In the opening scene of the hit comedy film ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’, a coca-cola bottle is carelessly thrown out of a small plane flying over the Kalahari Desert. It lands at the feet of a San Bushman tracker who interprets this shocking incident as a sign from the gods: a White traditional healer who was born in the desert and has lived among the San people all his life must return to his own tribe and go on a quest to discover his roots.
While the film is a hilarious parody of modern, Western culture clashing with ancient African traditions and values, the coca-cola bottle being thrown out a plane was no joke for Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism.
Botswana is a world leader in responsible ecotourism and imposed an embargo on visas for foreign film crews to ensure that production companies comply with environmental regulations.
Obtaining permits and visas to film in Botswana can therefore be tricky and is a time-consuming process, but African Fixer has a relationship with local fixers who can expedite the process.
Botswana is a vast country with very little infrastructure outside the capital Gaborone and the northern city of Maun. Traveling across the country requires planning for self-sustainability. If you want to travel off the beaten track, African Fixer can provide all that you need, such as food, water and battery-operated equipment.
Local film crews always opt for Horseback Safaris,as this is an experience that stays with visitors forever. Botswana is considered the best place on earth for riding safaris, taking you from the harsh desert to the iconic Okavango Delta wetlands. The safaris are fast-paced and exciting, offering a variety of combinations such as Ride and Cycle or Ride and Fly camping experiences. Luxury camps along the way blend all the creature comforts with a bush wilderness experience.
Cantering alongside giraffes is an unforgettable experience and the best way to view the Big 5 game in action.
Botswana has an exceptional 40-year record for safety and experienced, knowledgeable guides will keep you smiling with their infectious energy.
On the Makgadikgadi Safari you get the privilege of spending time with the San Bushmen who will introduce you to their traditional way of living. The Makgadikgadi Salt Pan is the perfect location for a tranquil, reflective shoot along the belt of the ancient Lake Makgadikgadi that evaporated millenia ago. Amidst this vast emptiness, the Boteti River attracts migrating zebras and flamingos coming to breed. There are still stone-age tools that are often washed up onto the riverbed, making the location unique for stills photography productions.
Further west lie the Tsodilo Hills, an archeological site with the highest concentrations of rock art in the world.
Most film productions in Botswana start in Maun, only a few hours away from the Chobe National Park that is renowned for its elephants, buffaloes and lions.
From there you can travel to the Tuli Block, nicknamed ‘Land of Giants’ due to its towering Baobab trees interspersed with incredible rock formations.
Your trip can also be combined with a trip to Victoria FAlls; flights leave directly from Maun International Airport to Kasane and there are also connecting flights between Johannesburg and Kasane if African Fixer needs to bring in film equipment from South Africa. If your film production is based in Maun, it will be a seamless experience with an abundance of scenic spots to choose from.
As the northern region of Botswana is well known for its diamond, copper and nickel mines, the U,S dollar is used and integrated with the Botswana Pula, making it more affordable to shoot here than in bordering countries. Bear in mind however that all wildlife productions must use local crews, even though Botswana does not have any film production companies of its own, and everything must therefore be sourced from South Africa.