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Everything you need to know about joining the wildlife filmmaking program with Africa Media 

What will I get out of the program?

The course is aimed at assisting in the development of aspiring wildlife filmmakers. Students on the course will spend a month designing, writing, filming and editing their own five-minute wildlife documentary based on the animals of one of Africa’s most beautiful and well-stocked game reserves. At the end of the course, students will present their film to students and staff of Africa Media and walk away with a showpiece that can be used to break into the demanding wildlife filmmaking industry.

What practical training will I receive?

Film techniques, camera operation, understanding wildlife, equipment maintenance, crew management, footage workflow, working with talent (including animals), video editing, voice over/soundtrack, pitching your film.

What theoretical training will I receive?

Course introduction, orientation, inspiration and story, what is selling today, film equipment, script writing, wildlife presenting, marketing you/your films, ethics in wildlife filmmaking, funding your films, the art of pitching.

What does the fee include and exclude?

What does the course fee include? 

Accommodation, 3 meals per day, expert instruction, 9 days filming and living on game reserve, use of broadcast quality HD video cameras, use of professional audio gear, use of professional drone, filming expeditions to Monkeyland and Birds of Eden, travel to/from George Airport or the bus depot, internet.

What does the course fee exclude?

Additional short courses, laundry service, tourism excursions, extra food and beverages, alcoholic beverages, international and domestic flights, game ranger tips. 

If you choose to arrive early (before the 1st) or depart late (after the 28th) then we will ask $30 USD/day to cover additional accommodation. Food is not included on additional days.

Can I cancel once my place is confirmed?

Due to the number of applications received and limited places, we unfortunately do not accept all applying students. Therefore, we do not welcome cancellations or date changes after the final confirmation has been completed. Please make sure that the dates you indicate in your application form suit your own schedule/budget before applying.

We request that a non-refundable $750 USD deposit is paid within 14 days of being accepted into the program as confirmation. The remaining fee must be paid in full 30 days prior to arrival in South Africa.

Am I eligible?

No special requirements or qualifications are required; however, a background in film or biology will be of assistance.

What is the schedule?

The course is divided into three components, namely: pre-production (6 days), production (9 days) and post-production (5 days). A sample syllabus is provided here as a guideline. However, please note that the actual schedule may vary based on several factors.

  • During pre-production, students will learn the concepts of making wildlife documentaries and the basics in camera use and filming techniques.
  • During production, students will stay on Schotia Reserve and spend the days collecting footage for your documentary.
  • During post-production, students will edit footage using Adobe Premiere Pro to create a 5-minute documentary. Students will also learn about pitching and selling your ideas and films.

In general, the month will follow a schedule of 5 days on and 2 days off per week. Again, this may vary, particularly when students stay at Schotia Reserve.

How long is the course?

The course lasts 1 month beginning on the 1st (arrival day) and ending on the 28th (departure day) of each month. If you choose to arrive early (before the 1st) or depart late (after the 28th) then we will ask $30 USD/day to cover additional accommodation. Food is not included on additional days.

Do I require a work/volunteer VISA?

No. You will not be employed by Africa Media nor paid. On this course you are entitled to enter on a temporary visitor’s permit (e.g. tourism permit). Tourist visas are usually issued for three months/90 days upon entry in South Africa. However, we do recommend that you contact the South African Embassy or Consulate in your country and confirm this fact.  If your application period is for a period longer than three months, or if you plan to travel in South Africa prior or after the course for a period extending 90 days, you will have to apply for a volunteer VISA application through your home embassy.

Who owns the media I collect?

All media (video and audio) collected by you will belong to you. However, the following licensing conditions on collected materials is required:

  • Africa Media retains total right to use the media for any non-exclusive purpose whatsoever free of charge and without requiring permission or paying compensation to the student (including the sale of footage). This further means that the student may only license any collected footage for non-exclusive rights to a third party.
  • Africa Media will be recognized as the ‘executive producer’ on your finished documentary.
Do I need to bring my own video equipment or gear?

All video equipment is supplied as part of the course. If you want to bring your own equipment, particularly if you are interested in shooting with DSLR cameras, you are more than welcome.

In terms of post-production, you must bring your own laptop to complete editing. This should have at least 4GB RAM and be pre-loaded with Adobe Premiere Pro.

What equipment do students have access to?

Video Cameras available:

  • 8 x Panasonic HVX-200P series P2
  • 2 x NEX100 Sony cameras
  • 10 x GoPro cameras (effects camera)
  • 2 x Phantom 4 drone

Audio Equipment available:

  • 8 x RODE shotgun mics (camera or boom mounted)
  • 2 x Sennheiser and sony lavallière radio mic systems
  • 1 x Tascam digital audio recorder
  • 1 x Rode DSLR mounted shotgun mic
  • 1 x Soundproof audio recording suite

Accessories available:

  • 8 x video camera tripods
  • 8 x video ‘throw bags’
  • 1 x video camera crane
  • 3 x reflectors
  • 1 x radio control ‘cub cam’ filming vehicle
  • 1 x camera slider (tracking shots)

Computers: Please bring your own laptop loaded with Adobe Premiere Pro, as we use this extensively on the course.

Where do I stay?

Your home for the month will be in the beautiful town of Mossel Bay, South Africa. (Africa Media address – 182 Aalwyn Way, Aalwyndal, Mossel Bay, 6520)

For 9 of these days you will be staying on Schotia Safaris Private Game Reserve, living in the wilderness and collecting content for your production.

What information do I need to make my travel arrangements?

If you are traveling by plane, please fly to George Airport, South Africa. We will pick you up and drop you off at George Airport.

If you are traveling by bus, there is a bus stop in Mossel Bay just a few minutes from the guest house. We will pick you up and drop you off.

What are the arrival dates and pickup arrangements?

Pickups and drop offs will be organized by Africa Media for you on the 1st day of the month (for arrivals) and the 28th of the month (for departures). 

The program begins with paperwork and orientation on the 1st of the month. There is no need to arrive prior to the 1st; however, arriving earlier in the day is preferable, as it gives you some time to settle in before the course begins.

You can schedule your departure for any time on the 28th.

Do I need travel/medical insurance?

Yes. When you are accepted into this program, you agree to our liability and copyright documents, as well an agreement that you are knowingly partaking in potentially dangerous activities. You will not be covered for accidents or illnesses, so please do organize your own medical and health insurances. You may apply for a normal travel insurance policy. Chances that you will be injured by a predator are very slim if you follow the safety guidelines and do not try anything foolish of which we would not approve. However, you will be filming wildlife which can result in accidents. It is important to be covered in case of an emergency or accident. Be sure to have insurance coverage for your entire stay in South Africa.

What do I need to bring?

If you are getting ready to pack, here is a rough packing list of items you should consider bringing.


  • Work clothes. Bring what you are comfortable in, but ensure that you have warm, strong work clothing of neutral colors, solid work shoes such as hiking boots or trainers, a good sun hat with a wide brim and a warm hat/beanie. Gloves can be helpful for early mornings. Bring a tracksuit or something similar to lounge around in during the evenings, which can get cold. Also, face buffs help keep off the cold in the evenings.
  • Social clothes. Mossel Bay is a small town, so social clothing should reflect a casual, non-formal style.
  • A swimming costume.

 Video and electronic gear

  • Minimum of 1TB storage hard drive.
  • Laptop.

You are more than welcome to bring any personal videography or photographic equipment; however, this is totally optional. 

Editing programs

  • Adobe Premiere Pro


  • Toiletries &  strong sunscreen (There are also plenty of shops to purchase from.)
  • Prescription medication
  • Passport & photocopy of passport
  • Bank cards (Inform your bank of your travels.)
  • Spare cash (rands)
  • Phone & cables
  • Sunglasses

Africa Media address – 182 Aalwyn Way, Aalwyndal, Mossel Bay

Do I need to bring extra money?

We offer optional weekend trips/activities for all students and interns. These activities cover a wide range of interests, and costs vary. Cash is required for these bookings. You may bring rands with you, but there are also ATMs nearby. Please note you do not have to go on ANY of these extra trips. This is simply for your information should you wish to participate.

Do I need malaria or other medication?

No, we are far from malaria areas, and there are no strange African diseases which you could pick up (that is if you respect the same safety rules as anywhere else in the world).

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