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Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp
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Reviewed February 22, 2014

This was 1 of 5 camps we stayed at during our trip and the second of 3 Wilderness Safaris camps.

The drive from the airstrip was fun and not too long. While we were there the scent of dessert sage was strong in the air and smelled wonderful. We were warmly welcomed at the camp although the management seemed a bit aloof overall.

The food was delicious and there was decent variety. There was also no chance to go hungry. The basic day looked like this: 5am wake up, 5:30 breakfast, 6:00 game drive, 10am snack on the road, 11:30 brunch, 12noon free time, 3:00 tea - complete with warm and cold food selections, 4:00 game drive, 6pm sundowner on the road, 8pm dinner. Lots of food! One night we had a traditional cook out where the staff sang and danced. It was nice but a bit awkward and the food that night was far less enjoyable.

Our guide was Mocks and he was very good. He also had someone training with him at the time so we had extra eyes looking for wildlife. The wildlife sightings were spectacular and Mocks was very aggressive in finding the animals and getting us in the best viewing position. There was a lot of off roading and bushwhacking in the jeep. In addition to the jeep safaris, Duma Tau also offers water safaris by boat. This was more relaxing than the jeep and we still saw a lot of wildlife.

The property is amazing and the tents are well spread out. The common area is gorgeous and all open air with a bar and shop and sitting area. The dining area is nice and there is communal dining. There are two areas where there can be fires. The best part is the pool. It is a bit of a hike depending on which end of the camp you are on but they said they plan to build a second one on the other end. We sat by the pool in the afternoon when it was 46 degrees and relaxed. It was perfect.

Some things that were common to all Wilderness properties.... they provide towels and toiletries. There is no bar soap provided - only liquid soap / shower gel. I would suggest you bring your own soap or bring a sponge for the shower, I never quite felt clean and used a lot of soap trying to get a lather. Each tent is equipped with a safe and a charging bar that accomodates different types of plugs. They do provide bug repellent and insect killer but Wilderness prides itself on its eco-responsibility and as such neither of these products are very powerful or very useful. Bring your own. They request that you be conscious of water / power consumtion. They will do laundry free of charge. You leave it in the morning and it comes back that afternoon. They will also wash underclothes but they need to be separated from the rest of the laundry. There is daily housekeeping as well as turndown service. The properties are all inclusive so all meals and drinks (including alcohol) are included in the room charge. All activities offered by the camp (boating / jeep safari etc) are also included. There will be a tip box where you can leave something for the staff. There is a small giftshop where you can purchase souvenirs but not other travel necessities. The tents are not equipped with telephones or alarms clocks so you should have an alarm of your own. Guests are not allowed to walk on the property after dark / before sunrise without an escort. This is for your safety with respect to wildlife as the properties are not fenced. Someone will come to make sure you are up and 30 min later someone will come to walk you to breakfast. By then it is usually light enough for you to wander freely. In the evening someone will get you for dinner and walk you back afterwards.

My one issue with this camp was our tent. It was private and it was gorgeous. It had comfortable beds and mosquito netting. The private deck was lovely with a great view of the water. There was a fan for cooling and hot water in the shower and a double vanity. The front door locked with a hook and eye type system inside and out so that the door was always securely latched to keep wildlife out but it wasn't really lockable. However...the door that led onto the patio wasn't a door at all. While the floor of the tent was hardwood planks and the framing was wood, the walls were canvas. This is fine. The "door" to the patio was two pieces of overlapping canvas and some screening. There was no velcro or zipper or any other mechanism to keep this securely fastened other than one hook. Of course the inevitable happened and we had the largest spider I have ever seen in person inside our tent. For two nights. It was a "flattie" and it moved very quickly so the first day it was spotted we lost sight of it and were unable to remove it. The second day we saw it, it ended up in the top of the bed netting and it required considerable effort to deal with. As stated above, the provided pest control products have little to no effect on critters so my friend chased it until it came to its demise.

Needless to say there wasn't much sleep during my stay. I was constantly nervous in the shower and wouldn't be in the room without shoes on. I actually preferred to not be in the room at all which was a shame because it was wonderful otherwise. We selected this higher end accomodation for no other reason than the hope of fewer bugs in our tent. The wildlife, the food, the service, the amenities were all distant seconds to the secure containment of our sleeping quarters. For the price we paid, I expect to be able to zipper my canvas door shut. If the patio door situation had been different and our tent had been more secure against bugs this camp would've been a 4 or even a 5.

Ont he upside, the staff was very understanding of my distress and one of the guides even came to help us find it, but it was well hidden by then.

Room Tip: Tent number 10 is closest to the pool.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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8  Thank A-M197211625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2014

Dear A-M197211625,

Thank you for you in-depth review of DumaTau Camp. Mocks is indeed a great guide and we are very pleased that you enjoyed your time with him.

The camp was rebuilt last year in its current location along the lagoon and we are glad that you liked the new lounge and dinning areas. The pool is indeed one of the best parts with its very unique vantage point along the river.

As for your complaint about the flapping doors in the rooms that lead to the deck, we apologise that this was a problem for you we had received several such complaints from other guests and that is why in January 2014 we refurbished every room and the flowing flaps where changed to aluminium doors with clear view netting. These new doors are now sliding to open and close and do seal completely to further prevent the bugs and crawlers from entering the rooms. We have recently added photos on our TripAdvisor page that will show you exactly how these new doors enhance our rooms.

It is thanks to constructive reviews from guests such as yourself that we are able to improve on our service to future guests, so thank you again for your great review.

The DumaTau Team

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Reviewed January 26, 2014

Great camp. Early starts 5 am! We saw the wild dog pack several times a highlight. In general great game viewing. The land and water options are great. Meals were good. Appreciate that the camp was solar powered. Service was very good - best of all camps we visited. Managers hands on. The scenery along the river is beautiful!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Squashfrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 22, 2014

Dear Squashfrog,

Thank you for your great review. We are lucky to host a great variety of animals in the area surrounding DumaTau.

The Linyanti experiences tremendous seasonal transitions: in summer brilliantly green and lush, while in winter it becomes a barren, dry and harsh interior away from the river. In the dry winter months, large herds of elephant and zebra stay close to the river before moving south to the Savute Channel once the summer rains begin. In addition, a large diversity of general wildlife abounds, including the rare roan and sable antelope, followed naturally by predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard, hyaena and wild dog.

Thank you for taking the time to post this review.
The DumaTau Team

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Reviewed January 13, 2014

We stayed here over new year for 3 days. Unfortunately it was raining and this presented some challenges, in particular, everything got wet and had trouble drying out, but on the whole it didn't spoil our stay here. Some sort of drying room would be a good addition. eco- of course. They have fantastic poncho's that keep all the rain out and subsequently you dry inside :) We asked and were shown around behind the scenes working of a fully solar eco friendly camp. This was very interesting and an eye opener. The game we saw here was just amazing with our guide/tracker Name (Namezehar)......what a legend he was, and what an enriching fantastic experience we had because of his skills. We saw some of the best game here out of the 4 Wilderness camps we stayed. The food was OK, I would have preferred more local or Botswanian meals on the menu as I can eat western style meals at home. No complaints, it was all good, and I recommend a stay here. Note, the guides get a 'gratuity' / tip of US$ 10 per person per day, and there is a gratuity box for the rest of the local staff.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank ozros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 22, 2014

Dear Ozros,

Thank you for your great review. We are very blessed to have many great guides in our camp and Name is definitely one of the great ones.

Gratuities/ tipping can often be a tricky process and for this we have a little guideline to assist guests with this. If the service you have received was exceptional, a gratuity may be in order. If you wish to tip, all camp staff should be tipped communally, with the exception of the guides and the boat captain. For the communal tip there is a gratuity box in the bar area. An amount of US$10.00 per guest per day is a suggested tip. Should you wish to leave something for your guide, we suggest US$10.00 per guest per day and for the boat captain we would suggest US$5.00 per person per activity. It is suggested that you tip once – only at the end of your stay.

Thank you for pointing this out for future guests.
The DumaTau Team

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Reviewed January 2, 2014

This was the second of 4 camps on our trip. Overall we found it the best for service and the welcoming attitude of the staff. The tented rooms are smart and modern, the staff are friendly and attentive without being obsequious, and the game interesting and varied. We liked having the alternatives of land and water based activities. Food was good but not exceptional

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank pdtw2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 22, 2014

Dear Pdtw 2014,

Thank you for your great review, we will be sure to share your comments with our staff.

Activities available at DumaTau include game drives and motor boat trips on the Linyanti River lagoon system (water levels permitting) or an excursion on the DumaTau barge. Walking is also an option, but must be prearranged with your guide or camp manager, as not all guides are qualified for walking in Botswana. Catch-and-release fishing is a seasonal activity and available on request. There are also a number of platforms and hides near camp from which to view and photograph wildlife.

Thank you again for your kind words
The DumaTau Team

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Reviewed December 21, 2013

This place was built here about a year ago. It is totally green, everything from the sun. Food good, service good, rooms very comfortable. You get to your. Room on elevated walkways. There are breaks for elephants and hippos to walk past. Encountered a hippo one night on the side of the walkway. He was below me. The guide was excellent. Well managed. There are boat rides and a place to sit over the water. Sunsets gorgeous.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
1  Thank happyflyer45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 22, 2014

Dear Happyflyer45,

Thank you for your kind reveiw. DumaTau is not enclosed by a fence or any other protective structure. Wild animals can and do wander freely throughout the whole area at all times of the day and night, and must be treated with the utmost respect. Please be careful when moving around the camp during the day and please do not leave the camp perimeters at any time, unless accompanied by a guide. Confine your walking to the camp boardwalks. It is company policy that guests must be escorted to and from their tented units after dark. Please do not leave your accommodation until morning and do not be alarmed by any sounds you may hear: each tent is situated on a raised deck and you are far safer in here than you are leaving to investigate the noise. Just relax and enjoy the sounds of Africa!

Thank you again
The DumaTau Team

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