Top 10 Best Film Locations and Studios in Africa

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While African stories may be the new frontier in filmmaking around the world, their locations and some of their studios are already as storied as some of their counterparts in Hollywood. So much so that many Hollywood blockbusters have their roots on the African continent. From the sprawling safaris in Kenya to the enthralling desert in Namibia, and from the beauty of Cape Town to the Atlas Studio in Morocco, these are the best locations and studios on the African continent.

1. Atlas Studios, Ouarzazate, Morocco

Arguably Africa’s biggest film studio, Atlas Studio, is located in Ouarzazate, a city in Morroco. Since opening its doors to the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, it has grown to become Hollywood’s go-to place in Africa, earning the nickname ”OUARZAWOOD”. Notable Hollywood films shot at Atlas Studios include ‘’The Jewel of the Nile’’, ‘’Gladiators’’, ‘’Game of Thrones’’, ‘’Prince of Persia’’, ‘’Passion of the Christ’’, ‘’Mummy’’, and many others.

And at 31,000 square feet, the Atlas Studios are regarded by many as the biggest film set when it comes to land mass in the world. It also has another attraction: production companies and tourists get to see locations in situ, i.e., the left-behind sets of some of Hollywood’s most iconic movies.

This is unique to Atlas Studios because it is big enough to have one set built beside another without any being dismantled.

2. The Cape Town Film Studios

Cape Town Film Studio is a custom-built, Hollywood-style studio in Cape Town, South Africa. It is regarded by many as the best custom-built film studio in sub-Saharan Africa, and it has a dedicated studio for media, film, entertainment, and art facilities. Movies filmed at the Cape Town Studios are ‘’Mad Max: Fury Road’’, ‘’Safehouse’’, ‘’Doctor Who’’, ‘’Black Beauty’’, ‘’Northmen, A Viking Saga’’, ‘’Bloodshot’’, ‘’Deep Blue Sea’’, and ‘’House Party,” amongst others.

3. Cape Town

Cape Town in South Africa has often been regarded as the “little Hollywood” both internationally and nationally due to the beauty it brings to filming with its natural beauty.

4. Johannesburg

Arguably one of South Africa’s best locations when it comes to filming, the beautiful skyscrapers and metropolitan backdrops that adorn the city give it the aura and beauty that make it a marketable destination for film production for producers from around the world.

Some of the world-class films shot in Johannesburg include The Final Chapter and The Giver.

5. Morocco

Morocco as a whole is a prime destination for Hollywood movies, partly due to its ability to camouflage other countries easily and the availability of skilled people.

Since early 1900, the North African country has surprisingly been the host for some of Hollywood’s biggest movies. While Atlas Studios will take most of the plaudits, other locations have pulled their weight with CVs other countries can only envy.

Movies shot in other locations in Morocco are Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible (Casablanca), John Wick 3 (Essaouira), Sex and the City 2 (Marrakech), and Inception (Tangier).

6. Kenya

No list of popular film locations in Africa would be complete without the sprawling, beautiful landscapes of Kenya. The country has always been one of the most preferred locations for wildlife filming and comical stories. It all started in 1985, after the filming of the hugely popular ‘’Out of Africa,” featuring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. The movie was shot in the Ngong Hills.

Other popular movie locations in Kenya are Baringo and Loiyangalani. Movies shot in Kenya include ‘’Cradle of Life’’, ‘’Hell’s Gate’’, ‘’Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life’’, “Sense 8, and countless National Geographic documentaries. Kenya is also a great location for wildlife documentaries, and a lot of the most popular and award-winning ones have been shot there, including by Discovery, the BBC, etc.

7. The Namib desert

Uninhabited, grand, and enthralling, the Namib Desert, located in the southern African country of Namibia, has been one of the go-to locations for some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. The race to shoot in Namibia started in 1968, when Stanley Kubrick shot ‘’2001: A Space Odyssey’’ in Namibia. The movie won the Oscar for best visual effects. Other movies shot in Namibia are ‘’The Hunters’’, ‘’The Cell’’, ‘’Flight of the Phoenix’’, ‘’10,000’’, ‘’The Mummy,” and ‘’Mad Max: Fury Road’’.

8. Egypt

Ancient, exotic, and unique are some of the words that best describe Egypt, and Hollywood and even Africans have written hundreds of stories to celebrate this otherworldly quality of the Northern African country. And where better to shoot than the place itself? While unrest may have reduced the influx of foreign projects being shot in Egypt, the country still possesses a storied history with Hollywood blockbusters and remains one of the go-to locations for movies.

Movies shot in Egypt include Malcolm X, The Ten Commandments, The Spy Who Loved Me, The Mummy, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Fair Game.

9. EbonyLifeTV

EbonyLife Studios is one of the most prolific studios on the African continent, churning out some of the best local movies. The studio, located in Nigeria, has entered into a lot of international deals to bring African stories to life. Not just your average studio, EbonyLife Studios is more concerned about bringing African stories to the big screen, and they have been successful in doing just that.

They have released a lot of original African stories, including three of which have gone on to be among the highest-grossing movies of all time at the Nigerian box office.

10. Kap Film Village

Kap Film Village, owned by the prodigious Nigerian filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, is one of the new film studios poised to make an impact shortly. Sitting on a 40-acre plot of land in Igbojaye, in Oyo State, Nigeria, the studio was where Anikulapo, Afolayan’s latest collaboration with Netflix, was shot, with all infrastructure on set built from scratch.















































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