Yes, we know that drone footage is literally on another level.
Yes, we would love to see more aerial videos of Kilimanjaro.
But no, drones are for the most part NOT ALLOWED in the park.
What is a Drone?
A common definition for a drone is “an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can navigate autonomously or is guided remotely.” Drones are made from different light composite materials and can be equipped with cameras, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), navigation systems, and sensors.
In short, it’s a flying video camera.
Like most technologies, the price of a drone varies significantly. However, the typical price range for a decent quality drone is $500 to $1,500.
Drone Laws in Tanzania
There are many rules for flying a drone in Tanzania. This is a summary of the laws. For more details, see this bulletin from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority
- A special permit from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority is required for flying a drone. An exception is made for drones weighing under 7 kg (15.5 pounds), no permit is required.
- Drones may not be flown within 3 km (2 miles) of any domestic airport, or 5 km (3 miles) of any international airport.
- Drones cannot be flown higher than 121 m (400 feet).
- Drones must be in visual sight of the pilot at all times.
- Drone insurance is required for all drone operations in Tanzania.
- Drones must be flown in the day time.
- Drones may not be flown over cities, towns or populous areas without special permission from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority and local body of government.
- Drones may not be flown over national parks (more below).
Drone Laws in Tanzania National Parks
Tanzanian regulatory authorities have made it very explicit that it is illegal to use drones in Kilimanjaro National Park as well as all other National Parks. That includes the wildlife parks that are frequented on our safaris such as Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.
To fly a drone legally, one must first register the drone in Tanzania, have a pilot’s license, have mandatory drone insurance, have a special permit from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority, and get permission from the Ministry of Defense and National Service.
In other words, it’s a long, tedious process to legally fly a drone in a national park. And it’s a process that Ultimate Kilimanjaro® cannot assist you with.
Flying Drones on Mount Kilimanjaro
You might be asking how others have shot Kilimanjaro footage from a drone. They either jumped through all the hoops to get the approval. Or they did it illegally.
Some guides might feel pressured to allow clients to do as they please. Some park rangers might look the other way, for a bribe of course. It’s a chance our company is not willing to take.
Don’t even think about flying a drone without permission. If you get caught flying one the rangers will take it from you, fine you and fine our guides. You’re asking for trouble.
Legality aside, you should not use a drone anyways. People go to the outdoors to get away from the noise and hustle of urban living. Drones are noisy and intrusive. They can disturb other people and wildlife.