Reviews of DumaTau Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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.
Duma Tau was our favorite of the 5 camps/lodges we visited In Botswana. It scores very high in all the “key categories”: food, service, accommodation, staff attitude, game viewing focus, guiding skills, etc and we didn't find any major flaw worth mentioning.
The camp has 9 tents, accessible by elevated wooden walkways. The tents are spacious and comfortable, very clean and nicely decorated, and there is a combination safe. The bed is huge, king size. The bathroom is en-suite, quite big, has indoor and outdoor shower and very nice toiletries. The tents have a thatched roof and canvass walls; the front of the tent is open (no walls: sliding doors with just a net) so you can see the lagoon from bed and hear the noises of the bush at night. We were awoken by hippos a couple of times in the middle of the night. The tents are a bit too close to each other, but not too much.
The main activity here is game drives, which happen in the morning (6:30 to 10:30) and afteronn ( 4 to 7:30). You can have nightdrives upon request (we did one from 10pm to 12am). They also do boat rides around the lagoon in front of camp (ours was 1hr long, right after lunch) and bush walks, which I strongly recommend.
The staff & managers are well trained, very friendly and take good care of the guests. One of the nights they prepared BBQ dinner outside, in an enclosure they use for this, it was very pleasant and the meat really good. Another day they surprised us serving lunch in the bush, right by the water under the shade of several huge african mangosteens.
The landscape in this area is outstandingly beautiful and feels very remote. The Savuti channel was flowing (it hadn't since like 1985) and had an eerie feel about it, like it doesn't belong there, with its banks full of wildlife in contrast to the dry and deserted interior.
We saw plenty of wildlife: 12 lions, a leopard, 5 hyenas, in addition to elephants, hippos, crocs, all sorts of antelopes, dozens of exotic birds, etc
Our whole experience at Duma Tau was superb.The camp was beautiful and the staff were wonderfully friendly and attentive ....the best "customer service" we have ever experienced and that was because it was all so natural and unforced .
Our guide Ron ( Masule) with his trusty LandRover "Captain" was inspirational and tremendous fun too .He provided us with both sensational sightings and great friendship .We were very sorry indeed to leave there .
In 4 nights we saw Leopard, Wild Dogs ,Honey Badger , Civet , Wild Cat ,Dwarf, Selous and Slender Mongoose , Giraffe , a large herd of Buffalo , 5 types of antelope, Spotted Hyaena, Lions , herd of 300 Zebra and several large Elephant groups as well as around 70 different species of birds .
Duma Tau being our last camp is probably getting a tougher rating than it deserves, but there are a couple of concerns that I would rather not print.
Overall, our stay at DT was fine. Our last evening drive was very enjoyable. The manager in training (I cannot remember his name) and our pilot, Pedro, joined us. I believe their presence really helped make our last drive the best one we had during our stay at DT.
I had the pleasure of purchasing a couple of baskets from Judith. She was a stand-out staff member -- very sweet and a talented basket weaver. The managers were very professional and courteous.
I will admit, DT was the only place we were able to view a few rare animals-- wild dogs, monitor lizard, roan. It was very exciting to see the wild dogs. I feel like our trip was complete after getting to see them.