Flying a drone in national park

I am an award-winning wildlife filmmaker and have recently secured a contract with a renowned production company based in the USA to produce a three-part documentary on the great wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park. To capture this famous captivating event, my crew and I plan to use drones to obtain spectacular aerial shot videos for the documentary.

In general, a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) can be flown in Tanzania subject to Compliance with the Civil Aviation (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2018 GN 758 of  2018 (the  Regulations). The Regulations apply to all persons operating or maintaining remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) registered in the United Republic of Tanzania wherever they may be and any RPAS operating in the United Republic of Tanzania. According to Regulation 7(1) a person shall not operate a RPA within the United Republic of Tanzania unless the RPA has been registered by the Authority and a certificate of registration has been issued in accordance with these Regulations. Further, under Regulation 72(2) a person who operates a RPAS, without authorisation commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine of not less than TZS 1M or on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.

In the case of flying a drone in a National park, the procedures and guidelines for drone operations in the Parks are provided by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA). TANAPA restricts the use of drones inside national parks for conservation reasons and general safety of wild animals as well as tourists.  However, in your case, permission may be granted if you request and obtain a permit from the Filming board of Tanzania; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence and TCAA. After obtaining these permits from the specified authorities, you are required to apply to the Conservation Commissioner-TANAPA.  The application made to the Conservation Commissioner will be accompanied by copies of the permits from the specified authorities. In case you successfully obtain a permit, the same remains valid where other conditions stated therein are adhered to. Note that Park Management may have other conditions for you to comply with and has the right to revoke the permit in case of default. Your lawyer can guide you further.