When Filming in Zimbabwe

Filming in Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe lies in southern Africa and borders in the south with the Republic of South Africa and is bounded on the southwest and west by Botswana, in the north by Zambia, and in the northeast and east by Mozambique.

Zimbabwe enjoys a lovely, temperate climate. The central highveld plateau has temperatures up to 28°C/82°F. Lower-lying parks such as Hwange and Zambezi NP are warmer year-round. Mana Pools, Matusadona and Gonarezhou are even lower and get hot, with temperatures soaring to 35°C/95°.The rains come principally in December, January, February and March; the further north you are, the earlier the precipitation arrives and the later it leaves. Zimbabwe’s higher eastern areas usually receive more rainfall than the lower-lying western ones.

Travel to Zimbabwe is generally safe, and it’s rare for foreign visitors to be the victims of crime. But scams and petty theft do occasionally happen. Here are the types of crime to watch out for. 

The official currency of Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwe dollar (ZWL) although it is not an internationally recognised currency. Convertible currencies such as the South African Rand, Botswana Pula, British Pound, Euro, and the US Dollar are now used for all transactions in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has 16 official languages – namely as Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koi-san, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, Sign Language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa. However, English, Shona and Ndebele are the most widely spoken languages in the country.

Major roads are in an excellent condition. Rural roads are in a poorer condition. Avoid travelling at night. Zimbabwean film fixer arrange safe and reliable transport. Police checkpoints are common throughout the country. Several international airlines service flights to Zimbabwe.

Good accommodation options ranging from hotels to home rentals exist for all types of productions. Recommended film friendly hotels in Zimbabwe include:

Victoria Falls:
Victoria Falls Hotel

Meikles Hotel
Bronte “the Garden” Hotel

Please contact local film fixer to arrange for corporate rates.

For longer stays serviced apartments are available

At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Zimbabwe.


Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa known for its beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife. The country is mostly savannah, with the mountainous eastern highlands supporting areas of tropical evergreen and hardwood forests. Film locations of note include rivers, waterfalls, forests, national parks, British colonial architecture, and a small city skyline.

Agricultural film locations include plantations of sugarcane, cotton, tobacco, coffee, peanuts, wheat, and corn. Industrial locations include chromite, asbestos, coal, copper, gold, nickel, and iron ore mines.

Harare is the capital and largest city with its small city skyscraper, jacarandas trees, colonial buildings, city parks ,the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and The National Heroes’ Acre . 30min from the city centre, Mukuvisi Woodlands are home to zebras, giraffes and antelope. Wild Is Life is a sanctuary for elephants, giraffes, and pangolins. Haka Camp Game Park is home to zebra, wildebeest, impala as well as a variety of bird life. Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary is a recovery centre for a range of sick and injured animals.

Bulawayo in the southwest of the country known for colonial facades, green and bougainvillea coloured spaces. 

Located on the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls National Park, Victoria Falls are one of the world’s largest and most spectacular waterfalls. Victoria Falls also has a steam train that crosses a bridge over the Zambezi River.

Hwange National Park located in the west of the country is known for lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dogs, leopards, cheetahs, and a variety of birdlife.

Matobo National Park located in the southwest of the country is known for its granite kopjes ,wooded valleys and white rhinos.

Mana Pools National Park is a Zambezi river flood plain that turns into lakes in the rainy season. The park is home to hippos, crocodiles, zebras, elephants, buffalos, lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, leopards, and hyenas. BBC’s Dynasties: Painted Wolf (2018) episode filmed in Mana Pools National Park.

Matusadona National Park is a landscape of flat plains and rugged mountains home to wildlife including elephants, buffalos, and zebras.

Zambezi National Park is located west of Victoria Falls. Wildlife includes elephants, lions, buffalos, leopards, zebras, and giraffes.

Nyanga National Park is located in the eastern highlands. Known for its green hills, rivers, and waterfalls, the park is dominated by Mount Nyangani, the highest peak in Zimbabwe. Wildlife of note includes lions, leopards, buffalos, and Samango monkeys.

Gonarezhou National Park is located in the south-east of the country. Its vast, rugged terrain could double for Colorado or Arizona. Wildlife of note include wild dogs, elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffalos, zebras, rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas.

Chizarira National Park is located in the north of the country. Wildlife of note include elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and a variety of birdlife.

Zimbabwe Mutarazi Falls is a spectacular film location.

Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city in the south-eastern hills that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe.


Visas & Work Permits for Zimbabwe

Most visitors use the visa on arrival service. The current cost is $55 US Dollars for a Single Entry Visa and $70 US Dollars for a Double Entry Visa. Accreditation is required for each visiting crew member. The ministry charges USD2000 for the shoot accreditation application, plus USD200 per crew member. The accreditation must be always carried when filming.

Film & Location Permits for Zimbabwe

Film permit prices vary depending on the park, crew size, number of days filming, type of project and possible tourism benefit to Zimbabwe. Soke permits can take up to 6 weeks to obtain so allow plenty of lead time. B-roll shoots that do not take exclusive use of public space do not require additional permits beyond the shoot accreditation card you need to get before you go to Zimbabwe. Drone filming is permitted under very limited circumstances.


Zambia has a pool of local crew, all HOD’s should be brought in from South Africa.

Zimbabwe has camera, grip and lighting equipment available for rent locally. Drones are also available. South Africa is the closest major film production centre where crews and equipment can be brought in from. If you are looking to bring in film gear a temporary import permit is required. Local film fixers will arrange for a local guarantor and meet you at the airport to ensure all runs smoothly. Temporary import of gear costs range from 3% to 5% of the value of the gear.

Talent day rates and buyouts are very reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis.

English is spoken in the cities although most people in rural areas speak Shona and Ndebele.

The largest ethnic groups are the Shona and Ndebele people. Minority groups include the Venda, Tonga, Shangaan, Kalanga, Sotho, Ndau, Nambya, Tswana, Xhosa and Lozi people. Zimbabwe also has a small minority of white Zimbabweans. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.

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