Reviews of DumaTau
Wildlife sightings and reviews
47 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited DumaTau and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Do you ever see Hippos out of the water" asked my wife. "Very rarely" replied Mocks, but within less than fifteen minutes, across an open area of grassland ran three Hippos, before descending into the water, leaving just their heads visible, as usual.
These are memories that will last forever. Thank you DumaTau." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 2n in Zimbabwe
"DumaTau Camp review"
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." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana
"DumaTau Camp review"
One very important suggestion I would make is that the morning tours should srart later. It was very challenging to be awakened at 5:30 am, and because the guides needed to awaken us and accocmpany us to breakfast, there was not much flexibility. I would suggest that the morning tours start out at 8 am instead of 6:30. This would allow the guests to get a decent night's sleep, it would be warmner and there would be no need to be woken up and accmpanied to breakfast since it would be daylight by then. Also, I am pretty sure we did not see any animalsat before 8 am or even 9 am that we did not see after 9 am. In fact, on our last day in the camp, we arranged with our guide to depart a little later in the morning because we planned to go directly to the airport for out next camp after a couple of hours of sightseeing, and that was great. Everything was more relaxed and enjoyable.
I realize that, by departing the camp at 8 am instead of .6:30 am, we would have less time on the morning rides, since we needed to be back for lunch at 11 - 11:30. But, 3 1/2 hours is more than enough time for a ride, especially since there were afternoon rides as well. After 3/ 1/2 hours, I felt ready to return, take a bathroom break and relax. But by starting out at 6:30 am, the rides were sometime 4 - 5 hours. That is a long time to be riding around in a bumpy landrover in the Kalihari sand." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana
"Beautiful, exciting, indulgent luxury"
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!" See all these reviews: 17n in Botswana
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." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Hot at Duma Tau"
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." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 3n in Mozambique; 2n in South Africa; 2n in Zimbabwe
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"
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!" See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana
"Duma Tau - beautiful camp"
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." See all these reviews: 10n in Botswana
"Duma Tau review"
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." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana
"Duma Tau is a very special camp"
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." See all these reviews: 14n in Botswana
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