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 Post subject: Night drive the Punda!
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:08 pm 
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Location: Pretoria, RSA
I agree Peter. Its a spectacularly wild part of KNP.

I just want to drop a small bit of advice...go on a night drive from Punda Maria rest camp, you will NOT regret it.
Why?
It has a really unique feel to it at night, especially those trees on the Mahonie Loop add plenty of possibilities and action.
(We saw lion, twice, on the same night drive; dozens of nocturnal birds (excellent); ranger had to bully an elephant off the road in pitch darkness (adrenalin pumping stuff) and saw some Sharpe's Grysbok, genets, bush babies and the list goes on.

I have been on night drives elsewhere, with success and I really enjoyed them, but this was different. I don't think that it was just luck - the habitat is simply really conducive to night drives as many nocturnal creatures frequent the tree rich habitat at night.


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 Post subject: Re: Night drive the Punda!
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:49 am 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Hi Frank thanks for that advice.....
We are staying at Punda Dec18,19,20,21/ 2006 so the gates open at 4:30 so while my family wake up for our daily 7:00 am pilgrimage to Pafuri for Breakfast I will do my daily 2 hr crawl of the Mahonie Loop on my own....
have seen Wild Dog and Jumbo and Pennant Winged nightjar!!!!! which I'm still trying to photograph....
One morning the gate opener from the staff quarters just up the fence from the gate on the outside could not get down to the gates to open at 4:30 am in Late November because the Lion (4 of them ) were kicking up such a racket at the gate.
I turned my engine off and crept up to the pillar of the gate and hid so I could watch at close range OBVIOUSLY behind the locked gate!!!!
What an experience watching and listening to those Brutes welcoming the new dawn at a distance of 1-5 metres..
The noise was so loud the ground trembled and it was completely distorted.
Ben Pretorius (the Ranger) saved the day at about 5:15 and came down the road in his bakkie with his two Dalmatians and the lions moved off 30 metres or so as he opened the gate for us for I had just been joined by the only other car in camp... late Nov can be very quiet....nice.

Frank tells me on those Punda night drives would I be able to get close enough for a flash shot of Pennant Winged Night jars as they frolic in front of the vehicle lights.
I will be using a 70-200 (100-300 in Digital) f2.8 lens plus 1.4 or 1.7 convertor plus a SB 800 flash at full power for a reach of about 25-30 metres??
If you reckon I will be okay I'll go and pay the price..

I have fond memories of Genet as well..
We used to put our tent up at the very bottom of camp by the ablution block on the extreme left corner of camp and every night after my sons were bathed and ready for bed I used to get them to come and sit quietly in the shadow of the tent.
Sure enough 2 genets would soon appear and slip through the fence and sniff around the campsite in the light of the nearby ablution block...
Brilliant photos after I had worked out their movements after a few nights....

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:00 am 
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Location: Bloemfontein, RSA
What can I say about Punda?

Punda is the only camp where my sleep has frequently been interrupted by bushbabies.

The area still feels wild.

You can still enjoy privacy out there.

The pool is a lovely addittion.

They build a birdhide a few metres to the left of my usual camping spot. No complains.

Also the only camp where I've had a snake in my tent 3 times. All harmless species though.

The whole camp has a "personal" feeling about it.

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 Post subject: Kamp Runner - Punda Maria
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:15 pm 
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Location: The New Forest Hampshire
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KAMP RUNNER ----- PUNDA MARIA

The distances are approximate – 1.5km loop
Flycatcher Trail
There is a nature trail above the camp and running along the perimeter fence called the Flycatcher Trail.


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This is the start of the run and you need to mind your footing as it’s quite rocky.
Start at the tented area of the camp and run along the trail through thick bushveld and numerous mopani trees. There is a steady little incline until it levels off but be careful as it’s very rocky and twisty.
The trail comes out above the gate and near the petrol pumps.
Be careful running down towards the gate as the tarred road is quite slippery from the sand strewn across it.
Run past the pumps and turn right just before the gates (don’t go out!) onto a dirt road that runs along the perimeter fence and into the campsite and to the hide.

Image

Run up into the hide …you never know what might be at the waterhole!
Follow the roads through the camp site and then turn right and run up the stairs next to the swimming pool…..be warned it might sound easy but those stairs will take your breath away!
At the top turn left and run past reception and back to the start at the tented area.
Repeat the loop as many times as body is willing.

I did my runs early morning and enjoyed listening and seeing the veld getting ready for another day in Africa….the sunrise was spectacular.

Be warned the vervet monkeys are out that time too looking for ‘trouble’

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:54 am 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
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The start of the Paradise Flycatcher Trail in Punda Maria.
If you are in Punda with say 45 minutes to spare do it.
That is, if you have good ankles.
The path, or what's called a path starts a bit beyond the shop, in the bend of the road.
You can then walk around the area above the shop, ending near the gate.
I never saw any kind of flycatcher, not many birds at all actually, but it's a nice but of fun.
Finally the chance to look for the smaller game, insects and flowers.
Not for people with disabilities though.

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 Post subject: Re: Annual Temperatures
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:13 pm 
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Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands
Been there in the pre-winter, June 2005, slept in a furnished tent and it wasn't cold at all

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 6:20 pm 
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Location: Marloth Park, South Africa
We stay there every November, it can be very hot camping but well worth it, the camp site is usually very quiet in November.
The last couple of years we have treated ourselves to the safari tents which have overhead fans :)
Great birding area.
I shall be there again in a weeks time :wink:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:14 am 
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Hi Oumie thanx for sharing these pics. I love old pics, from places i know from now. It is nice to see how times changes places. Or sometimes it looks, as times doesn´t change :D
Image
2005

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 Post subject: Punda Maria
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:02 pm 
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Location: southern gauteng
Can anyone who has stayed in the safari tents at Punda tell me if there is still consistent noise from the refrigeration units which serve the shop/restaurant , when I last stayed in the 4 bed units (a few years ago ) - which seem to be adjacent to the tents , there was consistent from noise from the refrigeration . Maybe you can let me know if you have any positive or negative feedback about the safari tent area ( building operations , noise from staff quarters etc )

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:12 pm 
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Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
Hi Andrew and welcome!

I stayed in tent #3 at Punda Maria last April and they are located quite far away from the shop and restaurant, so there is no problem with that sort of noise — noise that I also find very penetrating and irritating :wink: I think that the tents are probably the quietest area in the camp and that you will enjoy staying there very much indeed! You will also find information about these tents in various trip reports, try doing a search on Punda AND tents for the trip reports forum, lots of info and some pix there 8)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:26 pm 
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Location: Cape town
Does anyone know where Perl's fishing owl's can be seen around P.M , or has anyone seen one in this area :?:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:53 pm 
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As far as I know, the Pafuri Picnic Spot/Nyala Drive/Crooks Corner area is probably the best place to see them. They are quite rare birds and I'm yet to tick them off on my list.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:05 pm 
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Location: Bloemfontein, RSA
I must admit that I've not seen any of the above frequently enough on the same road to make a dead certain statement, but here goes (my sightings only, others might differ):

Rhino-not seen in the area
Lion-Main road en-route to Shingwedzi, S99.
Leopard- s99, Pafuri
Cheetah-not seen
Wildog-S99, Pafuri (but no sightings the last 5 years)
Jackal-no sightings
hyeana-Around camp, spreaded over all roads, but not that a frequent sight for me in the area.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:17 pm 
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Lion on the tarred route to camp

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:34 pm
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Location: Sunshine Coast
Side Striped Jackal ...Mahonie Loop
Lion Mahonie loop both in the last 10 days.
Saw Pels also on the Boundary where Levuvu joins Park just north of Punda Gate 2kms off Mahonie Loop ( i went in San Parks Truck with Technicicians who had to do small repair on a fence )
There are at last count 3 known pairs easiest seen from bridge at Pafuri or between picnic spot and Crooks Corner.
Cheetah near Klopperfontein Dam year after year got only a glimpse last week
Hope that helps.

Oh yes 6 now 7 White Rhino released last year North of Pafuri Bridge in the Concession. saw them in Sept (3 of them)

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