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Senegal

Senegal 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 Senegal? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Senegal

For an introduction to shooting in Senegal 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.

Senegal Film Locations

Senegal is a West African country known for its diversity of film locations including bustling cities, French colonial architecture, fishing villages, beaches, surf breaks, lush forests, deserts, lakes, rivers, mangroves, and huge kapok trees.

Agricultural film locations include fields of peanuts, corn, rice, and cotton. Commercial fishing vessels are available for filming. Industrial locations include iron, gold, and phosphate mines, as well as oil and gas facilities.

Senegal has hosted productions including Atlantics (2019), Dynasties: Chimpanzee (2018), The Amazing Race: What If It Isn’t Sanitary (2004), and The Guns of Navarone (1961).

Film locations can be divided into the following regions:

Dakar

The port city of Dakar is the capital and largest city. Film locations of note including the African Renaissance Monument (designed by North Korea’s Mansudae Overseas Projects), IFAN Museum of African Arts, Museum of Black Civilisations, Mosque of the Divinity, Dakar Grand Mosque, Plage de Yoff surf breaks, Plage des Mamelles, the Corniche, a shipping container port, and a variety of colourful markets. Atlantics (2019) filmed in Dakar.

Goree Island, a 20 min boat ride from Dakar, is known for its colonial architecture including the House of Slaves Museum. The sea cliffs of Goree Island featured in The Guns of Navarone (1961).

Just east of Dakar you can find Lake Retba, a bright pink lake popular with visiting photographers.

Thiès

The Thiès region is located just east of Dakar.

Kayar fishing village is a striking film location known for pirogue traditional fishing boats, miles of beach, and ramshackle buildings.

Saly is a seaside resort area known for its beautiful palm-lined beaches and baobab trees.

Bandia Wildlife Reserve is a safari park with giraffes, rhinos, and zebras.

Joal-Fadiouth has a traditional Serer tribal village.

Louga

Louga is a region located on the north coast.

The Lompoul desert looks like it could be the Sahara or Mauritania.

Saint-Louis

Saint Louis is a northern and coastal region.

The city of Saint Louis is known for its French colonial architecture. The old town is on N’Dar Island, connected to the mainland by Faidherbe Bridge.

The Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary is home to hundreds of species migrating birds, with pelicans and flamingos being the most common.

Langue de Barbarie National Park is a diverse landscape of mangroves, sand dunes, rivers, wetlands, beach, and ocean. It is an important sea turtle nesting site and migratory bird sanctuary.

Fatick

Fatick is a coastal region.

Saloum Delta National Park is known for its mangroves, saltwater vegetation, savannah forests, and a diversity of birdlife.

Diourbel

Diourbel is a centrally located region.

The Great Mosque of Touba is a spectacular location. It is the home of the Mouride Brotherhood, a Sufi order.

Kaolack

Kaolack is a centrally located region.

Kaffrine

Kaffrine is a centrally located region.

Matam

Matam is located in the east of the country.

Tambacounda

Tambacounda is located in the east of the country.

Kédougou

Kédougou is located in the remote southeast of the country.

Niokolo-Koba National Park is a forest and river landscape home to wildlife including hippos, elephants, lions, leopards, wild dogs, buffaloes, and chimpanzees. Dindefelo Waterfalls area a beautiful location inside the park.

Dynasties: Chimpanzee (2018) was filmed at the Fongoli Research Project in the Kedougou Region.

Ziguinchor

Ziguinchor is located on the southwest coast.

The region has long stretches of golden sand beaches.

The city of Ziguinchor, located on the Casamance River, is the country’s second largest city.

Basse Casamance National Park is home to buffalos, leopards, monkeys, and a variety of birds.

Sédhiou

Sédhiou is located in the southwest of the country.

Kolda

Kolda is located in the south of the country.

Senegal Film Location Permits

A general Film Permit from the Ministry of Culture is required if filming in public locations. This is a per project permit, not per crew member. Permission to film on location is generally arranged in person with local government officials and community leaders. A good fixer is essential to ensure a smooth shoot. Senegal allows drone filming. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Senegal’s climate is tropical, hot and humid. The cool, dry season from December to April is the best time to film for weather. The humid, rainy season runs from May to November. Rural roads often become impassible during this period. Also, many services close for Ramadan. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Senegal is home to several interesting music festivals including:

• Abéné Festival in December / January,
• St Louis Jazz Festival in May,
• Kaay Fecc in May / June,
• Sahel Music Festival takes place in the Lompoul desert in November.

Senegalese wrestling is the national sport with events on throughout the year.

Senegal is a predominately Muslim nation. As such, some services may be closed during Ramadan.

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

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.

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. Our Senegalese fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

The West African CFA franc (XOF) is the official currency.

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

Film Crew & Talent

Crew. Senegal has a small pool of locally based directors, videographers and stills photographers. Key crew should be brought in from abroad.

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 Senegal.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable on a personal level. Senegal offers mainly West African looking talent comprising predominately of the Wolof, Fula and Serer tribes. Some Caucasian, Chinese and Lebanese looks available. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad.

Senegal Film Equipment

Equipment. Some basic camera, grip and lighting equipment available locally. Best to bring in from abroad. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Senegal is an ATA carnet country. Bringing in gear is inexpensive and easy compared to some other parts of Africa.

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.

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

Western passport holders can enter Senegal visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Evidence of yellow fever vaccination is also required for entry into Senegal. A project synopsis may also be asked for. US passport holders see here for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Most main roads are in a good condition. During the rainy season, some roads becoming impassable. Our Senegalese fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Several international airlines service flights to Senegal.

Accommodation. See here for film friendly hotels in Dakar:

Terrou Bi
Novotel Dakar
Radisson Blu Hotel

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For those looking to stay with local communities our fixer also organises hosted accommodation.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice. Our Senegalese fixer organises security depending on the areas you plan to enter. See here for vaccinations required for Senegal.

Down Time. Go float around in the pink salty waters of Lake Retba.

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 Senegal, please see below:

Hire Senegal Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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