How was Chimp Empire on Netflix filmed? Explained

April 20, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
Louie Fecou 10
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How was Chimp Empire on Netflix filmed? We discuss the Netflix documentary series and its filming locations. 

Chimp Empire is a fascinating look at a tribe of chimpanzees that live in Uganda’s Ngogo Forest.

Viewers have been gripped by the show, following the community and being amazed at the complex nature of the relationships and activities of these fascinating creatures.

The four-part series is not a Disney-inspired look at a cuddly animal kingdom but a serious study of a society beset by a constant power struggle, reminding us of how close our world is to theirs.

As far as I go, I still haven’t gotten over Jordan Peele’s Nope, so I am perfectly aware of their dangerous capabilities, and that got me thinking about the techniques the production team would have used to make this series, so from my safe position under the table, this tentative article asks the question how was Chimp Empire on Netflix filmed?

How Was Chimp Empire filmed?

Director James Reed had a film crew in the heart of the action at Uganda’s Kibale National Park, complete with scientists and field trackers. The whole project took over a year to complete as they observed the world’s largest known group of chimpanzees.

Even more challenging was the societal nature of the tribe at the time of filming. The group had broken into two opposing sides and was in a power struggle that was often dangerous for all involved.

Reed himself was no stranger to this style of filmmaking and had been aware of the chimp community for a long time, previously making a 2017 documentary called Rise of the Warrior Apes that focussed on the same group. However, the news of the group splitting into two factions excited Reed.

READ: Is Chimp Empire on Netflix Real or Fake?

Luckily, the constant presence of researchers in the area allowed the filmmakers the chance to film the group so closely, as the chimps had become used to the human presence after so many years.

As long as the production team stayed within the parameters allowed by the chimps, they were accepted and allowed to film.

Where was Chimp Empire filmed?

The documentary series was filmed in Ngogo, Uganda, with extensive shooting being done at the Kibale National Park.

The area has been a site of scientific fascination for decades, with scientists being able to gain close access to the Ngogo Chimpanzee Project.

The film unit would live in a nearby camp surrounded by miles of rainforest in every direction.

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10 thoughts on “How was Chimp Empire on Netflix filmed? Explained

  • April 22, 2023 at 2:49 am

    I absolutely love this show. My heart shattered when Jackson died & to see his friend come over to hold his hand I burst into tears.

  • April 24, 2023 at 3:35 am

    I was amazed how organized the chimpanzees were and the. Documentary did it justice!!!

  • April 27, 2023 at 3:59 pm

    We need more episodes! Absolutely amazing show!!

  • April 28, 2023 at 11:32 pm

    This is a must see show !!! They really got into the chimps heads and it was fascinating to see how they live and care for each other. I was disappointed to see how they’re like us have politics and can’t just all get along. I thought they’re better than that…

  • May 1, 2023 at 3:32 am

    The filmmakers need to do a behind the scenes to show how this was made as I believe that would be equally fascinating!

  • May 13, 2023 at 4:46 am

    INCREDIBLE. I was devastated when Jackson died. The filming is the best I have ever seen.

  • May 19, 2023 at 10:56 am

    What do you mean parameters allowed by the chimps!?! This is amazing, I would love to hear more!

  • May 20, 2023 at 4:52 am

    Great serie ! I have watched 3 times . Amazing I can stop talking about it . Congrats to all de brave crew .

  • May 22, 2023 at 12:47 am

    Beautiful series. Love to see more. Jackson dying made me very sad. and his friend finding him and giving him his hand made me cry. They’re are more beautiful being that us.
    One critic point, Despite the nonhuman involvement policy in filming the nature. we are already involved on their world, hunting and destroying their habitat. Therefore I think he and Porky Pie should have to saved. Jackson was a fine chimpanzee.

  • May 22, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    I am curious if there were ever any situations when the filmmakers were in danger from the chimps? It almost looked like the chimps ignored the humans. As intelligent as the chimps are I would have thought there would be a lot of chimp/human interaction.

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