Filming Shoebill in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Where to film shoebills in the Democratic Republic of Congo? Filming shoebill in DR Congo is an adventure because it is a rare bird in the African wild. It is very rare to see and a shoebill, and its monstrous shoe-shaped bill gives it its name. It has a stork-like structure in general and was recently placed with storks in the Ciconiiformes based on this morphology. Regardless, hereditary proof links it to the Pelecaniformes. The adults are mostly dark, whereas the teens are browner. It inhabits vast marshes in tropical East Africa, from South Sudan to Zambia. Congo has got a lot of bird species which you don’t need to miss, and some of these bird species include the Congo peafowl, the cattle egret, the wattled crane, and other bird species. The shoebill is a wonderful bird that attracts the attention of numerous visitors, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the shoebill can be filmed in the following areas:
Filming the shoebill in Upemba National Park
Upemba National Park is the biggest and largest national park in the Katanga province, which is found in the southern eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and it is the best destination for bird watching and wildlife safaris. For visitors who are interested in filming the rare shoebill, the Upemba National Park presents the best opportunities for you to film this wonderful bird. Bush savanna, verdant savannah level, high plateau sprinkled with forest displays, and the large muddy valley of the Kamalondo sorrow, where the waterway Lualaba, bound to transform into the stream Congo, has shifted landscapes and settings that make it rich and exciting. All these have provided the best conditions for the shoebill.
The shoe bill can also be found in the upper Congo River and the Lualaba River, which are inextricably linked to the Upemba National Park. And other swampy areas of the national park are the best places where you can spot and film the rare shoebill. There is other wildlife that you can film here, including elephants, impalas, and various water bodies, among others. But our main focus is on filming the shoebill stork in Upemba National Park.
What is the cost of filming the shoebill 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 for the activity, while if you’re filming for commercial purposes or a documentary, it will be the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature that will issue the filming permit and the local authorities based on the destination that you’re going to do 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 or the local authorities that have issued you with the permit. We engage with the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature and the local authorities to ensure that we get for you the right and affordable Congo filming permit.
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 filming the shoebill, 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 shoebill filming safari. 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 film shoebill 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 doing the Shoebill filming in Congo.
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 shoebill filming activities in Congo 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.
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 a 44 wheel drive vehicle that will be able to navigate the hilly terrain. 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 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 shoebill filming safaris with Africa Adventure Vacations.
Is filming the shoebill safe in DR Congo?
Shoebill filming in Congo is 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 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 it is safe to film shoebills in Congo. 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 start of the shoebill filming in Congo. Always contact us at African Adventure Vacations for more information about shoebill filming in Congo.
How to get to Upemba National Park for shoebill filming
We can say that it is not all that easy to get to Upemba National Park, but the park reentry can be accessed by road transport and air transport. For the road trip, the film crew members will have to travel for about 400 kilometers from the border with Angola and Zambia. Upemba National Park is located within the Katanga province.
What to wear during shoebill filming in Upemba National Park Congo?
In order to have a successful shoebill filming safari in Upemba 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.
Where to stay during shoebill filming in Upemba National Park
The film crew members who will be filming shoebills in Upemba National Park will have to choose from among the lodging options available in Katanga province, particularly in the capital Lubumbashi. We shall help you to book and reserve any lodge of your choice. We also have tented camps where you can stay at your destination, which is so interesting and also gives you a wonderful experience.
What is the best time for shoebill filming in Upemba National Park?
Filming shoebills in Upemba 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 Upemba 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 shoebill 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.