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Zimbabwe

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

Filming in Zimbabwe

For an introduction to shooting in Zimbabwe 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.

Zimbabwe Film Locations

Zimbabwe film locations of interest to filmmakers and photographers include Victoria Falls, Zambezi River, Hwange National Park, Matobo National Park, Matusadona National Park, Zambezi National Park, Lake Kariba, Chimanimani mountains, Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Harare business district and city parks.

BBC’s Dynasties Painted Wolves episode filmed in Mana Pools National Park.

Zimbabwe Film Location Permits

Wildlife parks and Victoria Falls are the most popular locations. Permit prices vary depending on the park, crew size, number of days filming, type of project and possible tourism benefit to Zimbabwe. In some cases filming on a private lease property is a better alternative. Our local fixer will negotiate the best rate for you. Allow up to 6 weeks for permitting. Same goes for shoots that require exclusive use of public space, such as a project that shuts down a street in Harare. B-roll shoots that do not take exclusive use of public space do not require additional permits beyond the shoot accreditation card you need to get before you go to Zimbabwe. Drone filming is permitted under very limited circumstances. Unauthorised photography of public infrastructure such as the Munhumutapa Building, which houses the President’s offices, may be punished with imprisonment. Contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

November to March is the rainy summer season. The end of the rainy season is the best time to film the Victoria Falls when flow is strongest. Rains stop by April / May turning the landscape green and verdant. June to October is the hot, dry season with blue skies and excellent wildlife photography options as animals congregate around limited water sources towards the end of the season. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

The Jikinya Traditional Dance Festival takes place in November.

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

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. The USD is widely accepted. Locations, local talent and support crew are inexpensive but since little to no filming infrastructure exists most key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. Our Zimbabwean fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. Projects that are run as co-productions or projects that have tourism value for Zimbabwe may be eligible for waived fees.

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

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Zimbabwe has a very small pool of local 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 Zimbabwe.

Talent day rates and buyouts are very reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis. Zimbabwe offers mainly black African looking talent. Zimbabwe also has a small minority of white Zimbabweans. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad. English is spoken in the cities although most people in rural areas speak Shona and Ndebele.

Zimbabwe Film Equipment

Equipment. Zimbabwe has basic camera, grip and lighting equipment available for rent locally. Drones are also available. South Africa is the closest major film production centre where crews and equipment can be brought in from. If you are looking to bring in film gear a temporary import permit is required. Our local fixer will arrange for a local guarantor and meet you at the airport to ensure all runs smoothly. Temporary import of gear costs are somewhere from 2-5% of the value of the gear.

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. No dedicated facilities specialising in this.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Passport holders from Western countries can obtain visas on arrival.

Accreditation is required for each visiting crew member. The ministry charges USD2000 for the shoot accreditation application, plus USD200 per crew member. The accreditation must be carried at all times when filming.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Major roads between tourist destinations are in an excellent condition. Rural roads are in a poorer condition although floods and severe storms are rare. Avoid travelling at night. Our Zimbabwean film fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transport. Police checkpoints are common throughout the country. Several international airlines service flights to Zimbabwe.

Accommodation. Good accommodation options ranging from hotels to home rentals exist for all types of productions. Recommended film friendly hotels in Zimbabwe include:

Victoria Falls:
Victoria Falls Hotel

Harare:
Meikles Hotel
Bronte “the Garden” Hotel

Please contact us for corporate rates.

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 Zimbabwe, please see below:

Hire Zimbabwe Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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