Filming in Arusha | Fixers in Arusha
Filming in Arusha: Tanzania is one of the most popular African productions and filming locations and not surprising really as this country has much to offer production crews and filmmakers throughout a variety of television and film production sectors.
If you are looking to shoot scenic and vast African wilderness areas teeming with game, then this safari mecca is the perfect location. Sprawling picturesque African plains covered in mega herds of migrating African wildlife. But this country has even more than just wildlife and stunning locations to offer your production.
Tanzania is adventure central. It’s home to Africa’s highest mountain – Mount Kilimanjaro, home to three of Africa’s Great Lakes, and this is an Anthropology production dream location with the oldest remains of the Homo genus having been found here. Lake Tanganyika is the continent’s deepest lake and home to unique species of fish. Tanzania is also a rich cultural melting pot of tribes and races and over 100 different languages are spoken. Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro conservation area, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park are just some of its top locations. This stable and welcoming country not only offers a safe location to visit and film but offers a myriad of perfect filming topics ready for your crew to scout.
Film Fixers is your perfect partner if you are looking for a Tanzanian location fixer. With our knowledge and familiarity, you can count on us to assist with access to top locations as well as some of the lesser-known and unique hidden gems this fascinating country has to offer. We will provide you with full production support throughout your filming to ensure that you get the shots that you need. (Filming in Arusha)
Contact us for more information on Tanzania as well as details on the required film visas and film permits.
Customs and Equipment
Tanzania does NOT work with the ATA Carnet system. Any equipment brought into Tanzania (including Zanzibar) has to be done through a Temporary Import Permit – which identifies all the equipment (with serial numbers) and US$-based values. This is important because if any payment has to be made (see below) the value of this payment is determined by the value of the equipment – this is done by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) in Dar Es Salaam. And let’s be clear about this it is not a cheap or easy process….
Hiring equipment – There are gear hire companies in Dar Es Salaam, which FilmFixers have relationships with. So accessing equipment is relatively simple – including top-end cameras and lenses. Pricing is relatively competitive – something we monitor and manage on your behalf – and is more than offset by the savings incurred through overweight baggage, insurance etc.
Access and Affordability
Dar Es Salaam is your gateway to Tanzania and Zanzibar. Getting there from Europe on a direct flight is possible on KLM and Turkish airlines, but there are more flights if you fly into Nairobi which has daily flights into Dar Es Salaam.
Crews coming in from North America will need to stop en route in Istanbul or Amsterdam, or alternatively fly into Johannesburg and then a quick 3 and a half hour flight into Dar Es Salaam.
There is a decent network of all-weather roads in Tanzania connecting the main towns, but the roads off the main highways are rough, risky and very potholed, so as long as you are travelling in 4×4 vehicles with high clearance, you will be well equipped to handle both the road conditions and the rains!
Car hire is do-able, and some companies offer drivers as part of the deal, you will just need to be over 23 and get yourself an international driving permit. Note that Zanzibar requires a Zanzibar driving permit that the car hire company will organise for you. Always opt for a 4×4 option. (Filming in Arusha)
There aren’t metered taxis to hail, but there are taxi rank hubs in major town intersections, at hotels and restaurants where you can engage and negotiate with a local taxi operator before you get into the vehicle. Tuk-tuks and local mini busses (Daladalas) are a great option for quick urban trips.
Trains and coaches are not reliable or comfortable travel options.
Whilst Tanzania has its own currency, the film business (like tourism) is a US Dollar-based industry. So you HAVE to know what you are doing, from permits and visas to accommodation. It is not the easiest thing to do without assistance. Film Fixers has a direct relationship with both the Tanzania Film Board and the Zanzibar Film Office, and have resources on the ground to ‘walk’ paperwork through the system. And the securing of the permits is only the beginning of the complexity – most locations require separate permits and permissions – and in the case of the National Parks, these are by no means cheap. And Zanzibar is treated as a separate entity, requiring different permits.
On the plus side, Tanzania offers incredible location diversity, so it is worth going the ‘extra mile’ to secure the necessary Tanzania permits.
Tropical, so hot and humid on the coast and cool in the northwestern highlands. There are 2 rainy seasons (October-December) and March – June. The most rainfall is in April. If you are wanting to film wildlife specifically, the dry season between June and October is your best options, because you will find the wildlife concentrated around watering holes. Ideally, don’t schedule shoots for Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro in April and May – that’s when the rains are at their heaviest.
As diverse as the people are in culture and language, so is the land itself in terms of appearance and as such, so is the opportunity to find diversity for your locations. Whether you are looking for an exotic island beach backdrop, coral reefs for scuba and snorkelling locations, for towering mountains, fresh grasslands, or for narrow alleyways running between old Arabian homes found in historic Stone Town in Zanzibar, Tanzania will deliver in spades. (Filming in Arusha)
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