Where to film birds in Malawi
Malawi is an amazing destination to film birds. It has several places that have a variety of bird species. With over 500 species recorded in the country. Making it a good place to film and take photos of the birds. National parks are the best places to go to if you are interested in filming birds. While doing so, you will also have the opportunity to spot other wildlife species that live in these parks. It should be noted that the best time to film birds is usually the period of November to April when the migratory birds flock to the parks in large numbers. The following are places to look out for.
Nkhota kota game reserve
Nkhota kota is the oldest reserve in Malawi. It is located in the eastern part of central Malawi and is in close proximity to Lake Malawi. The reserve has recorded over 280 species of birds. When filming in the reserve, you can look out for these particular species: African harrier hawk, black stork, bohm’s bee eater, kingfisher, martial eagle, wolly necked stork, white starred robin, pale billed hornbill and many others.
Vwaza marsh game reserve
Vwaza marsh is a national game reserve in Malawi located in the north west of mzuzu along the Zambian border making it part of the Malawi Zambia Transfrontier conservation area. The reserve has recorded about 340 species of birds. The notable birds to look out for when filming in this reserve include African fish eagle, African grey hornbill, brown hooded king fisher, golden breasted bunting, palm nut vulture, Senegal lapwig, greater honey guide, bennett’s wood pecker and many more.
Kasungu national park
This is the second largest park after Nyika in terms of sq. miles. The park is located in the western part of central Malawi and is bordering Zambia. The park has a wide range of bird species that have been recorded so far and some of the birds to look out for include crested francolin, red necked francolin, little grebe, Denham’s bustard, purple crested turaco, fiery necked night jar, watlled crane, spotted thick knee and many others.
Nyika national park
Nyika national park is located in the northern part of Malawi on the Nyika plateau. It is the largest park of Malawi covering an area of 1250 sq. miles. Nyika has about 400 species of birds that have been recorded. These birds are usually abundant in the wet season from November to May because migratory birds come back to nest in the park. Some of the species to look out for include Mountain yellow warbler, chirping cisticola, wing snapping cisiticola, mountain marsh widow bird, bar tailed trogon, blue swallow, pallid harrier, Great snipe and many others
Liwonde national park
Liwonde national park are located in southern Malawi. It was established in 1973 and it is the most popular part of Malawi. It is the most popular park of the country. The park has recorded about 400 species of birds and this number makes it a great birding destination. When filming in this park, you can be able to spot the following species. Pels fishing owl, black heron, African open bill, long toed lapwing, bat hawk, green twin spot, martial eagle, snake eagle, Lilian’s love bird and many more.
Majete wildlife reserve
Majete game reserve is located in southern Malawi. It was set up as a protected area in 1955 for wildlife. The reserve has over 300 bird recorded species that are inhabited. These include African fish eagle, batelour, palm nut vulture, white backed vulture, pel’s fishing owl, rock pranticole and many more. This reserve is a bird’s haven and a good place to film them.
Lengwe national park
The national park is located in southern part of Malawi near Blantyre and covers an area of 350sq. miles. The park was established in 1928 as a game reserve that was supposed to protect mammals and later became a national park. This park has recorded over 330 species of birds making it a notable birding site. When filming in this park. One should look out for the following birds. Eastern nicator, noisy crested guinea fowl, tambourine dove, crowned hornbill, brown headed parrot, black breasted snake eagle, trumpeter hornbill, banded snake eagle and many more.
Lake malawi national park
The park is located at the southern part of Lake Malawi. The park also has several bird species that would be of interest for birding enthusiasts. Some of the birds to look out for include African fish eagle, collared pal thrust, African palm swift, southern brown throated weave, pied kingfisher, giant marabou stork and many others.
Ntchisi forest reserve
Ntchisi forest reserve is a protected reserve that covers about 75sqkm. This reserve has trees that grow up to 30 metres high and is one of the few remaining indigenous rainforests in Malawi. The forest is a good birding haven with bird species like blue swallow, sharpe’s greenbul, penhams burstard, purple crested Turaco, livingstone’s Turaco, European white stock, great white pelican, grey heron, little egret and many other.
Requirements to film in Malawi
In order to film in Malawi You will need to acquire permission. The process of securing a filming permit in Malawi can be time-consuming so it needs enough time before the filming in order to complete the necessary process and secure the filming permit. National park fees and charges are also required of you if you intend to film in national parks
Media accreditation is also vital for filming in Malawi and the application is made to the media council of Malawi. Once applied for, and payment given the media cards are then processed. Contact film crew fixers to help you will filming permits and media accreditation
Drones can also be used while filming and can be imported but you need to have acquired permission from Malawi’s department of civil aviation. Key factors to note if you’re planning to use a drone
- Permission is needed for each flight
- Do not fly near aircrafts airports, and airfields. if operating near these spaces stay 10 kilometers away
- Do not fly near groups of people, social gatherings, private property , schools and road races unless you have been given permission
- You’re not allowed to fly the drone vertically higher than 45 meters
- The drone should be registered with the department of civil aviation
- The operator should obtain an operator certificate from the department of civil aviation
Filming equipment also needs to be cleared and this can be done through a bonded agent or securing a 5% percent of the value of equipment, however this is not advisable and the preferred procedure is that of using a bonded agent. Film crew fixers has all the necessary connections with a number of bonded agents that can clear your equipment on entry and exit. Contact us for any help with kit clearing.
Malawi visa and work permit advice
A tourist visa or business visa can work for your entry into the country. Film crews prefer getting there visa before coming into the countries and this is possible through the evisa system of Malawi. Proof of yellow fever and vaccination and a Covid 19 free negative certificate are necessary for entry. The prices of visas and work permits change regularly. For updated information regarding travel to Zimbabwe, you can contact us or your embassy.
- A passport is required for all foreign visitors and has to be valid for at least six months
- Passports must have at least three empty pages
- Citizens of most countries require a visa, which can be obtained at arrival
- A list of countries who don’t require visa here https://visaindex.com/visa-requirement/malawi-passport-visa-free-countries-list/ .
- A list of countries who need a visa can be found here https://www.onlinevisa.com/visa-policy/malawi/ the application can be made online.
- When arriving from a yellow-fever-infected country, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required
Malawi transport services
Film crew fixers organizes transportation for film crews to film. Depending on their interest and Budget and the nature of roads to the destination. We organize both road and air transport for film crews. We recommend customized 4×4 safari land cruisers for vehicles because of the nature of roads in Malawi. These land cruisers cost USD200-250 per vehicle per day. Fuel is estimated on the number of days that are scheduled by the filming schedule. We will need to look at it for establishing the mileage and distance to be traveled.
Film fixers in Malawi to help you film
All our vehicles come with drivers who act as location fixers and most of them have been to most of the parts in Malawi and are very conversant with the local situations .they provide relevant information and fix any situation on ground. They also act as intermediaries between you and our office while on location. Contact us if you need a film fixer in Malawi.
What is the best time to film birds in Malawi
For those interested in birds, the wet season is a better choice because migratory birds are in plenty. However the best time to visit these park for wildlife is during the dry months from June to October the roads are also much easy to navigate compared to the wet season.
Why use film crew fixers to film in Malawi
Film crew fixers is a company based in Uganda that assists production agencies and filming companies in South, central and East African countries as a whole. We handle all fixer services required with our professional team of local fixers and driver guides. We have all the relevant connections with other service providers and government agencies to make sure that accreditation and filming permits are processed in a short time. Contact us for details and all relevant information you would like to know for successful filming in Malawi.