Filming in Samburu National Reserve

Filming in Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve is one of the best places to film lions and wildlife in Kenya. it is one of the lesser-known parks but beaming with wildlife. Samburu National Reserve is at the southern corner of Samburu district in the Rift Valley province of Kenya. It is bordered to the south by Uaso Nyiro River which separates it from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.

What to film in Samburu National Reserve

Wildlife: The Park has rare northern specialist species such as Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe and gerenuk, and Beisa oryx (also referred to as the Samburu special five). The reserve is rich in game including all the big 5 animals, large herds of elephants, lions, leopards, cheetah, wild dogs, and over 450 species of birds recorded.

Birds: The reserve has over 450 species of birds including five species categorized as vulnerable that is African darter, great egret, white-headed vulture, martial eagle, and the yellow billed ox-pecker. The critically endangered pancake tortoise (malacochersus tornieri) is also found here.

Activities: There are various activities that you can engage in and film while at the reserve. These include game drives for wildlife viewing, bird watching, sundowners, bush breakfast, nature walks, river rafting, and the samburu cultural experience.filming birdlife in samburu national park

What is the best time to film in Samburu National Reserve?

Filming in Samburu National Reserve is done all year round and the best time is during the dry season which starts in late May and goes on to early October, this time is good for filming wildlife given the fact it’s when large concentrations of wildlife are found in the reserve due to availability of lush vegetation along Esaso Nyiro river, the main source of water to the reserve and the nearby communities.

Where to stay in Samburu National Reserve

Lodge and Hotel options to stay in during filming in Samburu National Reserve range from Budget, mid-range to luxury options. You will choose what to stay in depending on your interests and budget. Contact us here for booking details. Lodge options include Samburu Game Lodge, Samburu Larsen’s Camp, Samburu Sopa Lodge, Samburu Intrepids, Elephant Bedroom, Miibi Mingi Tented Lodge among others.

How to access Samburu National Reserve

By road: The Reserve can be accessed by road from Nairobi through Isiolo on all-weather bitumen while Isiolo Archer’s post is graveled. The road distance from Isiolo to Archer’s Gate is 35km.

By Air: There are scheduled domestic flights from Nairobi to Oryx Samburu airstrip. Contact us here and we will help you book the flight accordingly.

Requirements to film in Samburu National Reserve

Like filming in all National Parks in Kenya, you will need to get a filming permit from Kenya Film Commission for you to be allowed to film in Samburu National Reserve. In order to obtain a Filming Permit, one must write a letter requesting the permit and fill out an application form which must be accompanied by a copy of the screenplay, story synopsis, and a shooting schedule. These should be sent to the Film Licensing Officer, Kenya Film Commission. Filming permits for features, documentaries, short films, music videos, corporate videos, and commercials are issued within minutes of application. Applications for TV Series and full-length feature films are processed in less than 48 hours of application. Contact us at Film crew fixers we will be able to help you process the filming permissions with the Local Authorities in Kenya for you to be able to successfully film in this park.

Filming fees and costs in Samburu National Reserve

The following charges are applied for any filming in Samburu National Reserve in Kenya:

  • Ksh. 8, 000 ($80) for five (5) people for one (1) week or part thereof.
  • Ksh. 12, 000 ($115) for six (6) – ten (10) people for one (1) week or part thereof.
  • Ksh. 20, 000 ($200) for more than ten (10) people for one (1) week or part thereof.

Kenya Filming Fees

  1. a) Filming rates
  • Adverts, documentaries, dramas, short features; still photographs KSHS 5,000 ($50)
  • Full-length feature films, TV series KSHS 15,000 ($150)
  • Daily filming fees KSHS 1,000 ($10)
  1. b) Liaison Officer’s service charges

The Ministry charges Ksh. 400 ($5) per day to cover Liaison Officer’s services provided by a government Liaison Officer to be attached to the crew.

  1. c) Other charges
  • Each visitor is required to pay Ksh. 2,000 ($20) to the Immigration Department for a special pass before engaging in any film shooting. The crew may, however, arrive in Kenya on a visitor’s pass while the filming special pass is being processed. We recommend you travel after all the filming paperwork has been arranged to avoid inconveniences.
  • For all filming equipment, a nominal non-refundable fee of 1% of the value of the equipment or Ksh 30,000 ($300) whichever is less is payable to the Customs Department on presentation of a film license.

On top of the above you will need to cover Press accreditation, accommodation, transport, and others for a successful shoot in Samburu National Reserve as below;

Press Accreditation

All film crew members are by law supposed to be accredited by Kenya Film Commission. Local filming agents and Private production companies or individuals are requested to submit their applications through a local agent registered with the ministry. This requirement is mandatory for all applications to make feature films or documentaries. Each crew member is required to fill a Kenya Film License Form (which we normally send to you) with all details, scan and send it back to us with a copy of his/her passport as well as one photograph to be put on his/her filming license. On top of this, we will need a letter from the filming company detailing who they are, why they are filming, where they will be filming, and details of crew members on this shoot. We will attach this letter to all details provided and send them to Kenya Film Commission for film license processing. This takes 2-3 working days to have these film licenses ready.

Visa Advice

You will need to purchase a tourist visa. Many film crews prefer obtaining their visas before they come to Kenya but visa’s can be obtained easily upon arrival at any entry point and in this case Nairobi International Airport upon paying either USD51.00 for Tourist Visa you will be able to get it immediately.

Vehicle Hire Services

Film Crew Fixers will help you organize transport for film crews to film in Samburu National Reserve depending on their interest, budget, and the nature of roads in such selected locations to film in the park. We recommend Customized 4×4 Land Cruisers which costs from USD200-250 per vehicle per day with Driver/Fixer or 4×4 Safari Vans from USD200 per Van per day with driver/Fixer. For us to estimate how much it will cost in terms of fuel, we will need to look at your filming schedule to establish mileage and distance to be traveled. We also organize both charter and scheduled air transport for those that need to fly in order to reduce the number of hours.

Fixers in Kenya to help you film in Samburu National Reserve

All our vehicles come with drivers who act as location fixers and most of them have been to almost all parts of Kenya and are thus conversant with the local situations and can provide relevant information and fix any situation on ground. These act as intermediaries between you and our office while on location in Kenya.


Film Crew Fixers offers Pre-Production. Production and Post production fixer services in East Africa. Such services include, filming permissions, Press Accreditation, Kit Customs Clearing, Location Scouting, transport and accommodation, visa and work permit advice, security and so much more

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