Drone Regulations in Africa

Africa attracts more and more drone pilots with its enchanting landscapes. Unfortunately, the legislation does not keep pace with this development. Here I try to get a little light into the darkness and enlighten about the current drone laws in Africa.

For a better overview, we have summarized the provisions vividly in two Africa maps: The first map is for the private use of drones and the second card represents the regulations for commercial drones.

Africa map for private drone pilots

Africa map private Placeholder
Africa map private
Africa map for commercial drone users

Africa map commercial Placeholder
Africa map commercial
  • Green indicates that you can use your copter without prior authorization under the applicable regulations. In many cases, you can get a special permit for operations beyond the rules. In some countries, you may fly without authorization, but only without a mounted camera. These countries are not green – but yellow – marked; as most pilots certainly want to create films and photographs.
  • Yellow indicates that you need to register your drone or yourself, you must apply for a permit or you need to pass a test. You will learn the details below.
  • Red indicates that the commissioning of drones is prohibited. In these countries, you should be especially careful, because even at the airport your drone can be confiscated partially under the laws or you can be arrested only because of the possession of the drone.
  • Grey means that I have not found reliable information or I do not sufficiently understand the drone laws. If you can help here, I appreciate your comment below the article!

Before you start here, you should also read my article on the international drone laws view. There I list general safety precautions that you should always be aware and call tips for dealing with no-fly areas.

Drone Rules in African Countries:

Botswana, CameroonDemocratic Republic of CongoEgyptEthiopiaGhanaKenyaLiberiaMadagascarMauritiusMoroccoNamibiaNigeria, RwandaSeychellesSouth Africa, SwazilandTanzania, TunisiaUganda, ZambiaZimbabwe

Have you had experience with a drone in Africa? Then we talk about it in the comments!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


  • Falco | 25.04.2017

    Hi Francis,

    Thanks for all the info gathered in the website. Very handy. I also travel in Africa with my drone. Jsut went twice to Tanzania and had some beautiful footage. There is still no regulation there except that you can’t fly over national parks.

    For Ethiopia, did you arrange the permit beforehand or is it possible perhaps to get it on arrival? If you have a good contact to arrange it beforehand could you possibly PM it to me? that would be very much appreciated.

    have a good day,


  • Saibal Sen | 08.05.2017

    I am traveling to Zambia (Victoria Falls & South Luangwa Forest) and then to Ngorongoro and Serengeti, while transiting thru Nairobi.
    I have a Mavic Pro and am wondering if I could use it during the travel to take aerial landscape as well as videos of our group. It seems it is legal in Zambia and you say it is the same for Tanzania. But, if they confiscate the drone in Nairobi, then I could get stuck in red tape. Right? Or is it a well defined process?
    One of the tented camps we will be staying in Zambia will have just us and so I have less concerns of privacy. I will never fly near anyone who doesn’t give me explicit permission nor will I fly near game as I will scare them. What are your thoughts?
    I live in San Francisco, where drone flying is banned except one location (Fort Funston) and I respect that.

    • Alberto | 28.11.2017

      Hello did you take the drone to your trip? I’m traveling on a trip to Kenya (Nairobi Masai Mara, Mozambique, Johannesburg -Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls) want to take a DJI Spark. Worried about getting the drone confiscated in Kenya. Do you have any tips or recommendations?

      • Saibal Sen | 08.12.2017

        No, I didn’t. I contacted Nairobi airport and was surprised that they responded promptly. They will hold the drone at the airport after you fill up some paperwork on arrival and return it to you when you leave. Unfortunately, that processing center at the airport works only between 9-5 on Mon-Tue, and I wa getting in late night on a transit halt and leaving at 7AM next day. So, I decided not to carry it with me.

  • P White | 19.05.2017

    I am in West Africa with a Mavic that I use for environmental shots for clients. Its a new idea. Are there any restrictions I should heed? Thanks.

  • MARIANNE FERNANDEZ | 15.06.2017

    Thank you for this very interesting blog, it helped me a lot.
    So I come to share my last experience with you. I went to Tanzania, Zanzibar, by Kenya.
    I only made a stopover in Kenya so no problem, and in Tanzania likewise, no need to make any particular request. The inhabitants were very interested and curious, they welcomed the new device they did not know. You have to think about contacting the airlines, who will give you their agreement or not. With their agreement you can print, you will have additional chances to pass.
    Have a good flight!

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      Thanks for the info! 🙂

  • Johann | 29.10.2017

    Recently travelled to Eastern Congo and flew into Kigali. My drone was confiscated at the airport with the officer telling me that drones are illegal in Rwanda. I was allowed to pick up the drone the next morning to transfer to Congo. At the border to DRC they checked if the drone was actually leaving the country.
    Was a bit of a pain but the officials seem reliable.
    Couldn’t find any information online about any new regulations in Rwanda though.

  • Sarah | 09.11.2017

    Thank you for this. I was just searching drone laws for Africa. I wonder if any of these places offer exceptions. Drone footage would be a great way to promote some of the amazing landscapes in Africa! A shame that some places have a ban.

  • Monya | 25.12.2017

    Hi all, do you have info/experience of flying in Zimbabwe – Victoria Falls? Is it better to take off from Zambian side or from Zimbabwe?

  • George Czartoryski | 23.03.2018

    Hi Im plan at 07.2018 go to Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana and get with me the DJI Mavic air . Finally do I need have any speciall permission ?
    Shall I show tchem that dron at the borders ?
    I will be very happy to have a answer
    best and thank You

  • Richard Spre | 13.08.2018

    I am traveling from Houston to Istanbul to Mombasa and going on Safari for a while. I’ll be traveling with Magic Pro. Can anyone share information if I am taking personal footage.

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