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Zambia

Zambia 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 Zambia? 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 Zambia? See below for an introduction to Zambia 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.

Film Locations. Zambia is a landlocked country located in southern Africa. The country is home to a diversity of wildlife including hippos, giraffes, elephants, crocodiles, zebras, big cats and a variety of birdlife. The best places to film wildlife include the North & South Luangwa National Parks, Kafue National Park, Lochinvar National Park, Kasanka National Park, and Sumbu National Park. Other Zambian locations of note include the Bangweulu Swamps, Lake Kariba, Lake Tanganyika, the mighty Zambezi River, and last but not least, Victoria Falls (and the famous Devils Pool). Lusaka is the capital and main entry point by air.

Zambia Location Permits. Media Accreditation from the Zambian Ministry of Information serves as a film permit to shoot in public locations across the country. See the visas and work permits section below for more information.

Once Media Accreditation is approved, our Zambian fixer can go ahead and apply for permits to film in national parks. Permits to film in national parks take about 5 days to process and cost USD60 per crew member per day.

Shoots that require control of public space or filming in locations such as public markets require additional permission. Our Zambian fixer will negotiate permission and fees on the local level and make sure the appropriate level of police support is in place for controlling traffic.

There are currently no restrictions to drone filming in Zambia.

Please contact us for location specific information.

When to shoot? Although Zambia is hot all year round, it has three distinct seasons. December to April is the hot, wet season. The end of the wet season is the best time to film the Victoria Falls when the flow is strongest. May to August is the cool, dry season. September to November is the hot, dry season. The best time to film wildlife is at the end of the dry season when animals congregate around remaining water sources. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Zambia is home to several interesting tribal celebrations including:

• Nc’wala Ceremony in February.
• Kuomboka in April.
• Mutomboko in July.
• Kazanga from June to August.
• Kulamba in August.
• Likumbi Lya Mize in August
• Shimunenga from September to November.

Costs. Zambian 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 adding to those costs. Our Zambian fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Talent day rates and buyouts are very reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis. Zambia has 73 different Bantu speaking tribes. Local casting is done in-house. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.

Crews. Zambia has a very small pool of local directors, videographers and stills photographers. Key crew should be brought in from abroad. Some basic film crew exist such as videographers and sound operators who work for the national broadcaster and may be available to assist with your project.

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 Zambia.

Equipment. Zambia does not have any equipment rental houses so you will need to bring in all gear from abroad. South Africa is the closest major production centre for standard and specialised camera, grip and lighting equipment. If you are planning to bring in your own equipment and only have a small amount of gear, such as a Canon 5D, you may be able to get away with just bringing it in as personal effects. The moment you start looking like a film shoot (ie: bringing in lenses, heavy tripods, lights, several boxes of gear), your gear will require customs clearance. Our Zambian fixer can arrange gear importation through a customs clearance agent. We will require a full gear list including serial numbers for the application. Gear importation takes about 5 days to process and costs USD800. Our Zambian fixer or the customs agent will meet you at the airport to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Art department and set construction is very basic.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

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

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas and Work Permits. Passport holders from Western countries can obtain visas on arrival.

Each visiting crew member must have Media Accreditation from the Zambian Ministry of Information to film in Zambia. A synopsis, crew passport information pages and photos, gear list, and a completed application must be submitted to our Zambian fixer who will include an invitation letter and lodge the application on behalf of the visiting crew. Once processed, either originals or copies of the Media Accreditation are sent to crew members to present at the port of entry. Originals must be kept on hand during filming. The Media Accreditation costs USD50 per crew member, is valid for 30 days, and takes anywhere from 5 to 10 working days to process.

Transportation Infrastructure is quite basic. Roads in cities and major roads connecting tourist destinations are paved. Most other roads are unpaved and slower going with many becoming impassable during the wet season. Our Zambian fixer organizes safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Several international airlines service flights to Zambia.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Zambia include:

Southern Sun Ridgeway Lusaka
The Royal Livingstone Hotel

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing.

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 Zambia, please see below:

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

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