Punda Maria Rest Camp
View availability and prices before making a booking.
Lovely campsites on the border of the rest camp72 x tent or caravan sites with power point available.
Cozy huts for a maximum of 3 people – Favorite amongst locals69 x 3-bed units available
Spacious family units for up to 6 people – Best Value for money23 x 6 bed units available
Perfect option for the traveller looking for luxury including breathtaking views.2 x Guest houses available
Situated in the botanical gardens of the beautiful Kruger National Park, you’ll find Punda Maria. Surrounded by sandveldplant life and numerous other plant species unique to the area, PundaMaria is as well known for its plants as it is for animals. This rest camp is the northernmostcamp in the park and it has a reputation for getting very hot during the intense summer months. A stay here is normally chosen by those who will be travelling the length of the park while visitors from Limpopo might preferto stay here
Some of the camp basics that you can expect when you book your stay at Punda Maria Rest Camp, Kruger National Park includes:
Punda Maria gate is the best point of entry for those headed to the Punda Maria rest camp. In recent years, the gate has been upgraded to handle the influx of visitors from the north. The other option is to enter through Pafuri Gate
Punda Maria is quite unlike any other camp you will ever visit in the Kruger. From the layout of the camp to the style of accommodation available, this camp is exceptionally unique. The atmosphere of the camp can instantly make you feel as though you have been transported back in time to the era when the ox wagons moved through the area; quiet and tranquil
The history of the camp dates back to 1919when the first ranger was sent to this northern, remote post. His name was Captain J.J Coetser, and it is him who gave the camp its name. The name for zebra in Swahili is PundaMilia. And when Captain J.J Coetser arrived in the area, he saw a herd of zebra, and mistakenly christened the camp Punda Maria as he has misheard the pronunciation
His mistake did not go unnoticed. The local magistrate, C.L Harries told Coetser about his error, but instead of jumping to fix it, Coetser cleverly pointed out that Pundawill always remind him of the zebra he saw when he first arrived at the camp and his wife’s name was Maria, so why change it?Over the years the camp has seen its name changed back and forth a few times, from Punda Maria to Punda Milia, and back again, but what’s in a name?
If there is one thing that Punda Maria is very well known for, it’s the climate. While today guests to the camp can enjoy a relaxing dip in the pool, this was not always the case. As early as the 1990’s Punda Maria did not have a swimming pool, and tented guests would have to be creative when it came to keeping cool in the summer.
The camp's location, right at the top of the park, in the province of Limpopo, means that it experiences intense summer heat. If you plan on spending your whole Kruger holiday here, you might want to opt for a bungalow or other type of accommodation that will allow you to have full access to air conditioning or a fan.
The summers in Punda Maria are not for the faint heartedbut because of the remoteness of the camp, it is quite ideal for anyone wanting to enjoy a quiet stay in the park. The weather is balmy and wonderfully warm even in the midst of winter. If you want the kind of stay that will be completely memorable, without hitting all of the tourist areas, this is the camp for you.
Punda Maria is a camp that has enjoyed plenty of growth over the years. The camp accommodation has changed, been updated and been added to. Some of the accommodation at Punda Maria, caters specifically to giving guests a break from theheat, ensuring that at night guests can sleep comfortably unless they are in a tent, in which case your stay might be a little uncomfortable
Tent accommodation is without a doubt the most prominent style of accommodation in the camp. Punda Maria has placefor 50 tents or caravans. Some of the sites have power and some do not have power points, while each campsite has a rotating braai grid. Guests who are staying in tents or caravans will have access to communal ablution facilities as well as communal cooking facilities. In the cooking area, guests can use the 24 hour boiling water, washing up facilities as well as electric hotplates. A maximum of 6 people can stay comfortably at each campsite
With 7 safari tents available, with the capability of sleeping 2 people, this style of camping is certainly more stylish than your average camping options. Safari tents are placed uponstilts, and guests can enjoy fully furnished accommodation. Along with beds, these tents also have a fridge, a shower, cooking facilities and a place to braai.
There is nothing quite as comfortable as a bungalowbecause they have that lovely air conditioning. Bungalows are great for both small families as well as couples. There are 18 bungalows in the camp, each capable of sleeping 2people. They are equipped with an en-suitebathroom complete with a shower, air conditioning and a communal braai area. Guests will need to use a communal cooking area andthey will not have access to cutlery, crockery or utensils.
In addition to these bungalows, guests also have the option of staying in one of the 4, 3 bedbungalows. These bungalows also have en-suite bathrooms complete with a shower. The bungalows also have comfortable air conditioning. While guests wanting to braai can use a communal braai area, the bungalows also have a kitchenette with a hotplateand a sink.
With 2 family bungalows with 6 bedunits, family bungalows are perfect for providing plenty of comfortable sleeping space. These bungalows have 2 bedrooms with 2 single beds as well as 1 bedroom with a double bed. The bungalow also has 3 en-suite bathrooms. To make your stay even more comfortable, these bungalows havean open plan design in which you’ll find the kitchen, dining area and bar along with a living room which has limited DSTV. The family bungalow is doublestory and has a loft bedroom. Outside, guests can sit in the shade of the patio area
To get the most out of your stay in the Kruger National Park, there is some camp information that you might find makes your stay all the better. These are some of the tips andbits ofadvice you should keep in mind.
Staying in any of the Kruger camps means that you have to be fully aware that while you are in a camp, you are still in the wild Kruger. Animals, reptiles and insects are known to occasionally enter the camp and become an unwilling danger to park guests. Even though Punda Maria is situated far north in the park, animals are always nearby. Should you come across wild animals in the camp, you should rather not approach them. They might be in the camp, but they are still dangerous, especially if they should feel threatened. Should you spot an animal, you need to alert the camp reception and keep well out of the way of the animals.
It’s not only the wild animals taking a stroll into the park that might pose a bit of a danger. Reptiles such as snakes as well as insects including spiders and scorpionscan be dangerous. Not only could they possibly leave you with a painful biteor sting, but they could very well end up endangering your life. The park is home to countless different species of snakes, spiders and scorpions, which means there is always onethat could be quite dangerous. To stay safe, you need to make sure that you always wear shoes when you are outdoors. Snakes, spiders and scorpionscan so easily blend into the ground and thevegetation. Before you even realise it, you could have stepped on something that you’ll live to regret. So keep your shoes on and be sure to always have a torch at hand when walking around at night.
As we mentioned before, Punda Maria is in a tremendously hot area and while the camp has a swimming pool as well as air conditioning, you still need to make sure that you stay hydrated and cooled off if you are visiting the camp during the summer. The climate is dry in the winter and hot and humid in the summer. Another thing to keep in mind is that the area is well within a summer rainfall area which means that the vegetation can be a bit overgrown. Heavy rainfall in summer can also mean that low lying bridges can easily be flooded. If you should come across a flooded area during your safari, don’t attempt to cross it.
No gate times are different. You’ll find that through winter and summer, the gate times for all of the camps remains the same.
We always encourage guests to get out there as soon as the gates open, especially during the summer. The earlier you head out, the more chances you’ll have to see various animals living in the area.
The camp surrounds are without a doubt sandveldand you’ll find all of the accompanying vegetation typical to this type of sandy soil. There are also a few natural springs in the area that helps the vegetation to flourish. There are a few species of trees unique to the area, including baobab, pod mahogany, weeping wattle, white syringa, sliver cluster-leaf and mixed bushwillow.
Of the animals you could spot in the region, bush pig, nyala, lion, elephant and wild dog can be seen.