Tanzania Film Location Permits
Obtaining permission to film in Tanzania can be an expensive and time consuming process, so make sure to allow plenty of lead time. A Film Permit costs $1000 and usually takes between 4 to 8 weeks to process. An expedited Film Permit costs $3000 but can still take around 2 to 3 weeks. Best to allow at least 8 weeks for a Film Permit to be approved.
The first step is to complete all necessary applications with the help of your Tanzanian production service producer / fixer. You then submit your application at your closest Tanzanian embassy or consulate so that they can stamp the application. Once that is done you scan and email the application including the travelling crew passport information pages, script, shoot dates, shoot locations, and a letter addressed to the Tanzanian Film Board. The Film Board then reviews the application by committee. The Tanzanian production service producer / fixer will liaise with the Film Board on your behalf throughout the process.
Additional licenses may be required to film locations such as wildlife parks. Allow plenty of lead time for these applications too. Note, filming with drones is not permitted in national parks.
If you need to film with a drone anywhere in Tanzania it is best to hire a local drone operator. Bringing in your own drone from abroad is a long process that requires approval from the Civil Aviation Authority.
Unauthorised photography is illegal. Penalties may include fines, arrest and confiscation of film equipment.
Please contact us for more location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Tanzania has a tropical climate. Coastal areas are hot and humid. Inland areas are warm and dry. Tanzania is suitable for filming all year round although filming is best avoided during the the long rains from March to May.
The best time to film the Serengeti Great Migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and eland is as follows… The dry season from June to October is peak season for general migration photography and good weather. Wildebeest usually cross the Grumeti River in June / July, and the Mara River in September. Wildlife concentrate around dwindling water sources towards the end of the dry season making September / October a good time to film prey. From November to May the landscape is lush. This is also the best time to photograph migratory birds. Wildebeest calve from January to February. March to May is the wet season.
Mount Kilimanjaro is best climbed either from June to October, or January to March. The latter is generally colder and there is a higher probability of encountering snow on the summit.
The best time to visit Tanzania’s coast, its islands and Zanzibar is between August and October.
For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Tanzanian festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:
• Wanyambo Festival in January.
• Kiliman Adventure Challenge in February.
• Mzalendo Halisi Music Festival in May.
• Mwaka Kogwa Festival in July / August.
Tanzania is a predominately Christian country with a large Muslim community particularly living on the coast. Ramadan is widely observed in Muslim areas such as Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, with many services closed during this period.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Tanzania.
Unique Local Stories
Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.
If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.
If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.