About Punda Maria Gate

Punda Maria Gate allows access into far nothern Kruger Park in the Limpopo Province. Punda Maria is approximately 7 hours drive from Pretoria or 542 km along the N1 and R81.

Did you know? The name Punda Maria comes from the Swahili word for zebra, which is punda miliya.

Recognised as the best region in the park for spotting the Nyala antelope, this part of the Kruger is also excellent for bird watching, sighting elephant and experiencing a less inundated portion of the park.

Punda Maria is the best gate through which to access the Pafuri region of the park. Despite being thought of as dry, this northern sector is subject to heavy rainfall, and, as a result, has some of the thickest mopane stands in the country. Punda Maria comes from the Swahili word for zebra (punda miliya).

The road from the gate to Pafuri (H1-8) is a particularly notable drive, often with sightings of elephant and ostrich, but also lion. And in summer, if you keep your eyes peeled, the carmine bee eater and lilac breasted roller may present themselves close to the road.

The plains alongside the Luvuvhu River attract a range of wildlife and on the water's edge you can see Abdim's stork or yellowbilled storks and spoonbills. The undergrowth in the river's dry season is home to the leopard.

You will find only two rest camps this far north in the park. The closest to the gate is Punda Maria Camp - the park's northernmost camp surrounded by rolling hills of the sandveld, a well drained sandy area subject to natural springs and beautiful trees like the apple leaf, tamboti, baobab, bushwillow, weeping wattle and leadwood. Small wonder that the Sandveld is also called the 'botanical garden' of the Kruger National Park.

Punda Maria Rest Camp has its own bird hide.

Drive routes include

• the road to Punda Maria camp through sandveld
• the S60 to the pafuri area and then the H1-8 to the Luvuvhu River bridge
• the h13-1 to Shingwedzi to the main road

Game to look out for

wild dog
Sharpe's grysbok
wild dogs
bee eater

Entrance Gates Open

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
05:30 05:30 05:30 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 05:30 05:30 05:30

Camp Gates Open

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
04:30 05:30 05:30 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 05:30 04:30 04:30

All Gates Close

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
18:30 18:30 18:00 18:00 17:30 17:30 17:30 18:00 18:00 18:00 18:30 18:30

Need to Know

WherePunda Maria Gate, Thohoyandou, Kruger National Park, Limpopo, South Africa

WhenSee seasonal gate opening and closing hours above.

Telephone+27 (0)13 735-6870

OvernightStay in Kruger Park Accommodation, Mpumalanga


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