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Punda Maria Rest Camp

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

Unread postby DavenJan » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:10 am

@ Mgoddard, the only communal Braai area I know of is opposite the challets on the main road up to Reception. I guess if someone has a big fire you could ask to share it.
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby ndloti » Thu May 14, 2009 12:08 pm

The safari tents have electrical plugs in the kitchen area , (the bedroom area ?) and the area beside the bathroom .
You will have to bring tour own paraffin lantern to your safari tent .
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby ndloti » Fri May 15, 2009 8:13 am

I would recommnd tent 3 - 5 . The rest are really just as good , just 3 - 5 are at the end of the cul de sac with less passing traffic (see map on website) and 6 - 8 are closer to the road leading to the staff quarters .

To me a lantern is an essential part of my packing , I allways use it .
A genuine blue Dietz paraffin lantern just can't be beaten , mine works well enough with citronella - type oil that one uses in the "bug lights" Arks mentions .
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby Wild about cats » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:06 pm

Was camping in Punda Maria inlate December. I think it was the day before new year when we were hit by a massive rain storm. We decided as it started to drizzle that we would go for a drive - test our luck. By the time we had reached the far entrance to the Mahonie Loop we couldn't see 10 meters in front of us, no exaggeration. :shock: A white sheet of rain blocked our view. By the time we had arrived back it was another half an hour later and we had to wait inside our tent before emerging at the end of the storm to find a near flood in the camp. All I can say is thank you for the ridges in the camping area!! :D

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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby saraf » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:15 pm

Oh boy I remember that storm!

We were out on the Mahonie loop and turned around, and we were driving a bakkie! We drove back along a causeway between 2 lakes, were 10 minutes earlier had been fields.

I haven't got photos but the main road from reception past the cottages was not a road - it was a river. I was so glad I wasn't camping.
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Re: Punda Maria Accommodation

Unread postby Binkieloo » Tue May 04, 2010 10:28 pm

There is no oven in the Punda Maria kitchen - but it is a very nice looking kitchen!

I can't help you with the drive though!
Just to the left of this photo is the 2 plate stove.

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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby Elsa » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:46 am

And watch out for the Caracal seen in Feb this year on the Mahonie Loop! 8) :D
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:16 pm

I will be in Punda in just over 2 week's time :D

Are there communal fridge/freezer facilities available?
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby RobertT » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:29 am

Camped there a few times Josh and not aware of a communal freezer. Have heard of the shop keeping stuff frozen for people, but Depending on period not sure if they would have space available.

Am trying to source some dry ice for my Dec trip to solve the problem.

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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby Perks. » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:43 pm

Late into the fray, as we were there in April, but some feedback on Punda.

PM really is a charming little camp, with the bungalows grouped together on terraces.
In the old days, each 'block' housed four two-bed huts, and everyone used the communal bathrooms, with only a basin in the rooms.

From what I can make out, the blocks have been redesigned to offer two-bed and three-bed bungalows, all with a super kitchenette and bathroom, and modern air conditioning.

My dad has old cine movies of Punda, taken when he was a nipper in the early fifties, complete with DKW two-stroke motor vehicle.
Although significantly changed since then, it is possible to place the buildings back then, to now.

As mentioned elsewhere, the camp ground has ridges criss-crossing it, which would allow water to collect in the hollows... beware!

Unlike most other camps, i.e. with loads of space around the bungalows, the terraces don't provide much freedom for kids to let off steam, so try not to book a long stay there if you have little ones.

What we found annoying, was the lack of braai places at the bungalows, on account of the lack of space on the terraces, and one either has to head down to the day visitors' area, or crack out the gas.

After dark, the staff come around and light the paraffin lamps, and it is almost Christmassy in effect, to stand down on the road, looking up at the accommodation!

There is an active troop of vervets in camp, so be careful about leaving perishables outdoors, or leaving the door open.
Provided you don't feed or encourage them, it is quite amusing to watch them traverse the area through the trees, or along the railings!

From Punda, a day trip to Pafuri and Crook's Corner is a doddle.
Best to book two nights at Punda, instead of having to rush to the far north, and then south again to Shing.

We didn't see a lot of game, but the birding was wonderful, with some species that just don't occur south of the Tropic.
The Golden Orb spiders are also amazing.

For any Kruger nutter, a stay in Punda has to be on your bucket list.
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby Elsa » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:47 pm

We just loved the communal braai areas and made such good friends while chatting around the fires swopping stories, so glad this type of accommodation still exists in the park. :clap:
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby Son godin » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:15 pm

Joshilewis,

There is a short walking trail (Paradise Flycatcher Nauture Trail) in the camp, but I am not sure of morning walks outside the camp. Getaway guide to Kruger mentioned that there is no guided bush walks, although it can be arranged in advance

We also enjoyed the bird hide at the water hole next to the camp site. :)

Best drives close to the camp are Mahonie loop and Klopperfontein. If want to travel further Pafuri area is a must see place to visit.

One negative aspect of Punda Maria is the fact that its a "public road" for people to travel to Pafuri Border Gate and between the R524 and R525. :x A few times we found people traveling in the opposite direction from Punda Maria about 10 minutes before gate closure in the direction of Pafuri. :big_eyes:
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby ossendryver » Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:23 pm

Punda Maria was the first camp I went to when I was 10 years old.
When I went it was in the winter so wasn't much of a birder then but at every waterhole there was there were elephant and buffalo and lion.
So in terms of animals, winter is great because bush is thin and animals are by the water but I don't think the birds are that great.

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Re: Punda Maria

Unread postby PNF » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:00 am

We camped in Punda in May this year - clean, tidy, friendly and helpful staff.
The bottom ablution block near the waterhole was in the process of being renovated and should have been finished by the end of May.
As far as we are aware - there are plans to upgrade and renovate the top block as well.
New machines have been put into the laundry and generally upgrading and maintenance of facilities appears to be continually ongoing.
This is probably our favourite camp and we're sure that you will enjoy camping there - try to get a site near the fence/hide/waterhole if you can!
It's magic!
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Re: Punda Maria Rest Camp

Unread postby Elsa » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:02 am

Perks. wrote:After dark, the staff come around and light the paraffin lamps, and it is almost Christmassy in effect, to stand down on the road, looking up at the accommodation!

Unfortunately this is no longer done, the modern world has caught up! :?
but at least with energy saving light globes! :wink:

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