In 2002 Kenya was declared the winner for ‘Best Film Location’ in the ‘Originality and Creativity’ section of Annual Global Locations Expo in Los Angeles. Kenya has long been a popular destination and location for filmmakers and film production respectively. With its primary filming attractions being nature based which include wildlife, beaches at the coast, the physical landscape and the cultures. Kenya offers immense opportunities for a filmmaker seeking the perfect filming location, making it the perfect cinematic setting for a range of productions including the Academy Award winning Out of Africa, the real-life murder mystery White Mischief, and, more recently, To Walk with the Lions, the biopic of famed conservationist George Adamson.
Kenya hosted the filming of 1989 Bob Rafelson’s historical drama “Mountains of the Moon” The story of Captain Richard Francis Burton’s and Lt. John Hanning Speke’s expedition to find the source of the Nile river in the name of Queen Victoria’s British Empire. The film tells the story of their meeting, their friendship emerging amidst hardship, and then dissolving after their journey. This Film which was shot in diverse locations including Hell’s Gate, Lamu, and Lake Turkana showed Kenya at its best. Kenya has since received frequent visits for its epic location for several Hollywood blockbusters, including Tomb Raider and the sequel to the third season of Survivor which was filmed from July 11, 2001 through August 18, 2001 in Kenya’s Shaba National Reserve which offered the perfect combination of beautiful locale, stunning wildlife and plenty of opportunity for adventure.
Subsequent productions have included the 2001 German film “Nowhere in Africa” a film telling the story of the life in Kenya of a German-Jewish family that emigrated there in 1938 to escape persecution in Nazi Germany. This film was shot in different location including Baringo, Bogoria and Mt Kenya,. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film as well as five German Film Prizes, including best feature film of 2001.
Loiyangalani, which is a small town located on the southeastern coast of Lake Turkana was a filming location for the 2005 box-office hit “The Constant Gardener”.
Maasai Mara, Kenya’s world famous game reserve, was named one of the new Seventh Wonders of the World. It is globally famous for its exceptional population of lions, leopards and cheetahs, and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and wildebeest to and from the Serengeti every year from July to October, known as the Great Migration.
Big Cat Diary was a long-running nature documentary series on BBC television which follows the lives of African big cats in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. The show follows the lives of the big cats living in the reserve.
Kenya has continued to be a great location for most television wildlife productions. Many award winning wildlife series have been shot on location in Kenya by BBC Natural History, Discovery, Survival and other production houses.