Filming in Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo
Looking for filming adventure safaris and tours in Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo? Yes, when we talk of Virunga national park, we mean the icon and the oldest national park on the African continent, characterized by diverse tropical rain forests. Virunga National Park forms the best wildlife destination park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and it is the major highlight of all the safaris in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Therefore, the park is there for the visitors, especially those who are interested in exploring the wildlife safaris in Congo, especially in the Virunga national park and its components.
A lot of species and features are found within the park, which makes it so unique and distinguished from the rest of the national parks in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These features offer scenic views that are so astonishing and interesting, making a nice background for the visitors who are interested in filming these wonderful landscapes that are found within the Virunga National Park.
Some of the amazing features of the Virunga national Park include the Virunga volcanoes, the sighting of the endangered mountain gorillas, the Nyiragongo mountains, which have just erupted (2021), and the amazing primates such as the rare golden monkeys, the intelligent chimpanzees, and many other species including birds.
Virunga National Park, located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo south of the Virunga Mountains and north of the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda, is known for its famous pristine and virgin tropical rain forests. It covers an area of 7,800 square kilometers, which is equivalent to 3000 miles. Virunga National Park also borders other national parks such as Queen Elizabeth National Park and Rwenzori National Park in Uganda.
Virunga National Park gained UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1979. This was done in order to protect the biodiversity and the richness of the ecosystem, which involves the mountainous ecosystem and other species. It is a wonderful adventure to explore Virunga National Park with untouched wildness as you enjoy various attractions and species found within the Virunga National Park. Therefore, filming is one of the wonderful adventure activities and, believe me, you will produce wonderful shoots and films with the quality films for the documentaries, so you don’t need to miss this wonderful opportunity.
What will your filming mix be in Vurunga National Park?
Virunga National Park has stunning landscapes and the park features three of the world’s biggest apes staying within the territory of the Virunga National Park. Therefore, as you are filming in Virunga National Park, your filming mix may include the mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas, and the chimpanzees, in addition to including other species found within the park such as the buffaloes, antelopes, kobs, waterbucks, and lions. This is the reason why the Virunga National Park has got more than 218 species of mammals, 78 amphibians, 109 reptiles, and more than 706 species of birds, among others, include skimmers, ospreys, egrets, and shoebills among other species. All these can appear in your filming mix in Virunga National Park.
What to film in Virunga National Park, Congo
Filming endangered mountain gorillas Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park is home to endangered mountain gorillas with eight habituated gorilla families that are available for filming. Kabirizi is a gorilla family with 32 individual gorilla members, and therefore, this offers good chances for you to film. Other gorilla families in the Virunga National Park that you can film include the Mapuwa, Lulengo, and Rugendo. To film the gorillas in Virunga National Park, you will need to pay the gorilla permit, which costs $400.
Filming chimpanzees in Virunga National Park
You will also get an opportunity to film the chimpanzees, whether on the chimpanzee tracking or when doing the chimpanzee habituation process. You will also need to buy the chimpanzee permit, especially when you want to film them during the chimpanzee habituation process at $100 per person plus other filming charges as you will be told.
Golden Monkeys are a rare species that can only be found in the Virunga, Mgahinga, and Volcanoes national parks; thus, you can get a chance to film these rare primates in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park.
Filming Nyiragongo Volcanoes in Virunga Congo
This is the recently erupted volcano which attracts several visitors who come to the Democratic Republic of Congo to do hiking. Seeing this and filming mount Nyiragongo it will be so amazing as the volcano features the ever-boing cater lake at its summit.
Seeing other wildlife in Virunga National Park
While filming in the Democratic Republic of Congo, you will be able to come across other animal species that live and stay within the forest. You will also be able to enjoy the amazing views of the Thomos kobs, and there are also a lot of elephants and buffaloes, not forgetting the large concentration of hippopotamus which you can see at the shores of Lake Edward and other water bodies. You can also film these wonderful species while in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
What is the cost of filming Virunga national park in 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 Virunga National Park DR Congo?
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 Virunga National Park, all the filming crew members have and must obtain the gorilla trekking permits, chimpanzee trekking permits, or golden monkey trekking permits, in addition to 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 Virunga 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 can help you a lot. By merely informing us of your intentions to do filming in Virunga 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 the 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 Virunga 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 Virunga 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.
You need to hire a vehicle for filming in Virunga 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 Virunga 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 Virunga 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 Virunga National Park filming safaris with Africa Adventure Vacations.
Is filming in Virunga National Park safe?
Yes it is very safe to book a filming tour in Virunga national park DR Congo. 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 which 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 Virunga 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, and this advisory service is always given before the filming in Virunga National Park starts. Always contact us at African Adventure Vacations for more information about filming in Virunga National Park.
How to get to Virunga National Park in Congo
Found in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are several routes that you can use to get to or to access Virunga Volcano National Park. Visitors can use air transport by flying to Kigali International airport in Rwanda and then driving to Gisenyi, then crossing to Goma Town in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and finally to the Virunga National Park headquarters. It will take you about 2 hours from Gisenyi Town to Virunga National Park. Some flights can link you to Kishansha city, where you will later connect to the park. You can also access Virunga National Park from Uganda via Bunagana Boarder between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and later drive for just 30 minutes from the border to Bukima, where gorilla trekking is found.
Where to stay while filming in Virunga National Park?
There are various accommodation facilities found within the Virunga National Park, ranging from budget, midrange, and luxury lodges where you can stay during filming. These include the Bukima Tented Camp and Kibumba Tented Camp, which are budget lodges and each night range from 90 to 100 United States Dollars per person, and Mikeno Lodge, which range from 200 to 400 United States Dollars per person. Therefore, you can choose one of the lodges depending on your interest, budget, and maybe the closeness of the lodge to the Virunga National Park.
What to wear during filming in Virunga National Park Congo?
In order to have a successful filming safari in Virunga 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 protect 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.
We can say that filming in Virunga 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 Virunga 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 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.