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Laws for DJI mini - Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia

Joined
Jul 1, 2022
Messages
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Age
29
Location
Australia
Hello!

New drone owner here! I have been trying to find information on flying the Maveric mini in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia and if the drone needs to be registered?

Has anyone had experience with this and can help a girl out?

Thank you in advance

Adrienne
 
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I use UAV Coach Website for information about drone rules in other locations. I have found them to be very helpful. Check them out.
 
Hello!

New drone owner here! I have been trying to find information on flying the Maveric mini in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia and if the drone needs to be registered?

Has anyone had experience with this and can help a girl out?

Thank you in advance

Adrienne
To date, I have been on 13 Africa safaris. I guess you are planning a safari there? My advise to you would be to put the drone and batteries in your carry on, and the rest in your checked bags. Once through the initial customs at your first of entry, you are more or less safe since the inter-country transfers on safaris are usually on bush planes. Once you arrive at your safari camp, check out the places where you could get off to the edges of the camp and fly. For my own self, I would never ask permission from the guide or the lodge manager. Their default positions is ALWAYS NO. Once your flight is done they will either ignore your or admonish you, but in the meantime, you have your footage.

Do not take the drone on safari for obvious reasons. It will annoy your car mates, as well as the animals. But I do like to get establishing shots of the camps. I go up and shoot some stills and video and come right back down. In a few cases, I did a circle of the camp. In the extremely unlikely case where they approve of your flying, I would try to get some overhead views of game where you could hand catch the drone. Guests are never allowed to leave a vehicle. Those lions could be on you in 15 seconds. Please check out the kinds of drone shots I got on my last safari, September,2021 to Tanzania and Kenya, 23:16 minutes.
 
Dale - very impressive video of your safari trip. It is almost like being there. It seems that less than 5% was shot with your drone. I also liked your editing and use of birdsong and other ambient sounds. Your video stands well enough alone with just your fine stills, time lapse and gimbal videos.

You had to have also dragged along several lenses for your digital still camera, a gimbal and a tripod. That is a lot of gear! Unless you had a private safari nobody would wait for you to set up a drone flight even if the guide said it was allowed, so I can see why you only shot at the campgrounds.

I would worry that some of these areas near a wildlife preserve would have big fines for drone use. Didn’t you worry about that? I am planning a trip with Road Scholar to Machi Pichu and Galapagos and pretty much decided to leave the drone at home.

Thanks again for posting this!
 
Dale - very impressive video of your safari trip. It is almost like being there. It seems that less than 5% was shot with your drone. I also liked your editing and use of birdsong and other ambient sounds. Your video stands well enough alone with just your fine stills, time lapse and gimbal videos.

You had to have also dragged along several lenses for your digital still camera, a gimbal and a tripod. That is a lot of gear! Unless you had a private safari nobody would wait for you to set up a drone flight even if the guide said it was allowed, so I can see why you only shot at the campgrounds.

I would worry that some of these areas near a wildlife preserve would have big fines for drone use. Didn’t you worry about that? I am planning a trip with Road Scholar to Machi Pichu and Galapagos and pretty much decided to leave the drone at home.

Thanks again for posting this!
Joel:
You are right in your estimate of the drone time. I was careful to avoid flying on safari. We were quite fortunate in having a private driver in every camp throughout! These usually run about $400 a day! I was, indeed, burdened by a lot of gear but I needed every single bit of it. I did leave the big 14-24mm f/2.8 wide angle home, but rented and carried the 10 pound Nikkor 600 mm f/4. In addition, there was the Osmo Pocket,Osmo Action, and Osmo OM4 using the gimbal. I carried two DSLR bodies and two 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lenses. And also two tripods.

As far as fines, we were in the Serengeti (Tanzania) and in the Masai Mara (Kenya). There is nobody around us for miles and miles to see me fly if I had wanted to. These parks are the size of some United States. I never worried about flying the drone in camp for a second and never planned on flying from the vehicle on safari. As I mentioned, you are never allowed to leave the vehicle. Our only times outside of the vehicle were at carefully selected open areas where we had the morning coffee and breakfast breaks, with views in all directions of any approaching animals. We had afternoon sundowners for gin and tonics and snacks in the same way. I could have flown at these times.

As my wife and I always say, if you had only three places to visit in your lifetime, they should be Africa, Africa and Africa.

Happy to answer any questions.

Dale
 
To date, I have been on 13 Africa safaris. I guess you are planning a safari there? My advise to you would be to put the drone and batteries in your carry on, and the rest in your checked bags. Once through the initial customs at your first of entry, you are more or less safe since the inter-country transfers on safaris are usually on bush planes. Once you arrive at your safari camp, check out the places where you could get off to the edges of the camp and fly. For my own self, I would never ask permission from the guide or the lodge manager. Their default positions is ALWAYS NO. Once your flight is done they will either ignore your or admonish you, but in the meantime, you have your footage.

Do not take the drone on safari for obvious reasons. It will annoy your car mates, as well as the animals. But I do like to get establishing shots of the camps. I go up and shoot some stills and video and come right back down. In a few cases, I did a circle of the camp. In the extremely unlikely case where they approve of your flying, I would try to get some overhead views of game where you could hand catch the drone. Guests are never allowed to leave a vehicle. Those lions could be on you in 15 seconds. Please check out the kinds of drone shots I got on my last safari, September,2021 to Tanzania and Kenya, 23:16 minutes.
So you did this without a permit and you had no major issues? Which countries were you flying in? Thank you
 
Joel:
You are right in your estimate of the drone time. I was careful to avoid flying on safari. We were quite fortunate in having a private driver in every camp throughout! These usually run about $400 a day! I was, indeed, burdened by a lot of gear but I needed every single bit of it. I did leave the big 14-24mm f/2.8 wide angle home, but rented and carried the 10 pound Nikkor 600 mm f/4. In addition, there was the Osmo Pocket,Osmo Action, and Osmo OM4 using the gimbal. I carried two DSLR bodies and two 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lenses. And also two tripods.

As far as fines, we were in the Serengeti (Tanzania) and in the Masai Mara (Kenya). There is nobody around us for miles and miles to see me fly if I had wanted to. These parks are the size of some United States. I never worried about flying the drone in camp for a second and never planned on flying from the vehicle on safari. As I mentioned, you are never allowed to leave the vehicle. Our only times outside of the vehicle were at carefully selected open areas where we had the morning coffee and breakfast breaks, with views in all directions of any approaching animals. We had afternoon sundowners for gin and tonics and snacks in the same way. I could have flown at these times.

As my wife and I always say, if you had only three places to visit in your lifetime, they should be Africa, Africa and Africa.

Happy to answer any questions.

Dale
So you also didn't obtain a permit and had no issues? Just choose where you fly carefully and you should be alright? Thank you!
 
So you also didn't obtain a permit and had no issues? Just choose where you fly carefully and you should be alright? Thank you!
I have pretty much encapsulated all that I have to say about this In my above comments. Do as your heart feels and at your own risk/ tolerance. Put your drone in your carry on,(I use my camera bag) bring it into the country and it will usually go through the scanner, and you are on your way. When you get to your destination, assess your situation. I make it a habit to always fly stealth. I have totally given up on getting permits. I have tried numerous times and it is always a waste of bureaucratic time. I have spent hours e-mailing and actually even calling Kenya, Tanzania, Dubai, Abdu Dhabi, Oman, etc. etc. I have met with non-responses for weeks, bureaucratic paperwork, and impossible regulations. Forget about it. If the penalties are severe (Oman - for example- $10,000 USD fine and a year in jail) I don't even consider bringing the drone.

So bring it in, fly stealth, and ask permission later. Use common sense, don't fly on safari, and have fun!
 
@Adri-sharkdrone I would ABSOLUTELY ask for permission to fly in any "foreign" area/country. Many countries do not take kindly to visitors/foreigners scoffing their laws and could "Make An Example" out of you due to disrespect for their laws.

I respect Dale because of his skills and experience but suggesting that someone just "do it and not ask permission because you expect NO to be the answer" is at the very least rude and negligent advice. I'm very disappointed to see this type of advice from someone I respect.

Look at this case (and it's a Worse Case Scenario) as to what happened to a fellow UAS operator (French) who made a similar mistake in Iran . . .


As good people and positive role models we should advise or fellow UAS operators to be careful and to NEVER scoff at laws we know nothing about. Unless you're willing to help pay the fines and associated court/legal fees it's highly suggested to error on the side of CAUTION!!
 
@Adri-sharkdrone I would ABSOLUTELY ask for permission to fly in any "foreign" area/country. Many countries do not take kindly to visitors/foreigners scoffing their laws and could "Make An Example" out of you due to disrespect for their laws.

I respect Dale because of his skills and experience but suggesting that someone just "do it and not ask permission because you expect NO to be the answer" is at the very least rude and negligent advice. I'm very disappointed to see this type of advice from someone I respect.

Look at this case (and it's a Worse Case Scenario) as to what happened to a fellow UAS operator (French) who made a similar mistake in Iran . . .


As good people and positive role models we should advise or fellow UAS operators to be careful and to NEVER scoff at laws we know nothing about. Unless you're willing to help pay the fines and associated court/legal fees it's highly suggested to error on the side of CAUTION!!
Big Al:
My utmost respect for your comments. My response to this is that I understand your feelings and stand chastised. Your reaction is exactly what I would have expected from my statements and certainly agree with your comments.I stand reprimanded.

If you actually look at the footage I submit, you will see that at no time do I endanger anyone in my flights. I assess each and every flight extremely carefully. I scrutinize the situation, as we all do before lifting off. If there is the slightest risk of injury, I do not fly. Most of my flights are over uninhabited, vast expanses, and frequently over water. I have done a lot of international travel and in my last two trips (Africa -Tanzania and Kenya) + Chile, both cases involved applications for permits. I was met with the usual beurocrasy, forms, and endless lack of communications. In Tanzania, I never took off the drone. In Kenya, only at my extremely remote camp in the Maasai Mara (bigger than many noted States), there was nobody in the camp at the time of the flight. In Chile, the same. I flew from a vantage point where I never lost VLOS and over vast empty spaces. You can check the videos on Vimeo.

By the way, I actually did manage to get a Kenya permit, but I still did not ask the lodge manager. After those flights, he mentioned the drone to me and I said I had a permit and then went back to my tent and got it and showed it to him. I never got the permit for Tanzania, and as mentioned, did not fly there.

As far as putting myself at risk (your example of the Frenchman), I already have assessed that risk in the case of my intention not to bring the drone to my next travels (UAE). I am not stupid and I know when not to risk it. Fines there are heavy and jail terms exist. They recently had a terrorist drone attack (Houthi rebels).

My retreat to stealth flying still stands. Most government workers default to"no." This apparently applies to discussions in the forum too.

Dale
 
Big Al:
My utmost respect for your comments. My response to this is that I understand your feelings and stand chastised. Your reaction is exactly what I would have expected from my statements and certainly agree with your comments.I stand reprimanded.

If you actually look at the footage I submit, you will see that at no time do I endanger anyone in my flights. I assess each and every flight extremely carefully. I scrutinize the situation, as we all do before lifting off. If there is the slightest risk of injury, I do not fly. Most of my flights are over uninhabited, vast expanses, and frequently over water. I have done a lot of international travel and in my last two trips (Africa -Tanzania and Kenya) + Chile, both cases involved applications for permits. I was met with the usual beurocrasy, forms, and endless lack of communications. In Tanzania, I never took off the drone. In Kenya, only at my extremely remote camp in the Maasai Mara (bigger than many noted States), there was nobody in the camp at the time of the flight. In Chile, the same. I flew from a vantage point where I never lost VLOS and over vast empty spaces. You can check the videos on Vimeo.

By the way, I actually did manage to get a Kenya permit, but I still did not ask the lodge manager. After those flights, he mentioned the drone to me and I said I had a permit and then went back to my tent and got it and showed it to him. I never got the permit for Tanzania, and as mentioned, did not fly there.

As far as putting myself at risk (your example of the Frenchman), I already have assessed that risk in the case of my intention not to bring the drone to my next travels (UAE). I am not stupid and I know when not to risk it. Fines there are heavy and jail terms exist. They recently had a terrorist drone attack (Houthi rebels).

My retreat to stealth flying still stands. Most government workers default to"no." This apparently applies to discussions in the forum too.

Dale


My advise was directed specifically at the OP and their operations. It had nothing to do with your video or what you have done. To be honest, I didn't even watch the video as I wanted to address your advice to the OP only.

You're welcome to give advice on the forum just be prepared to see and feel opposing views especially when it comes to giving advice that could literally affect someone else's very freedom and future.

Allen
 
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