4) Choose your time of year:
Each season in Kruger National Park has its own uniqueness, but one can visit virtually any time of the year and have a great experience. Below is a break down of what to expect in different seasons throughout the year.
- Spring/Early summer (September – October):
This is a great time as the migratory bird species start arriving in South Africa, the animals are in “breeding mode” as most of the species use this time of year to reproduce and the habitat starts turning green and lush. The air is fresh and the bush starts getting colour as the first summer rains start falling. The temperatures start warming up, but isn’t unbearable, averaging around 25°-30° Celsius (77°-86° Fahrenheit) during the day. The sun rises nice and early, which means game viewing is at its best early in the morning and one can view game late into the morning before it heats up.
- Mid to Late summer (November-February):
With early sunrises and a lot of rain throughout the Park, this still is a great time of year to visit if you’re looking to experience the Park in all its green and lush beauty. Sightings are generally really good and despite what people think it isn’t that much more difficult spotting animals this time of year, even though the bush has encroached slightly. The game viewing time in the mornings and afternoons are less (but still great) as it warms up earlier in the day and cools down much later than usual, with temperatures averaging around 33°-42° Celsius (91°-107° Fahrenheit) during the day.
- Autumn (Fall)/Early winter (March-April):
The sunrises start slightly later in the morning and sets earlier in the evening, so from this time of year, your day out and about starts getting shorter. It is out of the rainy season, this makes camping easier/more pleasant and the temperatures start cooling down. The cooler temperatures mean more pleasant game viewing as well as the option of staying out in the field longer as well. Temperatures around this time of year average around 22°-28° Celsius (71°-82° Fahrenheit) during the day.
- Mid to Late winter (May-August):
The days start later and end earlier – which is great for the “not so early riser”. Game viewing time isn’t necessarily shorter as you can spend most of the day looking for animals. Migratory birds are gone, the habitat is mostly dry and bland and sparse and this does make for easier game viewing but the general experience might not be as fun. Temperatures average around 18°-26° Celsius (64°-78° Fahrenheit) during the day.