Kruger National Park - North - Punda Maria
Punda Maria Rest Camp is the northern most rest camp of the Kruger National Park. The camp is located just a few kilometers from the Mozambique and Zimbawe borders. The camp is easiest accessed from the Punda Maria Gate and is located just over 8kms from here. Driving north along the main road for about 4kms, you will find the turn-off to the camp on your left. After another 4kms, you will arrive at the camp. The trip from the Punda Maria Gate to the camp site will take approximately 15 minutes, assuming there are no stops on the way to admire the wildlife.
The road to the Punda Maria Gate and then on to Shingwedzi camp is all tarred. The roads within the camp are also tarred.
There are a total 50 sites at this camp, with some located along the fence,. The camp sites that are located in the middle of the site are spacious and well spaced The ones along the fence are smaller and quite tightly packed.
There are some sections along the fence where you are not allowed to camp. This ensures that sites located away from the fence will have an uninterrupted view into the surrounding area.
If you arrive early enough at the camp site, try and snatch up one of the three sites located along the fence to the left of the bird hide. These sites have the best views.
Electrical boxes with 4 plug points are scattered throughout the camp site. Some boxes are located close to the stands, while for others you will need to bring an extra long extension cord to reach them.
There are no lights at this camp site, but there are lights at the ablution facilities and at all the communal facilities..
There are three ablutions facilities at the camp site. Two are located on either end of the campsite, while, the other is located towards the middle of the campsite close to the swimming pool. There are facilities for the disabled. The bathrooms are all tiled throughout with neat white tiles. There are mirrors against the wall. The showers are a bit on the tight side, and you will need to stand in the middle of the cubicle in order to close the door. The shower curtain can be a bit bothersome. Toilet paper is supplied, but can run out quickly.
Hot water is supplied to the bathroom from electric geysers, which means that there is hot water on demand. During busy times though,the hot water can become scarce.
There are three kitchens available to campers. The one is located close to the bathrooms by the swimming pool and the other two are located in the middle of the camping area. They are square and typical of all the kitchens in the Park. There is a laundry with coin-operated washing machines and dryers, located close to the bathrooms at the swimming pool
There is are taps located in the communal kitchen areas..
Bins are located in the communal kitchen areas.
Braais are of the fixed steel variety which have swing-out grids. However, there are also a few loose-standing braais available, which can be moved closer to the camp site. Wood can be purchased at the on-site shop.
There is a pool located close to the road which separates the camping area from the chalets. It is great for cooling off after a long hot day.
- There is a shop on site where you can purchase most items you may need
- There is a restaurant
- Fuel is available at the camp site
- Sanparks has a tourist information office here
The most special feature of the Punda Maria Rest camp is the floodlit hide. The hide is easily accessible to all campers, and the view of the elephants drinking at the waterhole is definitely memorable.
Game can be scarce in this region, but this is the main stomping grounds of the elephants in the park. If you are looking to see these magnificent creatures, then Punda Maria Rest Camp is the place to go.
Please be aware that there are resident baboons and vervet monkeys that can cause their fair share of havoc in the camp. At night, the bushbabies will come out and cause their own unique chaos in the camp.
Bookings can only be made through the South African Parks Board. You can book online or phone the central reservation number on 012-428-9111.
All booking information on this camp can be found on their website at www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/camps/punda/