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Botswana

Botswana Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Botswana? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Botswana? See below for an introduction to Botswana locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Botswana Film Locations

Botswana is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. Botswana is one of the world’s best countries for filming big African wildlife. Although Gaborone is the capital, most productions base in the northern city of Maun which is only a few hours drive to national parks and nature reserves including the Central Kalahari, Chobe, Nxai Pan, and Moremi. The beautiful Okavango Delta is known for its vast grass flats, shallow waterways and lagoons. The Makgadikgadi Pan is one of the largest salt plains in the world. Mokolodi Nature Reserve and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are located in the south of the country. The African Quadripoint, where Bostwana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia meet, is the only place in the world where the borders of four countries meet.

Botswana Film Location Permits

Things can move slowly in Botswana so it’s recommended to allow for several weeks processing time. Film Permits need to be obtained from the Ministry of Environment, Tourism & Wildlife. A Film Permit is required regardless of the duration of the shoot. If you are taking photographs / filming in the National Parks or Reserves our Batswana fixer will also need to arrange a Supplementary Permit from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. You must have the Film Permit first before our fixer can arrange for a Supplementary Permit. Also important to note that the Supplementary Permit will only be granted for named people as per the Film Permit. Each crew member needs to pay a per week fee to be in the parks. Our fixer also arranges permits for off-road driving allowing access to more remote park locations. Please contact us for location specific permitting information.

When To Shoot?

Winter is from May to October. Winter is the dry season where the sun is high, sky is cloudless and the earth is dusty. Late winter is the best time for viewing game as animals become more concentrated at water sources as the dry season wears on.

Summer is from November to April. It is marked by high temperatures and rains that last for weeks. November is a good time to film the transition from the long dry period to the green that follows the first rains. Wildflowers blossom, the sky is cloudy and most animals give birth allowing plenty of opportunities to film predators in action. The Chobe’s Savute region and Kalahari lie on the path of migrating animals offering excellent summer game viewing.

For monthly weather statistics please see here.

The Tjilenje Cultural Festival held in Nlapkhwane takes place in May. The Kuru Dance Festival held at Dqae Game Farm takes place in August.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Locations, local talent and support crew are inexpensive but since little to no filming infrastructure exists all key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. South Africa is the closest established film production centre. Our fixer in Botswana will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Botswana.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Botswana has a very small local pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Key crew should be brought in from abroad. South Africa is the closest established film production centre.

Contact us if you are looking for a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Botswana.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Botswana has mainly African talent. The main tribes include the Tswana, Kalanga and Basarwa (Kalahari Bushmen) people. There is also a small Caucasian and East Indian community. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.

Botswana Film Equipment

You will need to bring in all camera, lighting and grip equipment from abroad. South Africa is the closest established film production centre. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Botswana is an ATA carnet country.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is very basic.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Most nationalities can stay up to 90 days visa-free. Contact your local Batswana embassy or representative for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads are paved and in a good condition. Rural roads are slower going. Our Batswana fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Several international airlines service flights to Botswana.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Maun:

Rileys Hotel

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Botswana, please see below:

Hire Botswana Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Botswana, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Botswana, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.