Wild Eye - Trevor McCall-Peat - Pungwe Bush Camp

Pungwe Bush Camp in The Manyaleti Game Reserve

Trevor McCall-Peat All Authors, Trevor 2 Comments

Pungwe Bush Camp is situated in the Manayleti Game Reserve which is roughly 23000ha in size and completely unfenced and open the the Kruger National Park.

I had only been to the Reserve once before and that was some years ago, so driving in from the gate I was very unsure of the type of experience to expect and how the reserve would look and feel. I am happy to report that I was VERY pleasantly surprised.

The camp is positioned in the South Eastern section of the reserve, which boasts great game viewing, the reason being the lodge is right on the boundary of the Sabi Sands and the Kruger National Park – perfect positioning.

The Camp

On arrival at Pungwe camp, you are greeted by very friendly staff and it is clear that they are passionate about what they do. Walking in, you pass over a small suspended bridge and immediately you pick up on the feel of the camp. To me, it gave me the feel of what the safari industry was like 30 years ago (in a good way). As you walk through camp there is a kettle which is on the fire which remains there 24/7 for anyone who wishes for a nice cup of tea or coffee. Interestingly, the fire is positioned in the same place it was 30 years ago having never moved.

Wild Eye - Trevor McCall-Peat - Pungwe Bush Camp
Wild Eye - Trevor McCall-Peat - Pungwe Bush Camp

Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Bush Camp

Some of the staff have been at Pungwe for over 20 years, a clear indication of how wonderful Pungwe really is.

The camp itself is very authentic and rustic yet very comfortable. The Camp consists of 4 tents which all have donkey boilers, an experience in its own right. There is no fence around the camp which adds to the “wild” feel of the camp, and the ranger walks you to and from your tent just to make sure there are no animals nearby. I personally love the fact that there are no fences around camp and to date they have never had any issues, apart from having to creep past elephants that were feeding on the vegetation in camp.

I cannot say it enough, this camp is simply a must. Have a look at the images below of the camp and I will let you make up your mind for yourself.

Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Bush Camp
Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Bush Camp
Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Bush Camp
Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Bush Camp

The camp itself is very authentic and rustic yet very comfortable. The Camps 4 tents are well spaced out and all look out over the bush. As mentioned, the camp is unfenced, which means that animals come and go as they please and an escort is needed in the evenings and early morning to walk from your tent to the fire place and visa versa.

Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp

Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp
Wild Eye - Trevor McCall-Peat - Pungwe Bush Camp
Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp

Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp

A stand out highlight for me has to be the food. The food is fresh and created on site. I have visited a number of different lodges and Pungwe’s food ranks right up there with the best. Durning dinner, The chef had baked some home made bread which to this day still leaves me longing for more.

The Reserve

As mentioned before, Pungwe has a massive traversing area and being situated where it is, it allows for some truly spectacular game viewing. It is also a very well known area for lions hunting buffalo which is always a fantastic spectacle to witness.

In my two drives there we saw two different lion coalitions (one had a buffalo kill) plenty of elephants, a large herd of buffalos and my highlight – A black rhino. I was very impressed with the guide, his knowledge and the reserve overall. It is extremely diverse and offers great photographic potential.

Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp
Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp
Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp
Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp

Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp

Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp
Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp

Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye - Pungwe Camp

Returning back after my trip, I cannot help but reflect on Pungwe and it is hard to pin point exactly why it is such a beautiful Reserve and quintessential camp as there are so many elements combined together to create a rather special experience, it truly is a hidden gem.

Interested in a private guided safari at Pungwe?

Pungwe Camp is a beautiful and authentic camp, where Wild Eye will be conducting private safaris in the future. Wild Eye will take exclusive use of the camp and sleeps anything between 1 and 5 guests plus a private guide. We are extremely excited about this new safari destination going forward and look forward to changing the way you see the world.

Enquire Now

Until next time,

Trevor

About the Author

Trevor McCall-Peat

Having Grown up in White River which then was a small town in the Lowveld, I have had an inner burning desire to pursue my passion and love for wildlife. From a young age I was guided by my family who shares the same passion for the natural world as I do. Frequently visiting wilderness areas from a young age instilled a deep craving to explore and learn more about the bush. Once I left school I began my journey to becoming a guide and following my dream. I have been a field guide for the past 9 years, starting out in the Western Cape and then returning to the lowveld where I spent my last 4 years spend at Londolozi Game Reserve where I gained invaluable experience and had the opportunity to learn about myself as an individual. Through my love for wildlife it has kick started my passion for photography and has allowed me to grow and pursue it as a career. Combining an array of different elements such as safaris, photography, being one with nature and sharing experiences with others is something I have really enjoyed doing and looking forward to continuing it on this new and exciting chapter.

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Comments 2

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      Trevor McCall-Peat

      I couldn’t agree with you more, we headed out with the intention to explore the Manyaleti and see what we could find, black rhino being the last thing I expected when we came around the corner only to find one standing right next to the road.

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