Punda Maria Rest Camp – The Northernmost Place to Stay

Punda Maria Rest Camp is almost at the top of Kruger National Park on the western side. It’s very close to the entrance gate of the same name.

In fact, the gate is just 10km (6 miles) away to the west. If you’re coming into the game reserve at this gate, the rest camp is a convenient place to stay at, especially if you enter near gate closing time.


What to Stay in

At the rest camp, you have a choice of staying in the following types of accommodation:

  • Camp sites – pitch your tent or park your caravan or campervan
  • Safari tents – permanent canvas tents on platforms
  • Bungalows – often round thatched huts or semi-detached units

Things to do from the Camp

There are a range of activities available from the rest camp:

  • Morning, sunset and night game drives
  • Starting out on the 4-day Nyalaland Wilderness Trail trek
  • Bush breakfasts and braais (BBQs), by prior arrangement
  • Exploring the 500-year-old Thulamela archaeological site, about 50km (31 miles) away

All of these activities, except for the Thulamela drive, which you get to in your own car, need to be booked in advance.

Within the rest camp, there’s also a nice trail through it to try, called the Paradise Flycatcher Camp Walk. (The walk is named after a type of bird.)

Rest Camp flower

If you’d like to spend some time watching for birds while you’re in the rest camp, there’s a bird hide overlooking a waterhole on the edge of the camp. Bird hides are nice places to spend some time relaxing in the evening once the gates have closed.


Because the rest camp is a main camp, it has a number of facilities, such as:

  • Petrol station
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Swimming pool

There’s even a special picnic area for day visitors to use where they can cook a meal on their own BBQ.

If you do travel this far north, count yourself among one of the few adventurers who make it to this Kruger National Park rest camp!