Volcanoes National park is not only known for mountain gorilla trekking but also gorilla filming. When you track mountain gorillas, you can only take photos or short films and you are limited by time (only one hour during gorilla tracking). For individuals, filming companies or TV productions to be allowed to film these critically endangered mountain gorillas, it is important to first seek permission from the Rwandan Development Board (RDB) to be allowed, and this involves acquiring a gorilla filming permit. Mountain gorillas are only found in Four National Parks in the whole World and these include Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National park of Uganda, Volcanoes National park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Currently, there are more than 880 mountain gorillas that live in these places. There is nothing as incredible as filming these great apes on a gorilla safari within their natural habitats, an experience that surpasses gorilla trekking experience because film shooting allows film makers to have a closer and longer encounter with the Giant Apes as they capture every single moment done with the Gorilla family.
Mountain Gorilla Filming Requirements
Before engaging in the activity, willing participants should book for the activity at least 4 months in advance to avoid being disappointed. Your filming equipments must have been cleared by the Kigali International Airport customs before you are allowed to use it. Book for accommodation that is not far away from the National Park, to be able to transfer easily to the Site. You will also need a obtain Visas in advance or on arrival at Kigali International Airport for your Film crew
Cost of Mountain Gorilla Filming Permit
For you to be allowed to film an entire gorilla family for the filming crew (whether 8 persons or less, but not more than 8 persons), you have to first book gorilla permits for the entire gorilla group which is $1500×8 persons is $12,000, valid for three consecutive days.
You will also be required to pay for the Gorilla filming permit of $5000, which should be paid to the Rwandan Development Board. Finally, you will have to pay $2000 to the Rwanda Development Board which acts as security, and will be refunded the moment you give in the copy of the CD. This is done to prove whether the filming was done for promotion of the critically endangered Mountain gorillas or for tourism purposes.
What to Wear/Carry for Gorilla Filming in Volcanoes National Park
Just like Gorilla trekking conducted within this National park, film makers have to wear long sleeved shirt, long trousers because you will be filming in the same environment as is Gorilla trekking. Also wear hats and sunglasses to protect your head and eyes from the strong sunshine, waterproof hiking boots to allow you to hike easily through the jungles, carry a backpack for your packed lunch and water because you will be in the Jungles for the whole day, and hire a porters to carry your backpack and the filming equipment. Hiking the Porters is worth a while because they will carry your luggage and also support you during hiking, but hiring them is a way of helping the former poachers to benefit from tourism.
In conclusion, besides gorilla tracking where tourists get to spend only one hour with the mountain gorillas and only take photographs or short films, journalists or TV producers can visit the Volcanoes National park for a film production on Mountain gorillas for documentaries. Much as it is considered to be expensive, the entire experience is worth the value and time.