WHAT OUR LOCAL FILM FIXERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FILMING IN ZAMBIA,AFRICA
Zambia lies in a central position in southern Africa surrounded by several countries. It is a landlocked country between Angola in the west, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe in the south, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania in the east, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the north.
The climate is tropical or sub-tropical depending on altitude, with a hot, humid, and rainy season from mid-November to March and a dry season from April to mid-November. The driest months are June, July, and August, when it practically never rains.
Zambia is a safe country and locals are generally very welcoming and friendly towards visitors. That said, it’s still very poor and there’s a moderate risk of pick-pocketing and opportunistic theft in busy urban areas.
The Zambian Kwacha is the currency of Zambia, issued by the Bank of Zambia. The best currencies to take to Zambia (in order of preference) are US dollars, UK pounds, South African rands and Euros; the currencies of most neighbouring countries are worthless in Zambia, except at the relevant borders. The exception is Botswanan pula, which can also be exchanged in Lusaka.
Numerous languages or dialects have been identified in Zambia. There are seven official vernacular languages: Bemba, Nyanja, Lozi, Tonga, Luvale, Lunda, and Kaonde, the latter three being languages of North-Western Province. English is the official language of government and is used for education, commerce, and law.
Roads in cities and major roads connecting tourist destinations are paved. Most other roads are unpaved and slower going with many becoming impassable during the wet season. There are no regular bus services. Public transport is in the form of poorly maintained 12 seater minibuses, run-down cars, dial-up cabs, car hire and chauffeur driven vehicles. You are advised to use the dial-up cabs or chauffeur driven vehicles. Several international airlines service flights to Zambia.
Recommended film friendly hotels in Zambia include:
Please contact local film fixer to arrange for corporate rates.
For longer stays serviced apartments are available
WHAT OUR FILM FIXERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FILM LOCATIONS IN ZAMBIA,AFRICA
In the warm heart of Africa, you will find some of the finest Safari experiences on the planet, including face to face encounters with Nature at its most wild. Victoria Falls, the wild Zambezi River, abundant wildlife, and raw wilderness, all in one friendly country.
Seventeen magnificent waterfalls, apart from the spectacular Victoria Falls, provide ‘cascade followers’ an adventure into the remote undeveloped rural areas where a taste of village life can be experienced. Spectacular daily sunsets are almost guaranteed.
The country is blessed with many nature parks that are home to a diversity of wildlife including hippos, giraffes, elephants, crocodiles, zebras, big cats, monkeys, and a variety of birdlife.
Agricultural film locations include plantations of corn, soybean, cotton, sugarcane, sunflowers, wheat, tobacco, flowers, and various fruits. Industrial locations include copper mines and hydroelectric dams.
Kitwe and Chingola are copper mining towns.
At present there are no tax incentives for foreign film production in Zambia.
International titles that were most recently filmed in Zambia: 1. Vanguard (I) (2020), 2. Holiday in the Wild (2019), 3. The Amazing Race (2001– ), 4. Life (2009), 5. Gabriel and the Mountain (2017), 6. White Hunter Black Heart (1990), 7. Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019), 8. I Am Not A Witch (2017)
WHAT OUR LOCAL FILM FIXERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FILM PERMIT ,VISAS AND WORK PERMITS WHEN FILMING IN ZAMBIA,AFRICA
Visas & Work Permits
Passport holders from Western countries can obtain visas on arrival.
Each visiting crew member must have Media Accreditation from the Zambian Ministry of Information to film in Zambia. A synopsis, crew passport information pages and photos, gear list, and a completed application must be submitted to our Zambian fixer who will include an invitation letter and lodge the application on behalf of the visiting crew. Once processed, either originals or copies of the Media Accreditation are sent to crew members to present at the port of entry. Originals must be kept on hand during filming. The Media Accreditation costs US$50 per crew member, is valid for 30 days, and takes anywhere from 5 to 10 working days to process.
Film & Location Permits for Zambia
Media Accreditation from the Zambian Ministry of Information serves as a film permit to shoot in public locations across the country.
Once Media Accreditation is approved, local film fixers can go ahead and apply for permits to film in national parks. Permits to film in national parks take about 5 days to process and cost US$60 per crew member per day.
Shoots that require control of public space or filming in locations such as public markets require additional permission. The local film fixer will negotiate permission and fees at local level and will ensure that the appropriate level of police support is in place for controlling traffic.
There are currently no restrictions to drone filming in Zambia.
WHAT OUR LOCAL FILM FIXERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT FILM CREWS,EQUIPMENT AND TALENT IN THE ZAMBIA,AFRICA
Zambia has a very small pool of local crew, all HOD’s should be brought in from South Africa.
Zambia does not have any equipment rental houses so you will need to bring in all gear from abroad. South Africa is the closest major production centre for standard and specialised camera, grip and lighting equipment. If you are planning to bring in your own equipment and only have a small amount of gear, such as a Canon 5D, you may be able to get away with just bringing it in as personal effects. The moment you start looking like a film shoot (ie: bringing in lenses, heavy tripods, lights, several boxes of gear), your gear will require customs clearance. Our Zambian fixer can arrange gear importation through a customs clearance agent. We will require a full gear list including serial numbers for the application. Gear importation takes about 5 days to process and costs US$800. Local film fixer or the customs agent will meet you at the airport to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Talent day rates and buyouts are very reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis.
English is the official language. Nyanja and Bemba are widely spoken.
Zambia comprises of 73 ethnic groups. The largest groups include the Nyanja-Chewa, Bemba, Tonga, Tumbuka, Lunda, Luvale, Kaonde, Nkoya and Lozi people. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.