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 Post subject: Re: Very Poor Punda
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:33 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Very few camps can get close to Punda in the true sense of a Kruger feeling!

It is an awesome place!

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 Post subject: Re: Very Poor Punda
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:05 pm 
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We've never stayed at Punda but would love to do so. The little restaurant is great. They really try with fancy folded napkins and a good service. Being the furthest north, I bet that pool is pretty popular in the summer.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Poor Punda
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:38 pm 
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I stayed at Punda Maria several nights... it is one of my prefered camp :D

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 Post subject: Re: Very Poor Punda
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:47 am 
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I am also a huge fan of Punda Maria, I'll be spending four nights there in October :dance: But I guess it's a question of what you are looking for, and if you fail to appreciate the special magic of Punda Maria and Parfuri, which is assuredly quieter than the rest of KNP, then you'd best stick to the south. It's not just about the quantity of sightings, but about the bush atmosphere and the quality of the experience. Perhaps not for everyone?

As for your unfortunate no-show night drive experience, that is certainly inexcuseable!! :roll: I hope you get at least both a refund AND an apology.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Poor Punda
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:30 am 
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Agreed, Punda is not for everyone, it is more about the atmosphere and the smaller creatures. One of my favourite camps in KNP.

I would love to spend some time there in summer.

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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:45 pm 
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Punda rules. :dance: I try to get there as often as I can. It has the best atmosphere with awesome service. A trip to Pafuri is one of the best & if you don't want to go far..... Mahonie :clap: We saw everything possible in the best circumstances imaginable.

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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:30 am 
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Can only agree with most of the comments - and if you have read any of my trip reports you will have read the same thing several times.

The service at Punda is usually superb. The restaurant wonderful. And my best lion sighting was on the Mahonie loop, and the best cheetah sighting up at Parfuri. And incidently, the best wild dog sighting was at Shingwedzi! And the birds!!

So don't write off the north, and especially don't write off Punda.

Richard


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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:54 am 
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Hi Ndloti and Vonnie!

To my knowledge, the old accomodation and reception building at Punda are officially recognised as SA heritage buildings, because of their age and history.

They therefore cannot be demolished or altered in any way structurally and can only be maintained or renovated to keep them in good condition. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:36 am 
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Hi everyone. We are staying in Punda next year Sept. in a family cottage (FU6). Have these been refurbished or rebuilt in the last few years or are they still of the old type?

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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:18 pm 
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Hi Eugene123,

I've remembered this from years ago.

Quote:
I agree that Punda is one of the most charming camps and its historical features are indeed important.
The problem experienced at Punda Maria Camp is one of space. At present, in the "main" building, there is the shop, the kitchen, the restaurant and the reception.
Our offices for staff are just too small. The hospitality services manager, the duty manager and the administration and house keeping staff - not to mention the guides and other tourism people, have to share one really small office behind the wooden facade of the reception counter.
We planning to build a new reception building and office complex between the petrol station and the gate (on the left hand side, facing into the camp). That way, our staff can have better control over who comes in and out and the workings of the petrol station (including the frustration that many guests have had with the credit card machine not working) can also be managed properly.
Those wonderful old units (first built in 1932) are in the process of upgrading - the first line has already received new tiles on the floors and work continues on the second line - but the walls, verandahs, "hurricane" lamps and other traditional features of Punda will stay. Apart from this small upgrade, they will stay as they are (yes, KNP staff love them too!). The interesting feature that you can look out for the next time you stay in one of them is the leather "thongs" (for want of a better word - Afrikaans word is "riempies", ne Wildtuinman?) that hold the wooden beams together. These are still the originals that were used in construction 73 years ago.
Regarding the restaurant/shop, we will be upgrading the present building - keeping its historical theme and atmosphere -so that it can house these two important operations properly. I have spoken to our head of technical services, Mr Blake Schraader, about this and he says the facade or front of the building will definitely be kept for its historical value.
By the way, splash to your heart's content as the swimming pool is officially open.

Hope that explains what we planning for this beautiful camp. As part of the management "machine", I'm not really supposed to have a "favourite" camp, but you can read between the lines.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman


Taken from here, posted on Tue Jan 25, 2005.

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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:53 pm 
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Having recently returned from Punda, I can say that the upgrades were in progress.
The pool was empty and someone I spoke to said that the changes were taking longer than anticipated due to logistical delays.
It was possible to see that there needed to be major repair done to the surface of the pool.

It does look as though the renovated units are going to be very comfortable. My own choice for a future trip would be the luxury tents though. What a charming location!

On the whole, what a lovely camp. I was taken by it's atmosphere and will certainly return.

For those who have not read my trip report, my most favourite picture and a view of where I wish I was right now.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:29 am 
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Good day all

Lots of very good sightings at the Punda Maria birdhide lately, must be due to the dry conditions. Lots of birds, elephant and buffalo. Heard someone seen leopard one early morning also. Almost not even necessary to leave the camp, all you need is a little patience and a flask with something cold.

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:07 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
Levuvuhu , please confirm :

I have heard reliably that a new overnight hide is planned for Punda area .
If so , where & when ?


Apparently the hide idea has been shelved , suitable sites have to be very close to a tourist camp to make servicing (cleaning etc) of the hide practical , and no suitable sites are available .

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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: Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:09 am 
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Good morning All

People started swimming in the pool yesturday, even though they only started filling it up. With 40+ degrees I must say, I don't blame them. Nice overcasts today, even had a slight drizle in the morning. Exelent day for a drive!

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:56 am 
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Hi G@mespotter
I'm glad that you got a spot in Punda at last!

The guided tour to Thulamela Archeological ruins leaves from Punda Maria rest camp at 7:00; but I'm sure that you can negotiate to leave at an earlier time (circumstances providing). The tour lasts up to a maximum of 5 hours.

The guides drive the guests to where the guided walk starts at the foothill of a kopje on the Nyala drive road. As you climb to the top the guides interpret the area & give a briefing of the history & archeology of Thulamela. The ruins are explored and explained more in detail as you pass through various sections of the ruins. All good things come to an end and you proceed down the kopje and drive to Pafuri picnic area. You might request to go to Crook's corner on the way back to Punda Maria camp.

Kind regards

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