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Punda Maria Rest Camp

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Unread postby arks » Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:12 pm

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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Unread postby seapit1 » Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:26 pm

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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Unread postby MarkWildDog » Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:53 pm

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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Unread postby christo » Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:05 pm

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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Unread postby Boulder » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:05 pm

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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Unread postby Yves » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:41 am

Boulder wrote
Well done Yves for reporting and SEEING the Punda cats and I'm sure you saw them without the prerequisite H4-1/2 and S100 traffic jams!!

Boulder you are so correct. The first young leopard in the tree we spotted ourselves. We watched her for 45 mins before we had to leave as it was getting dark.
The female lion a bit further on i spotted myself and again only one car approached as we where leaving. We told them about the young female in the tree just down the road but they missed it (we spoke to them at the restaurant that night). The pride of lions the next morning where all to ourselves. We approached the waterhole near the entrance gate and we could hear the distress call of the impala near the water. We switched the car off and two mins later they appeared from a gully. The female watched the impala and then suddenly gave a half harted chase, giving up after 200m. Again nobody else was around to witness the sighting.
Last edited by Yves on Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postby lisa » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:13 pm

I must say we did not see any lion or leopard around Punda Maria although we drove the Mahonie Loop completely three times.
We did hear lions roaring when we were in our tent at night though, such a fantastic sound!

Tent number 5 at Punda has an AMAZING view, it is elevated up high.
We loved it.
And the food in the restaurant is very good, especially the bobotie and the breakfasts.
The store could use better and more frequent stocking though.
Overall we liked Punda a lot even though sightings were a little scarce.
Did see a huge herd of buffalo on the loop, and lots of birds.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:31 am

Maybe I can add this... as you drive into the camping area, go towards the birdhide, it is very close to the ablution block and on the fence... That is a favourite spot of mine... So if my tent doesn't stand there next to the hide then you can take that spot with pleasure. :lol:

With a strong light you see quite alot at the waterhole @ night. And its not too far back to your tent from there. :wink:
Last edited by wildtuinman on Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby mja » Wed May 30, 2007 5:38 pm

Don't know if this helps but I believe that Safari Tent #4 is the most private, or at least the furthest away -- although all you have between you and the outside is some canvas, and sound does carry, I know :wink:
I'm attaching some #4 tent photos.
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Unread postby Freda » Wed May 30, 2007 6:12 pm

I would say #4 has the most privacy,
#3 is great but has sewerage pipes,
#2 has the best view (my favourite), but you can't go wrong with any of them :D

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Unread postby Kingfisha » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:20 am

Hi elpaco
It seems that the advice you have received up to now is spot-on. It is a good idea to choose one day and leave quite early from Punda. Take the road up to Pafuri for a breakfast while making a list of the wonderful birds you will identify. This is about a 50 km drive.
After that you can take a slow drive to Crooks corner (leisurely hours drive if you take it very slow along the Levuvhu River) and coming back past Pafuri you have to go on the S64 towards Thulamela. Here you will see more birds including the trumpeter Hornbill!

A great sundowner drive is on the Mahonie Loop which goes 'around' the Punda Maria camp. Another productive drive is the H13-1 towards the lookout at Dzundzwini hill (on the S 58). Don't miss the Fever tree forest! (Am not sure on which road it is....?)

Another lovely day trip is out to Babalala picnic spot to the south with a few waterholes on the road (H1-7) and the little gravel roads and the Mphongolo Loop past Sirheni camp.

These northern parts are very special because the vegetation is so different and you need to look for Nyala, Eland, Roan, Sharps Grysbok and wilddog. (have never seen wilddog in this area, but they are there...)

If you are a birder - well, there is no better place to go. Look for Purple-crested Louries,Wattle-eyed Flycatcher, Narina Trogon, Orange-breasted Bush-shrike, Pel's fishing owl etc.

ENJOY and remember to give us a report on your trip. I will be there in August as well - and cannot wait!

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Unread postby Senyetse » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:46 am

The fever tree forest is on the way to Crooks corner.

Also look out for Crowned Hornbill in PM camp. There is also a short walking trail in camp. If you're self-catering then make sure you buy groceries outside the park because the shop at PM is not very well stocked at all.
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Unread postby Kingfisha » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:41 pm

We had a WONDERFUL time in Punda Maria.
We stayed in a Safari Tent and were treated like VIP's.
The staff were amazing and very friendly.
The Flycatcher trail offered a new bird on our list (Yellowbreasted Apallis) and the Mahonie loop was the BEST!!! :dance:

On 14 August (although we are not big 5 chasers) we saw the big 5 in one day - only on Mahonie loop.
The birding was fantastic and we saw crested guinea-fowl, crowned hornbill, Mashona Hyliota, purplecrested louries, Retz hermetshrike - I can go on forever (total of 92 birds for the 3 days and 7 new lifers).

PUNDA MARIA will be upgraded soon and management informed us that they will be moving the petrol station to the Punda Gate and they will be moving the reception and shop to the area where the petrol station is now.
The restaurant will be upgraded and will be in the same spot.
This is so exciting. :clap:

I don't know if you guys are aware that the little huts in Punda were declared a National Monument (built in 1933) and they cannot be changed.
They have however started with renovation of them inside.

Punda Maria - we love you! Will be back asap! :D

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Unread postby Kingfisha » Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:21 am

Some pics of the upgraded Family Units at Punda Maria camp:

Two en-suite bedrooms on the ground floor. There is another bedroom upstairs with bathroom and a viewing deck!
Last edited by Elsa on Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Pics resized.

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Unread postby richardharris » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:36 pm

My one complaint about these is that the upstairs bedroom is not airconditioned. I don't know why this is done; it applies to other cottages (eg the 3 bedroom ones at Mopani, where 2 have aircon and the third does not).

Can make it difficult to decide who is getting which room!


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