Where to find and film lions in Zimbabwe

Where to find and film lions in Zimbabwe. Lions are big cats that belong to the genus panther family. Lions are admired for their strength and courage. Lions socialize in groups known as prides which are usually in numbers of 2 to 30 lions. The males are the defenders and the females do the hurting for the pride. The lions can be filmed in the following places.

where to find and film lions 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. Hwange national Park has recorded several sightings of 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 namely buffalos, hippos, hyenas, zebras and wildebeest. 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

Popular for its four pools water, this park is one of the places where lions are sighted occasionally. This park is usually explored by foot or canoe as it gives no option for driving. In addition to the hippos, this park has other animals that could be of interest. These include the hyenas, leopards, the zebras, the buffalo and the elephants.

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.

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 park has a variety of wildlife. The Big four are inhabited in the park and lions occasionally in addition to the elephants and buffalos. The leopard and hyena are also on the list of animals occasionally sighted. In addition to these are the cheetah and wild dog that are seen on rare occasions. Most commonly spotted are the zebras.

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.

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 and the lions can also be found here though rarely. The area is filled with a variety of species. The elephants, Buffaloes, hippos, zebra that are common.  The giraffe, wildebeest and hyenas. Other rarely sighted animals are 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

Lion Park

Founded in 1970s, the lion and cheetah park is private wildlife park owned by the Bristow family. It is located in Harare city.it is a sanctuary to a number of lions and a number of animals that can be spotted and filmed in their enclosures these include, wolves, jackals, monkeys, warthogs and many more. This park is also in close proximity with the snake world which harbors a number or reptile’s species. The park no longer has cheetahs hence the new name Lion Park.

How to get there

You can fly into Harare International Airport and head to Harare city and then drive to the park which is located on 23km peg, A5, somerby. This drive should take you 45 minutes to 1 hour

Requirements to film lions in Zimbabwe

In order to film lions. 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. Africa 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

Africa 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 lions

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 lions in Zimbabwe

Africa 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