Film permit – needs to be obtained from the Ministry of Environment, Tourism & Wildlife. Currently the fee is P 10,000. A film permit costs the same regardless of filming duration. You need a film permit even if you’re only filming in Botswana for 3 hours.
Filming duration - will be granted according to the dates you request in your application, but the dates need to be reasonable and you need to justify why you need the length of time that you do.
Film Location – Very Important - You need a film permit regardless of where you’re filming in Botswana– e.g. in the middle of a road outside Gaborone, in a shop, on private land or inside the National Park. There is a misconception that permits are only required if you are in the National Parks or Reserves. This is not the case.
You need to stipulate on your application the exact locations you wish to film / take photographs in, be it National Parks or private land or a general streets in towns or villages.
Names on the permit. When you apply for the permit you need to stipulate everyone's name, passport number and other details. You can change names once the permit is issued, but I there is a fee for this.
Note: If you change too many details from your original application (for example if you change, names, locations and dates) you need to submit a fresh application.
VERY IMPORTANT If you are taking photographs / filming in the National Parks or Reserves you also a need a Supplementary Permit from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks
Note: you can not obtain the Supplementary permit until you have obtained the Film Permit. The two are linked. Also important to note that the Supplementary Permit will only be granted for named people as per the Film permit.
The Supplementary Permit
There is no specific form. The supplementary permit is a letter you write to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks once you have your film permit. There is no cost for obtaining the Supplementary permit, but you do need to pay Park Fees specific to Filming activities.
People: Pula 1000 per person per week or part thereof (which means 1 day is still Pula 1000).
If you are hiring licensed Botswana guides (advisable) and Botswana citizens to help with your camping and cooking needs, then the cost per citizen per week or part thereof is Pula 125 and a resident is Pula 250.
Vehicles cost per day: Foreign registered: Pula 50 per vehicle. Botswana registered: Pula 10.
You may not drive off-road unless specific permission has been granted by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. You need also to request this in your Supplementary permit application. It may, or may not, be granted.
You need to have signage on your vehicle if you are on a film permit with your company name and “Do Not Follow”. You need to obliterate your tracks and be very careful that you do not damage the environment and that off-road driving is kept to a minimum.
Also worth noting that if you are operating on a film permit you my not use the pubic campsites or HATAB sites. You are required to set up your own self-sufficient camp, which includes providing your own water. The location of this camp needs to be out of sight of other tourists and the exact location approved by the Warden of the Park.
It goes without saying that you have to abide by all rules and regulations governing visitors to the national parks and reserves.