Filming in Gambella National Park

Gambella National Park was established in 1974, it is the largest national park in Ethiopia located near the south Sudanese Border. Gambella National park is one of the best places to film wildlife in Ethiopia. Filming in this park will give you an opportunity to shoot the Earth’s second-largest annual animal migration after the Great migration involving multiple species of antelope including reedbuck, tiang, and white-eared kob which migrate from South Sudan Boma National Park, Sudd wetland through Bandigilo to Gambella National Park in Ethiopia.

Gambella National Park is famous for its big game, the second world’s wildlife great migration, its great scenic beauty and the landscape is making it one of the great national parks to film wildlife in Ethiopia.

Things to film in Gambella National Park

Wildlife                                         

Gambella National Park has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Ethiopia making it one of the best places to film wildlife in Ethiopia. The park is home to 69 mammal species which include African elephant, White-eared kob bushpig, common warthog, giraffe, African buffalo, hippopotamus, kéwel, Nile lechwe, sable, tiang, topi, and waterbuck, cheetah, leopard, lion, mantled guereza, olive baboon, patas monkey and spotted hyenas.

spotted hyenas in Ethiopia

The park also hosts the world’s second largest mammal migration from South Sudan and back giving you an opportunity to film herds of white-eared kob, Bohor reedbuck, bushbuck, Lelwel hartebeest, oribi, reedbuck and roan antelope.

Birds

Gambella National Park is home to 327 bird species including endemic and migratory birds, among the notable species worth filming include the African skimmer, black-faced firefinch, Carmine bee-eater, cisticolas, crowned cranes, Egyptian plover, exclamatory paradise whydah, green bee-eater, pelicans and approximately 40 species of raptors, red-necked buzzard, red-throated bee-eater, storks, warblers, and vultures.

 Culture

Gambella National Park is home to the Anuak and the Nuer people. These mainly participate in fishing but also cattle herders. They are best known to be extremely handsome, with dark, satiny complexions. Both men and women favour a style of decorative scarification on the chest, stomach, and face; and often boast heavy bone bangles, bright bead necklaces, and spikes of ivory or brass thrust through a hole pierced in the lower lip and protruding down over the chin.

Requirements and permissions to film in Gambella National Park

In most cases there are no set fees for filming in Ethiopia. Donations are often required for local assistance for local film fixer to help all through during your shoot. Some regional governments will charge location fees. In many cases, our fixer will need to travel to negotiate location fees in person. National parks fees are quite high, especially if filming aerial shots. Aerial filming in Ethiopia requires the pilot have a flight permit from the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority. Please contact us for more information on filming in specific locations in Ethiopia.

A foreigner wishing to shoot films in Ethiopia is required by law to submit his application to the office of Government Communication Affairs Office Foreign Media Accreditation not later than ten (10) days prior to the day on which he/she is due to commence filming, if you don’t want to hustle contact us and we help you all through the process of securing a filming permit in Ethiopia. The application shall contain, among other things, the purpose and title of the film, duration of the shooting and the exact location where it takes place and the total production cost of the film as well as the portion that will be used within Ethiopia.

The applicant should submit together with his application the following documents:

  • A copy of the film script along with its synopsis for feature films or synopsis for documentary films.
  • In case an Ethiopian personality is portrayed in the film as a character, a copy of a document of no objection from such person or his heirs, certified by an organ legally empowered to approve contracts and documents.
  • In case of a co-production by an Ethiopian and a foreigner, an agreement indicating the responsibilities and liabilities of each party.
  • The nationality of the filming crew, the passport number, the country issuing the passport, their permanent and temporary addresses as well as other information as may be required by the Office.
  • The Applicant should also attach on the application, The name of the company, The name, the passport number and the nationality of the filming crew, The purpose and title of the film, Duration of the shooting and exact location where it takes place, The production cost of the film and Name and Telephone of the contact person or organization in Ethiopia

The applicant is required to submit together with his application the following documents.

  • A copy of the film script along with its synopsis for feature films or synopsis for documentary films.
  • A list of equipment necessary for shooting film, in 3 copies.
  • One passport size photograph at arrival

A foreigner applying for shooting film in Ethiopia should also pay to the Office a permit fee, where an applicant wishes to use an aircraft for shooting a film; he should obtain a flight permit from the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority. Contact us here for more information on aerial filming in Ethiopia.

Note

The permit and letter to the customs shall be issued immediately when the film crew members appear in person and sign an undertaking to adhere to the conditions of permit and respect the laws of the country.  Contact us here to help you secure a filming permit for Ethiopia, fees will be determine based on your filming location.

On top of the above you will need to cover accommodation, visa and work permits, transport and others for a successful shoot in Gambella National Park as below;

Ethiopia Work permits and Visa Advice

You will need to purchase the tourist visa or a business visa. Many film crews prefer obtaining their visas before they come to Ethiopia this is the best way and you can get the e-visa through https://www.evisa.gov.et/ Also depending o your country of origin you can as well obtained a visa upon arrival at any entry point and in this case Addis Ababa Bole International Airport upon paying either US$52 for a single-entry visa with validity up to 30 days or US$72 for a single-entry visa with validity up to 90 days and you will be able to get it immediately. Contact a consulate near you or us here for more information about Visa application for Ethiopia.

 Ethiopia Vehicle Hire Services

We will help you organize transport for film crews to film in Gambella National Park depending on their interest, budget and the nature of roads in such selected locations to film in the park. We recommend Customized 4×4 Land Cruisers. 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 drive hours to the Park.

Fixers in Ethiopia to help you film in Gambella National Park

All our vehicles come with drivers who act as location fixers and most of them have been to almost all parts of Ethiopia and are thus conversant with the local situations and are able to provide relevant information and fix any situation on ground. These work as intermediaries between you and our office while on location in Gambella National Park.

Where to stay during filming in Gambella National Park

Lodge options to stay in during filming in Gambella National Park 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 reservation and booking details. Accommodation options in Bora Gambella Hotel, Gambella Camp, Bora Genena Hotel and Tadesech Hotel among others.

How to get to Gambella National Park

By Air: For filming in Gambella National Park the best way to get there is by a charter Flight. There are daily scheduled and charter flights from Addis Ababa to Gambella National Park Airstrip.

What is the best time to film in Gambella National Park?

Filming in Gambella National Park is done throughout the year and the best time is during the months of October to May which is relatively dry than March April to September.

Why use Africa Fixers?

Film crew Fixers is a local fixer company in East Africa. We assist filming companies and Production agencies in Ethiopia. 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 Ethiopia to make sure that accreditation and filming permits for filming in Ethiopia are processed in the shortest time possible. Contact us for details and all relevant information you would like to know for successful filming in Gambella National Park.