I've remembered this from years ago.
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.
Taken from here
, posted on Tue Jan 25, 2005.
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