Reviews of DumaTau Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
DumaTau Camp review
Lovely camp to start with on our trip. The amenities were appreciated and the camp staff was gracious.
There did seem to be a discrepancy between administrative staff and the (local African) staff that organized game drives, kitchen/food, etc. Some of the latter did not quite know what to make of 4 men traveling together and certainly were puzzled when they heard we were two couples - this didn't really hinder our overall experience here, but there were some awkward questions about the nature of our relationships that could have been avoided had they been told that we were gay men.
We particularly enjoyed the sunset boat ride on the lake/swamp in front of the lodge where we saw a beautiful sunset and saw elephants swimming. The staff organized a special seating/dinner and sparkling wine for Michael's birthday, which was very nice. Separate seating requests for our group were accommodated. We liked the room, but would have appreciated an outdoor shower (and more hot water). The food was inconsistent - some good and some just mediocre.
Beautiful, exciting, indulgent luxury
Duma Tao means Roar of the Lion, which was delivered- one lion and two lionesses! The camp is situated on the Savute channel with a spectacular view, across the channel to Namibia, where we watched several dozen elephants crossing sans passport of visa! When the elephants came, we were offered to slip out onto the water on a boat that was more like a floating lounge! The sunsets were the most beautiful I'd ever seen, with purple clouds mirrored in the glass-like water. The rooms had every amenity, even a private pool!
The highlight of Duma Tau was our guide, Tank, who is matchless in skill, knowledge and insight. Tank not only found the lions and all of the wildlife, but he knew exactly how to situate the jeep to set up the best shot! It was a privilege to have him as our guide, and lovely to spend time with him.
The staff made special accommodations for me to try the local cuisine (pap and morogo), which I requested. I so enjoyed it that I requested it at every meal for the rest of the trip!
Although Duma Tau is owned by Wilderness Safari, it is unique and has its own character. The management is superb, and raises the bar for luxury safari. We were treated like royalty- kings of the jungle!
Wonderful place. Service great; food (way too) plentiful; land rover trips excellent.
Having said that (and it's in no way Expert's or Duma Tau's or Wilderness's fault): we tired of the earliness of the safaris. The early safari and then siesta might work for those who can snooze during siesta. I can't. And I need my beauty sleep:) And to be honest, I'd rather go out at 8 (and miss the early animal activity which I know exists) than at 6. At least optionally.
Also I discovered that Wilderness is heavily into eco-, with solar and all the rest. Very good stuff, and it ought to be promoted (by them and you) more than it is.
Hot at Duma Tau
The new cabins were very hot with no shade in one of the hottest months of the year. Think the old camp, under the trees, would have been more enjoyable. We spent the afternoons under wet towels or in the pool. The owners of Wilderness Safaris knew of the problem, and tried to placate with excellent meals, but still it was hot in the cabins. Perhaps AC would help. The walk from our cabin, next to the last one, to the main activity area was very long and hot.
The actual safari was excellent, with viewing of a large pack of wild dogs for a couple of mornings. The dogs let our vehicle settle right into their midst, without ever seeming to acknowledge us. This was a testament to how well the guides had habituated them. This was my first experience to the excellent training of the guides by Wilderness Safaris.
Expert Africa comments
We were delighted to read that, other than the temperature of the rooms, these guests had a fantastic time at DumaTau, with excellent game viewing and meals.
That said, we forwarded these travellers comments on to the team at camp for a response on the negative comment regarding the heat inside the tents during the afternoon, they came back to us with the following:
October is probably the hottest month in Botswana; temperatures average 38-40 degrees on most days. It is the end of the dry season, so the build up of heat is at its maximum before the rains arrive. The vegetation is sparse the trees have lost leaves, the grasses are low which affects the shade of most areas in the bush.
Given the lack of vegetation at this time of year, the tents can become hot in the heat of the day, and the camp is glad to hear that the guests utilised the tip of wetting a cloth or towel to cool down, as this little trick works wonders. This is very useful advice for anyone visiting Botswana in late-October.
Our team has looked at the air-conditioning options at length, but the ones with low power usage do not seem to be very effective. They will continue looking for alternative cooling systems which will be both effective, yet at the same time offer a lower carbon footprint. Meanwhile, we hope that the ceiling and pedestal fans in the tents will help to moderate the heat during exceptionally hot times, especially around late-October.
Non stop action at Duma Tau
Our 3 days at Duma Tau were fabulous and excellent for a honeymooning couple. The new rooms are really comfortable with gorgeous views across the lake. The game is also all around you and the camp. On one walk back from the plunge pool (which was the nicest pool of the 3 camps with plenty of shade, a changing room and towels) we encountered a monitor lizard, a giraffe, 2 kudo, impala, guinea fowl, Jamesons firebirds and countless little bee eaters! The camp also has a lot of facilities with plenty of open space to enjoy private views.
The camp gave us 'private dining' on 2 nights out of 3, a bottle of fizz and made us feel very special. Thanks to Olivia for this who, as our host, was incredibly warm and generous. The rest of the staff were also very friendly and welcoming and nothing was too much trouble.
The gaming was the best out of the three camps and provided 4 days of non stop action. We saw pretty much everything at Duma Tau - 2 lions, 5 leopards (one on each of the 4 days we were there and on one occasion a mum with her pup - we did not see leopards anywhere else), a pack of wild dogs, a cheetah, endless hyena (including one in daylight), a hippo out of the water and in day light, a civet (apparently quite rare), a bat-eared fox (also rare) to name but a few. Our guide, Lazi, was top notch. He not only had the skills of a tracker but also was able to deal with guests, respond to our requests and have a laugh with us. He took us on a boat trip in mid-day siesta time which made a very long day for him.
The only non-positive comment about Duma Tau is the fact that it felt less intimate than the other camps and less Botswanan. There are a lot of non-Botswanan staff and the interactions that we had with staff generally felt more 'hotelly' than the other camps. What was great for us was the combination of Duma Tau with the other 2 camps i.e. because we were on our honeymoon it was great to be totally spoilt for a couple of days with high levels of service, but it was also nice to get to know a bit more about Botswana and the Delta life in the other camps.
The highlights - the whole thing!
Duma Tau - beautiful camp
Very beautiful, modernised camp, great location near water.
Mocs, our guide is obviously a senior guide, very experienced. He was quite obsessed with the local group of wild dogs, so we spend most time looking and following them (they were hunting), while by-passing many other animals. Camp has a local big leopard, but we went looking only once.
Wild dogs are of course endangered, but so far, every camp had them.
This was our prettiest camp, superb friendly staff, but with the least variety of sightings.
Duma Tau review
Duma Tau provided a contrasting experience to our previous 2 Kwando camps. The camp had been rebuilt and resited in the last year and really was quite beautiful.
The staff again were incredibly friendly and helpful, the food was first class and the rooms were beautifully done (although a little smaller than the previous 2 camps). We had a great time here and it was a great camp to finish the trip.
Highlights here were going on the water on the last morning up to the Savute Channel and the elephant grazing by the verandah of our tent.
Duma Tau is a very special camp
This is a very special camp with luxurious tents set on the water's edge. Immediately on arrival we watched a herd of elephants swim across the channel.
Our guide was excellent and took us to see a hyenas den. We also saw a leopard, lions, elephants, buffalo, warthogs, hippos and several species of birds.
On our last night we had a private candlelit dinner for two on a pontoon out in the channel. It was very special.
Duma Tau was wonderful
The new Duma Tau is a delight. The tents are lovely and the main building is magical at night.
We saw a huge range of animals and birds.
Excellent guide, Mocks, seemed to be able to find things to order. We even saw a cheetah, the only sighting in our last two visits to Botswana (they used to be a lot easier to find). Difficult to pick out highlights. We saw the wild dogs returning to their den and the puppies all coming out to suckle. Lunch on the boat while watching an enormous herd of elephants swimming across the Linyanti River was also something very special. We saw a leopard lounging in a tree then making a rapid descent to make an attempt at passing impala. Huge variety of birds and animals in the beautiful scenery along the Savute Channel.
'Roads' in this area are deep sand making for very bumpy drives, may not be an ideal area for anyone with back problems.
Our family loved Duma Tau
As our first ever Safari Camp we sure struck it lucky at Duma Tau. Not only were the tents at the new camp absolutely beautiful, the lounge area open and sunny but Johann, Anya, and all the staff were marvelous. Sitting at either the bar chatting to Mr. B or at the dining table, looking over the river was Idyllic. With such a setting we did not object at all to being woken early, given a variety of yummy breakfast options, and put in a Safari vehicle with hot water bottles to head off on Safari. Our guide Tank with his wonderful knowledge, great driving skills and wonderful sense of humour made our stay there hard to beat. Our sunset fishing trip on the big boat was also a lot of fun.
Being next to the river and having a variety of animals wandering between the tents at any time day or night, does add to the experience. Although despite insisting she was fine on her own, our adult daughter did get a fright and I would recommend nervous people, especially children sharing tents.