When is the best time to visit Kruger Park?
The Kruger National Park is a year-round destination, with each season bringing its own highlights. Whichever time of year you choose to go on safari in the Kruger National Park, you will not be disappointed!
Game viewing can be at its best during the dry winter months, but the wet summer season brings full waterholes, lush bushveld, lots of newborn wildlife and the arrival of summer migrant birds. The Kruger Park has a hot subtropical climate and most of the year it is hot (over 25°C) during the day.
Summer is the rainy season in the Kruger Park. The rain fills the rivers and waterholes, making the bushveld look lush. Game viewing is sometimes a little more difficult in the summer season as the vegetation is denser and it is more difficult to locate and observe wildlife. Towards the end of November and the beginning of December, the Kruger National Park is full of newborn calves and seeing wildlife with their young is an unforgettable safari experience.
Birding is excellent at this time as the summer migrants arrive. If you are planning to visit the Kruger Park in the summer, we recommend that you travel in an air-conditioned vehicle and stay in air-conditioned accommodation.
It can get very hot during the day with highs of up to 30 degrees Celsius. Camping can be a little uncomfortable, but if you are a die-hard camping enthusiast, the heat and rain should not put you off.
Although some visitors may prefer the lush vegetation of the summer months, the best time to see African wildlife in Kruger National Park is during the dry winter season. The bushveld is more open and visibility is better. The grass is low, bushes and trees are sparse and because it is so dry – with no rain – wildlife moves to water.
Waterholes, dams and rivers become a hive of activity and you are more likely to see game in the mornings and evenings as they come to drink. Daytime temperatures in winter are pleasant, but it can get quite chilly at night, so make sure you pack something warm for your afternoon/evening game drives.
November to December
The summer months in the Kruger Park are very hot and humid with either constant rain or occasional afternoon thundershowers. Many young animals are born during this time.
November temperature: (+/-) 16 – 32 °C
December Temperature: (+/-) 18 – 34 °C
January to April
These are usually drier months with very hot days. Bird watchers can enjoy the variety of migratory birds during this period.
January temperature: (+/-) 18 – 34 °C
February Temperature: (+/-) 18 – 33 °C
March Temperature: (+/-) 18 – 33 °C
This is the autumn season in the Kruger Park and the vegetation begins to change from thick, lush green bush to a slightly sparser, browning bush. Temperatures begin to cool at night, but the days are still warm. Scattered thundershowers are possible in the afternoons.
April temperature: (+/-) 13 – 28 °C
May to June
Cold temperatures are experienced at night and at dawn during our winter months. The vegetation turns brown and the trees begin to shed their leaves. Visibility during game drives is improved due to less vegetation.
May temperature: (+/-) 13 – 28 °C
June Temperature: (+/-) 9 – 26 °C
July to August
This period is very dry in the bush with very cold night temperatures and therefore chilly during early morning and late afternoon game drives. Game viewing is generally fantastic as visibility is good and game is concentrated around water sources. July to October is the end of the dry season and the malaria carrying mosquitoes are dormant.
July temperature: (+/-) 9 – 26 °C
August Temperature: (+/-) 12 -28 °C
September to October
Spring is the height of the dry season with hot, dry winds and colourless, sparse vegetation. As the rivers and dams are low, high concentrations of game can be seen in these areas and game viewing is generally good. The first rains may start towards the end of October and the first signs of spring and a new rainy season are evident.
September temperature: (+/-) 12 – 28 °C
October Temperature: (+/-) 16 – 32 °C