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Namibia

Namibia Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Namibia? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Namibia

For an introduction to shooting in Namibia see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Namibia Film Locations

Namibia is located in southern Africa on the Atlantic coast. It is known for its spectacular desert locations, rugged coastline, African wildlife, and German colonial-era architecture.

Diamond and uranium mining are the major industries.

Namibia has hosted productions such as The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019), The Mummy (2017), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), The Amazing Race: Season 2 (2002), The Cell (2000), and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Film locations can be divided into the following regions:

Northern Area

This area includes the regions of Kunene, Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Kavango West, Kavango East, Zambezi, and Otjozondjupa.

The north is Namibia’s most densely populated area, and home to the country’s largest ethnic group, the Ovambo.

The Caprivi panhandle in the north-east of Namibia is one of the country’s only areas that have a wet, tropical climate. The Bwabwata National Park is an important migration route for African elephant. Nkasa Rupara National Park is another wildlife park located in the Caprivi panhandle.

Etosha National Park wildlife is known for its elephants, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, hyenas, and lions.

Skeleton Coast National Park, is named for the many shipwrecks that dot the coastline. Of note is The Eduard Bohlen, a shipwreck that looks like it’s in the middle of the desert. Shipwreck Lodge luxury cabins are an interesting location to film and sleep your crew.

Waterberg Plateau Park is home to black and white rhino, buffalo, and sable.

The Vingerklip is an unusual rock pinnacle that rises up from a vast flat expanse.

Early morning or late afternoon photography of Burnt Mountain gives you a range of red, orange, grey and purple colours that make the area appear as if it were on fire. The nearby Organ Pipes are an unusual structure of rock columns, and Twyfelfontein is a site of ancient rock engravings.

The Epupa Falls are a beautiful film location.

Central Area

This area includes the regions of Erongo, Omaheke, and Khomas.

Windhoek is the capital and main entry point by air. Locations of note include the Tintenpalast, National Botanic Garden, Independence Memorial Museum, Christ Church, and Katutura township. Daan Viljoen Game Reserve is located on the outskirts of Windhoek.

The Kalahari desert covers much of the eastern part of this area.

Cape Cross is known for its seal colony.

Swakopmund is known for its German colonial landmarks including the Swakopmund Lighthouse and the Mole. The Moon Landscapes are located nearby.

Flamingos of Walvis Bay.

Brandberg is the highest peak in Namibia.

Messum Crater offers a spectacular desert landscape.

Goboboseb Mountain is famous for its precious stones.

Spitzkoppe is a spectacular granite peak that rises up from the Namib desert. The location was filmed for the “The Dawn of Man” sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Another impressive location near Spitzkoppe is the giant stone arch.

Southern Area

Located south of the Tropic of Capricorn, this area includes the regions of Hardap and ǁKaras.

Deadvlei is Namibia’s most iconic film location. Located in the Namib-Naukluft Park, Deadvlei a white clay pan known for its dead acacia trees and surrounding red sand dunes. Filmmakers have used the location for everything from fashion shoots, to advertising skin care products, to portraying an otherworldly dream-like place. Early morning or late afternoon is the best time to film for light and to stay out of the intense midday heat.

Also located in Namib-Naukluft Park is the nearby Sossusvlei, known for its magnificent red sand dunes. Dune 45 is a popular location for sunrise photography.

Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa spanning an area up to 160 km long, 27 km wide, and 550 meters deep. The rainy season from January to April turns the canyon into a raging river. Otherwise the canyon is dry. One of Southern Africa’s most popular hiking trail traverses the river from Hobas to Ai-Ais hot springs.

The Quiver Tree Forest is home to the trees of the same name. Trees bloom bright yellow flowers from June to July. Locals believe anyone who worships these trees will find good luck.

NamibRand Nature Reserve is the Namib desert is a private nature reserve known for its zebra, giraffe, and springbok.

Lüderitz is a coastal town known for its German colonial buildings. It hosted The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019).

Kolmanskop is a ghost town in the Namib desert famous with photographers for its desert sand covered houses.

Elizabeth Bay is another deserted mining town.

The Sperrgebiet is a diamond mining area.

Duwisib Castle is an unusual medieval looking fortress.

Shark Island is a former concentration camp located off the coast of Luderitz.

Namibia Film Location Permits

Visiting productions must apply for a General Film Permit from the Namibia Film Commission at least 3 weeks prior to arrival. See here for the application. Our Namibian fixer / service producer will assist with the application process to make sure everything runs quickly and smoothly. Once you have the General Film Permit additional permits will apply for specific locations, shooting b-roll in cities, shoots that require exclusive use of public space, filming in national parks, drone filming, or filming with tribes such as the Himba and San people. An environmental officer is required to be on set each day of filming in a national park. Additional fees apply. Unauthorised filming of sensitive government areas and public infrastructure is illegal. Penalties may include fines, prison and confiscation of film equipment. Please contact us for more location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Namibia’s climate is typical of semi-desert terrain, hot days and cool nights. The coastal regions are cooled by the cold Benguela current, bringing fog and rainfall. Temperatures are lower in the central plateau which is at a higher elevation.

Namibia sees an average of 300 days sunshine per year. The hot, rainy summer months run from October to April. Most rain falls as heavy thunderstorms, filling the dry riverbeds, bringing flowers into full bloom. The dry winter months run from May to September with warm days and subzero nights. Winter is the best time for filming wildlife as the dry weather forces animals to congregate at watering holes. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

A former German colony, Namibia celebrates its own version of Oktoberfest.

The Sahara Race ultra-marathon takes place in April.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Namibia.

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.

Namibia Costs & Tax Incentives For Filming

Costs. The Namibian Dollar is on par with the South African Rand which offers a favorable exchange rate on the international market. On average Namibia offers a similar price point to South Africa. Vehicle rental is slightly more expensive. Fuel and crew rates are slightly less expensive. The need to bring in all key crew and equipment adds to the costs of filming in Namibia. That said, our Namibian fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. There are no tax incentives for foreign feature films or commercials shooting in Namibia.

Namibia Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Namibia has a very small pool of local directors, videographers and stills photographers. Most supporting crew speak English. Depending on how busy the industry is it may be necessary to bring in some key crew. South Africa is the closest major production centre for experienced crews with Cape Town and Johannesburg a short 2 hour flight away.

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 Namibia.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Day rates are very reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis. Namibians are of diverse ethnic origins. The principal groups are the Ovambo, Kavango, Herero (including Himba), Damara, Nama, Caprivian, Bushmen (San), Tswana and White Namibians. Namibia’s close proximity to South Africa allows access to that significant talent pool should you ever need to look further.

Namibia also has animal actors available for filming including lions, monkeys, zebras and cheetahs.

Namibia Film Equipment

Equipment. Namibia has some basic camera, grip and lighting equipment available locally. Nearby South Africa has a very good range of standard and specialized equipment. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Namibia is an ATA carnet country.

Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Namibia Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is fairly limited although impressive sets have been created with the support of visiting teams.

Studios. No studios exist at present.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Namibia Visas & Work Permits For Filming

All foreign crew are required to have temporary work visas to film in Namibia. Applications must be lodged with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration at least 15 working days prior to your arrival. Our Namibian fixer / service producer will assist with the application process to make sure everything runs quickly and smoothly. Once the work visa is issued, our fixer will email you a copy of that documentation. The crew then just need to travel with a printed copy of the visa (each crew member will need their own hard copy). Presenting this at the port of entry, the immigration official will stamp the visa into your passport. So, there is no need for your actual passports for the application process.

Western passport holders travelling as tourists can enter visa-free for stays of up to 90 days.

Namibia Transport & Accommodation

Transportation. Namibia has well maintained paved roads and groomed rural roads. Avoid road travel in desert areas by night. Given the vast distances internal flights are the fastest way to get around the country. Several international airlines service flights to Namibia.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in the capital Windhoek include:

Hotel Heinitzburg
Hotel Thule
Windhoek Country Club Resort

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.

Down Time.

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 Namibia, please see below:

Hire Namibia Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Namibia, 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.