Reviews of DumaTau
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
The new Duma Tau is a gorgeous camp
We visited Duma Tua the first week in October 2012 shortly after they re-opened in their new location. The camp is a classic camp but in my opinion should be a Premier camp for their decor alone. I was amazed at how well decorated the tents were.
If you are from the US, the decor is very Restoration Hardware and the rooms are gorgeous. Amazingly, I did not see one bug in our room the entire time. The Linyanti area was extremely hot and dry during our stay and supposedly were having a bit of a heat wave as one of the days reach 44C. This area this time of year is very dry so you may not see much greenery. The camp is located right on the water (surprisingly hardly any mosquitoes) and at night, we would constantly hear the hippos and the elephants swimming across the water. Noises that I will miss forever and that I found quite comforting.
We saw all the Big 5 except the Rhino as the do not have any in this area. Many hippos, giraffes, hyenas, wild dogs, many african eagles and owls, impalas, kudus, baboons, vultures, ostrichs, etc. A couple of the highlights were watching the elephants swim across the chanel. It was done so elegantly with their snorkels out of the water. Another highlight was taking their pontoon boat and watching a mother elephant tyring to teach her baby how to swim across the channel. The baby was so naughty that he was going in the opposite direction but quite a sight to see as the mother would swim half way and have to come back because her baby was not following.
Another highlight was watching the wild dogs chase a rabbit. The entire scene was so fast that it was like a cartoon. Wild dogs were also chasing the impalas. The impalas won. Another major highlight was tracking a leopard and watch it stalk an injured impala. The other impalas sent out a warning and the leopard lost its element of surprise. Another highlight was seeing a hippo graze while out of the water which I guess is not very common. Because there is more water in this area, the animals were easier to spot by the water. We did also see a couple of shy male lions but they were new to the area so were in hiding most of the time. Overall, it was a great area. We spent 3 nights at this camp but I feel that 2 would have been sufficient. Two nights per camp is enough as you will have plenty of drives and it is great to see other areas.
Our Guide was very good and the service was excellent. I would highly recommend this camp
Dum,a Tau is great
Fabulous. Excellent friendly staff who were very attentive and helpful.
The small nature of the camp and the limitations of numbers in the land rovers and the rule of no more than three land rovers around game at any one time made this a great game viewing experience. Our guide, Ron, was an outstanding tracker and found us leopard on three days!
Lovely camp at Duma Tau
Our guide, Ron, was terrific. It was VERY cold both nights - food was OK, a lot but not terrificRead more about the whole safari
We liked this place very much. Staff was very warm and friendly, we liked our guide and saw an amazing amount of wildlife and they were serious about showing it to us.
Only positive things to say.
Our final camp and perhaps the one we felt was less welcoming than the other ones that we had stayed at. The staff were professional and eficient but similar to Chitbae there was a less homely feel than the Kwando camps.
The camp was, roughly the same size of lagoon camp, connected by boardwalks and was perfectly located adjacent to a watercourse which improved the sightings around camp compared to Chitabe.
The room provided similar faciliites to the other camps we visited but was showing signs of wear (including numerous tears in the mosquito net) and the size of the room was a slight issue in that the toilet was seperated from the bed by a curtain whereas in previous camps had been a seperate room. The outside area was cramped with the space for only one sun bed and had privacy issues (a window of room 2 looked straight onto the outdoor shower of our room)
However, the facilities around camp were good and it has an amazing pool area with swing beds that overlooks the watercourse and can provide nice views of the local wildlife whilst lazing around during the day. Food was of similar standard to Chitabe and a bush dinner on the first night added welcome variety. Activities to our knowledge consists only of game drives but were well thought out, with all the guides working as a team to improve the chances of good sightings and included a nice scenic drive to see the Savute Channel.
Ron, our guide was very friendly and conscientious and made for a good atmosphere on game drives. Our first sighting was a leopard in a tree which we have now seen on the wilderness website. To see a photograph on the site and know we were there was fantastic and brings back our good memories. A nice relaxing end to a brilliant trip.
This camp turned out to be our least favorite although the animal sitings were quite good. It is a larger camp and we found it too big. As a consequence it was more regimented in its activities. For example they did not offer when requested to let us stay out the whole day as we did in Kwetsani.
Being a dry camp we had to spend a lot of time in a car looking for game which is more difficult to find given the type of terrain of this camp. This said we had our only close encounter with a huge bull elephant at our tents front entrance which was made more exciting by a group of quarrelous baboons who were showering us their leftover hard fruit from the canopy of trees above us.
The hides mentioned in your writeup create an incorrect expectation. The two hides have to reached by car and were not offered by the camp. One apprently no longer is useful due to water movement in the Savuti channel.
Amazing tracker ar Dumatau
Dissapointing that the lion pride has been decimated in recent years (only 3 left) but the amazing tracking by our guide found leopards and wild dogs galore. Fantastic offroad dashes through the bush in pursuit of both leopards and following the dogs on their hunts.
Troublesome elphants in camp disrupted the water supply briefly but gave some great eye-to-eye encounters!
Saved the best till last
Duma Tau turned out to be our favourite camp on many counts. The management Anton & Martin were extremely friendly & helpful. (How can you leave beautiful Botswana to move to Leeds Anton?) After initial formalities Martin escorted us to our chalet (the honeymoon suite - rather wasted on a couple of senior citizens like us - especially as a couple of genuine honeymooners arrived the next day). Here we were introduced to George the camps resident elephant.
Accommodation & food were excellent & the staff friendly & efficient. In general the area, especially near the Savuti Channel & Linyanti Swamp was extremely scenic.
On our first game drive with our guide Ron we watched a herd of red lechwe bounding through shallow water & later tracked lion, finding a female & her two 2 year old male cubs beside the channel. The two boys engaged in lengthy stalking & play fighting rough & tumble beside our vehicle & mum actually joined in for a while - a joy to watch.
The following morning as we were finishing breakfast Ron rushed in & informed us that he had heard alarm calls nearby & suspected a leopard was the cause. Sure enough we were soon following a large male (well known at camp for being very tolerant of vehicles). When we stopped he approached & rolled around in the grass like a playful kitten.
With Ron's expert guidance we saw usual game in beautiful surroundings. Special moments were - elephants at a mud bath, the male lion & two lionesses at a giraffe kill (with one lioness heavily pregnant & a birth imminent) an African wildcat, an eagle owl in the spotlight, a hunting party of 10 wild dogs along the channel, four species of mongoose (dwarf, slender,yellow & banded) another leopard ( son of the first one) in the spotlight, a second sighting of the lioness & her two sons wading & dashing across a river channel & an hour or so fishing with Ron at his favourite spot.
On our last brief morning drive before departure we intercepted 3 wild dogs bellies bulging with food from a warthog kill, running along the banks of the channel looking for a safe place (no crocs) to swim across to the far bank & their cubs waiting at the den. Then it was off to the airfield & our last memory - chasing a herd of zebra off the strip to allow the plane to land.
Another nice camp, set in the jungle, with long walkways to the room. Some game viewing from the public areas, including kudu, giraffe and a hippo grazing at night. Food was average, with afternoon tea once again being the culinary high-light. Staff as friendly and kind as ever, and a good management pair in charge, Vasco and Miriam (so good in fact that they have since been promoted to a premier camp).
Game here was frankly amazing. We began with a lovely sighting of 10 lions baskng in the late afternoon sun, including 3 playful juveniles, and getting up to drink water, and generally being a bit more active than these inert but fine beasts usually are. The park was exceptionally beautiful, with the ability to drive for a long time alongside the river. There were simply hundreds and hundreds of elephant crossing the river, drinking, bathng, and generally taking their usual healthy interest in the game vehicles in their midst - lots of trumpeting, ear flapping, mock charges - a good time was had by all.
We saw roan antelope drinking at the river, a lioness in a bush looking after 3 tiny new-born cubs, 2 giant eagle owls, a leopard right out in the open in the late daylight, as he began hunting impala, lions at a kudu kill, cheetah walking at dusk, a lone wild dog eyeing up an impala which the pack had chased onto an island in the middle of the river - unreachable, it turned out.
Perhaps the most awe-inspring sight was a day-time viewing (on a cool and overcast morning) of the rarely seen pangolin. It crossed the road ahead of us while we were enjoying ourselves at an elephant convention, and we followed it as it walked off through the bush on its hind legs. It then curled up into a ball, and we were allowed down from the vehicle for a close encounter. Mind-blowing! Staff from the camp came out to see it, it was such a rarity.
This was the only camp to set out clearly what the different activity options were, and to arrange them with you in advance. So, we did our one and only 'proper' night drive, going out for 2 hours after dinner. We saw lion too, with one male wandering along the road and roaring to his companions.
Our guide was delightful and made a lot of effort to give us a good time.
The management team made it clear that we could opt for private dining if we wished - the only team to make this offer - and gave us a fabulous last night private table with a view, and complimentary champagne. How's that for service?!
Once more, a triumph for Botswana and the game!
A Top Botswana Camp
Whilst a little larger than most Botswana Camps it did not feel that way - even with a full camp and a large tour group. Our experience at Duma Tau was nothing less than exceptional
The management team lead by Miriam and Vasco are very very good indeed - not only in what you see them do - but what you do not see them do - and even with a big tour group in camp - who demanded a lot of attention - they were well prepared for individual arriving couples and very alive to the preferences and requests of those couples.Karen and Keke completed the management set-up and were also great fun as well as very good at their jobs.The camp is currently so obviously a happy one and it shows.
If you want it - the enthusiasm and can do attitude of the management and guiding team to maximise your time out in the bush or to set out early for a particular interest was exceptional and was much appreciated by us and will be well remembered by us.
We were priveleged to have the legendary and remarkable Thebe ( Mr T ) as our guide - Thebo s knowledge of the area his sheer enthusiasm as well as patience and skill in reading the wildlife resulted in 3 days of superb game sightings and experiences. Excellent Cheetah lion leopard and wild dog sightings - plus spectacular elephant herds .Thebe - Thank you.We will be back for more as soon as we can.
The savuti channel area has undergone a complete transformation which is quite remarkable in such a short period of time and the game patterns accordingly are adapting - but there is a lot of game as ever and now in truly stunning scenery.There is a rich diversity of terrain to be explored from duma tau and this makes it particularly interesting. The short boat trips into the lagoon also offer a different perspective of your immediate environment.
The camp itelf is wilderness quality throughout and the rooms are large very comfortable and well positioned with good views over the lagoon.
The public areas are likewise v. comfortable - great little plunge pool right by the lagoon.The food is to typically excellent wilderness standard.