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Punda Maria

At a Glance

    Pros

  • possibly the most attractive of all the camps
  • delightful short walking trail in camp
  • best birding area in Kruger with some endemic species

    Cons

  • very far north
  • game less abundant than the south
  • cottages very close together

Punda Maria Review

It's a pity that few foreign visitors make it to this lovely little camp in the far north end of the park near Zimbabwe, because in some ways it offers the best bush experience of any of the major rest camps. It's a small enclave, with tiny whitewashed thatch cottages arranged in terraces on a hill. The camp lies in sandveld, a botanically rich area notable for its plants and birdlife. This is Kruger's best birding camp: at a tiny, saucer-shaped, stone birdbath just over the wall from the barbecue site, dozens of birds come and go all day. A nature trail winds through and behind the camp—also great for birding, as is the Punda/Pafuri road, where you can spot lots of raptors. A guided walking tour from here takes you to one of South Africa's most interesting archaeological sites—the stone Thulamela Ruins, dating from 1250 to 1700. Lodging includes two-bed bungalows with bathrooms and, in some cases, kitchenettes, plus fully equipped safari tents. There are also two very private six-bed family bungalows up on a hill above the camp; they're visited by an amazing variety of not-often-seen birds and some friendly genets. Reservations are advised for the restaurant (don't expect too much from the food), and only some of the campsites have power.

    Hotel Details

  • 22 bungalows, 2 family cottages, 7 safari tents, 61 campsites
Updated: 11-13-2012

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