Where to find and film elephants in Zimbabwe

Where to find and film elephants in Zimbabwe. The elephants are the largest land mammals in the world. This sizable reputation puts them among the big five animals of the wild. Their massive bodies, their long trunks, big ears and attractive tusks make them a great filming choice. The elephants in Zimbabwe are of the African elephant species. Zimbabwe has an abundance of these animals and can be found in the following places.

Where to find and film elephants in zimbabwe..

Hwange National Park

Hwange national park is the largest and one of the most popular parks of Zimbabwe situated between Bulawayo and the Victoria falls. It prides itself as a home to over 100 mammal species, with 19 enormous herbivores and 8 big carnivores. This park is famous for its large numbers of elephants. This offers a 100% chance of sighting and filming these big mammals .The national park also harbors an endangered population of wild dogs .Hwange national Park has also recorded several sightings of other big cats majorly the cheetahs, leopards, and lions for those interested in these carnivores, this national park offers the opportunity to film them in their natural habitat. In addition to these the park has several other wildlife species that are good for filming. The animals can be sighted well during the dry season when they gather around waterholes to drink water.

How to get to Hwange National park

Hwange National Park is very accessible. The Main Camp can be reached on a tar road, 200km/124mi south of Victoria Falls. The drive takes less than three hours .To reach some of the other camps deeper in the park, a 4WD might be necessary, especially during the wet months, from November to May. Some of the lodges have airstrips for chartered flights. You will probably arrive in Zimbabwe by flying to Victoria FallsAirport (VFA), near the town of Victoria Falls. Usually, you will be picked up from the airport or hotel by your fixer guide, who will be with you onwards as you travel throughout the country as part of your filming package.

Mana pools National Park

The park is located in the northern region of Zimbabwe on the southern banks of the Zambezi River in the middle Zambezi valley. The park harbors most of the big safari animals. It is most popular of its large herds of elephants and buffalos that are in abundance all over the park. Other common animals in the park are the hyenas, the zebras, and the hippos. The lions and leopards are also sighted occasionally while the cheetah and wild dog are rare. The rhino species are extinct in this park.

How to get there

The remote Mana Pools National Park is located in the northern tip of the country, 388km/241mi from Harare and far from any human settlement. The park is mostly off limits to vehicles from November to April. Travel by 4WD is essential. Most people fly into Mana Pools airstrip from Kariba, although charters can be booked from other destinations in Zimbabwe. You will most likely enter the country via Victoria Falls Airport (VFA), a short distance from the town of Victoria Falls. Alternatively, you can fly to Harare International Airport (HRE) and drive from there. Your fixer package likely provides for further transportation throughout Zimbabwe as arranged by your fixer Operator.

Matusadona National Park

The Matusadona national park is located on the southern shore of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. The park got its name from the local matuzviadonha hills. The park provides a sum of flat plain and mountainous landscape. It was named a national park in 1975. Matusadona offers excellent wildlife viewing of most big safari animals, including the Big Five. Black rhino is present and can be tracked on foot. The lakeshore is excellent for hippos, crocodiles, elephants, impala, Kudu and buffaloes. Lions, Leopards and spotted Hyenas are present in good numbers.

How to get there

Matusadona National Park is located in the northwest of the country on the shore of Lake Kariba and is 470km/292mi northwest of Harare. The drive into the park from Victoria Falls is very rough and needs a 4WD. In the Wet season from November to May, the road tends to be unnavigable. The best way to get to Matusadona is by chartered plane or by boat across the lake from Kariba, which is 18km/11mi away. Victoria Falls airport (VFA) is the main point of entry into Zimbabwe. Alternatively, you can fly to Harare International Airport (HRE) and fly or drive from there. Your pick-up from the airport will be arranged by your fixer as part of your filming package. You can opt to fly to Tashinga camp instead of driving. This camp has a landing strip found in the north west of Matusadona.

Zambezi National Park

Originally part of the Vitoria falls national park, Zambezi national park is a small park full of magnificent wild life features four of the Big Five animals are present in the park, but the elephant and buffalo are more sighted compared to the others. Rhino is absent and the Leopard is rarely spotted, the lion sightings are becoming common with time. African wild dog can also be spotted in the park, and the best chance to spot them is during the denning season, from May to August. The river is a home to the crocodiles and hippos. All these and more are available for filming.

How to get there

Zambezi National Park is located less than 5km on a road from Victoria Falls town. Your main point of entry into Zimbabwe is Victoria Falls Airport (VFA). Your transportation will normally be provided by your local fixer operator as part of your filming package. This usually includes pick-up from the airport or hotel.

Gonarezhou National Park

Gonarezhou National Park is located in the south eastern region of Zimbabwe. This massive park borders Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park and South Africa’s Kruger National Park to make up an enormous wilderness area known as the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. The wildlife in the park is in big numbers. The area is filled with a variety of species. The elephants, Buffaloes, hippos, zebra that are common.  The giraffe, wildebeest and hyenas. Rarely sighted animals include. Lions, leopards, cheetah and wild dogs. This park also has the variety of antelope species namely the sable antelope, the tiny suni and the nyala antelope. If you are interested in filming any of the above, Gonarezhou national park is one of the places to visit.

How to get there

Gonarezhou National Park is remote and relatively inaccessible. There are two areas to visit: Chipinda HQ is located 550km/342mi south of Harare, and Mabalauta HQ is located 667km/414mi south of Harare. The roads in the park are often very poor, especially in the Wet season, and a good 4WD is essential. Some lodges have airstrips, and we can organize chartered flights. The road transfer to the lodge from the airport takes 45 minutes. Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) will be the point of arrival for most safaris. Another option is to fly to Harare International Airport (HRE). Your filming package includes travel arrangements throughout the country booked by your local fixer operator.          

Chizarira National Park

Chizarira national park is located in the northern part of Zimbabwe. Its location overlooks the Zambezi valley and the upper waters of the Lake Kariba. Its name means a closing off. It is one of the remote parks of Zimbabwe making it a filming destination that is not crowded with tourists. The scenery coupled with the wildlife gives plenty to film. The park has a variety of wildlife. The Big four are inhabited in the park and occasionally sighted mostly the elephants and buffalos. The leopard and hyena are also on the list of animals occasionally sighted. In addition to these are the lion, cheetah and wild dog that are seen on rare occasions.

How to get there

Chizarira National Park is very remote and hard to access.  Your main point of entry into Zimbabwe is Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) located near the town Victoria Falls. Normally, your local fixer operator will pick you up at the airport and arrange your further transportation throughout the country as part of your filming package.

Requirements to film elephants in Zimbabwe

In order to film Elephants, You will need to acquire permission. The process of securing a filming permit in Zimbabwe can be time-consuming so it needs enough time before the filming in order to complete the necessary process and secure the filming permit.  Filming permits in Zimbabwe are processed by the ministry of information. National park charges by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority also apply.

Media accreditation is also vital for filming in Zimbabwe and the application is made to the Zimbabwe media council. The charge for accreditation is 2000usd for shoot accreditation application and in addition to this, each member of the crew pays 200usd. Contact film crew fixers for further information on the requirements for filming in Zimbabwe.

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.

Zimbabwe visa and work permit advice

A tourist visa or business visa can work for your entry into the country. The single entry visa costs USD30. Film crews prefer getting there visa before coming into the countries and this is possible through the online system of the Zimbabwe department of immigration. 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 your embassy or us regarding the following issues.

•             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 whose citizens don’t require a visa or can acquire one upon arrival is available

•             A list of countries whose citizens are required to obtain their visa in advance is available. The application can be made online.

•             When arriving from a yellow-fever-infected country, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required

Zimbabwe transport services

Film crew fixers organizes transportation for film crews to film in Zimbabwe 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 Zimbabwe. 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.

Best time to film in Zimbabwe National Parks

The climate in the parks is bound to two distinctive periods. The Dry season (April to October) is categorized by warm days and cold nights. Everything changes with the coming of the very warm Wet season (November to March), especially in October when the park’s lower altitudes rise in temperatures of up to 40°C/104°F.

Dry season (July to October) is the best time to spot these animals via waterholes and rivers. Sunny, clear skies and an absence of mosquitoes are the other advantages of visiting at this time of year. The dry season is also best because of the road situation in the parks. Travelling in the wet season will be difficult since the roads are hard to maneuver during the season

Film fixers in Zimbabwe to help you film in Zimbabwe

All our vehicles come with drivers who act as location fixers and most of them have been to most of the parts in Zimbabwe 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 Zimbabwe.

Why use film crew fixers to film in Zimbabwe

Film crew fixers is a company based in Uganda that assists production agencies and filming companies in South 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 Zimbabwe.