A Guide To Filming In Angola

A guide to filming in Angola with our Angola film fixers in Luanda. Filming in Angola offers production crews with a rich tapestry of diverse landscapes, cultural heritage, and untold stories waiting to be captured on screen. From the bustling streets of Luanda, the capital city, to the pristine beaches along the Atlantic coast and the rugged beauty of the interior, Angola presents a wide range of cinematic possibilities. The country’s tumultuous history, vibrant music and dance traditions, and stunning natural scenery provide film with a wealth of material for documentaries, dramas, and other film projects. However, it’s important for film crews to navigate logistical challenges, such as obtaining permits, securing reliable transportation and accommodations, and respecting local customs and sensitivities. With careful planning and collaboration with local partners, filming in Angola can offer a unique and rewarding experience for filmmakers seeking to capture the essence of this dynamic and resilient nation. To find out how we can assist you with bringing your production to Angola, get in touch with us right now.

Do I Need Filming Permission To Filming In Angola

Yes, you typically need filming permission to film in Angola. The process for obtaining filming permits and permissions may vary depending on the specifics of your project and the locations you intend to film in. Filming permits are typically handled by the Ministry of Culture which is responsible for audiovisual and cultural affairs. The exact department or agency may vary depending on the specifics of your filming project, such as whether it involves filming in public spaces, cultural heritage sites, or natural reserves. It’s advisable to work with local fixers/production company familiar with the local requirements can be helpful in navigating the permitting process and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks. While setting in your application, you will be required to share through some documents and paper which is listed here for you.

  • Topic and title of the shoot
  • Filming dates
  • The location you are interested in filming
  • List of equipment
  • Bio data information and passports
  • Any other pertinent information or contacts or host organization in Angola
  • Emergency contacts

Visa Requirements Of Angola

An eVisa can easily be obtained online for those traveling into the country and for film crews from America and Europe can obtain their visa by contacting the Angolan 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 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 Locations Permissions

All filming in Angola, including b-roll and street closures, requires a permit. Give yourself plenty of advance notice for permits. It is forbidden to film without permission close to military installations, important infrastructure, and government buildings. Fines, incarceration, and the seizure of photographic equipment are examples of penalties. For location-specific information, please get in touch with us.

Furthermore, seeking authorization from particular locations—such as natural reserves, privately held properties, or cultural heritage sites—may necessitate further cooperation with the appropriate authorities or proprietors. To minimise delays or issues during production, it’s critical to prepare ahead and secure the required clearances well in advance of your filming dates.

It’s best to get in touch with the relevant government organisations or speak with local fixer to make sure you comprehend the particular criteria and technique for acquiring location permissions and filming permits in Angola, as rules and procedures could differ. This is our area of expertise so working with us will ensure that all is handled in time.

Equipment Importation In Angola

Make sure you have all the required paperwork for bringing temporary filming equipment into Angola, such as a thorough inventory list. Arrange for temporary importation by working with local fixers filling out customs declaration forms when you arrive, and bringing in supporting paperwork for examination. Be ready to respond to inquiries regarding the reason for and length of the equipment’s presence. Make preparations for temporary exports and ensure that you follow all rules and procedures related to customs when you leave the nation. Make sure you set up dependable logistics for transportation within Angola and take into account any requirements for non-refundable bonds or security deposits. Maintaining regular communication with local contacts and customs authorities will help guarantee a seamless filming experience.

Hiring Equipment In Angola

Angola may have some filming equipment available, particularly in larger cities like Luanda, where there may be rental companies or production houses offering equipment for hire. However, the availability and quality of filming equipment in Angola may vary compared to more established filmmaking destinations. It’s advisable to plan ahead and bring essential equipment with you if possible, especially specialized or high-end gear that may not be readily available for rent locally. Additionally, if you require specific equipment that is not available in Angola, you may need to arrange for it to be brought in from neighboring countries or from international suppliers, which could involve additional logistical considerations and costs.

Hiring Production Support For Shoots

There are extremely few native film crews, directors of photography, and still photographers in Angola. While certain basic support staff can be found locally, more complicated professions require the importation of important personnel from elsewhere. The closest large production centre is in South Africa. For your Angolan film shoot, get in touch with us whether you need a director, DoP / cinematographer, videographer / camera operator, stills photographer, or any other type of film crew. Buyouts and talent day rates are fair and individually negotiated.

Drone Importation In Angola.

Importing and using drones to film in Angola is allowed as long as you have the required permit.  The drone filming permit is issued out by the Civil Aviation Authority 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 for 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 Angola.

There are several drone laws and regulations that need to be followed when flying in the country, this laws are intended to regulate and supervise the work of drone operators to ensure that they remain on track and don’t break any laws. Drone Operators should ensure that they follow the drone laws when flying in Angola to avoid any complications with the authorities.

  • Drones must be registered with Aviation Authority before they can be legally.
  • 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.
  • 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

Access and affordability for film crews in Angola can present challenges due to varying costs of living, limited infrastructure, and logistical complexities. While urban centers like Luanda may offer better access to resources and services, they come with higher expenses. To mitigate costs, film crews should consider budgeting carefully, negotiating rates with local suppliers, and leveraging local production support to navigate logistical hurdles. Government incentives may also be available to offset expenses. Despite challenges, Angola’s diverse landscapes and cultural richness offer unique filming opportunities worth exploring with careful planning and resourcefulness. The state of the roads is Marram roads. 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 Angola

Angola boasts diverse and visually stunning filming locations that offer a rich tapestry of landscapes and cultural heritage. Some notable filming locations in Angola include:

The capital city of Angola;

 Luanda has an abundance of filming sites that accentuate the city’s colourful atmosphere, varied architectural styles, and rich cultural heritage. Here are a few noteworthy Luanda filming locations:

Marginal: Offering breathtaking views of the ocean, the city skyline, and vibrant street life, The Marginal is a busy waterfront promenade that spans along the Atlantic Ocean. With its mix of pedestrians, street sellers, and outdoor cafes, this historic spot offers an exciting ambience that film crews can capture.

Ilha de Luanda: This charming island, which lies slightly off the coast of Luanda, is well-known for its palm-lined boulevards, sandy beaches, and opulent resorts. The island’s tropical beauty, along with a bustling nightlife, restaurants by the beach, and water sports opportunities, can be captured by film crews.

Baixa de Luanda: The downtown region of Luanda is home to numerous historical sites, structures from the colonial era, and cultural hubs. Film crews can stroll through Baixa de Luanda to take in its lively street scenes, colourful marketplaces, and charming architecture.

Avenida 4 de Fevereiro is a main road that stretches along Luanda’s coastline and provides expansive views of the skyline and bay. Avenida 4 de Fevereiro offers film crews the opportunity to capture shots that highlight the city’s contemporary skyline, busy traffic, and waterfront activities.

Fortaleza de São Miguel: Built in the sixteenth century, this historic stronghold gives sweeping views of the city and the ocean. It is perched on a hill overlooking Luanda Bay. The fortress’s striking scenery and towering architecture can be captured by film makers, offering a dramatic setting for sequences with historical or adventurous themes.

The national museum of Angola, Museu Nacional de História Natural de Angola, is situated in the centre of Luanda and features a wide range of cultural and natural history displays, such as fossils, artefacts, and taxidermy specimens. Film teams can record scenes inside the museum to highlight the biodiversity and rich cultural legacy of Angola.

National Parks In Angola

Angola is home to several national parks and protected areas, each offering unique landscapes, biodiversity, and opportunities for filming wildlife and natural beauty. Some of the notable national parks in Angola include:

Quiçama National Park: Located near Luanda, Quiçama National Park is one of Angola’s most famous parks and is known for its diverse wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, antelopes, and birds. The park also features a mix of savannah, wetlands, and coastal habitats, providing filmmakers with a variety of scenic landscapes to capture.

Bicuar National Park: Situated in the southern part of Angola, Bicuar National Park is known for its rugged terrain, rocky outcrops, and diverse ecosystems. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, and various species of antelope, making it an ideal filming location for capturing the beauty and biodiversity of Angola’s wilderness.

Iona National Park: Located in the Namibe Province in southwestern Angola, Iona National Park encompasses a diverse range of landscapes, including desert dunes, mountains, and coastal plains. The park is known for its unique flora and fauna, including endemic plant species and desert-adapted wildlife such as ostriches and springboks, offering filmmakers a truly unique filming experience.

Cameia National Park: Situated in the Moxico Province in eastern Angola, Cameia National Park is characterized by its vast floodplains, grasslands, and woodlands. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, hippos, and numerous bird species, making it an ideal filming location for capturing the beauty and biodiversity of Angola’s wetland ecosystems.

Mupa National Park: Located in the Cunene Province in southern Angola, Mupa National Park is known for its rugged landscapes, ancient baobab trees, and diverse wildlife. The park is home to a variety of species, including elephants, lions, cheetahs, and giraffes, as well as numerous bird species, making it a prime filming location for capturing the natural beauty and wildlife of Angola’s savannah habitats.

Desert Of Namibe

Film productions get a rare chance to capture the striking contrasts and spectacular grandeur of one of Africa’s most famous desert vistas when they film in the Namibe Desert. The Namibe Province provides an eye-catching visual background for a variety of film projects with its tall sand dunes, untamed mountains, and dramatic coastal panoramas. The Desert of Namibe offers filmmakers a wide range of cinematic opportunities, from expansive overhead vistas of the desert topography to intimate close-ups of flora and fauna that have adapted to the harsh environment. But filming in this isolated and difficult setting necessitates meticulous logistical preparation, including obtaining permissions, setting up transportation, and guaranteeing the crew’s safety. It can be easier to handle logistical issues and realise the full creative potential of filming in the Namibe Desert when local specialists and production teams are involved.

Historical Sites:

Angola’s rich history offers filmmakers a variety of historical filming sites that showcase the country’s cultural heritage and pivotal moments in its past. Here are some notable historical filming sites in Angola:

Fortaleza de São Miguel: Located in Luanda, Fortaleza de São Miguel is a historic fortress built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. It played a significant role in Angola’s colonial history and served as a key defensive structure during periods of conflict. Today, the fortress offers filmmakers a glimpse into Angola’s colonial past, with its imposing walls, cannons, and architectural features.

Cidade Velha: Also known as Old Town, Cidade Velha is the historic center of Luanda and is characterized by its colonial-era buildings, cobblestone streets, and colorful facades. Film crews can capture the charm and character of Cidade Velha, which serves as a testament to Angola’s colonial heritage and architectural legacy.

Mbaka Kwen: Located in the Bengo Province, Mbaka Kwen is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features rock art dating back thousands of years. The site includes intricate engravings and paintings depicting scenes of daily life, animals, and spiritual beliefs of the ancient inhabitants of the region. Filmmakers can capture the cultural significance and historical importance of Mbaka Kwen, providing insights into Angola’s pre-colonial past.

Cunene Ruins: Situated in the Cunene Province, the Cunene Ruins are a collection of ancient stone structures believed to have been built by the Ovambo people centuries ago. The ruins include remnants of dwellings, fortifications, and ceremonial sites, offering filmmakers a glimpse into the architectural and cultural practices of Angola’s indigenous communities.

Pungo Andongo: Located in the Malanje Province, Pungo Andongo is home to a collection of massive granite rock formations known as the “Pedras Negras” (Black Rocks). These natural formations, which resemble giant mushrooms and pillars, have cultural and historical significance to the local communities and are believed to have served as a sacred site and refuge in ancient times. Film crews can capture the unique geological features and cultural heritage of Pungo Andongo, providing a visually striking backdrop for historical and adventure-themed films.

How Should One Conduct Themselves When Filming In Angola

It’s critical to act with decency, professionalism, and cultural awareness when filming in Angola. This means being mindful of local customs and traditions, getting all required permits and permissions, and interacting with local communities in a respectful manner. Maintaining good relationships and facilitating seamless operations can be achieved by closely collaborating with local fixers or guides who are aware of the subtle cultural differences and practical difficulties. Filming in Angola can be profitable and mutually beneficial if safety, environmental responsibility, and open communication are prioritised and one is flexible enough to deal with unforeseen events.

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

In Angola, 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 Angolan 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 Angola while respecting local sensitivities and regulations.

Best Time To Film In Angola

The ideal time to shoot in Angola will depend on a number of variables, such as the particular sites you want to use, the nature of the production, and the local weather in each area of the nation. Angola typically has a tropical climate with separate rainy and dry seasons. Filming is said to be most successful during the dry season, which runs from May to October. This is because the weather is usually dryer and more consistent during this time, with less chance of rain and less issues with humidity. Filmmakers should be ready for colder weather, especially in the evenings and at higher elevations, as Angola’s dry season also falls during the country’s colder winter months. To maximise your shooting schedule and minimise weather-related delays, it is imperative that you research the climate and weather trends for the specific places where you will be filming.

Language Spoken In Angola

The official language of Angola is Portuguese. Portuguese is widely spoken and used for official purposes, administration, education, and media throughout the country. However, there are also numerous indigenous languages spoken by various ethnic groups in Angola, reflecting the country’s cultural diversity. Some of the prominent indigenous languages include Kimbundu, Kikongo, Umbundu, and Chokwe. While Portuguese serves as the lingua franca for communication among different ethnic groups and communities, knowledge of local languages can be valuable for effective communication and cultural understanding, especially when working closely with local communities during filming projects.

Filming Wildlife In Angola

Production crews must receive the required licenses and authorization from the appropriate authorities, such as the Ministry of Environment or the National Parks administration, depending on the region, in order to film wildlife in Angola. In order to do this, you usually need to submit a comprehensive filmmaking proposal that includes the project’s goals, locations, and timeline in addition to proof of compliance with environmental and conservation laws. The application process might be streamlined by collaborating with regional partners or fixers who are familiar with the permitting procedure. Producers are required to follow ethical standards for wildlife filmmaking, put the welfare of the animals first, and cause as little disruption as possible to their natural habitat after obtaining permissions. Interacting with guides or local fixers in the area can improve the filmmaking process by offering valuable perspectives on wildlife behavior and the best places to film. Maintaining compliance with legislation and cultivating positive relationships with stakeholders during the filming process requires regular communication and engagement with local authorities and communities.

Safety Precautions When Filming In Angola.

When filming in Angola, it’s crucial to prioritize safety by staying informed about local security conditions, including potential risks such as crime, political instability, and health hazards. Maintain situational awareness, avoid high-risk areas, and adhere to any security protocols recommended by local authorities or experienced fixers. Ensure the safety of your crew and equipment by securing necessary permits, obtaining comprehensive insurance coverage, and implementing emergency response plans. Additionally, establish clear communication channels, stay updated on weather forecasts, and take precautions to mitigate risks associated with natural disasters or adverse weather conditions. By proactively addressing safety concerns and maintaining vigilance throughout the filming process, you can help ensure a safe and successful production in Angola.

Why Use Africa Fixers For Your Shoot In Angola

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