Filming the shoe bill in Uganda

Filming shoebill in Uganda

January 2, 2022
Safari Tips

Looking for filming shoebill safaris in Uganda? The shoebill is one of the most sought after birds in Africa. It’s a very elusive bird and it is hard to capture. It also an endangered species. Uganda is still one of the best birding destinations in the region and it has attracted very many filming enthusiasts. Here are some of the information you need to know if you want to come film the shoebill in Uganda.

Top Shoebill Filming Sites in Uganda

The following are the top filming shoebill locations in Uganda;

The Mabamba Bay Swamp

Mabamba swamp is located on the shores of Lake Victorian the northern side in Entebbe. This is prime wetland and its famous for the rare shoebill stock that is sought after by nature lovers and bird enthusiasts. It is a swamp thicket that covers about 2424 hectares with papyrus and lilies.

You will also encounter other birds like Hadada Ibis, Marsh Harrier, Papyrus Gonolek, Northern Brown-throated Weather, Common Sqacco Heron, Great White Pelican, Green Cuckoo, Grey Heron, Orange Weaver,  Pied Kingfisher,  Cattle Egret, Grey-crowned Crane, Common Moorhen, Common Sandpiper,  Double Toothed Barbet, Glossy Ibis, Goliath Heron, Malachite Kingfisher, Great Cormorant,  Gull-billed Tern,  Harmerkop, Little Egret, Little Stilt, Long-tailed Cormorant, Great White Egret,  Long-toed Lapwing among others.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison falls national park is the largest national park and its located north western Uganda. It covers an area of about 3,840sq Km. It is home to about 460 bird species. This park is also ranked the 9th best birding spot in Africa. It’s also home to the famous and strong Murchison falls.

Other birds to see include; Black-headed Gonolek, Spotted and Verreaux’s Owls,Grey-crowned Crane, Long-toed Plover, Vitelline Masked Weaver,  Saddle-billed Stork,  Long-tailed and Pennant-winged Nightjars, White-backed Night Heron, Spotted Mourning Thrush

Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park has an area of about 220 Sq Km. It’s a birding paradise with about 400 bird species recorded here in recent times. This park is on the boarder of Uganda and the Democratic Republic Congo. It’s an extension the Ituri forest which makes this park rich with flora and fauna.

Expect to see other birds like; Capped Wheatear, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Western Nicator, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Black Saw-wing, Long-tailed Hawk, Red-thighedSparrowhawk, Chestnut-flanked Goshawk, Yellow-throated Nicator, Grant’s Bluebill among others

Queen Elizabeth National Park

This Park is located around Kasese district. It covers about 1978 sq Km of land. The park boosts of about 550 bird species. The park has a river line bush land, rivers, seasonal and permanent rivers and lakes.

Other species to see include; squacco heron, yellow backed weavers,  knob billed duck, African fish eagle, spur winged plovers, white faced whistling ducks, the black crake, African Jacana, long tailed cormorants, pick and white backed pelicans,  water thick knee, yellow billed and spoon billed storks, African Skimmer, swamp fly-catcher among others.

Requirements for Filming the Shoebill in Uganda

You will need a permit to do filming in Uganda. The first permit you will be from the Uganda wildlife Authority. You will need to pay 40% of the total cost of the activity you intend to film as the filming fees. And then 10% of the cost as monitoring fees. You will then have to sign an agreement with Uganda wildlife authority. All this will be negotiated with the Uganda Wildlife authority.

You will need to do a written application as the initial form of formal application. The process of getting a shoebill filming permit in Uganda takes 3 weeks that means you will need to plan ahead of time such that you get the permit in time.

One of the requirements of any filming activity is that you will have to give a copy of your work to Uganda Wildlife authority. This copy is not for commercial purpose but for educational purposes.

What is the best time for shoebill filming in Uganda?

Filming shoebill in  Uganda is done throughout the year. However, it has been established that the best time to film in Uganda is during the dry season, which runs from June to October and then from December to February. Uganda is covered with tropical rain forest and this has influenced the country to experience the tropical rain climate, meaning that at times you can also experience certain rains unexpectedly. Therefore, you need to prepare accordingly for the changing weather conditions.

Why should you choose Africa Adventure Vacations for your shoebill filming safaris?

Africa Adventure Vacations is a local company based in Uganda but operates in East African countries that include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and South Africa, and we have over 10 years’ experience in aiding filming and production companies, especially those interested in filming nature-related wildlife and the culture of Africa. We provide services such as booking for the filming permits, clearing of the filming equipment, booking for the accommodation facilities, organizing transportation to the filming companies, all in the shortest period of time. We organize other wildlife packages to all of the above-mentioned countries, including gorilla packages to Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Therefore, you should not hesitate to choose us to be your film fixers in East Africa.

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