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“I expected little and loved it” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Punda Maria Restcamp

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Punda Maria Restcamp
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, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“I expected little and loved it”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

This was the first SANPARKs camp we were to stay in - so it was going to have a hard time living up to my expectations. As it was, I loved it! It was one of the less developed and simpler of the camps that we stayed in - but it has a special place in my heart. The fact that the cooking / braai facilities are communal means that it is a great way to meet the locals - they were so incredibly friendly and great fun, taking pity on us first time braai-ers and sharing their fires and food with us. they even took time to sit with us, review our itinerary and make suggestions - which we wholeheartedly embraced and this ended up making the holiday for us. We visited roads we'd never have found and saw sights we'd have missed if it was not for the kindness of the people in this camp.
The night skies are also incredible here - take time to walk down toward the gate and lie on the road around midnight - you'll see galaxies with your naked eyes.
The shop is small but reasonably well stocked for its size - we managed two wonderful meals of stew and burgers whilst we were there.
The room itself was compact but had everything we needed. The shower was warm and powerful and the little kitchen has a wee fridge and kettle.
Northern Kruger is a lovely place to stay - far from the maddening crowds and less game intense, but the birdlife and scenery is to die for. be sure to head up to Pafuri if you stay here - the scenery is out of this world.
I loved Punda Maria and would recommend it - but if you want 5* luxury and a ease going holiday then it is not the place for you.
I have also written an additional review about Punda Maria here in an attempt to encourage family and friends to visit! http://www.tarajiblue.com/2012/04/a-review-of-punda-maria-rest-camp-kruger-national-park-south-africa/

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    24
    41
    21
    3
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15
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
63 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2012

Punda Maria is located about 20 minutes' drive from Punda Gate, in the northern part of the Kruger Park. The rest camp has a rustic feel to it which is enhanced by extreme peace and quiet. The orignal camp was founded in 1934 and to this day the original bungalows, now renovated to include modern amenities, ooze the charm from days gone by. The three-bedroomed units have a convenient kitchenette inside. A swimming pool graces one of the terraces as one makes your way down to the birdhide which provides for interesting entertainment late afternoon, once the gates of the camp have been closed. I would strongly recommend at least two nights' stay in this wonderful camp!

Room Tip: Choose the 3-bed bungalows - code BD3 - for a comfortable stay.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

The 2 bed bungalows offer a very basic (rustic?) experience which is closer to luxury camping than the usual bungalow experience. The bungalows are very old, and although they have been renovated inside, their placement and design takes you back to time when things like layout and aesthetics were obviously not very important.

You feel right on top of each other (which you are), there is no view, and you are literally just a few metres away from the road that passes through the camp. There is no cupboard space to unpack anything into, and the shower and toilet, while adequate, is tiny. There is no kitchen (communal facilities are available) and you have to plug the kettle in on the floor next to the bed. The bedding (e.g. pillow cases) did not look particularly clean, and there was a bit of an unpleasant smell from the nearby ablution block, but otherwise the bungalow was clean and well maintained.

But, its not all bad - especially as the space limitations only seem to apply to the 2 bed units. In the Kruger, your bungalow is literally just a place to sleep, and the beds were comfortable, the aircon worked well, and there was always plenty of hot water. The camp staff were friendly, polite and efficient. However, for the same (or not much more) money, I'd choose the luxury tents (which are MUCH nicer) or even another camp...

Overall it was still a pleasant stay - and I'd be back - just to the luxury tents, or the bigger units with kitchens.

Room Tip: Rather book one of the luxury tents. They are much better situated, and although are a bit more expe...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Punda Maria Restcamp

Address: , Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 13 Hotels in Kruger National Park
Number of rooms: 24

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