Punda Maria Camp

 

 

    

Accommodation

Campsites

• 50 x tent or caravan sites, with or without power point and rotating braai grids. Communal ablutions and cooking facilities (24-hour boiling water, electric hotplates and washing up facilities). Maximum of 6 persons per site.

Safari Tents

• 7 x 2-bed permanent furnished canvas tents on stilts, fully equipped, with shower, fridge, cooking and braai facilities.

Bungalows

• 18 x 2-bed units, equipped with en-suite ablutions (all with showers), 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.

• 4 x 3-bed units, equipped with en-suite ablutions (all with showers) and air-conditioning. All have sinks and hotplates with kitchenette and communal braai (barbeque) area.

Family Bungalow

• 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.

Accommodation at Punda Maria Rest Camp caters to a variety of guest requirements and is well suited for those guests that are looking for a self-catering bushveld experience. Why rush? Stay longer!


Activities

• Guided Bush Walks
• Game Drives (in the company of trained field guides)
• Bush Breakfast and Bush Braai (Barbecue) available on special request. Includes game drive to venue. Confirm availability when booking.
• Paradise Flycatcher camp walk
• Thulamela Archaeological Trail (located about 50 km outside of camp)
• Nyalaland Wilderness Trail (pre-booked overnight activity)
• Northern Plains 4 x 4 Adventure Trail (weather sensitive activity)

These activities will ensure an exciting bush experience. All bookings, as well as further details for these activities are available from reception.


Facilities

• Information at Reception
• Public Telephone
• Post Box
• Restaurant
• Cafeteria
• Shop
• Laundromat
• Filling Station
• Communal Kitchens
• Communal Ablutions
• Swimming Pool
• Cutlery and Plates Hampers (from Reception)
• Basic First Aid Assistance
• Day Visitors Picnic Area (located 8 km outside of camp next to Punda Maria Gate)
• TVs (limited DSTV) available in family bungalows only
• Cell phone reception


Flora and Fauna

Mammals

Game can prove sparse but kudu, nyala, buffalo and Sharpe’s grysbok thrive in this habitat. Wild dog, elephant and lion are also frequently recorded. The Mahonie Loop is also the best venue in the Kruger National Park to see the diminutive suni antelope. A trip to Pafuri will produce plenty of nyala and impala, and possibly some bushbuck.

Vervet monkey and baboon will be seen in abundance and plenty of hippo and Nile crocodile in the riverbed itself. Early arrivers heading down Nyala Drive may well be lucky enough to see bush pig.

Vegetation

The camp is situated in sandveld. The sandy soil means the area is well drained and several natural springs occur. The plant communities are very complex. No single tree species dominates, but several species are restricted to this ecozone. Visitors should search for white syringa, mixed bushwillow, silver cluster-leaf, baobab, pod mahogany, sickle bush and weeping wattle. Grazing is sparse to moderate sweet grass.

Birding in Punda Maria

In the camp (particularly on the Paradise Flycatcher Trail) Yellowbellied Greenbul and Terrestrial Brownbul (Bulbul), Bearded Scrub Robin should be looked for. Birding throughout the camp is excellent. Birds of prey are common overhead. Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle is sometimes seen, while in winter the White-necked Raven is a regular visitor. The Mahonie Loop, (the 25km circular drive around the camp) is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding birding drives in the Park. One should give oneself plenty of time to cover the distance, and travel with windows down and stop frequently, particularly for calls. On a good day one could record several of the following ‘specials': 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. Narina Trogon has also been recorded on the loop, but is shy and elusive. On the drive from Punda Maria to Pafuri via the Klopperfontein Dam, Racket-tailed Roller and Southern (Mashona) Hyliota have been recorded. This is also one of the best areas to search for Yellow-billed Oxpecker. This species was absent in the park for many years, but returned in the 1980s and their numbers are still increasing. Buffalo are the preferred hosts.

(Compiled by Chris Patton , with input from Nic Squires, Ian Whyte , Hein Grobler , Andrew Deacon , Errol Pietersen, and several other birder both staff and public)


Travel routes and times from central 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: 31.0161100  -22.6954900