Filming in the National Park and Conservation Area in Nepal

ARTICLE BY NEPAL FILM PRODUCTION TEAM

Nepal has always been one of the favorite trekking destinations and shooting locations for travelers and filmmakers from around the globe respectively.

Being the land of Himalayas, waterfalls, cascading rivers, culture, traditions, rituals, and friendly people, you will get everything that you are looking for here in Nepal.

Similarly, Nepal is rich in wildlife and plant biodiversity. At present, there are 208 mammas, 867 birds, 123 reptiles, 55 (+-) amphibians, 230 freshwater fish and 651 butterfly species, and 5,052 spp. Beetles and other insects. Besides that, there is 645 endangered one-horned rhino in Nepal. 

Likewise, other endangered species like Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Bengal Tiger, Himalayan Musk Deer, Asiatic Elephants are also found here. All of these flora and fauna are well preserved in the various national parks, conservation areas, and reserves. And the good news is that you can actually shoot a film over there, capture the beautiful footage, and show it in your movie or documentaries.  But, it not as simple as you have thought. Actually, you need to acquire special filming permission from the government of Nepal as well as the concerned authorities for filming in the national park and conservation area of Nepal. And there are lots of challenges that you might face while filming over here.

We have mentioned all the processes and permit for Filming in the National Park and Conservation Area in Nepal below. But before that let’s check out some top national parks and conservation areas of Nepal. 

Top National park and Conservation Areas for Filming in Nepal

Nepal is rich and blessed with varieties of the landscape. In every hundred kilometer distance you can experience the fresh air of the jungle to the freezing temperature of the mountains. There are twelve national parks, three wildlife reserves, six conservation areas, and one hunting reserve in Nepal. 

Among ten national parks, Shey-Phoksundo National Park is the largest, and Rara National Park is the smallest national park in Nepal. Chitwan National Park is first and one of the oldest national parks in Nepal. The national parks of Nepal offer you to see the various endangered animals like Red Panda, Royal Bengali Tiger, One-Horned Rhino, exotic Snow Leopard, and many more.

Not only to enjoy, but these national parks are also great locations to make movies and documentaries. Since, the elevation of these national parks ranges from 70 meters above the sea level to 8848 meters above sea level, will offer you the widest varieties of flora and fauna. Here we have presented all the scenarios and detailed information about these national parks which are suitable for making the best movies and documentaries.

1. Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park is one of the oldest and first national parks in Nepal, which was established in 1973. Chitwan National Park was enlisted by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1984. This national park covers an area of 952.63 square kilometers and is spread into four districts of Nepal namely, Nawalparasi, Parsa, Chitwan, and Makwanpur. The elevation of this national park varies from 100 meters above the sea level to 815 meters above the sea level. 

Why filming in Chitwan National Park is popular?

Situated in the southern part of Nepal, Chitwan National park is famous for One-Horned Rhinoceros and the Royal Bengal Tiger. It is the home for 700 species of wildlife and most popular for the endangered One-Horned Rhinoceros, Bengal Tigers, and the Gharial Crocodiles. Some of the common animals found in the national parks are Gaur, Four-Horned Antelope, Wild Elephant, Pangolin, Barking Deer, Sloth Bear, Rhesus Monkey, Sambar, Chital, Hog Deer and many more. Chitwan national park is also home for 450 species of birds, which includes some of the endangered birds like Bengal Florican, Giant Hornbill, Black Stork, Lesser Florican, and White Stork.

2. Sagarmatha National Park

Sagarmatha National Park is located in the eastern part of Nepal. This national park covers an area of 1148 square kilometers in the Solukhumbu District. The altitude of this national park ranges from 2845 meters above the sea level to 8848 meters above the sea level. This national park is largely framed of the gorge and rugged terrain of the Himalayas. Sagarmatha National Park was established in 1976 and was enlisted in the World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. 

Why filming in Sagarmatha National Park is popular?

Sagarmatha national park not only includes the varieties of flora and fauna, but also includes the highest peak of the world Mt. Everest and many other peaks like Lhotse, Nuptse, Kwangde and Ama Dablam. Present these Himalayas in your filming project to capture the attention of the audience. Altogether there are 118 species of birds in this national park and animals like Musk Deer, The Ghoral, The Serow, The Wolf, The Himalayan Tahr and Himalayan Black Bear are commonly found in this national park. Endangered species like Snow Leopard, Red Panda, Crimson-Horned, and The Imeyan are also rarely spotted in this national park.  At lower elevation of park vegetation of pine forest, while fir, rhododendron is found in common, whereas alpine plant communities are found in higher elevation.

3. Bardia National Park

Bardia National Park was established in 1988. This national park is the largest national park in Nepal which covers an area of a 968-kilometer square. It is located in the east of the Karnali river, mid far western Terai of Nepal.  To reach the Bardia National Park in West Nepal, it is just a few hour road trip and an hour-long flight. 

Why filming Bardia National Park is popular?

Nearly 70% of Bardia National Park is covered with dense forest. This national park is home for 642 species of fauna, 125 species of fish, 23 species of reptile and amphibian, 407 species of birds and 53 species of mammals. The endangered species like Royal Bengal Tiger and One-Horned Rhinoceros are also found in this national park. Whereas other animals like Elephants, Blackbuck, Swamp Deer and Marsh-Muggers are found in large numbers. Birds like Bengal Florican, Lesser Florican, Silver-Eared Mesia and the Sarus Crane are commonly found in this national park.  

4. Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is one and only hunting reserve of Nepal, which was established in 1987. This hunting reserve covers an area of 1325 kilometer square and is situated in Western Nepal in Rukum, Mygdi, and Baglung District. The elevation of Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve ranges from 3000 meters above sea level to 7000 meters above sea level. 

Why filming in Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is popular?

This Hunting Reserve helps to fulfill the demand of Nepali and Foreign hunters by allowing them to hunt Blue Sheep, Himalayan Tahr, Goral, Serow, and many more animals. But now the government of Nepal has allowed the hunting of only four animals in Nepal. This hunting reserve is also home for some of the endangered animals like Musk Deer, Wolf, Red Panda, Cheer Pleasant and Danphe. As per the research, this hunting reserve is the home for 852 blue sheep and 137 species of birds. For hunting management purposes Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is divided into six blocks. More than 50% of the land of the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is occupied with different plant species like Fir, Pine, and Birch, Rhododendron, Hemlock, and oak which add more beauty in your filming project.

5. Annapurna Conservation Area

Annapurna Conservation Area covers an area of 7629-kilometer square and stretches across Myagdi, Kaski, Mustang, Manang, and Lamjung District. This conservation area was established in 1985. The altitude of this conservation area ranges from 790 meters above sea level to 8091 meters above sea level. 

Why filming in Annapurna Conservation Area is popular?

Annapurna Conservation Area is home for 40 species of reptiles, 23 species of amphibians, 105 species of mammals, 518 species of birds, and 1226 species of flowering plants. Some of the endangered animals like Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Tibetan Argali, and Tibetan Wolf are found in this area. 

Besides that, you can also get to show the majestic Annapruna Range including Mt. Macchapuchre, Dhaulagiri, Hinchuli, Manaslu in your filming project. Imagine filming the green landscapes and clear mountain range in the background.

Challenges in Filming in the National Park and Conservation Area in Nepal

Nepal is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world but there are certain challenges in filming in the National park and Conservation Area in Nepal. 

A land full of dangerous wild animals, difficult terrain, altitude, transportation are so problems that you may face while filming in this type of area.

Wild Animals

National Park is the perfect place to shoot the beautiful landscape to capture the attention of the audience. But, you should not forget that these places are actually the habitat of different wild animals. We cannot predict their behavior and intention, so extra precaution is necessary. Never walk here and there alone while being inside the zone. Always listen to the ranger.

Land Topography

Most of the national parks and conservation areas are situated in the high altitude of Nepal. Such as Sagarmatha National Park, Annapurna Conservation Area, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, and so on. Reaching there along with the heavy filming equipment along with the large film crew members, without proper transportation facilities can be very difficult and physically challenging.

Similarly, not being able to cope with the altitude of the area is also another major problem. It is hard for most of the crew members to spend a week in such a climatic condition.

Acquiring Film Permits

You can easily get the permits for filming in the national park and conservation area in Nepal, but the paperwork and process are very daunting. It is hard to meet the rule and regulations, and certain criteria that need to be fulfilled in order to acquire all necessary permits for your filming in the national parks.

If you wish to get permit autonomously, the permit will be rejected. In order to acquire the permit easily, you must collaborate with the local coordinator or film production house in Nepal, who know all sorts of paper works, criteria and rules and regulation.

How to Process To Film in the National Park and Conservation Area in Nepal?

To process Filming in the National Park and Conservation Area in Nepal is quite difficult and complicated. You just can not simply go to the location and start shooting. Actually you need to take permission from the concerned authority. And it is very difficult to manage things out all by yourself in the foreign land. So, there are certain requirements that you must meet either filming in Nepal or filming in a national park or conversation area of Nepal. Let’s dig into it. 

Keep these things in mind before initiating your film project. 

Plan ahead

There are certain plans that you should make before stepping in Nepal for your filming project. But, you need to plan to keep into consideration Nepal and the scenario of Nepal.

  • Know your location that fulfills the meets the needs of your requirements
  • Get all the necessary paperwork done of your film crew before applying for the visa
  • Finalize your concept
  • Detail schedule of your work and stay in Nepal
  • Know the filming equipment that you are going to use while filming and manage it accordingly (or you can also rent the latest filming equipment here in Nepal)
  • And you must hire or associate with the local film coordinator or fixer in Nepal
Hiring Fixer and Local Coordinator

In order to start your film project in Nepal, you must hire a fixer or local coordinator in Nepal. They help you out on all the process for filming in the national park and conservation area in Nepal. Like acquiring visas, paper works, film permits, location scouting, managing film crews, filming equipment, renting service, customs clearance, accommodation, food, transportation, and so on. Or else, it will be very complicated and sometimes the proposal might be rejected to come to Nepal for filming, independently. 

Note: While hiring a fixer or local coordinator in Nepal, always look for the years of experience they have and what sort of projects they have been involved in.

Know your Schedule

In order to save time and money, you must know the schedule of your time period or duration for filming in the National Park and Conservation area. Research about the specific national park or conservation area and also jot down the time period according to the demand of your film projects. 

Note: To have a clear conversation with the fixer, we recommend you research the particular national park or conservation area, and its attractions from your side as well.

Acquiring Permits And Licenses

For filming in the National Park and Conversation Area in Nepal, you need to take two permits. The first one is from the Ministry of Information and Communication whereas the other is a special permit which is called National Park Filming Permits from the National Park Authority in Nepal. 

For this, you need to present details of your project that meets the criteria, then only it goes for further process. (Your filming permits will be issued only after your script has been studied and verified to proceed. )

While filming in the National Park or conservation areas, 2 liaison officers will be appointed to supervise all filming activities. The first one being from the “Ministry of Information & Communication” while the second liaison officer would be on behalf of “National Park and Conservation area Management” which would most probably be a “Ranger” considering safety measures and precautions that needs to be taken.

How many days does it take to get the permits for filming in a National Park or Conservation Area?

As already mentioned above, you need to acquire permits from the “Ministry of Information & Communication” and National Park Authority” which can all be acquired within a period of “15 Days”. 

Documents Required to acquire these permits

  • Application for Shooting to Audio-Visual Section, Ministry of Information and Communications of the purpose of applying for the shooting permit. This job is handled by the local coordinator or professional fixer in Nepal 
  • An assignment letter- mentioning the local coordinator. It is to be done by the foreign filmmaker 
  • An application form
  • Supporting documents
  • A theme of your filming project in the form of a storyboard, presentations, etc. 
  • Concept and Lyrics for music videos
  • Present the objectives of the program and detail of the content
  • A complete schedule of filming in Nepal including dates, locations, time, and Space details
  • Name-list, passport numbers, positions, and arrival dates of all foreign film crews.
  • Equipment Details Letters (values of custom clearance as well)
Different Authorities and Approval for Different Types of Film Permits in Nepal
  • Consent letter of Sanctuary Fund- if filming in Annapurna Conservation Areas.
  • Consent letter of Department of Wildlife Conservation, Babarmahal, Kathmandu- if filming in conservation areas.
Total Around Cost to acquire permits and licenses

The cost of acquiring the National Park permit would be NRs.15000 which is equivalent to USD 1500 on a government level and has a standard fee as per your production requirement, yet extra charges such as the charge of the “Liaison Officer” on a daily basis is an extra cost which again can be arranged or negotiated.

Things To Take Care While Filming in the National Park And Conservation Area of Nepal

For being such a sensitive area, there are certain rules and regulations that filmmakers must follow while being inside the zone which is listed below:

  • Never ever disturb, tease or go near to the protected animals of the national park or conversation area
  • Do not, we repeat, do not kill the animals. It is illegal to kill the protected animals and may bring you to the serious  legal prosecution
  • Do not buy illegal animal and plant products. This may also bring you to the serious  legal prosecution
  • Always respect the culture and the religion of the particular place
  • Do not enter, or try to capture the image or film into the restricted or prohibited areas
  • Make sure about the cleanliness and place the trash in the rubbish bins
  • You are not allowed to walk in the park between sunset and sunrise
  • Always listen to you ranger
  • Never walk alone

Why work with Nepal Film Production (NFP)?

There are tons of fixers or production houses in Nepal. But not all of them live up to your expectations or their claims. Some of the basic requirements you need to look for are years of expertise, proper English, their knowledge of filming/productions and projects they have worked with.

Film production houses like Nepal Film Production (NFP) is one of the best reliable, dedicated, and experienced fixers in Nepal. Having 13 years of experience in this field, NFP is the perfect choice to hire fixers from and collaborate with as your local production partner/company in Nepal. 

With the team of experienced production experts that specialize in acquiring permits and clearing customs at the airport, NFP will go the extra mile to get your film making work done without considering or comprising anything. Having worked in 131 productions already, we know our way through the tedious system and paper works. Our frequent projects have helped us make contacts at the concerned authorities. We relieve you of the technical worries. 

Things/ Areas that NFP can help out / Play role 

Our main concern is to provide the services that you have been looking for or that meets your expectation. We strongly believe in providing the highest quality of service and that’s why our production team is well-reputed amongst international production companies.

Let’s see briefly in which are we help out you with.

Understanding your Requirements

The first importance thing is to comprehend your necessities by evaluating your script or layout. When we know, we will move to additionally forms like location, visa licenses, permit and so on.

Visa Process

We want you to provide detailed information, objective, time and place of your filming project. Then only, we can move further with your visa process and handle the immigration process, along with the customs for special equipment. You do not need to do anything.

Film Permit

With years of experience in film production, we have built a good network with the concerned authorities. Getting straight to the point, we can easily acquire different filming permits in Nepal, including permits for filming in the National Park and Conservation Area in Nepal. We’ve generally had fulfilled clients and consistently completed our activities without any problem.

Some different film permits of Nepal that NFP can help to acquire are:

  • Nepal Filming Permit
  • National Parks Filming Permit
  • Heritage Areas Filming Permit
  • Public Area Filming Permit
  • Private Property Filming Permit
  • Drone and Air Permits
Line Producer

Nepal Film Production as the best line producer service provider in Nepal, we will deal with all production levels as a director and will be responsible to handle all matters including all logistics, crew management and generally speaking your filming experience in Nepal. As your Line Producer, we will plan out production budget, manage locations, permits, crews, safety, and will be accountable for the punctuality of the whole production team.

Film Location Scouting

In the event that you have a location at the top of the priority list, let us know to locate the best of the spot in Nepal for filming. On the off chance that not, at that point we will carry out the complete research of location as per your requirements or film projects. Permits, legal permission to film in the area, local obstruction, transportation facility, and other complications all these will be dealt with by us.

Film Licensing

Having been recognized as the international film production house based in Nepal, we are providing all the services related to the film making to the international filmmakers.

Film Equipment Renting

You do not have to bring filming equipment from your country and pay a heavy custom clearance fee (we will help you out if you wish to). But let us tell you that we have all the latest filming equipment, all you need is to tell us your requirements beforehand.

Travel Logistics Management & Accommodation

13 years of experience as the best fixer in Nepal, help us to build a good rapport and network with all the different hotels, restaurants, transportation, luxury traveling to backpacking, accommodation services, food, and beverage services, and so on. Just let us know the type of services you want then we will manage accordingly.

How NFP Helps in to get Permits for Filming in National Park and Conservation Area in Nepal?

Our talented team members will satisfy all your filming permits necessities at the period of being in the pre-production stage.

  • NFP process all of your documents and permits where necessary
  • We work as your local fixer and coordinator in Nepal 
  • NFP as your contact point to the concerned authorities
  • We assist you to search for suitable locations to film in Nepal and get the specialized permits required 
  • NFP will clear your customs and handle the incoming of the filming crew as well as your filming equipment
  • We get ready ahead of time to deliver you on time. 

FAQ

  1. Do I need to take permission for filming in the National Park and Conservation Area in Nepal?

    Yes, you need to take two permits to film in the National Park or conservation area of Nepal. One is the regular permit from the Ministry of Information and Communication. And the other one is called the special permit from the National Park Authority.

  2. How do I acquire permits for shooting in the National Park of Nepal?

    Your proposal to acquire a permit might be rejected if in case you applied independently. You must coordinate with the local coordinator or a film production house like Nepal Film Production, to work with all the necessary paperworks, and full fill all the criteria that concerned authorities have mentioned for acquiring permits.

  3. What are the challenges of filming in the National Park or Conservation Areas of Nepal?

    Land topography, wild animals, transportation, high altitude, and filming permits are some challenges that you may face while filming in national parks or conservation areas of Nepal.

  4. Do wild animals attack you while filming in the National Park?

    Till now, we have not heard about wild animals attacking the film crew members. But certain precaution is needed. You should always obey your ranger and do not enter in the prohibited areas of the zone.

  5. What about renting filming equipment in Nepal?

    You can easily rent filming equipment from the Nepal Film Production House. They have all sorts of latest equipment and gear. You can contact them beforehand for an inquiry about renting facilities and other services for filming equipment.