It is South Africa’s diverse and dramatic landscapes that have made it such a popular destination for film and stills productions over the years. Within just a few hours’ drive of Cape Town one can discover everything from semi-desert, to unspoilt mountain wilderness, forest, rivers and coastlines. The Western Cape alone has five national parks each of which offer something different to those in search of unspoilt nature, whether for their own enjoyment or to serve as locations for film and stills productions.
Table Mountain National Park
If you need mountains, rocks, beaches and fynbos right on the city doorstep, Table Mountain has dramatic landscape aplenty. The park covers the whole range of mountains, from Signal Hill and Lion’s Head, Table Mountain itself, right down the peninsula to Cape Point. As well as endless mountain vistas there are forest walks, wetlands, the dramatic coastal toad of Chapman’s Peak, beaches and the Boulders Bay penguin colony.
West Coast National Park
Only an hour from Cape Town the West Coast Park encompasses a large area of West Coast fynbos around the protected waters of Langebaan lagoon. With sand dunes and the rolling surf of the long Atlantic beach on the one side and small tranquil beaches along the lagoon there are plenty of contrasts for dramatic photography. In the spring months of August and September the park is transformed by carpets of flowers.
Agulhas National Park
The southernmost point of Africa, 200 km from Cape Town, Cape Agulhas is a ruggedly beautiful coastal plain, a haven for rare bird-life and a prime spot for whale-spotting in the winter and spring. The old-fashioned light-house, rocky shore, dramatic wreck and glorious sunsets are just a few elements that make for fantastic photography.
Bontebok National Park
A small park In the Overberg mountains above Swellendam, 240 km from Cape Town, the Bontebok National Park was established to preserve one particular species, the bontebok, when it was near extinction in the 1800s. The picturesque town of Swellendam with its many historic buildings, the winelands of the Robertson valley and the waters of the Breede River, added to the park’s mountain landscapes offer a wide variety of locations for photography or film productions.
Karoo National Park
The dry mountain landscapes of the Karoo have a stark grandeur, areas of semi-desert come to life with green in winter and spring. In the Karoo National park the wildlife, such as rhino and buffalo have been re-established in their original ranges. It is 500km from Cape Town, close to the town of Beaufort West.
All National Parks are environmentally sensitive areas, so the issuing of film permits is dependent on the impact of the film activities planned. Get advice from an experienced local production company, who will be able to recommend the most suitable locations for your film or stills production’s requirements.
Gavin Schneider Productions provide premier stills and film production services from their base in Cape Town. With 20 years experience they have facilitated numerous high-profile productions throughout Southern Africa. Browse their selection of locations in South Africa for inspiration.
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