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“lovely as always” 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
Johannesburg, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“lovely as always”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

My wife and I spent 4 nights at Punda Maria Restcamp in the Kruger Park over New Year, in what I can call our annual pilgrimage to this heavenly spot.
We statyed as usual in the little 'hartbeeshuisie' units, which are quaint, if a little small. Although I believe accomodation in the Park run by SANParks is overpriced, these units are still in decent condition.
I would recommend the camp to anyone who wants a unique Northern Kruger experience. Don't come here if you are chasing the big five, this is a camp for the visitor who is loooking for an authentic Kruger experience. The scenery and ambience of this part of the park is incredible, and the birding is phenomenal. When one does see animals, and yes they are around, you inevitably have them to yourself! One gets so much more of a sense of wilderness in this part of the Park, and even at this busiest time you can still feel that you have the Park to yourself. Every drive is menorable, especially the delightful Mahonie Loop and the open grassland with a special magic at Klopperfontein.
One of the best aspects of the camp is the communal cooking / dining area at night where you inevitably join your fellow campmates in preparing and enjoying your respective meal - spent swapping stories of the day gone by in the presence of the cute family of Thick-tiled Bushbabies who come out of the thick hillside bush to begin their nocturnal exploits.
I am almost reluctant to write this review and share such a lovely spot, but it is a place worth visiting on every visit to the Park!

Room Tip: The safari tents are stunning, set amongst the hillside bush, and ask for units fronting onto the co...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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63 reviews from our community

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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 (17)
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English first
Knysna, South Africa
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

We enjoyed our stay at Punda Maria, even the game viewing was much better in the southern park. The camp has a old time feel and is very peaceful, everything was clean......we not bird watchers and will rather return to the southern park side....

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
237 reviews 237 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 106 cities Reviews in 106 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

We stayed in Punda Maria during a week's holiday in KNP and it is one of our favourite. There is something about this camp that takes you back to a different era and completely relaxes you. There is a wonderful bird hide in the tent/caravan section along with the swimming pool. We used both and they were great. We ate breakfast at the restaurant it was more than adequate. Baboons were going through the caravans and tents and anything that wasn't stowed away was fair game. You need to be clever with your food and goods, these animals aren't stupid.

We stayed in the newer Safari tents on the far side of the park. If you can pay the bit extra and have a view or perimeter one it is well worth it - for the privacy alone. The bush is very dense around here, so any view would be an animal strolling past. We had Safari Tent number 16 which I can highly recommend. The decking was amazing which seemed to almost wrap around. It is a larger tent than Lower Sabie and appeared to be in better condition.

The animals are not so easy to see up here but we did spot a few.

Room Tip: Safari Tent with a view/perimeter Number 16
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Formby, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
193 reviews 193 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
209 helpful votes 209 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

We stayed 3 nights in one of their luxury tents, with outdoor terrace overlooking trees, very peaceful and game viewing good but not crowded, wonderful lion sighting just north of the camp really close and looking straight at us. One disaster when braii collapsed with burning coals but staff sorted and gave us dinner and the provided temporary braii. We had avoided the restaurants in the park because of previous bad experiences but were pleasantly surprised as the service was good and friendly and food tasty.

Room Tip: Recommend tents
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  • Stayed November 2013, 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
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Tzaneen, Limpopo, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

We went to Punda Maria Rest camp in July 2013 and were pleasantly surprised at the service and cleanliness. Being avid campers we enjoyed the quiet of the relatively small camping area and the clean ablution blocks.
The highlight of the weekend stay was the visiting herd of elephants that came to the watering hole on Friday and Saturday night. The bird hide in the camping area is wonderful. We will go to Punda Maria again for that alone.
Game viewing was average with the Mopani Shrubs dominating the bush, and making spotting animals difficult.
Overall a great stay, with many good memories.
Thank you SAN Parks.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Tallinn, Estonia
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

As probably most of the people, we were in northern Kruger because of the birds. And the trip was worth the effort, we saw and photographed some species we did not see anywhere else in South Africa.
Punda Maria camp was the only camp in Kruger where we did not sleep in a rondavel-style chalet, instead there were rondavel-style terraced houses - 3 rooms in each. The interior was quite worn but clean. It had 2 twin-beds and a bathroom and this was basically all we needed. We arrived to Punda Maria before sunset and left the next morning just after the gates were opened. The best birding sites are the Mahonie Loop around the camp and the areas near Pafuri picnic place in the north.
The restaurant was basic but the food was good. The "grillmeister" was doing his/her job very well that evening as the meat was really soft and tender.
Actually I have only good words to say about the whole staff - they were really welcoming, kind and joyful. Although we were one of the last ones to check-in, the face behind the reception welcomed me with a big smile and cheerful "Hello!"
The camp has also an adequate shop, gas station and a pool (did not try). So if you are in northern Kruger, I would recommend staying in Punda Maria camp. There are much less people than in the other Kruger camps and that means also that the self-drive safari is much more private than in the busy south.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hazyview
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

We went to Phunda Camp for a few days of camping. I love this camp as it is not as busy as the rest of the park and the ablution blocks were great , they were always clean and there was always hot water (not like some of the other BIG camps) and because it's a small camp there are no ques. There aren't a lot of animal activity but there are lots of rare birds and antelope species like Tsessebe and Roan . As the camp has a hide it was nice to go sit and see elephants and buffalo coming to have a drink at the shallow pool of water.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 14 Hotels in Kruger National Park
Number of rooms: 24

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