A Guide To Filming In Mozambique

This comprehensive guide to filming in Mozambique was compiled by our expert production fixers in Mozambique based in Maputo fixers. It has all relevant information about filming permissions in Mozambique, hiring a fixer in Maputo plus all production logistics needed for a proper shoot. With its vast coastline that borders the Indian Ocean and stretches along Africa’s east coast, Mozambique is a filmmaker’s dream come true. Mozambique provides a wide choice of filming sites to suit your requirements, from gorgeous beaches to unique African wildlife and contemporary cityscapes and the people with their cultures to express. With its expansive and breathtaking landscapes, Mozambique has long been a preferred location for major motion picture projects, the famous “Blood Diamonds” was shot here.

We at Africa Fixers are here to help you every step of the way since we recognize how important it is to obtain and have permissions to film in Mozambique. Our team of seasoned local producers/fixers will contribute to a hassle-free and seamless film production process in Mozambique. They have over ten years of experience and extensive understanding of the industry. To find out how we can assist you with bringing your production to Mozambique, get in touch with us right now.

Do I Need Filming Permission To Filming In Mozambique

It is advised to work with a fixer in Mozambique in order to secure film licenses in that country and with our fixers you get their skills and knowledgeable in negotiating the bureaucratic system. Film licenses are issued by the National Institute of Audiovisual and Cinema (INAC). Nevertheless, it may take several weeks to finish the application procedure. You must apply for a permission and include details about the project, the places for filming, and the equipment you want to use. You must also pay the required fees and present documentation of your liability insurance. 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 Mozambique

An eVisa can easily be obtained online for those traveling into the country and for filmmakers from America and Europe can obtain their visa by contacting the Mozambican embassy or consulate in their country of origin. You will need a local production company to write you a recommendation letter which is submitted along with for approval of your visa, this we provide it to you to ensure the process is smooth. Requirements for this include

Completed visa application form

Copy of 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, atleast one month is well in advised to avoid any last-minute panic and cause potential delays.

Filming Permits and Location Permissions

To obtain a filming permit in Mozambique, we will have to contact the National Institute of Audiovisual and Cinema (INAC) to inquire about the specific requirements and procedures. The application process involves submitting detailed information about the purpose of the filming, proposed filming locations, dates of filming, a synopsis or script, and details of the production crew. Supporting documentation such as proof of insurance, permits for specific filming locations, and other relevant documents may also be required. You should be prepared to pay any associated fees and comply with regulations outlined by INAC, including obtaining additional permits for filming in certain locations and adhering to specific filming guidelines. It’s advisable to apply for the permit well in advance of the planned filming dates to allow for processing time, and you should renew the permit if the production extends beyond the duration covered by the initial permit. Our team has a good and continuing working relationship with INAC and through this we guarantee that your paperwork will be attended to and responded to in a timely manner.

Equipment Importation In Mozambique

Bring in your equipment, Mozambique also does not operate on the ATA Carnet system, which means that you will require temporary import permits to bring equipment into Mozambique. It is a fairly complex – and manual – process which also involves a lot of negotiation. We know our way around the system and can take that headache away from you, and have good ground support to ensure that things move through the system. We work with a reputable customs agent who has over the years facilitated clearing in of equipment for countless crews and will offer the same to you for a retainer fee.

Hiring Equipment In Mozambique

Mozambique 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 South Africa which boosts with one of the largest film production industries on the continent hence has the high standard availability.

Hiring Production Support For Shoots

We take great satisfaction in meeting global work standards by only hiring people who have undergone extensive screening. Our production helpers, local contributors, and fixers are hand-selected for their expertise, dependability, and love of what they do. Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable.

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 Mozambique.

Importing and using drones to film in Mozambique is allowed as long as you have the required permit.  The drone filming permit is issued out by the National Civil Aviation Institute (INAVIC) which has to be applied for in advance to the start of the shoot. In order to apply for the permit, you have to write a letter requesting drone importation. In addition to that, information of the drone type, specs and the purpose of filming will be required. 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 Mozambique.

Mozambique 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 Mozambique to avoid any complications with the authorities.

  • Drones must be registered with INAVIC before they can be legally operated in Mozambique.
  • 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 Mozambique.
  • 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

The main ways to reach Mozambique are by air into either Maputo, Vilankulo, Beira, and other smaller airports and by road from South Africa and Zimbabwe to the West and South. Once you leave Maputo, the main roads deteriorate further, therefore keep in mind the vast distances that must be covered. The state of the roads is Marram roads. Travelling by car in a country where you are vulnerable to “local law” and attempted bribery is not the safest option, especially for foreigners. It is usually advisable to travel with a local fixer who has the technical know-how and will help you deal with the political and social bonds in the country. Using a 4×4 or a vehicle with adequate clearance is always advised.

Filming Locations In Mozambique

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

Beaches: Mozambique is well known for its immaculate beaches, which have long expanses of silky white sand, glistening waters, and a wealth of marine life. These are a few well-known beach locations in Mozambique, each with a distinct charm of their own:

Ponta do Ouro: Known for its gorgeous beaches and fantastic diving, Ponta do Ouro is situated in the southernmost region of Mozambique, close to the border with South Africa. There is an abundance of marine life in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, including diverse fish species and vibrant coral reefs. In addition, Ponta do Ouro is well-known for its laidback beachside eateries and bars. Crews that want to film Marine related shoots this is the place for you.

Tofo Beach: Located close to the town of Inhambane on Mozambique’s southeast coast, Tofo Beach is a haven for fans of the beach and water sports. The wide beach is perfect for beachcombing, swimming, and tanning. World-class diving and snorkelling locations in Tofo are especially well-known for offering visitors the chance to see magnificent manta rays, whale sharks, and other marine life.

Vilankulo: Situated on Mozambique’s central coast, Vilankulo is a charming seaside town renowned for its breathtaking beaches and lively atmosphere. The town is the starting point for exploring the Bazaruto Archipelago, a collection of dreamy islands well-known for their immaculate beaches, azure oceans, and a wealth of marine life. A variety of water sports are available for visitors to Vilankulo, including as sailing, fishing, diving, and snorkelling.

Bazaruto Archipelago: Located off the coast of Mozambique, the Bazaruto Archipelago is a tropical paradise made up of various gorgeous islands, such as Bazaruto Island, Benguerra Island, and Magaruque Island. With their turquoise waters, swaying palm palms, and clean, uncrowded beaches, these isolated islands are among the best in the nation. For those who enjoy the outdoors, the Bazaruto Archipelago is a sanctuary, providing chances for snorkelling, diving, birdwatching, and relaxing beach picnics.

Inhaca Island: Conveniently close to Maputo, the country’s capital, Inhaca Island is a well-liked weekend and day vacation destination. The island is home to stunning beaches, an abundance of tropical vegetation, and crystal-clear waters that are ideal for snorkelling and swimming. Explore the island’s natural landmarks, such the Portuguese Island and the Inhaca Marine Reserve, or just unwind on the immaculate beaches and take in the sunshine.

National Parks In Mozambique

There are numerous magnificent national parks and reserves in Mozambique, each with its own distinct ecosystems, varied species, and gorgeous scenery. The following list of prominent Mozambican national parks and reserves includes information on their locations and main features:

Park Gorongosa National:  Gorongosa National Park is situated in the Sofala Province in central Mozambique, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) northwest of Maputo, the country’s capital.

Highlights: The Gorongosa is well known for its diverse range of wildlife and beautiful scenery, which includes savannahs, woods, and floodplains. Numerous bird species, buffalo, hippos, lions, elephants, and other animals can be seen in the park. In the neighbouring settlements, visitors can take advantage of game drives, guided walks, birdwatching, and cultural events.

The Niassa Reserve: The Niassa Reserve lies in the Niassa Province, which borders Tanzania, in the northernmost region of Mozambique.

Highlights: With its huge wilderness areas, woods, and wetlands, Niassa Reserve is one of Africa’s largest protected places. Many elephants, lions, African wild dogs, and antelope species are among the reserve’s well-known and diversified fauna. Game drives, walking safaris, birdwatching, and cultural exchanges with the local people are among the activities available to visitors to Niassa.

Special Reserve of Maputo: The Maputo Special Reserve lies in the Maputo Province, close to the South African border, in the southern part of Mozambique.

Highlights: Wetlands, grasslands, and mangrove forests are just a few of the distinctive coastal and savannah ecosystems that may be found in Maputo Special Reserve. Numerous animal species, such as elephants, zebras, and wildebeests, as well as a large number of bird species, can be found in the reserve. Walking trails, boat safaris, and guided wildlife drives are available for visitors to explore the area.

National Park of Quirimbas: Quirimbas National Park is situated in northern Mozambique and consists of a chain of islands that along the northern coast of the nation.

Highlights: Mangrove trees, quiet beaches, and immaculate coral reefs are the park’s most well-known features. A diverse range of tropical fish species, colourful coral gardens, dolphins, and sea turtles may all be found in the park’s abundant marine habitat. In this beautiful marine paradise, visitors can go kayaking, diving, snorkelling, and island hopping on adventures.

When planning to film in national parks locations in Mozambique, it’s imperative to secure the necessary permits and permissions from park authorities or the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC). Begin by contacting the relevant park management offices to obtain information on regulations, permit requirements, and associated fees. Submit a detailed filming proposal outlining the project’s purpose, filming locations, dates, crew size, and equipment to be used. Once the filming permit is obtained, coordinate logistics with park authorities, ensuring compliance with regulations and environmental guidelines throughout the filming process. Monitor environmental impact, minimize disturbance to wildlife and habitats, and adhere to designated routes and trails. Upon completion, follow procedures for wrapping up the project, including returning equipment, cleaning up filming sites, and providing feedback to park management. Through careful planning and adherence to regulations, we can ensure a successful and respectful filming experience in Mozambique’s national parks for you and avoid any hurdles along the way. Our team of dedicated fixer and production managers are ready to assist you through this process.

Islands

Several island locations in Mozambique offer stunning scenery and unique settings that make them ideal for filming. Here are some island locations in Mozambique that could be suitable for filming:

Bazaruto Archipelago: The Bazaruto Archipelago, with its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and diverse marine life, provides a picturesque backdrop for filming. The islands offer a range of settings, from sandy beaches to rugged coastlines, making them versatile for various types of productions, such as commercials, documentaries, and films.

Quirimbas Archipelago: The Quirimbas Archipelago is known for its stunning coral reefs, mangrove forests, and secluded beaches, offering filmmakers plenty of opportunities for capturing breathtaking aerial shots and underwater scenes. The diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage of the islands provide ample inspiration for storytelling and exploration in film productions.

Inhaca Island: Inhaca Island, located near the capital city of Maputo, offers a blend of natural beauty and cultural richness that can serve as an intriguing backdrop for filming. The island’s lush tropical vegetation, pristine beaches, and vibrant marine life provide filmmakers with a range of visual possibilities, whether for nature documentaries, adventure films, or cultural explorations.

Vamizi Island: Vamizi Island’s remote and pristine environment offers a unique setting for filmmakers seeking secluded and untouched landscapes. The island’s powdery white beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush forests provide a stunning backdrop for storytelling, wildlife documentaries, and eco-adventure films.

Medjumbe Island: Medjumbe Island’s intimate size and idyllic setting make it an attractive location for filming intimate and romantic scenes. The island’s secluded beaches, turquoise lagoons, and dramatic sunsets create a dreamy atmosphere that can enhance the visual appeal of various productions, including commercials, music videos, and romantic films.

These island locations in Mozambique offer diverse landscapes, rich biodiversity, and cultural authenticity that can add depth and authenticity to film productions. When filming in these locations, film crews should ensure compliance with local regulations, obtain necessary permits, and respect the environment and local communities. With proper planning and execution from your fixer, Mozambique’s island locations can provide stunning visuals and captivating storytelling opportunities for films.

Cities And Towns In Mozambique.

Filming in cities and towns in Mozambique can offer a rich tapestry of urban life, cultural diversity, and historical significance. Here are some cities and towns in Mozambique that could serve as compelling locations for filming:

Maputo: As the capital city of Mozambique, Maputo offers a vibrant and eclectic backdrop for filming. Its blend of colonial architecture, bustling markets, lively neighborhoods, and scenic waterfront make it a versatile location for a wide range of productions, including dramas, documentaries, and commercials. Key filming locations in Maputo include Independence Square, the Maputo Central Market, Fortaleza de Maputo, and the Polana Serena Hotel.

Beira: Beira is Mozambique’s second-largest city and serves as a major port and commercial center. The city’s mix of colonial-era buildings, bustling markets, and vibrant street life provides filmmakers with a wealth of visual and cultural richness to explore. Beira’s historic railway station, the Praça do Municipio, and the Cathedral of Beira are among the notable filming locations in the city.

Nampula: Nampula is a bustling city in northern Mozambique known for its cultural diversity, bustling markets, and historic landmarks. The city’s mix of Swahili, Arab, and Portuguese influences offers filmmakers a unique backdrop for storytelling. Filming locations in Nampula include the Nampula Central Market, the Nampula Railway Station, and the Nampula Museum.

Pemba: Pemba is a coastal city located in northern Mozambique, renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant markets, and rich cultural heritage. The city’s picturesque waterfront, colorful fishing villages, and bustling harbor provide filmmakers with a range of visual possibilities. Key filming locations in Pemba include Wimbe Beach, the Pemba Lighthouse, and the Pemba Bay Hotel.

Inhambane: Inhambane is a historic coastal town known for its colonial-era architecture, vibrant markets, and proximity to pristine beaches and coral reefs. The town’s charming streets, bustling markets, and scenic waterfront make it an attractive location for filming. Filming locations in Inhambane include the Inhambane Cathedral, the Mercado Central, and the Barra Beach.

These cities and towns in Mozambique offer diverse landscapes, cultural richness, and historical significance that can enhance the visual appeal and storytelling of film productions. When filming in urban locations, film crews should ensure compliance with local regulations, obtain necessary permits, and respect the environment and local communities. With proper planning and execution, Mozambique’s cities and towns can provide captivating backdrops and authentic settings for a wide range of film productions.

Historical Sites:

Mozambique boasts a rich cultural heritage and a wealth of historical sites that can serve as compelling locations for filming. Here are some notable historical sites in Mozambique that could provide evocative backdrops for film productions:

Island of Mozambique (Ilha de Moçambique): A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Island of Mozambique is a historic island located off the northern coast of Mozambique. It served as the capital of Portuguese East Africa for nearly four centuries and is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, including churches, forts, and traditional Swahili stone houses. The island’s historical significance, combined with its scenic beauty and cultural diversity, makes it an ideal location for period dramas, historical documentaries, and cultural productions.

Fortaleza de Maputo: Also known as the Fortress of Maputo or Fort of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, this historic fortress is located in the capital city of Maputo. Built by the Portuguese in the late 18th century, the fortress is an iconic landmark that offers stunning views of Maputo Bay and the surrounding city. Its imposing walls, cannons, and historic architecture make it a striking backdrop for historical dramas, military-themed films, and period productions set during the colonial era.

Feira de Gaza: Located in the town of Gaza in southern Mozambique, the Feira de Gaza is a historic market square that dates back to the colonial period. The square is known for its traditional architecture, bustling atmosphere, and cultural significance as a hub of commerce and social activity. Filming at Feira de Gaza could provide an authentic portrayal of daily life in a Mozambican market, making it suitable for documentaries, cultural productions, and historical reenactments.

Chibuene Archaeological Site: Situated near the town of Vilankulo in central Mozambique, the Chibuene Archaeological Site is an ancient settlement dating back over 1,000 years. The site contains remnants of stone structures, pottery, and other artifacts that offer insights into the region’s pre-colonial history and indigenous cultures. Filming at Chibuene could provide an opportunity to explore Mozambique’s ancient past and showcase its archaeological heritage in documentaries, educational programs, and cultural productions.

Nampula Railway Station: The Nampula Railway Station, located in the city of Nampula in northern Mozambique, is a historic railway station that dates back to the early 20th century. The station’s colonial-era architecture, including its distinctive red-brick facade and arched windows, evokes a sense of nostalgia and historical charm. Filming at the Nampula Railway Station could provide a glimpse into Mozambique’s transportation history and colonial legacy, making it suitable for period dramas, historical documentaries, and railway-themed productions.

These historical sites in Mozambique offer rich storytelling opportunities, cultural insights, and visual splendor that can enhance the authenticity and impact of film productions. When filming at historical sites, filmmakers should ensure compliance with preservation guidelines, obtain necessary permits, and respect the cultural significance of the locations. With proper planning and execution, Mozambique’s historical sites can provide captivating backdrops and immersive settings for a wide range of film projects.

How Should One Conduct Themselves When Filming In Mozambique.

When filming in Mozambique, crews need be mindful of local laws, customs, and cultures. Before beginning filming, crews should make sure local rules and regulations are followed and secure all required permits from the appropriate authorities. Crews must minimise their influence on natural habitats and historic sites and, when necessary, get approval from local communities out of utmost respect for the environment and cultural sensitivity. Furthermore, preserving open lines of communication and working together with local stakeholders—like park rangers, local leaders, and cultural experts—builds strong bonds and strengthens the authenticity of the production. Film crews may make filming in Mozambique enjoyable and profitable for all parties involved by acting with professionalism, ethics, and responsibility.

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

In Mozambique, while there is generally respect for freedom of expression and artistic creativity, filmmakers should be mindful of certain limitations and guidelines. It’s important to exercise sensitivity when depicting cultural practices, religious ceremonies, or sensitive social issues, obtaining proper consent and permission from individuals or communities involved. Additionally, filmmakers should avoid filming in restricted areas such as military installations or sensitive border regions without proper authorization. Compliance with environmental regulations, especially when filming in protected areas, is essential to minimize impact on ecosystems and wildlife. Moreover, adherence to Mozambican laws and regulations, including those related to intellectual property rights, privacy, and defamation, is necessary to ensure legal compliance throughout the filming process. By being aware of these considerations and conducting themselves responsibly, filmmakers can navigate the filming landscape in Mozambique while respecting local sensitivities and regulations.

Best Time To Film In Mozambique.

The best time to film in Mozambique depends on various factors such as weather conditions, wildlife activity, and the type of scenery you want to capture. Generally, the dry season, which typically runs from May to October, is considered the best time for filming in Mozambique. During this period, the weather is usually dry and sunny, making it ideal for outdoor filming activities. Wildlife viewing is also excellent during the dry season, as animals gather around water sources, making them easier to spot. Additionally, the dry season is popular for filming water-related activities such as diving, snorkeling, and beach scenes due to calm seas and clear visibility. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that Mozambique can experience occasional rainfall even during the dry season, so it’s advisable to check local weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

Language Spoken In Mozambique

The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese. However, there are also numerous indigenous languages spoken throughout the country, reflecting its rich cultural diversity. Some of the most widely spoken indigenous languages in Mozambique include:

Makhuwa: This is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Mozambique, with several dialects spoken across the northern regions of the country.

Tsonga: Spoken primarily in the southern and central regions of Mozambique, Tsonga is another significant indigenous language with several dialects.

Sena: Sena is spoken mainly in the central regions of Mozambique, particularly along the Zambezi River and its tributaries.

Shona: Although more commonly associated with Zimbabwe, the Shona language is also spoken in parts of eastern Mozambique, particularly in areas bordering Zimbabwe.

Chewa: Chewa, also known as Nyanja, is spoken in some parts of central and northern Mozambique, particularly in areas bordering Malawi.

Makonde: The Makonde language is spoken by the Makonde people in the northern regions of Mozambique, particularly in the Cabo Delgado Province.

These are just a few examples of the diverse linguistic landscape of Mozambique. While Portuguese serves as the primary language of administration, education, and business, many Mozambicans are multilingual, with proficiency in both Portuguese and one or more indigenous languages.

Filming Wildlife In Mozambique

When planning to film in national parks locations in Mozambique, it’s imperative to secure the necessary permits and permissions from park authorities or the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC). Begin by contacting the relevant park management offices to obtain information on regulations, permit requirements, and associated fees. Submit a detailed filming proposal outlining the project’s purpose, filming locations, dates, crew size, and equipment to be used. Once the filming permit is obtained, coordinate logistics with park authorities, ensuring compliance with regulations and environmental guidelines throughout the filming process. Monitor environmental impact, minimize disturbance to wildlife and habitats, and adhere to designated routes and trails. Upon completion, follow procedures for wrapping up the project, including returning equipment, cleaning up filming sites, and providing feedback to park management. Through careful planning and adherence to regulations, we can ensure a successful and respectful filming experience in Mozambique’s national parks for you and avoid any hurdles along the way. Our team of dedicated fixer and production managers are ready to assist you through this process.

Safety Precautions When Filming In Mozambique.

Mozambique can be safe for film crews with careful planning, situational awareness, and adherence to security protocols. While the country has experienced periods of political instability and occasional incidents of crime, particularly in urban areas, many regions are generally safe for filming with the right precautions in place. It’s essential to research the areas you plan to visit, work with reputable local fixers, and implement security measures to protect your crew, equipment, and valuables. By being vigilant, respectful of local customs, and prepared for potential challenges, film crews can have a safe and successful filming experience in Mozambique.

Why Use Africa Fixers For Your Shoot In Mozambique

Africa Fixers is an African fixing company. We support production companies and filming companies in Mozambique 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 Mozambique 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.