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“Backwards in Time”

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Punda Maria Restcamp
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
53 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Backwards in Time”
Reviewed June 9, 2014

Arriving at this camp after a long drive was quite a surprise. The camp is still set up like many other Kruger camps were in the 60's. The units were very small and had the absolute minimum as far as equipment went. We had to make use of a communal cooking area which was pretty dirty and had to purchase paper plates and plastic utensils as nothing is supplied. The only positive about the accommodation was that it was clean.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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153 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
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English first
CapeTown : South Africa
Level Contributor
53 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2014

We visited in 2012 and return this year as we hade a really great visit here and will again stay longer this year despite a 1200km + trip as this camp which has this a very special ambiance.

I had last visited with my parents in 1966 and some things had not changed which is great - they have preserved a certain of the old buildings from the past which no new modern establishment can replace

Reading the reviews it is heartening that the majority of visitors from abroad enjoy the camp and the value for money afforded, though it is disappointing that some visitors to this country expect to pay a little more than a European campsite rate (currently average about 40Euro = R560 - yet this comes in at about 60 Eur or R890 for private en-suite accom with ambience ) - Clearly some visitors to this country want to pay minimal costs but expect expect ****Star luxury accommodation- those days are long gone in any civilised country..

Some overseas visitors from abroad should be aware that these parks are aspiring to high service excellence at affordable cost = decent wages need to be met .

I do realise that the service ideal is not always met by the Sanparks personel so if the service or accommodation is deficient , make your voice heard when you do an appraisal after visiting

In our opinion, this camp is really good and exceptionally good value for money - we stayed in the safari tents .

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank FairCape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rustenburg
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2014 via mobile

This was my first visit to Punda Maria. I came unprepared (as usual!). It was a surprise that the usual amenities are not available in the bungalows, but the shop had everything I needed for a braai.

The restaurant was very good, I had their pap & vleis - delicious and a very nice glass of wine.

My tip would be to bring a Cell C sim card with if you want to stay in touch with the world. Very good 5Mbs 3G connection. MTN and Vodacom useless here.

Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
Helpful?
2 Thank Gordon_Day
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kinallen.N.Ireland
Level Contributor
79 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2014

We stayed at this camp in October 2013 for two nights and had a fantastic time, we hired three cottages and were well prepared, bringing all our food, loads of BBQing and a few glasses of vino at night. Each night, as we were working the BBQ we had a visitor in the shape of a Spotted Genet who came into the Braai area drawn by me cremating something. It was great to see.
Within the first hour driving we came across a Leopard and then the following morning a Lion kill within 5k of our gate.

The cottage had a en suit/twin beds and a few seats which we took outside in the evening, the camp had a petrol station and a small shop/cafe information office.
The area north of the camp is really why we visited the camp and it did not disappoint, beautiful place with loads of Baobab trees and large rivers.

ONE MAJOR PROBLEM, as we drove the last 40 kilometres to the Punda Maria on the R524 we came across road blocks the last one was manned with about twenty young men who threatened us with rocks and hammers as we manoeuvred around these blockages. At the last road block we noticed two police men armed with shot guns about 75m before we came to the block!!!

After saying all that, we are going back this October for two more days but this time we are going to enter the park at Phalaborwa and drive to Punda Maria.

My advise is don't drive the R524

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank russellrowantree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2014

Stayed at Punda Maria for just the one night of a four night trip to Kruger. Our favourite camp for the holiday. We stayed in a tent which was clean, with excellent amenities and private (couldn't see another person from the balcony. The highlight, of course, was not the room but the wildlife. We went on night and morning drives with ranger Willie as the guide and saw the full range of lions, leopard, elephants, buffalo etc. etc.
Couldn't speak highly enough of the 24 hours we spent there, will definitely be back for more in the future.

Room Tip: Tents are amazing.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Matthew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
102 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2014

This camp seemed to be smaller than the others in the park. Accomodation was better than the other camps, room was cleaner as was the bathroom but restaurant was below average but at least it was open. Fine for an overnighter but not for a holiday.

Room Tip: Plenty of baboons in the camping ground.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Leslie-ann C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2014

.Stayed two nights in a bungalow at Punda Maria. Found it to be dark and small but very clean, in need of an update.The communal kitchen would benefit from being fully covered to keep the flies away from your food. The pool was refreshing although a lot of frogs around at night. We visited the waterhole on both nights and saw buffalo on both occasions,The park itself was fab and saw lots of birds and animals too numerous to mention. Need to be aware not to leave rubbish in the bin outside the bungalow as lots of Vervet Monkeys around early morning rummaging for food. Overall a quiet relaxing restcamp just needs a little TLC.

Room Tip: Bungalows on the front of the road( no.17 we stayed in ) not much terrace to sit out and you have th...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A C
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

Property: Punda Maria Restcamp
Address: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 13 Hotels in Kruger National Park
Number of rooms: 24

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