DumaTau Camp

LINYANTI WILDLIFE RESERVE, BOTSWANA

DumaTau means ‘roar of the lion’, yet it is its high concentrations of elephant and outstanding wildlife in general for which it is renowned. Located close to the source of the fluctuating Savute Channel, in the vast Linyanti Wildlife Reserve in northern Botswana, waterways around DumaTau Camp lure a plethora of wildlife – particularly in the dry winter months.

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DumaTau Camp is a ten-roomed (eight twin and two family) luxury tented camp located in the private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve that borders the Chobe National Park. Set on a lagoon on the Linyanti River between two “elephant highways,” the camp is raised off the ground to take advantage of the sweeping dramatic river views and limit our footprint on the environment. Each en-suite tent is spacious, spreading out under a canvas roof, with a clear-storey sliding doors and windows that allow for wide-angled views of the riverfront. There is an airy, expansive dining and lounge area, and a pool, all overlooking the lagoon and its denizens. The entire camp runs on solar power.

 

The region has all the habitat diversity to make it a haven for wildlife, and is well-known for its elephant concentrations as they congregate along the waterways and lagoons during the dry winter months. General wildlife viewing is excellent year round including impala, wildebeest, red lechwe, Burchell’s zebra, giraffe, Cape buffalo, chacma baboon, vervet monkey, and warthog. Predator sightings of lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyaena are good.

 

Wildlife viewing is the primary activity at DumaTau Camp, either on day and night game drives or while on foot and on the water (levels permitting). Short nature walks can be taken along the Linyanti River and Savute Channel, while the camp’s boat takes visitors along the waters of the Linyanti, with hippo and waterfowl alike to entrance. There is a hide at camp that looks out over the lagoon as well as a platform 20 minutes’ drive away which can be used as a hide by day  and a sleep-out deck for two by night.

 

www.wilderness-safaris.com/camps/dumatau-camp

The 4Cs

DumaTau Camp joined The Long Run in 2015 and committed to a holistic balance of the 4Cs – Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce – as a means to contribute meaningfully to the biodiversity and the people of their local region.

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CONSERVATION

DumaTau is situated in the 125 000-hectare Linyanti Wildlife Reserve in northern Botswana, bordering Chobe National Park. Its mix of habitats combined with the once-flowing Savute Channel makes it a biodiversity hotspot, with DumaTau actively involved in the conservation of this region. The Linyanti is a Wildlife Management Area overseen by the Botswana government. To create outstanding wildlife viewing for its guests, DumaTau works very closely with local government bodies to ensure the conservation of various wildlife species. It carries out dedicated conservation and research focussed on species on the IUCN Red List such as the African wild dog, elephant, lion and roan antelope.

 

Located in an area with the highest elephant concentrations within Botswana, DumaTau facilitates and partially funds research projects to examine the impact of these elephant populations on vegetation to ensure that lessons learned can help guide management approaches both locally and nationally as it has a huge bearing on the densities of other wild herbivores such as the roan antelope. Studies are also underway to investigate the extent of the elephant impact and influence with regards to climate and local hydrological change.

 

Working through the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, DumaTau provided funding for a project which aims to understand the key interface issues between the relatively dense Caprivi human population and large carnivores emanating both from Botswana as well as protected areas such as Mudumu, Mamili and Bwabwata National Parks in Namibia. Moreover, DumaTau is strongly involved in conducting aerial counts of game in the Linyanti and supports its dedicated Environmental Team, based in Maun, who are involved in game counts, research and monitoring.

 

To ensure that its carbon footprint is as low as possible in the day-to-day running of camp, DumaTau’s Environmental Management System includes solar power (it operates off a 30 kW solar power system), uses energy efficient appliances and timers, above-ground sewage treatment, water saving shower heads, tap aerators, dual flush toilets and energy saving lights. All in all, DumaTau saves 47.8 tonnes of CO2 a year. The camp was also built using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved wood and positioned off the ground to minimise direct impact. The use of concrete and bricks has been limited. Solar geysers are used to heat all water for the camp. All waste is separated and all efforts are made to recycle as much as possible. Reverse osmosis water filtration is used in conjunction with reusable water bottles in order to cut down on bottled water use. Since 2012, bottled water use has decreased by 53% across all Wilderness Safaris camps.

 

 

COMMUNITY

As much as possible, DumaTau employs staff from the communities surrounding the Wilderness concessions and provides previously unskilled employees with the training needed for them to become experts in various fields and rise through the ranks to managerial positions. This up-skilling of local communities is not confined to the camp alone as Wilderness Safaris has set up a dedicated school – Kaparota – for the training and skills development of its staff and guides.

CULTURE

Wilderness Safaris has developed a protocol for cultural tourism in the form of the Wilderness Safaris Ethics Charter and Codes of Conduct for Cultural Tourism. This charter incorporates the main principles that govern Wilderness’ cultural tourism and engagement with communities living in and around the conservation areas in which they operate.

 

The Bayei, Humbukushu, Basarwa, Bakgalagadi, Xhanakwe and Batawana are the main ethnic groups in Botswana, where DumaTau is located. As a show of its commitment to promoting these local cultures, DumaTau integrates traditional nights – storytelling, cultural singing and dancing, and eating local food – into its guest activities. It also incorporates aspects of local culture in its guest excursions – safaris in the Linyanti are done using dugout canoes known as mekoro.

 

DumaTau is actively engaged in promoting intercultural exchange and through Wilderness Safaris has set up a full-time community development department based in Maun. This department is involved in engaging with staff, communities and guests on all cultural and community matters and ensuring that there is open communication and cultural understanding between all parties. It also provides information in the form of books and brochures in the rooms and main areas.

 

Celebration of the Annual Wilderness Heritage Day in the camps encourages staff to wear their traditional attire, to talk about their culture and share stories with other staff and guests.

 

COMMERCE

DumaTau is part of the Wilderness Group and is marketed as a Classic Camp in the Wilderness Safaris portfolio. It generates most of its income through offering a host of attractive activities, the main ones being game drives, nature walks and boat safaris. One of the key focuses of the business is providing employment for local communities and providing continued support for its conservation efforts. It actively invests its profits into the other 3Cs as it has adopted the 4Cs (conservation, community, culture and commerce) approach across its entire business and reporting framework.

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