This camp was selected as part of a 2 week Africa trip with help from Craig Beal at Travel Beyond. He knew we wanted to experience several different ecosystems during our brief stay and he suggested this larger camp (10 tents) for our large group (7 people in 3 tents), as an opportunity to experience mopane and Kalahari apple leaf woodlands and huge herds of elephants on the floodplains of the Linyanti and Savute Channel. Because this is a large camp, it was quite lively, with lots of other guests to interact with and a large enthusiastic staff that sang, danced, and drummed for us one night. Despite the camp’s size, we never saw another Rover out on drives except when another guide radioed our guide to let us know the location of two young lionesses.
Location: Located in the Linyanti Concession, this camp is near the Chobe National Park. The concession is located in northern Botswana, and at one point we were gazing across the water to the wilderness of the Caprivi strip in Namibia on the other bank during one of our sundowner breaks!
Everyone here worked to make us feel comfortable and pampered. The managers immediately identified that we wanted to enjoy the serenity of the bush and set us up in tents at the edge of camp. They checked in to assure we had that peace and quiet we were seeking. My daughter was ill one evening, and a manager, Lizzie, came bearing juice and easy to eat foods assembled by the cook staff for her, then checked her vital signs, phoned them into the Wilderness nurse, and followed up that night and the next day to see if she had improved.
The cook staff, having read I was vegetarian in my pre trip questionnaire, provided an additional entrée for me on nights when red meat was on the buffet, despite the fact that I could find more than enough to eat from the large selection of vegetable, bean, and aubergine (eggplant) side dishes available. The managers and staff here just seemed like there was nothing they wouldn’t do for you!
Our guide, Lazarus, was terrific, full of youthful enthusiasm for the area. Easy-going despite one drive when not once, not twice, but 3 times things went flying off the Rover and he had to retrieve them for us. And he did an excellent job describing the habitat and behavior of the animals we saw. It must be harder for the guides near the end of a trip to get a “thrill” out the guests than the first guide…but our guide was able to share something new and exciting about the game we were seeing, even when we weren’t seeing something new.
<Disclaimer: I am probably not the best person to review food, as I am a food for fuel person, but we had a diverse group; a vegetarian, 2 “foodie” adults-one a Brit, and 3 teens-one not so adventurous, and the food was positively reviewed by everyone in our group, and everyone found plenty to enjoy at every meal!>
This camp is rated by WS as “Classic” so meals are buffet style, with eggs cooked to order at brunch. There were lots of options here because of the relatively larger number of guests. Everything was delicious, and one night we enjoyed a traditional African dinner, which was lots of fun as well as excellent food.
There were 10 tents; 5 each arrayed in opposite directions from the main public areas, on a raised (pretty high up in places, it was fun!) walkway. The tents were on platforms overlooking the hippo lagoon. We could hear the hippo, but saw red lechewee in the water. Baboons were often high up in the trees around the tents, and fun to watch, but we had to “lock” our doors to prevent them from making a visit while we were out! Our room had a large netted bed in half the room. The room was divided by a large storage divider. The other half of the room was the bathroom, with a shower, toilet and sink in the open area. Lots of storage, safe, and benches at the end of the bed for luggage. A nice private deck with lounge chairs and an outdoor shower. Our teens family tent had all the same amenities as in the main tent, but had a small hallway just past the bathroom half with another tent attached with twins. There was no way for the girls to leave the twin room without passing through the bathroom, which caused some traffic and privacy issues for them, which they solved by draping a bed spread near the toilet area, so they could pass through when it was in use.
Activities and Game:
This camp like most WS Camps operates a schedule whereby guests are up very early (how early depends on the season, how light it is) your guide wakes you and brings coffee and a while later escorts you to the dining area for breakfast before heading out on a game activity. During the activity, you will stop for coffee and some light refreshments. Usually, you will return around 11:30 for brunch, which will include hot food and eggs cooked to order. After brunch there is time to relax in your tent or around camp till about 2:30 or 3 when tea is served. This is usually snacks and drinks before you head out on an afternoon activity at 4. During the afternoon game activity, there will be a stop at sunset (in winter) to enjoy drinks and refreshments and then return to camp for dinner outside between 8:00 or 9 PM. After that, many guests head for bed, but some may stay up at the bar for a little bit.
Only at Duma Tau for 2 nights, we spent our time by the Linyanti and Savute watching game such as hippos and elephants and water birds and in the mopane woodlands looking for predators and other game. The highlight of our drives were watching the enormous elephant herds that live in the area and seeing hippos out of the water. In the woodlands, we enjoyed tracking two shy lioness and seeing how the impala reacted to their presence. We loved seeing a huge dazzle of zebra emerge from the trees and surround our Rover and we spotted a mother and young hyena one night. The beauty of the landscape was captivating, as well as the huge diversity of birds here, with both water and woodland habitats.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perhaps the best game viewing in far northern Botswana - from its newest and most stylish camp. DumaTau means "roar of the lion," but the elephant reigns here. The camp is set on a lagoon on the Linyanti River between two "elephant highways," affording unparalleled viewing of these iconic mammals, along with other wildlife. Together with sweeping, dramatic views of the river, the architecture of the camp expresses the explorer aesthetic, as well as the idea of space. There is an airy dining and lounge area, and a pool, all taking advantage of the superb view of the lagoon. Highlights DumaTau is located close to the source of the Savute Channel, with access to the Linyanti Swamps, floodplains and extensive mopane woodlands, thus offering an excellent combination of land and river. During winter, large elephant herds traverse the area. Chances of viewing leopard, lion and wild dog are excellent, along with other large mammals like hippo, red lechwe, giraffe, waterbuck, kudu, impala and occasional buffalo. 10 Tents (including 2 Family Tents): Rebuilt 2012; en-suite; spacious; raised off the ground; clear-storey window; 100% solar powered Experiences: Day and night game drives • Nature walks (on request) • Boating and barge (seasonal) • Game viewing hides • Catch-and-release fishing (seasonal) ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Duma Tau Camp, Linyanti Reserve Hotel Linyanti Reserve
- Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp Botswana/Linyanti Reserve