Punda Maria rest camp
Accommodation type: Bungalows, Safari Tents, Camping
Location: Northern Kruger National Park
Nearest Kruger gate: Punda Maria Gate (9km)
Nearest town: Louis Trichardt (150km)
Food: Self-catering (restaurant and shop on-site)
Perfect for… Exploring Kruger’s remote and magical far north
About Punda Maria rest camp
Punda Maria is the northern-most full rest camp in Kruger National Park. It is close to the Punda Maria Gate and is situated at the base of the rocky Dimbo Hill that offers excellent birding and rare antelope species such as nyala and grysbok. We have enjoyed a number of excellent big cat and wild dog sightings close to the camp in recent years.
Another major attraction is access to the far north of the park - an area called the _Pafuri_ region. The forests and alluvial floodplains along the Luvuvhu River are stunningly beautiful and are the only truly area of Kruger that can be called tropical. This makes for a very different safari experience and drives will encounter rare antelope and a myriad of bird species, many of which cannot be seen further south.
The nearby Klopperfontein Dam is also a local hotspot for game viewing, including a large resident pride of lions.
Punda Maria is one of the smaller rest camps and hosts only a modest number of bungalows and safari tents but a large camping ground. The restaurant is small and can get busy / full, so making a reservation in the morning is advised. There is also a shop that is relatively well stocked.
A short walking trail around the back of the accommodation is worth taking as resident bushbuck and rare birds can be encountered up-close. A hide overlooks a waterhole where elephants are regular visitors and there is a swimming pool should you need to cool off during the day. At night, the waterhole is floodlit and a must-do activity while staying in the camp. The camp also has a lovely swimming pool for cooling off on a hot day between drives.
Facilities & services
Morning game drives available
Night game drives available
Types of accommodation
Punda Maria is one of the smaller rest camps and hosts only a modest number of bungalows and safari tents but a large camping ground.
50 x tent or caravan sites, with or without power point and rotating braai grids. Communal ablutions and cooking facilities (24hr boiling water, electric hotplates and washing up facilities). Maximum of 6 persons per site.
(Unit codes CK6, CK6P)
7 x 2-bed permanent, furnished canvas tents on stilts, fully equipped with shower, fridge, cooking and braai facilities.
(Unit codes ST2, ST2Z)
18 x 2-bed units, equipped with en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning and communal braai area. There are no cooking utensils, crockery or cutlery, but a communal kitchen with scullery and electrical hotplate stoves is available.
(Unit code BG2)
4 x 3-bed units, equipped with en-suite bathroom and air-conditioning. All have sinks and kitchenette with hotplates and communal braai (barbeque) area.
(Unit code BG3)
2 x 6 bed units, with 3 en-suite bedrooms (2 bedrooms each with 2 single beds and 1 bedroom with a double bed). Equipped with open plan kitchen/dining/bar area and living room with (limited channel) DSTV. One of the rooms is upstairs (loft bedroom with patio). It also has a patio/braai area on the bottom floor.
(Unit codes FU6, FU6Z)
Punda Maria rest camp is located in the north of Kruger National Park. The closest park entrance gate is Punda Maria Gate (9km), while it can also be accessed from Pafuri Gate (72km).
Punda Maria is undoubtedly remote – the nearest reasonably large town with major road access is Louis Trichardt (150km). The nearest airport is Phalaborwa (200km) although this does not have many flights. OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg is 550km / 7-hours driving from Punda Maria rest camp.
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