Punda Maria Restcamp - Kruger National Park| safari.com
Formerly known as

Overview

Popular for Kruger Park Reservations largely in a historical context, the Punda Maria camp is situated in the Sandveld region, often referred to as the botanical garden of the Kruger National Park. The camp itself is recognised as the best opportunity to witness the elusive Nyala antelope, and bird watching in the area is without equal.

The area is more widely noted for its rich history than wildlife spotting, having been an ivory smuggler's haunt in the early 1900's. Illegal trade in labour from the Witwatersrand mines, border dodging poachers and an eventual intervention on behalf of the government are all part of the area's abundant historical setting, and guests come to soak in the remnants of this turbulent time.

Accommodation

A summary of Punda Maria Rest Camp accommodation options is provided below.

• Campsites are comprised of fifty tent or caravan sites, available with or without electricity points and rotating braai grids. The camps have communal ablution and cooking facilities, with twenty-four hour boiling water, electric hotplates and washing up facilities, and can accommodate a maximum of six people per site.

• Seven permanent, two-bed furnished canvas tents on stilts are also available, fully equipped, with showers, fridges, and cooking and braai (barbecue) facilities.

• Bungalows are available in eighteen two-bed, and four three-bed units, all with en-suite bathrooms with showers, air-conditioning and communal braai (barbecue) areas. A communal kitchen with scullery and electrical hotplate stoves is available. No cooking utensils, crockery or cutlery are provided. All bungalows have kitchenettes with sinks, hotplates and a communal braai area.

• The camp has two six bed family bungalows, with three en-suite bedrooms each. One room is loft situated, and has its own patio. Kitchen/dining/bar areas are open plan in all the units, and living rooms have limited channel DSTV. A patio/braai area is also located on the bottom floor.

Activities & Facilities

Punda Maria Camp offers adventure in the form of guided bush walks and game drives, all under the supervision of well informed and keen professional field guides. Important to note is that children under the age of six are not permitted on game drives, and children under the age of twelve are restricted from game walks.

Pre-booked, overnight activities include the Nyalaland Wilderness Trail. Trails such as this must be booked up to eleven months in advance to allow the camp sufficient time to coordinate and plan group sizes.

The Paradise Flycatcher camp walk and Thulamela Archaeological Trail are additional activities available in the camp area, with the latter being located about fifty kilometres outside of the camp. The Northern Plains 4 x 4 Adventure Trail is dependent on favourable weather conditions.

Facilities at the camp include activity information at the reception area, public telephones, post box, restaurant, cafeteria, shops, laundromat, filling station, communal kitchens and bathrooms, basic on-site first-aid assistance, cutlery and plate hampers available from reception, limited DSTV televisions in the family bungalows only, a day visitor picnic area in the camp, and a swimming pool. Cell phone reception is also fully available.

Important Information

Park officials warn that certain creatures which inhabit the park could prove dangerous if not approached or handled correctly. These may include bats, spiders, snakes, and scorpions.

Punda Maria has a designated day visitor area where day visitors and visitors from other camps can braai (barbecue) and picnic. There are also picnic facilities at Pafuri and Babalala.

Wildlife

The area notes kudu, nyala, buffalo and Sharpe’s grysbok as some of its thriving local inhabitants, alongside wild dog, elephant and lion. The diminutive suni antelope can also be best viewed from The Mahonie Loop, known to be the best venue for this in the entire park. Pafuri plays host to many of the area's nyala, impala, and occasional bushbuck.

Vervet monkey, baboon, hippo and Nile crocodile are to be found in the area and on the riverbed. Early arrivers heading down Nyala Drive may well be lucky enough to see bush pig.

Situated in sandveld, the camp plays host to a complex community of plant species, including white syringa, mixed bushwillow, silver cluster-leaf, baobab, pod mahogany, sickle bush and weeping wattle.

The Punda Maria Camp's popular Paradise Flycatcher Trail hosts scores of Yellowbellied Greenbul and Terrestrial Brownbul (Bulbul), and Bearded Scrub Robin, while Birding in the camp offers excellent opportun ities to witness numerous birds of prey, including Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle and White-necked Raven. On the Mahonie Loop drive which circles the camp, yielding, on a good day, White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike, Arnot’s Chat, Crowned Hornbill, Grey-headed (Chestnut-bellied) Kingfisher, Crested Guineafowl, Gorgeous Bush Shrike, Grey-headed Parrot, African and European Golden Oriole (both summer), Eastern (Yellow-spotted) Nicator, Stierling's Wren-Warbler (Barred Warbler) and Dickinson's Kestrel, as well as the elusive Narina Trogon.
Most Recent Sightings - Buffalo, Zebra, Bushbuck , Elephant, Giraffe, Impala, Baboon

Directions

View our comprehensive maps page to see the full range of printable and interactive maps.

Travel routes and times from central Gauteng are listed below. Travel by road requires entry through one of Kruger National Park's gates.

By Road - Punda Maria Gate:

• From Gauteng, take the N1 to Polokwane (Pietersburg).
• At Makhado (Louis Trichard) link up with the R524 and follow this route for ±140 km. That will take you to the gate. Allow between 5 to 6 hours for the trip to the gate.
• Punda Maria Rest Camp is 10 km away from the gate. Allow about 20 minutes for the drive to the camp, however if you want to enjoy the game viewing possibilities give yourself more time!
GPS : -22.6954 (latitude), 31.0161 (longitude)

Recommended game drives from this camp:

1. The H13-2 out of Punda Maria takes you to the H1-7 to Shingwedzi, via the small S58 (Dzundzwini) Loop to the right. Exiting the loop right onto the H1-7, follow the main road south until you reach the right-hand turnoff for the S56, which runs alongside the Mpholongo river, back to the H1-7.

2. For a short drive, exit Punda Maria on the H13-2 and take the first left onto the S60 and the next left onto the S61 (Klopperfontein Loop) for a view of the Klopperfontein Dam. Exit the S61 right, onto the H1-8 and take the next right onto the H13-1, which takes you back to Punda Maria.

Reviews


The food at the restaurant was amazing! the Venison Pie was too tasty! The Game drive with Patrick was very informative and he went out of his way to show us game. Excellent value for money . Can't wait to go again!

Brian Biccard

Very nice, clean place for overnight stay. Friendly Staff, good prices, very comfortable beds. Extremely recommended!

Mark Berowski

Punda Maria was a great camp with friendly staff and the bungalow was amazing.

Rudolph van Tonder

We really enjoyed our stay in the tent 5 and congratulate Bandile and his staff for their helpfulness and courtesy. We thought that we had left our binoculars at Pafuri Picnic spot and Bandile went out of his way to assist us. We are back in the tents just after Christmas.

MARIE-LOUISE VAN NIEKERK

We enjoyed our stay although it was very hot. Traffic in this area is a lot less and ideal if you want to rest and get away a bit. We have seen more elephant, buffalo and Nyala than we have ever seen before. A concern is that we went out via Phalaborwa Gate and in the week we have not seen even one Rhino.

Stoffel Kriel

Basic but awesome.

Tony Da Fonseca

What a great stay, so peaceful, friendly staff. Definitely worth a visit!

Jolene

Our trip was one of the best memorable ones - priceless and absolute enjoyment. Those bungalows are what I needed to de-connect from the busy urban life. The night felt like a 24hour single night shot without any interruptions from the busy world. In future, I will definitely choose KNP bungalows over a 5-star city hotel.Everything was super and hassle-free, I will always treasure the trip. My home town Giyani is just 70 km from the Punda Maria Gate, but never slept in KNP, I always visited as a day-visitor to the park, but all has changed on how I treasure KNP as an absolute resting destination lately. Big ups guys!!!

Musa Mhlongo

Great.

carol

This was the best accommodation of our two week trip through Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Easy, authentic and comfortable, a model for this type of travel experience

Carol Hall

Popular for Kruger Park Reservations largely in a historical context, the Punda Maria camp is situated in the Sandveld region, often referred to as the botanical garden of the Kruger National Park. The camp itself is recognised as the best opportunity to witness the elusive Nyala antelope, and bird watching in the area is without equal.

The area is more widely noted for its rich history than wildlife spotting, having been an ivory smuggler's haunt in the early 1900's. Illegal trade in labour from the Witwatersrand mines, border dodging poachers and an eventual intervention on behalf of the government are all part of the area's abundant historical setting, and guests come to soak in the remnants of this turbulent time.

A summary of Punda Maria Rest Camp accommodation options is provided below.

• Campsites are comprised of fifty tent or caravan sites, available with or without electricity points and rotating braai grids. The camps have communal ablution and cooking facilities, with twenty-four hour boiling water, electric hotplates and washing up facilities, and can accommodate a maximum of six people per site.

• Seven permanent, two-bed furnished canvas tents on stilts are also available, fully equipped, with showers, fridges, and cooking and braai (barbecue) facilities.

• Bungalows are available in eighteen two-bed, and four three-bed units, all with en-suite bathrooms with showers, air-conditioning and communal braai (barbecue) areas. A communal kitchen with scullery and electrical hotplate stoves is available. No cooking utensils, crockery or cutlery are provided. All bungalows have kitchenettes with sinks, hotplates and a communal braai area.

• The camp has two six bed family bungalows, with three en-suite bedrooms each. One room is loft situated, and has its own patio. Kitchen/dining/bar areas are open plan in all the units, and living rooms have limited channel DSTV. A patio/braai area is also located on the bottom floor.

Punda Maria Camp offers adventure in the form of guided bush walks and game drives, all under the supervision of well informed and keen professional field guides. Important to note is that children under the age of six are not permitted on game drives, and children under the age of twelve are restricted from game walks.

Pre-booked, overnight activities include the Nyalaland Wilderness Trail. Trails such as this must be booked up to eleven months in advance to allow the camp sufficient time to coordinate and plan group sizes.

The Paradise Flycatcher camp walk and Thulamela Archaeological Trail are additional activities available in the camp area, with the latter being located about fifty kilometres outside of the camp. The Northern Plains 4 x 4 Adventure Trail is dependent on favourable weather conditions.

Facilities at the camp include activity information at the reception area, public telephones, post box, restaurant, cafeteria, shops, laundromat, filling station, communal kitchens and bathrooms, basic on-site first-aid assistance, cutlery and plate hampers available from reception, limited DSTV televisions in the family bungalows only, a day visitor picnic area in the camp, and a swimming pool. Cell phone reception is also fully available.

Park officials warn that certain creatures which inhabit the park could prove dangerous if not approached or handled correctly. These may include bats, spiders, snakes, and scorpions.

Punda Maria has a designated day visitor area where day visitors and visitors from other camps can braai (barbecue) and picnic. There are also picnic facilities at Pafuri and Babalala.

The area notes kudu, nyala, buffalo and Sharpe’s grysbok as some of its thriving local inhabitants, alongside wild dog, elephant and lion. The diminutive suni antelope can also be best viewed from The Mahonie Loop, known to be the best venue for this in the entire park. Pafuri plays host to many of the area's nyala, impala, and occasional bushbuck.

Vervet monkey, baboon, hippo and Nile crocodile are to be found in the area and on the riverbed. Early arrivers heading down Nyala Drive may well be lucky enough to see bush pig.

Situated in sandveld, the camp plays host to a complex community of plant species, including white syringa, mixed bushwillow, silver cluster-leaf, baobab, pod mahogany, sickle bush and weeping wattle.

The Punda Maria Camp's popular Paradise Flycatcher Trail hosts scores of Yellowbellied Greenbul and Terrestrial Brownbul (Bulbul), and Bearded Scrub Robin, while Birding in the camp offers excellent opportun ities to witness numerous birds of prey, including Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle and White-necked Raven. On the Mahonie Loop drive which circles the camp, yielding, on a good day, White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike, Arnot’s Chat, Crowned Hornbill, Grey-headed (Chestnut-bellied) Kingfisher, Crested Guineafowl, Gorgeous Bush Shrike, Grey-headed Parrot, African and European Golden Oriole (both summer), Eastern (Yellow-spotted) Nicator, Stierling's Wren-Warbler (Barred Warbler) and Dickinson's Kestrel, as well as the elusive Narina Trogon.
Most Recent Sightings - Buffalo, Zebra, Bushbuck , Elephant, Giraffe, Impala, Baboon

View our comprehensive maps page to see the full range of printable and interactive maps.

Travel routes and times from central Gauteng are listed below. Travel by road requires entry through one of Kruger National Park's gates.

By Road - Punda Maria Gate:

• From Gauteng, take the N1 to Polokwane (Pietersburg).
• At Makhado (Louis Trichard) link up with the R524 and follow this route for ±140 km. That will take you to the gate. Allow between 5 to 6 hours for the trip to the gate.
• Punda Maria Rest Camp is 10 km away from the gate. Allow about 20 minutes for the drive to the camp, however if you want to enjoy the game viewing possibilities give yourself more time!
GPS : -22.6954 (latitude), 31.0161 (longitude)

Recommended game drives from this camp:

1. The H13-2 out of Punda Maria takes you to the H1-7 to Shingwedzi, via the small S58 (Dzundzwini) Loop to the right. Exiting the loop right onto the H1-7, follow the main road south until you reach the right-hand turnoff for the S56, which runs alongside the Mpholongo river, back to the H1-7.

2. For a short drive, exit Punda Maria on the H13-2 and take the first left onto the S60 and the next left onto the S61 (Klopperfontein Loop) for a view of the Klopperfontein Dam. Exit the S61 right, onto the H1-8 and take the next right onto the H13-1, which takes you back to Punda Maria.

The food at the restaurant was amazing! the Venison Pie was too tasty! The Game drive with Patrick was very informative and he went out of his way to show us game. Excellent value for money . Can't wait to go again!

Brian Biccard

Very nice, clean place for overnight stay. Friendly Staff, good prices, very comfortable beds. Extremely recommended!

Mark Berowski

Punda Maria was a great camp with friendly staff and the bungalow was amazing.

Rudolph van Tonder

We really enjoyed our stay in the tent 5 and congratulate Bandile and his staff for their helpfulness and courtesy. We thought that we had left our binoculars at Pafuri Picnic spot and Bandile went out of his way to assist us. We are back in the tents just after Christmas.

MARIE-LOUISE VAN NIEKERK

We enjoyed our stay although it was very hot. Traffic in this area is a lot less and ideal if you want to rest and get away a bit. We have seen more elephant, buffalo and Nyala than we have ever seen before. A concern is that we went out via Phalaborwa Gate and in the week we have not seen even one Rhino.

Stoffel Kriel

Basic but awesome.

Tony Da Fonseca

What a great stay, so peaceful, friendly staff. Definitely worth a visit!

Jolene

Our trip was one of the best memorable ones - priceless and absolute enjoyment. Those bungalows are what I needed to de-connect from the busy urban life. The night felt like a 24hour single night shot without any interruptions from the busy world. In future, I will definitely choose KNP bungalows over a 5-star city hotel.Everything was super and hassle-free, I will always treasure the trip. My home town Giyani is just 70 km from the Punda Maria Gate, but never slept in KNP, I always visited as a day-visitor to the park, but all has changed on how I treasure KNP as an absolute resting destination lately. Big ups guys!!!

Musa Mhlongo

Great.

carol

This was the best accommodation of our two week trip through Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Easy, authentic and comfortable, a model for this type of travel experience

Carol Hall

Accommodation options

Camp Site (CK6)

Dates Base rate Extra adult Extra child Unit Sleep
20 Mar 2019 — 31 Oct 2019 $ 21 $ 6 $ 3 6 people
From $ 21

For 2 people

- Extra vehicles pay additional rate - No power 

Camp Site (CK6P)

Dates Base rate Extra adult Extra child Unit Sleep
20 Mar 2019 — 31 Oct 2019 $ 24 $ 6 $ 3 6 people
From $ 24

For 2 people

- Extra vehicles pay additional rate - Powerpoint

Bungalow (BG2)

Dates Base rate Extra adult Extra child Unit Sleep
20 Mar 2019 — 31 Oct 2019 $ 78 - - 2 people
From $ 78

For 2 people

- 1 bedroom with 2 single beds - Aircon - Communal Kitchen - Fridge - No Smoking - No utensils - Wc and shower 

Safari Tent (ST2)

Dates Base rate Extra adult Extra child Unit Sleep
20 Mar 2019 — 31 Oct 2019 $ 91 - - 2 people
From $ 91

For 2 people

- 2 single beds - Barbeque Facilities - Ceiling Fan - Fridge - Fully equipped kitchenette on verandah - No Smoking - Wc and shower 

Safari Tent (ST2Z)

Dates Base rate Extra adult Extra child Unit Sleep
20 Mar 2019 — 31 Oct 2019 $ 91 - - 2 people
From $ 91

For 2 people

- 2 single beds - Barbeque Facilities - Ceiling Fan - Fridge - Fully equipped kitchenette on verandah - No Smoking - Unit accessible to the mobility challenged - Wc and shower 

Bungalow (BD3)

Dates Base rate Extra adult Extra child Unit Sleep
20 Mar 2019 — 31 Oct 2019 $ 97 $ 18 $ 9 3 people
From $ 97

For 2 people

- 1 bedroom with 3 single beds - Aircon - Fridge - Hotplate - No Smoking - Sink - Utensils - Wc and shower 

Family Cottage (FU6)

Dates Base rate Extra adult Extra child Unit Sleep
20 Mar 2019 — 31 Oct 2019 $ 228 - - 6 people
From $ 228

For 4 people

- 1 en-suite bedroom with a double bed - 2 en-suite Bedrooms, each with 2 single beds - 3 bathrooms, each with wc and shower - Aircon - DSTV (Limited Channels) - Kitchen - No Smoking 

Family Cottage (FU6Z)

Dates Base rate Extra adult Extra child Unit Sleep
20 Mar 2019 — 31 Oct 2019 $ 228 - - 6 people
From $ 228

For 4 people

- 1 en-suite bedroom with a double bed - 2 en-suite Bedrooms, each with 2 single beds - 3 bathrooms, each with wc and shower - Aircon - DSTV (Limited Channels) - Kitchen - No Smoking - Unit accessible to the mobility challenged