liberia, get in touch with us. Buyouts and talent day pricing are flexible.

Additionally, we provide production liability insurance to guard against unanticipated mishaps that could happen during shooting, safeguarding your business, yourself, and the local rental filmmaking equipment. You can concentrate on crafting a masterpiece knowing that you are covered by our insurance policy.

Drone Importation In Liberia.

Importing drones into Liberia for filming purposes entails adhering to customs regulations and securing necessary permits from the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Prepare comprehensive documentation, including invoices, permits, and licenses, and be prepared to pay any required duties or taxes upon entry. Declare the drones to customs officials upon arrival, providing all relevant paperwork for clearance. Additionally, obtain permits or licenses from the CAA for drone operation for filming, ensuring adherence to aviation regulations and safety standards. By following these procedures meticulously, drone importation for filming in Liberia can proceed smoothly and legally. This process is very lengthy and tiresome as the application goes through several offices of authority to be granted permission. You need the help of a local fixer to be able to get this done smoothly. Please note that this process can take two weeks and more to be finalised so application has to be done early.

Rules And Regulations Of Drone Filming In Liberia.

Liberia as a country has several drone laws that need to be followed when flying in the country. Drone Operators should ensure that they follow the drone laws when flying in Liberia to avoid any complications with the authorities.

  • Drones must be registered with CAA before they can be legally operated in Liberia.
  • Do not fly your drone over people or large crowds
  • Respect others privacy when flying your drone
  • Drones are generally not allowed to fly above a certain altitude in Liberia.
  • Drones are not allowed to fly over airports or in areas where aircraft are operating.
  • Drone flights have to be operated during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions.
  • Drones are prohibited in sensitive areas including government or military facilities, military installations, and other sensitive areas is typically prohibited.

Access And Affordability

International flights to and from Liberia are primarily served by Roberts International Airport (ROB) near the capital city of Monrovia. Roberts International Airport is the main gateway for international travelers arriving in Liberia. Several airlines operate regular flights to and from Roberts International Airport, connecting Liberia with various destinations across Africa, Europe, and other continents.

As for road transport within Liberia, it primarily consists of paved and unpaved roads. The main highways connect major cities and towns, although road conditions can vary, especially in rural areas.

Travelers should be aware that road infrastructure and conditions in Liberia may not be as developed as in some other countries, and caution is advised when traveling by road. Additionally, it’s essential to stay informed about any travel advisories or safety considerations related to road travel in Liberia. Using a 4×4 or a vehicle with adequate clearance is always advised.

Filming Locations In Liberia

Liberia offers a diverse range of locations for filming, including stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cities, beautiful beaches and cultural sites. Some notable locations include:

Monrovia: Liberia’s capital city, Monrovia, offers a blend of urban and coastal scenery. The bustling streets, colorful markets, historic buildings, and vibrant waterfront make Monrovia an excellent location for capturing the energy and diversity of urban life in Liberia.

Sapo National Park: Located in southeastern Liberia, Sapo National Park is one of the largest protected areas of rainforest in West Africa. The park is home to diverse wildlife, including chimpanzees, pygmy hippos, and numerous bird species. Its lush forests, winding rivers, and dramatic landscapes provide stunning natural backdrops for filming wildlife documentaries or adventure films.

Cape Mount Beach: Situated on the Atlantic coast near the town of Robertsport, Cape Mount Beach boasts beautiful sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and scenic views of the ocean. It’s an ideal location for filming beach scenes, water sports, or coastal landscapes.

Firestone Rubber Plantation: The Firestone rubber plantation, located in Harbel, Margibi County, is one of the largest rubber plantations in the world. Its vast stretches of rubber trees, worker communities, and industrial infrastructure offer a unique setting for filming agricultural or industrial scenes.

Libassa Ecolodge: Libassa Ecolodge is a serene eco-resort located near Marshall, just outside Monrovia. Nestled amidst lush mangroves and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the ecolodge provides tranquil surroundings and rustic charm, making it an ideal location for filming scenes set in a tropical paradise.

Kpatawee Waterfall: Kpatawee Waterfall, located in Bong County, is a breathtaking natural attraction surrounded by lush vegetation and rocky cliffs. The cascading waterfall and surrounding landscapes offer a stunning backdrop for filming nature documentaries or adventure films.

Cultural Villages: Throughout Liberia, there are various cultural villages and communities where traditional customs, dances, and rituals are preserved. These villages provide authentic settings for filming cultural scenes and showcasing Liberia’s rich cultural heritage.

 Contact us to know more about filming locations.

National Parks In Liberia

Sapo National Park: Located in southeastern Liberia, Sapo National Park is the largest protected area in the country and one of the largest remaining areas of primary rainforest in West Africa. The park is known for its diverse flora and fauna, including chimpanzees, pygmy hippos, forest elephants, and various bird species. Sapo National Park offers opportunities for wildlife viewing, birdwatching, hiking, and nature photography.

Nimba Mountains Biosphere Reserve: This UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses a diverse range of habitats, including montane forests, grasslands, and savannas, spread across the Nimba Range in northern Liberia. The reserve is home to unique species of plants and animals, including the viviparous toad and the West African chimpanzee. Visitors to the Nimba Mountains Biosphere Reserve can enjoy hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the scenic landscapes of the Nimba Range.

Gola Forest National Park: Situated in western Liberia near the border with Sierra Leone, Gola Forest National Park is part of the Upper Guinean Forest ecosystem, which is recognized as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. The park is home to a wide range of wildlife, including endangered species such as the pygmy hippopotamus and the forest elephant. Gola Forest National Park offers opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and guided nature walks.

Lake Piso Multiple Use Reserve: Located in western Liberia, Lake Piso Multiple Use Reserve encompasses a diverse range of habitats, including wetlands, mangrove forests, and coastal lagoons. The reserve is an important habitat for waterfowl, migratory birds, and marine species. Visitors to Lake Piso Multiple Use Reserve can enjoy birdwatching, fishing, boat tours, and exploring the scenic coastline.

These national parks and reserves play a crucial role in conserving Liberia’s natural heritage and supporting sustainable ecotourism initiatives. Visitors to these protected areas can experience the country’s rich biodiversity while contributing to conservation efforts and supporting local communities.

Do I Need Permission To Film In Liberia National Parks?

Yes, you typically need permission to film in Liberia’s national parks, including Sapo National Park, Nimba Mountains Biosphere Reserve, Gola Forest National Park, and Lake Piso Multiple Use Reserve. This permission is usually obtained through the Liberian Forestry Development Authority (FDA) or the National Parks and Wildlife Management Department.

To obtain permission to film in Liberia’s national parks, you would need to submit a formal request outlining the details of your filming project, including the purpose of the shoot, filming locations within the park, dates, duration, crew size, equipment, and intended use of the footage. The park authorities will review your request and may require additional information or documentation before granting permission.

In addition to obtaining permission from park authorities, you also need to obtain permits or permissions from other relevant government agencies, such as the Liberian National Film Authority (LNFA) for filming activities. It’s essential to ensure that you have all the necessary permits and permissions in place before you begin filming in Liberia’s national parks to avoid any legal issues or disruptions to your project.

Working with local fixers/production coordinators like us who are familiar with the permitting process and local regulations is very helpful in navigating the requirements for filming in Liberia’s national parks and ensuring a smooth and successful production.

Historical Sites:

These historical filming sites in Liberia offer a glimpse into the country’s past and provide evocative settings for storytelling and film productions. Whether capturing colonial-era architecture, abandoned landmarks, or natural wonders intertwined with local traditions, these sites contribute to the cultural tapestry of Liberia and provide compelling backdrops for historical narratives.

Providence Island: Located near Monrovia, Providence Island holds historical significance as the site of the arrival of freed African-American settlers in Liberia in the early 19th century. The island is home to several historical landmarks, including the Providence Baptist Church, which was founded by the settlers, and the Old Providence Island Settlement, which preserves the ruins of early colonial buildings.

Ducor Palace Hotel: The Ducor Palace Hotel, situated atop Ducor Hill in Monrovia, was once a grand hotel and a symbol of Liberia’s prosperity and modernity. Built in the 1960s, the hotel attracted international guests and hosted numerous events. However, the hotel fell into disrepair during Liberia’s civil wars and has since become an iconic abandoned building, offering a hauntingly beautiful backdrop for filming.

Centennial Pavilion: The Centennial Pavilion, located in Monrovia’s Capitol Hill area, is a historic landmark commemorating Liberia’s centennial anniversary of independence in 1947. The pavilion, built in a neoclassical style, features statues, plaques, and inscriptions honoring Liberia’s history and achievements.

Cape Palmas Lighthouse: Situated in Harper, Maryland County, the Cape Palmas Lighthouse is one of Liberia’s oldest and most iconic lighthouses. Built-in 1857 by the American Colonization Society, the lighthouse served as a beacon for ships navigating the coastline. Today, the lighthouse and its surrounding area offer scenic views and historical charm, making it an ideal filming location.

Kpatawee Waterfall: Kpatawee Waterfall, located near Gbarnga in Bong County, is not only a natural attraction but also holds historical significance as a sacred site for the local community. The waterfall and its surroundings are believed to be the site of traditional rituals and ceremonies, making it a unique and culturally rich filming location.

Get in touch with us for more information.

How Should One Conduct Themselves When Filming In Liberia.

It is imperative to act with decency, tact, and knowledge of the laws, customs, and traditions of Liberia when filming. It is essential to establish good relationships with the local population and authorities, therefore when filming in local communities, treat the inhabitants with respect and get their permission. Furthermore, follow all relevant laws and guidelines, making sure you have the required authorizations and permits before beginning any filming. Consider cultural sensitivities and make an effort to present Liberia and its people in your video in a genuine and respectful manner. Always put safety and security first, especially in strange or potentially dangerous situations. You should also take precautions to lessen any harmful effects on the environment and other populations. You may create meaningful and significant content while fostering positive experiences and connections by filming in Liberia with humility, collaboration, and integrity.

Are There Any Limitations On The Type Of Content That Can Be Filmed In Liberia?

In Liberia, while there is freedom of expression and the press, there are still certain limitations on the type of content that can be filmed. Content that could compromise national security, incite violence, or infringe upon cultural or religious sensitivities may be subject to restrictions. Additionally, film productions must adhere to local laws and regulations regarding defamation, privacy, intellectual property rights, and environmental protection. It’s crucial to conduct thorough research, obtain necessary permits, and respect the rights and dignity of individuals and communities when filming in Liberia. By being mindful of these limitations and legal considerations, filmmakers can ensure that their content is ethical, culturally sensitive, and compliant with local regulations.

Best Time To Film In Liberia.

The best time to film in Liberia largely depends on the specific needs and requirements of your filming project, as well as the type of scenery or climate you wish to capture. Generally, Liberia experiences a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons.

Dry Season (December to April): The dry season, particularly from December to February, is generally considered the best time for filming in Liberia. During this period, the weather is typically drier, with lower humidity and less rainfall, making it easier to film outdoor scenes and explore various locations across the country. The dry season is also ideal for capturing landscapes, wildlife, and cultural events without the interruption of frequent rain showers.

Rainy Season (May to November): The rainy season in Liberia, which typically spans from May to November, is characterized by heavy rainfall and high humidity. While the rainy season may present challenges for outdoor filming due to unpredictable weather and muddy conditions, it can also provide opportunities for capturing lush green landscapes, flowing rivers, and dramatic cloud formations. Filming during the rainy season may require careful planning to mitigate weather-related disruptions and ensure the safety of crew and equipment.

Ultimately, the best time to film in Liberia depends on your specific filming goals, preferences, and logistical considerations. It’s essential to research weather patterns, consider the needs of your production, and plan accordingly to make the most of your filming experience in Liberia. Additionally, consulting with local experts or production partners can provide valuable insights and assistance in navigating seasonal variations and optimizing filming conditions.

Language Spoken In Liberia

The official language of Liberia is English. English serves as the primary language of communication in government, education, business, and media sectors throughout the country. Additionally, various indigenous languages are spoken by different ethnic groups in Liberia, including Kpelle, Bassa, Gio, and Mano, among others. These indigenous languages are often used for everyday communication within local communities and may also be spoken alongside English in multilingual settings. However, English remains the dominant language for official purposes and is widely understood and spoken by the majority of the population in Liberia.

Safety Precautions When Filming In Liberia.

It is essential to put safety first when filming in Liberia in order to protect your team, yourself, and the local population. First things first, make sure you are aware of the current state of security and any travel warnings for the locations you intend to film in. Collaborate with regional fixers or production coordinators who are knowledgeable about the region and may offer insightful advice on possible dangers and safety precautions. To ensure a safe filming environment, stay in constant contact with local officials and people, asking for their cooperation. Precautions should also be taken to safeguard tools and valuables, especially in cities where theft and small-time crimes are common. Take the necessary precautions, such as getting vaccinated and wearing bug repellent, and be aware of the health concerns associated with tropical diseases like malaria. Lastly, make sure you have emergency procedures in place, such as access to medical care and evacuation plans, and always put everyone’s safety during the filming process first.

Why Use Africa Fixers For Your Shoot In Liberia

Africa Fixers is an African fixing company. We support production companies and filming companies in Liberia and other countries that are listed on our website. Over the years, we have worked with many production firms on several projects, making us quite experienced in this area. We manage all fixer services required with our skilled staff of local fixers. We have all required relationships with various service providers and government authorities in Liberia to ensure that accreditation and filming permissions are processed fast. For further information and other necessary specifics for a successful filming experience, get in touch with us.