Chimpanzee filming in Kibale forest national park
Chimpanzee filming in Kibale forest national park: One of the best areas to do chimpanzee filming in Uganda is Kibale forest national park. This is because the park hosts the highest population of chimpanzees meaning that filmmakers will have chances of meeting many chimpanzee individuals in a group compared to any other protected area.
Chimpanzee filming in Kibale forest national park offers tourists a great moment with the endangered chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Kibale chimpanzee filming does not only give you an opportunity to see chimpanzees but also other wildlife that is within the park. Yes, it’s home to over 1500 chimpanzees but also 12 primates, 60 mammals, and 372 bird species.
Are you out there intending to film the chimpanzees of Kibale forest national park? Well, this article will help you know the steps you go through to do the filming. Tourists that want to film in Kibale national park must get permission from Uganda Wildlife Authority and then media cards from Uganda Media Council. The tourists also need chimpanzee trekking or habituation permits and a refundable monitoring fee.
The chimpanzee filming exercise in Kibale forest national park
On the day of the chimpanzee filming, tourists wake up early in the morning for breakfast and later move to Kanyanchu Visitor’s Center where trekking activities start from. Here the tourists are briefed about the rules and regulations of trekking as well as filming. Armed ranger guides are given to a group of tourists and they lead them in the jungle.
The search for endangered chimpanzees takes 2-6 hours and the time taken depends on the speed of trekkers as well as the location of the chimpanzees. Chimpanzee filming is best done when one visits a semi-habituated family because the permits come with a full day time around chimpanzees.
When the filming crew locates the chimpanzee family, they are asked to follow the rules and regulations while around chimpanzees. The filming crew gets out their equipment and start recording chimpanzees for a specific period of time. A whole day is always enough for filming, studying chimpanzee habits, and watching them do daily activities like nesting, hunting, feeding, and coupling among others.
To film the chimpanzees of Kibale forest national, it’s better to organize a private filming exercise where you will visit a chimpanzee group alone. To do this, you must pay all the chimpanzee trekking/ habituation permits for that family on the day.
Press accreditation for chimpanzee filming in Kibale forest national park
Chimpanzee filming in Kibale forest national park requires members of the crew to be accredited by Uganda Media Council. Uganda Media Council is the only body that is responsible for accrediting all crew members planning to film in Uganda national parks. The filming crew members will need the media cards in order to be allowed to film the chimpanzees of Kibale forest national park. Apart from the press accreditation by Uganda media, the tourists must have VISA and work permits valid on the days of shooting.
How much does it cost to do filming in Kibale forest national park?
To visit any of the chimpanzee families in Kibale forest national, you need a chimpanzee trekking permit or chimpanzee habituation permit. The chimpanzee trekking permit costs $200 for foreign non-residents, $150 for foreign residents, and UGX150,000 East African citizens. The chimpanzee habituation permit costs $250 for foreign non-residents, $200 for foreign residents, and UGX200,000 East African citizens.
The filming crew must pay any of the above permits but we do encourage buying chimpanzee habituation permits because they have longer hours of being around semi-habituated chimpanzees. When it comes to the filming fee, Uganda Wildlife Authority charges according to how long you want to film the chimpanzees.
Best time to do chimpanzee filming in Kibale forest national park
Chimpanzee filming in Kibale forest national park can be done at any time of the year however there are certain months better than the rest. The dry season months from June to September and December to February are the best to have film chimpanzees in Kibale forest national park. This is because there is little or no rainfall meaning that the filming equipment can’t get spoilt that easily. Vegetation is short and thin which gives clear videos of the chimpanzees and trekking trails are dry and passable.
Travelers can still visit Kibale forest national park for filming activities in the rainy season of March to May and October to November although not recommended. The rainy season favors only budget travelers because the lodges are very cheap and affordable. The rainy season is not good because it comes with plenty of rainfall every single day which does spoil the filming.
Filming in the rainy season brings out the greenness of Kibale forest national park, yes but the chimpanzees are not well captured because the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of wildlife. The trekking trails within the park and the roads leading to the park are muddy and slippery because of the heavy rainfall.
Where to stay on a filming safari in Kibale forest national park?
On your chimpanzee filming safari in Kibale forest national park, you might need where to stay for a night or more. Well, Kibale forest national park has a variety of accommodation facilities that tourists can use and they range from budget to mid-range to luxury options. These include Isunga Lodge, Ndali Lodge, Kyaninga Crater Lodge, Primate Lodge, Rwetera Safari Park, Kibale Forest Camp, Kibale Forest Lodge, Chimpundu Lodge, Turaco Treetops, and Papaya Lake Lodge among others.
Accessing Kibale forest national park for filming
To access Kibale forest national park for filming you either use road transport or air transport. By air transport, travelers can get to Kibale forest national park faster by flying from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kasese airstrip. From Kasese airstrip to Kibale forest national park takes a few hours because it’s a few km away from the park.
By road transport, tourists visiting Kibale forest national park for filming can use road transport which takes 5-6 hours depending on the number of stopovers as well as the speed of trekkers. By road transport, travelers from Kampala/Entebbe can drive through Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi, and Kasese to the park or Kampala/Entebbe via Mityana, Mubende, Kyenjojo and fort portal to the park