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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Punda Maria Relaxation Camp, Kruger Nationwide Park


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Punda Maria relaxation camp is the northernmost relaxation camp in Kruger Nationwide Park. It has a sub-tropical local weather and is famend for its birding alternatives. It’s solely a 15min drive to the Punda Maria Gate, and a 1h drive to the subsequent park relaxation camp, Sirheni Bushveld Camp. 

The plush vegetation of the realm attracts a considerable amount of wildlife and uncommon fowl species (extra information on this under). We noticed a Pel’s fishing owl not removed from right here! That is additionally the most effective space in Kruger to see nyalas. 

small plain with zebras

Scene close to Punda Maria

The Punda Maria Relaxation Camp gate closes between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm (identical to all the opposite relaxation camps in Kruger), relying on the month. The remainder camp gate hours aren’t the identical because the park gate hours. Be sure you know when the gate closes and that you’re again at camp in time. In case you are late to get to camp you’ll get a warning. The second time, you’ll get a nice. 

Not many individuals make the drive to Punda Maria. That is why the north finish of the park is at all times quieter and with fewer vehicles. When you have had sufficient of busy Kruger then we advocate you drive to Punda Maria and keep right here. Different camps that we advocate for a quiet Kruger safari may be present in our article The artwork of escaping the crowds in Kruger.

black and white bird with a gecko tail on its beak

Magpie Shrike (African Longtailed Shrike) with a gecko tail!

Tsendze rustic camp, one other one among our favourite Kruger camps, is barely 83 miles (134km) south of Punda Maria. Letaba relaxation camp, is 109 miles (176 km) south of Punda Maria. 

Punda Maria Relaxation Camp amenities

You’ll be able to anticipate finding the identical kind of amenities right here as at some other relaxation camps in Kruger.

The camp has a petroleum station, a small store, a pool, a cafeteria,  a fowl disguise, a laundromat, communal ablutions, and a communal kitchen. 

Dawn drives and sundown drives may be booked at reception.

Mountaineering path: The Flycatcher path is a brief path (about half a mile) within the camp that begins behind the restaurant. 

chalets with thatched roofs and green trees

The bungalows at Punda Maria Relaxation Camp

Punda Maria lodging

Punda Maria provides all kinds of lodging going from campsites to safari tents to bungalows and household cottages.

The Punda Maria campsite has 50 websites. 

7 luxurious safari tents with a completely geared up kitchenette on the veranda, and toilet.

Bungalows with 2 or 3 beds. The distinction between these, other than the variety of beds is that the two-bedded bungalows don’t have a kitchen however entry to a communal kitchen. The three-bedded bungalows have a sizzling plate and a fridge. Be sure you learn the bungalows facilities earlier than reserving as it’s straightforward to ebook the unsuitable one. 

You can too ebook a household cottage (6 folks) or the Russell visitor cottage (4 folks).

Punda Maria Campground

The campground at Punda Maria is quiet, with numerous timber, clear ablutions, a communal kitchen, and a pleasant swimming pool, and is true subsequent to the fowl disguise. 

The websites are just about like some other Kruger campground, with a braai, and never a lot else.

Tent on a camping site with trees

Tenting at Punda Maria

swimming pool with trees and grass

Punda Maria pool

Punda Maria fowl disguise

No relaxation camp in Kruger is full and not using a fowl disguise. Punda Maria’s fowl disguise is positioned close to the tenting space of the remainder camp and overlooks a waterhole. It’s the excellent place to chill out and do some fowl watching through the sizzling components of the day or attempt to spot predators at night time. African wild canine have been sighted right here, so preserve your eyes peeled!

bird hide in Kruger

The fowl disguise at Punda Maria relaxation camp

Wildlife that you simply would possibly see:

  • impala
  • nyala
  • buffalo
  • kudu
  • elephant
  • noticed hyena
  • civet
  • sunbirds
  • giant noticed genet
  • vervet monkey
  • baboon
  • leopard
  • bushbabies
southern carmine bee-eater perched on a branch

A southern carmine bee-eater close to camp

Birds that you could spot from the disguise:

  • melba finch
  • large eagle owl
  • golden breasted bunting
  • fiery-necked nightjar
  • Southern carmine bee-eater
  • kori bustard
  • trumpeter hornbill
  • crested guineafowl
  • woodland kingfisher
  • red-billed firefinch
  • red-eyed bulbul
  • bat hawk
photographer at a bird hide overlooking a waterhole

The view from the Punda Maria waterhole

waterhole with zebras

Punda Maria waterhole

The fence on the relaxation camp is fairly flimsy, like the opposite camps, so anticipate finding some wildlife in it. We noticed vervet monkeys through the day, and at night time we noticed a small antelope and a civet. If you happen to stroll round at night time at all times carry a flashlight and test round you. 

vervet monkey sitting on a branch

Vervet monkey

Drives from Punda Maria relaxation camp

For the reason that north of the park is much less visited, driving round is extra nice than down south. Wildlife jams are much less regular (besides when elephants take over the highway), and also you’ll get to take pleasure in Kruger wilderness.

Drive to Klopperfontein waterhole. The waterhole is about 14 miles north of the camp, so be sure you have time to drive there and again for those who select to drive near sundown. 

elephant on gravel road

The roads are quiet in north Kruger

After we stayed there we loved this drive, and we have been the one ones on the waterhole. Regulars listed here are Cape buffalo, zebras, elephants, and eland. 

a waterhole in Kruger

Klopperfontein waterhole

One other drive is the Mahonie loop, which is a 15 miles loop that goes round round camp and is nice for birding. 

When you have extra time, drive as much as Pafuri picnic space. It’s only a few 35 miles drive and you’ll have a picnic with attractive views of the Luvuvhu river. Not removed from right here, Crooks Nook is a should, as it’s the place South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique meet. 

If you happen to love this nook of Kruger and really feel like splurging, keep at The Outpost, an exquisite lodge with views over Luvuvhu river, or at Pafuri Border Camp.

Remaining ideas

Punda Maria Relaxation Camp is a good base to take pleasure in birding in Kruger and the peaceable northern a part of this nationwide park. Make the drive and luxuriate in a chunk of heaven in Kruger. 

two zebras at sunset

Zebras close to Punda Maria

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