Reviews of DumaTau
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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.
This was a great camp, and we were lucky to have an extremely experienced guide.
We particularly enjoyed the elephants who wander through the camp every day and animal sightings were very good, including leopard and lion.
Food was decent as were the tents which had a great view out over the river from the deck. They also offered the chance for a short walk, which we did.
We loved this camp the best, the management team were great - enthusiastic, friendly, young lively and made everything so homely. The staff went out of their way to involve and engage everyone. Congratulations! The little personal touches made the excellent exceptional.
Guide - Mocks was a character! Not always sure of the ethics of his driving but the rush from one site to another was really his enthusiasm to get us to the action. We did more off road driving at Duma Tau than anywhere else though. Game viewing amazing.
Bush babies, private lunch by the pool on day of departure - so many little touches here said this camp and its staff were one of the happiest.
too short a time in Duma Tau
I did unfortunately arrive at Duma Tau during a very unseasonal thunderstorm which lasted all night and wiped out the first game drive. The next day it all cleared away and i was able to appreciate this very varied area on the border with Namibia.The Savuti channel was full for the first time in more than 20 years which added an interesting dimension to the viewing but also prevented us from getting closer to some magnificent Cheetahs on the other bank. They actually swam across, so yes Cheetahs swim which I didnt realise! We saw a good number of birds here , vultures , tawny and bateleur eagles , secretary birds and kori bustards and some magnificent giant eagle owls. We also saw a big pride of lions lounging on the road, so we drove around them!
The most unfortunate sighting we had was a badly injured wild dog, the only one of the pack that we came across, the others had long gone. I would like to think that it found the rest of the pack before dark, as its chances were slim I think otherwise.
We also saw plenty of Reedbuck, Steinbuck and even a Waterbuck which are rare, and lots of Lechwe in the marshes. my regret is that I didnt have more time here as there are a lot of varied areas to explore.
The camp is large with excellent management. I was reunited with Karen who had moved from Little Vumbura , my first camp. The staff were all cheerful and helpful. Our guide Thebo ( Mr T ) is a real veteran whose knowledge is second to none, but I did not have quite the same rapport that I had had with the guides at some of the other camps, but he certainly found us plenty of game.
The camp is quite large and though fine not quite as well appointed as others. The food here was again first class and served in an impressive dining room with very long table of solid wood.
Fabulous big cats and staff at Duma Tau
Our favourite camp overall. Staff particularly welcoming, friendly and attentive. Customer satisfaction was obviously their overwhelming priority.
Ambience was very relaxed and view from room superb. Game viewing was excellent with Mocks our guide - pride of 12 lion now in the area, now that Savuti channel is filled with water for the first time in 26 years. Regular sightings of leopard and 4 cheetah in one day!
We were chilly on morning drives and only discovered that we coud have been offered a warm poncho on the last day!
A slightly larger camp resulting in more vehicles around when out on game drives. However, this is offset by more vehicles able to find game and direct other vehicles.
As we found a number of interesting animals, and situations with animals, some of the drives ended up being quite long (eg. 0600 to 1130) but the camp was sufficiently flexible to deal with this when it happened and food was waiting on return!
Once again very friendly staff and guides.
Expert Africa comments
Duma Tau is run by Wilderness Safaris, and when they received this feedback, they commented: "Hi Mrs M - thank you very much for your feedback. You are quite correct regarding DumaTau being a slightly bigger camp with its 10 rooms (10 is the maximum number of rooms in our Botswana Classic Camps), however just so anyone reading your comments doesn't mis-understand, I'd like to qualify our operating standards.
In line with our promise to our guests and to enable us to deliver an as exclusive and uninterrupted African wildlife experience as possible (as far as sustainability allows), Wilderness Safaris' operating standards require that, in our areas, there are never more that three vehicles at any wildlife sighting and, at our Classic Camps, never more than seven guests on a vehicle. In setting these standards we are able to ensure that each guest has an outside seat (to maximize viewing and photographic opportunities) and that sightings/views/photographs are not interrupted or full of other vehicles."
We had an excellent start to our Botswana safari at Duma Tau.
The camp staff and management were all very friendly and helpful and couldn't do anough for us. Food and accomodation also excellent.
Wildlife experiences were probably the best of our holiday with excellent sightings in particular of Wild Dogs, Cheetah, Leopards, Lions and Honey Badger. Knowledge, communication and enthusiasm of our guide (Mocks) was superb.
We really enjoyed Duma Tau. Our guide, Lazi, was excellent. The area along the Selinda channel was full of wildlife. We had great viewings of leopard, lions, cheetah, and hyena. We also saw hippo, crocodile, monitor lizards, and various types of antelope.
The late-night drives offered at this camp were quite interesting - we got to see lots of hippo out of the water grazing, and we also spotted nocturnal creatures such as the genet and the african wild cat!
The camp itself also offered fantastic wildlife viewing -- just sitting by the pool at siesta time we observed a herd of nearly 50 elephants walk past, as well as 2 hippo, several warthog, and a large monitor lizard!
Duma Tau was the most upscale and "ritzy" of the camps we visited. It was larger and more "social." Fellow guests were mostly wealthy-ish tourists from the U.S. Food was fancier than other camps.
The staff was extremely knowledgeable and courteous. The managers seemed to have been educated in the U.S. or England.
The approach to Duma Tau from the air strip is like a moonscape--endless dry terrain & dead-looking trees. but the camp itself is in a green patch on a river, with tons of wildlife. Wildlife frequently came right into the camp! (elephants & hippos & owls). Luxury tent has a wall of windows overlooking a huge marshy plain often filled with herds of game, and at night we heard baboons, elephants etc.
Animals we especially appreciated seeing here: wild dog, leopard, & lion.
Our guide, whose name is Name, was fantastic...very knowledgeable and a good teacher.
On one night, the staff performed an amazing song and dance routine for the entertainment of guests--this was one of our best experiences in Africa!
Nice touch: Each guest has a full set of towels in a unique color, so husband & wife can tell their towels apart, a minor but much appreciated and rarely experienced convenience. Also, guests are always greeted at the camp entrance with hot towels by the managers upon returning to camp.
Each room has a full set of plug adapters and a charging strip---a very nice convenience for recharging camera batteries etc.
We would especially recommend this camp to people who like upscale service and who care about food, wine and comfort as much as wildlife.