Filming in Maiko National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Filming in Maiko National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo- Maiko National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, located in a remote forest area. Maiko National Park is known for harboring the Eastern lowland gorillas. However, gorilla tracking is not open within this wonderful national park in Congo as it is in the Kahuzi Biege National Park. This implies that gorilla tracking activity is not yet open here.
Visitors to these parks can easily extend their visit to other gorilla parks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, such as the well-known Virunga National Park, to distinguish between the endangered mountain gorillas and the lowland gorillas found in the wild.
Maiko National Park is a wonderful destination to explore with friends and it is managed by the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature, which is responsible for issuing permits to Maiko National Park. However, the park is missing some rangers. The Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature implements and formulates laws around the park, but it does not yet have control over the park due to the absence of rangers.
Maiko National Park is an untamed destination when it comes to filming because the film is not yet developed as a filming destination because of the remoteness of the park, which is very hard to access, and the fact that the park has no airstrips around the park. There are no accommodation lodges or even hotels and amenities for the film crew members where they can stay other than within the local community or the carried tents, well prepared to make your own meals.
What will your filming mix at Maiko National Park be like?
Maiko National Park is a unique destination with rare species that are of interest to the film crew members. Your filming mix at the Maiko National Park will include the various birds found within the park, the Eastern chimpanzees, and the African elephants, as well as the unique Eastern Lowland Gorillas, and the other amazing Okapai wildlife watching without forgetting the unique Congo Peafowl worth filming.
What to film in Maiko National Park
Maiko National Park is one of the important national parks in Uganda, offering a lot of endemic and unique rare species that are difficult to find in other national parks. These species are fantastic and offer a great chance for filming to the film crew members. Therefore, while in Maiko National Park, you expect to film the following:
Filming the Eastern lowland gorillas in Maiko National Park: The eastern lowland gorillas are one of the largest subspecies of gorillas situated in the lowland tropical rain forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite their large size, Eastern lowland gorillas rely primarily on fruits.These gorillas occupy Kahuzi-Biega and Maiko National Parks, where you can go and film the lowland eastern gorillas.
Filming the forest elephants in Maiko National Park: This is one of the big 5 animals of Africa, and Maiko National Park features these wonderful, huge African elephants in the forest, and they offer wonderful filming back in Maiko National Park.
Filming the Congo peacock birds in Maiko National Park: The peacock fowl is a member of the pheasant family, and the Congo peafowl is the only true representative of the original African specie in Africa.These birds can fly, but they don’t fly for a long distance, and this is the only bird that can only be found within the Democratic Republic of Congo, making this a wonderful destination where you can film these bird species.
Filming the rare Okapi specie in Maiko National Park: This is one of the most beautiful and uncommon animals, and sometimes people mistake it for a zebra, especially when you notify the head of the animals, which looks like that of the zebra. This animal is friendly to the giraffe. They get freighted so easily and can easily run whenever they hear humans coming to them. They are mostly sighted in the Ituri forest, but they can also be seen within the Maiko National Park.
Other things that you can see during filming in Maiko National Park
Apart from the main things that you can see during filming, there are other things that you can see while doing the filming of forest elephants, eastern lowland gorillas, Okapi, and the Congo peak cock. You can also see other species that include leopards and several bird species, in addition to other wonderful rare and endemic species that are found within the Maiko National Park.
What is the cost of filming in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
All the visitors going on the filming adventure in the Democratic Republic of Congo must obtain valid filming permits. If you’re filming for personal use, you will just need to pay the park entrance fees and then the fees and do the activity, while if you’re filming for commercial purposes or documentary, it will be the Institut Congolais Pour la Conservation de la Nature that will issue the filming permit, depending on which destination you’re going to do the filming from. But generally, you will need to pay the park entrance fees and then a percentage levied for filming, as it will be well explained by the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature. We engage with the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature to ensure that we get for you the right and affordable Congo filming permit.
What do you need to film in Maiko National Park?
The first requirement is to obtain filming permits and clearance.
For any related filming activity to be done in the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially in Maiko National Park, all the filming crew members have and possess the filming permits and these are provided with permission by the authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo in order for you to continue with your filing in Maiko National Park. Other than the filming permits, you will also need to have your filming equipment cleared at any point of entry in the Democratic Republic of Congo, whether through the international airport or by using the land borders. The filming equipment is supposed to be cleared by the customs department, which is always stationed at the point of entry.
Therefore, as Africa Adventure Vacations, this is where we do help you a lot. By merely informing us of your intentions to do filming in Maiko National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we are very experienced in organizing for you the whole adventure activity, including processing for you the filming permits required, organizing for you the accommodation facilities, transportation, help in obtaining for you the local authorities’ permits, as well as aiding you in clearance of your filming equipment with the customs department of the Democratic Republic of Congo at your point of entry.
With the Democratic Republic of Congo filming procedures, there is no formal process for the filming permits allocation and thus this is handled by negotiations between the parties, and at Africa Adventure Vacations, we are experienced in doing this. Also, the DR. Congo government doesn’t authorize filming in the areas of interest, especially filming the military installation projects, filming of government buildings, as well as filming along the border areas, and this is illegal and you may be penalized in the courts of law or even have your equipment confiscated. If you want to do filming that will require you to shoot by the use of drones, market filming, or filming alongside the road whereby you will inconvenience traffic, such as filming in the cities or those in the national parks, then you will also need to get permission from the local authorities. To avoid inconveniences, you will need to contact Africa Adventure Vacations so that we can advise you accordingly when to do filming in Maiko National Park.
Visas and work permits are required as part of the second requirement.
As you are aware, it is illegal to enter another country without a visa. It is important that all the film crew members obtain the visa to be allowed into DR. Congo. For the neighboring Congo countries of Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda, you can get the visa immediately on arrival. For the DR Congo Visa, it’s a different story. Rather, you must apply for the visa in advance through your nearby DR Congo Embassy. The single entry visa in Congo costs $100 and is valid for one month. The one valid for two months costs $135, while for the one valid for six months, you will need to pay $400. The important thing to note is that the DR. Congo Visa will need to be applied for in advance, about 3 weeks or a month before your planned dates of travel to Congo for the filming, since this Visa cannot be issued on arrival as it is in her neighboring countries. The film crew members will not be allowed to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo to do filming activities in Maiko National Park without a visa. Another document here is the yellow fever vaccination card, and thus, please contact us at Africa Adventure Vacations for the best filming opportunities in DR. Congo.
Requirement 3: You need to hire the vehicles for filming in Maiko National Park.
Yes, at Africa Adventure Vacations, we make sure that we make transport arrangements for you such that when you are in the Democratic Republic of Congo for filming, you don’t get stranded. We have got our own fleet of cars and we book and arrange the vehicle services for the film crew members depending on their interests, budgets, and the terrain of the area that is going to be filmed. For the film crew members going to film in the rough terrain, we advise them to use the 44 wheel drive vehicle that will be able to navigate the hilly terrain, especially in the Maiko National Park. We shall be able to tell you how much it cost in terms of the furl and the mileage covered in order to determine how much you will spend on the vehicle per day. Africa Adventure Vacations also organizes both chartered and scheduled flights within the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially for visitors who are interested in flying and do not have the time to drive long distances on the road.
Our hired vehicles will be manned by a well-experienced driver guide who has been in the Democratic Republic of Congo and knows all the corners of the country from the point of arrival up to the Maiko National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The driver fixer will be able to share with you the basic information about the Democratic Republic of Congo and will give you all the solutions required when it comes to film fixing, so you are lucky to book your Maiko National Park filming safaris with Africa Adventure Vacations.
Is filming in Maiko National Park safe?
It is very safe. Well, we all know that over recent years, DR. Congo has been affected by instabilities which have threatened investors as well as the tourism industry in the country. Such instabilities and disasters have come because of Ebola and other rebellion conflicts that have halted the filming process in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, as of recently, the Congo has returned to peace, with only a few cases of insecurity, and the filming industry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is safe and thriving, so we can assure you that filming in Maiko National Park is safe. As Africa Adventure Vacations, we keep tracking and monitoring any security threat from time to time, and we are very cautious in that anytime we feel the threat, we can let you know. This advisory service is always given before the filming in Maiko National Park starts. Always contact us at African Adventure Vacations for more information about filming in Maiko National Park.
How to get to Maiko National Park for filming
We can say that it is not all that easy to get to Maiko National Park, but the park reentry can be accessed by road transport and, where possible, air transport. For the road trip, the film crew members will have to travel about 551 kilometers from Kisangani. Visitors can also fly to Kigali international airport and then drive to Gisenyi, cross the Congo Rwanda Boarder in Goma town, and then drive to the Maiko National Park Headquarters. Visitors can fly to Kisangani city and later drive to the park. Some people may begin their filming safari to Maiko National Park in Goma, Butembo, or the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. For security reasons, all filming safaris must begin in Goma, Butembo, or the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. The film crew members are urged to declare and clear all the equipment in order to get clearance so that they are not suspected for filming. Therefore, by doing this, you will travel to Maiko National Park and do filming comfortably.
What to wear during filming in Maiko National Park, Congo?
In order to have a successful filming safari in Maiko National Park in Congo, there are some of the items that you should not miss from your packing list, especially the right dressing code depending on the conditions available. Therefore, our visitors or the film crew members should put on or come with the following during filming:
- You need to wear long-sleeved shirts or long trousers while filming. It is good when they are waterproof, as these will protect you from being harmed by sharp tree branches and stones as well as thorns while in the Congo wildness filming.
- You need to wear water-proof shoes during filming. This will help you to navigate through the slippery trails that you will be following while filming in Congo as these will give you stability on the ground.
- Don’t miss out on putting on the gardening gloves when filming, which will be so influential in protecting your hands, and you can put them off when you feel you no longer need them.
- You also need to come with a rain jacket because, in most cases, filming is done in the tropical rain forests that are always wet, and this is why putting on a rain jacket is of great help to you.
- Since filming is always done in the wild, it is good that you have insect repellent with you to safe guard against various insects such as mosquitoes and any other biting insects.
Other clothes that you should not leave out are the water-proof safari back and jacket, as this will help safeguard your filming equipment from getting in touch with water. You can also put on the African safari hat, safari socks, and shorts that you can sometimes put on, among others.
Where to stay during filming in Maiko National Park
Maiko National Park has no well-developed accommodation facilities provided that it is located in the remote parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Even though tourism and the filming industry are not yet established, the film crew members will have to reside or stay in the communities around the park. Bring your tent and buy your food and come and erect it around the community villages and compounds and have a comfortable stay.
What is the best time for filming in Maiko National Park?
The Maiko National Park climate is characterized by hot, humid conditions, especially in the river basin, and dry and cool conditions in the whole of the southern part of the park. Despite all this, we can say that filming in Maiko National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is done throughout the year. However, it has been established that the best time to film in Maiko National Park is during the dry season, which runs from June to October and then from December to February. The Democratic Republic of Congo is covered with tropical rain forest and this has influenced the country to experience the tropical rain climate, meaning that at times you can also experience certain rains unexpectedly. Therefore, you need to prepare accordingly for the changing weather conditions.
Why should you choose Africa Adventure Vacations for your filming safaris?
Africa Adventure Vacations is a local company based in Uganda but operates in East African countries that include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and South Africa, and we have over 10 years’ experience in aiding filming and production companies, especially those interested in filming nature-related wildlife including the Loya Ya Bonobo sanctuary and the culture of Africa. We provide services such as booking for the filming permits, clearing of the filming equipment, booking for the accommodation facilities, organizing transportation to the filming companies, all in the shortest period of time. We organize other wildlife packages to all of the above-mentioned countries, including gorilla packages to Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Therefore, you should not hesitate to choose us to be your film fixers in East Africa.