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Punda Maria Rest Camp

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Elsa
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread post by Elsa » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:13 pm

Yes you can and I would say around 2 to 3 weeks prior to your trip. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread post by Hippotragus » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:56 pm

Hi Gecko - you will really enjoy Punda Maria! The staff were all very friendly and helpful when we were there. We stayed in a chalet and it was well-maintained, new linen, microwave etc. The camping site looked clean and the bird hide is close-by.

I was there early in October. The route we took was N1 to Polokwane - good road. Just before Polokwane we took the R71 which then took us to the R81 to Giyani. This road has recently been up-graded and was good, with the exception of a short stretch past a residential area (presumably municipality non-maintained, as opposed to the rest of the road provincial maintained). The R81 then joins the R524 which takes you to Punda Maria Gate. I can't give an exact time it took, as we visited friends in Polokwane and refuelled the bakkie and ourselves in Giyani.

We were lucky that our trip took place between the two lots of unrest in the area. I suggest you check the situation (police, SANParks website, Forum) just before you go.

The road to Pafuri is still being repaired, but is open. The road to Crooks' Corner was re-opened while we were there and we had a good trip up there. It was quite shocking to get some idea of what the floods had done and the amount of work needed to restore the roads.

Have a great trip!
Malelane 12th October 2016
Skukuza 16th October 2016
Lower Sabie 17th October 2016
Skukuza 2nd-5th March 2017
Satara 5th-8th March 2017
Tamboti 8th-11th March 2017

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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread post by Hippotragus » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:28 pm

We were at Punda Maria in October 2013 and the Reception was still in the same building with the shop and restaurant.
Malelane 12th October 2016
Skukuza 16th October 2016
Lower Sabie 17th October 2016
Skukuza 2nd-5th March 2017
Satara 5th-8th March 2017
Tamboti 8th-11th March 2017

estellem
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread post by estellem » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:22 am

I can recommend Punda Maria's shop for anything you may need. The last time we were there in June the shop was stocked and prices not unreasonable.

If you go to Punda in December just be prepared for a cicada overload. We were there in December 2012 and it was hectic but it is still one of the best camps. There is enough roads to drive but sometimes it is enough to sit next to fence at hide.

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Leaping Lizards
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread post by Leaping Lizards » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:11 am

Hi Estelle

In the last 7 years we have never gone into Kruger with food. We have always bought at the shops in the camps. The only park we have ever taken groceries into is Addo.

We thinking of doing things differently this year because it is the first time we staying for so long and the first time going north, so feedback like yours is greatly appreciated.

Regards
Ryan
August/September - Sirheni, Letaba, Talamati and Satara :P

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Leaping Lizards
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread post by Leaping Lizards » Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:04 pm

Hi Joubie

Do you know how long it takes from Pafuri to Punda Maria?

We are still trying to work out if we should enter at Punda gate or at Pafuri gate then drive down to Punda Maria.

How long is the drive from Polokwane to 1, Punda gate or 2, Pafuri gate?

This will help with our decision.
'
Enjoy the trip. I am also looking forward to our first trip north.
August/September - Sirheni, Letaba, Talamati and Satara :P

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Joubie
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread post by Joubie » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:38 pm

Hi Leaping Lizards
According to the Kruger map it's 76km's. We going to enter Pafuri Gate when it opens and explore the area. We want to go to Pafuri picnic area, Crooks Corner because the chances of us going up so far north in the near future again are slim and we have never been there. Most northern part of Kruger we have stayed at is Shingwedzi and we loved it. We there next week I can't wait.

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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread post by tusk » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:20 am

Hello Leaping Lizard

Check out the website DistancesFrom.com.
Polokwane to Parfuri 276km, 4 hours. Straight forward driving N1, take the R525.
Polokwane to Punda Maria Camp 246km 3.5 hours. N1 to Louis Trichardt. R524 to Punda.

Parfuri to Punda 76km 3 plus hours depending on sightings.

If you come in via Punda gate you will have time to do the Mahonie loop andhave time to enjoy the camp with its bird hide, then do the Parfuri, Crooks Cnr area the next day.

Just a thought, have a great time.

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Leaping Lizards
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread post by Leaping Lizards » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:51 am

Thanks Tusk

Is the R524 route to Punda better than the R81 via Giyani route?

I heard a while back that R81 was a better option, but that was then? Is the R524 better at the moment?
August/September - Sirheni, Letaba, Talamati and Satara :P

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Punda Maria Camp , Restaurant info

Unread post by stricks26 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:40 pm

Hi Everyone,

We are staying in Punda Maria in Jan 2015, and although we will be braaiing for most of our stay in the park, we thought we may eat out , on one of the nights in Punda, so my question is , anyone been there recently and if so what is it like? any info at all would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

Iain

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Re: Punda Maria Camp , Restaurant info

Unread post by barryels » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:30 am

We were there on the 18th of October 2014 and the camp, including reception, the shop and restaurant is wonderful. Have a look Here for photos :thumbs_up: .
Always be humble and understanding

Off to Kruger:
17-19/10/2016 Letaba
20-22/10/2016 Punda
23-25/10/2016 Shingwedzi
26-28/10/2016 Mopani

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Leaping Lizards
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Re: Punda Maria Camp , Restaurant info

Unread post by Leaping Lizards » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:41 am

Hi there Stricks

The Punda restaurant is very small with a small menu as well. The service is good and the food also.

It is one of the last Compass run restaurants, and the feeling in our group was that since they lost most of the restaurants in the South, they picked up their game, service and quality in their remaining restaurants.
August/September - Sirheni, Letaba, Talamati and Satara :P

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Goggo EJ
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Re: Punda Maria Camp , Restaurant info

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:33 am

I was told very recently that Tinyiko, the conference folk from Mopani (and BnD) have taken over responsibility for the restaurants at Shingwedzi and Punda. Perhaps somebody can confirm this?
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Re: Punda Maria Camp , Restaurant info

Unread post by DinkyBird » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:42 am

EJ is correct. Tindlovu have taken over management of Punda and Shingwedzi. They also manage BnD and Mopani restaurants. I was impressed with what I saw in the shop yesterday. I will give more info in a day or so. We are staying in the camp now.
Sawubona
Dalene

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Re: Punda Maria Camp , Restaurant info

Unread post by DinkyBird » Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:09 pm

LL, I have not eaten here at Punda since the change, but popped up to the shop and restaurant again to check things out for Iain. The menu is the same as is offered at Shingwedzi - not a huge variety, but more than enough, and our food at Shingwedzi was good and well presented. The restaurant retains its old world charm, and I can think of nothing nicer than sitting outside under the baobab enjoying a candle light supper.

Also, the shop is well stocked with fresh items, salad goodies, cheeses, cream, milks, yogurts, many tinned foods, variety of breads from Low Gi to white, rusks, biscuits, beverages, and so on. One will not starve if we had to live out of the shop to provide items for meals.
Sawubona
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