If you are a primate enthusiast and you are interested in tracking or filming the mountain gorillas while in their natural habitat then the best you ought to do is to pay a visit to Uganda, Rwanda or Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Filming and photography for these amazing apes is only done in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park southwestern Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and in the Virunga National Park in eastern DRC. The four protected areas offer refuge to not more than 900 individuals of mountain gorillas that exist in the world today. Filming and photography were initiated as way to boost tourism and encourage conservation of these endangered species in their respective countries.
Interestingly, Uganda is an ideal ground for filming a fact that over 480 of all the mountain gorillas that live in the world thrive in its spectacular Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda however, has got several habituated gorilla groups and they are about 15 of them are in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and these are set for either gorilla trekking or habituation experience. Gorilla filming permits can be purchased at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) a body that is in charge conservation and protection of all national parks in Uganda and other related tourism activities. If you wish to embark on filming experience in Uganda, then you have to obtain a gorilla trekking permit or filming permit at UWA which will offer you a chance to go and film these special primates in the wild. Note that trekking permits and aren’t the same like gorilla filming permits given that they are bought differently in respective countries.
All Uganda’s gorilla permits and filming permits are a must to be obtained by each film crew member if you are to be given permission to film these dramatic creatures in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. You can obtain your filming and trekking permits at UWA headquarters in Kamwokya, Kampala and in Rwanda; you can visit Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
The price of gorilla filming permits in Rwanda ranges between $5000 and $2000 for security however, the $2000 can be refunded at end of the tour on condition that you leave some of the copies for the film with RDB. In Uganda, they cost $4200 and this consists of application charges for filming permits and extra charge applies for clearing filming equipment, transportation and lodging facility that is next to the park where you will be conducting your lifetime adventure. Interested visitors are required to buy permit for an entire gorilla group in addition to filming permit. In DR Congo, visit the conservation organ in charge and that is Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN).
You will need obtain media cards in Uganda, Rwanda or DRC which given out at respective media centers as well, your filming gear must be cleared by respective forwarding agents in destination of your choice. In Uganda, you can be cleared by Uganda clearing and forwarding agent at Entebbe International Airport and to ease things on your side, you can simply contact your trust worthy local tour operator for assistance. The Uganda Media Center also has headquarters at Kampala. Gorilla filming safaris are usually conducted by professionals or individual film crews, TV production or documentary companies and other provided there is interest. You therefore need to book for your safari in advance to avoid disappointment!
In conclusion, filming safaris in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo help you have enhanced and memorable experience with the rare mountain gorillas while in their natural habitat.