å Kruger National Park Safari Calendar
A travel calendar of when to visit the Kruger National Park, with seasonal safari highlights.
December to March
This is the height of summer, and daytime temperatures can soar to well above 35 °C (up to 100 °F). At night it cools down to 20 °C. The rains are here in the form of dramatic thunderstorms, and sometimes a soft drizzle that can last for a couple of days. It is a time of abundance, lots of baby animals and therefore lots of predator action. The bush is lush and green, and the birdlife is prolific. Many seasonal and migratory birds can only be seen during this time. Game viewing during this time is a bit more difficult due to the lush vegetation but still very rewarding. Kruger is truly a year round destination and even the summer months won't disappoint.
April and May
The beginning of the dry season and a great time for going on safari. Animals start returning to the rivers and waterholes as the rain puddles dry up. The bush starts turning from green to brown and it becomes easier to spot wildlife. Migratory birds head north. Temperatures are not as hot anymore but still around 25-30 °C during the daytime. The early mornings can be chilly.
June to September
Winter is the dry season and peak safari time in the Kruger Park. Animals flock to the remaining water sources and one can spend some very productive time waiting at waterholes for animals to come and drink. Predators lie in wait for their prey near the waterholes, and exciting game viewing is guaranteed. The bush is drier and starts thinning out as the remaining grass gets trampled and eaten. By the end of the dry season, the ground is barren and dusty. During the day it is often warm and sunny (20-25 °C) but at night the temperature can drop to 10 °C or below, so bring warm clothes for the morning and evening game drives.
October and November
The height of the dry season and the start of the rainy season, when the bush waits in eager anticipation for the rains to come. The first rains can fall as early as September, but often the bush stays dry until October and only sees decent rains in November. If the rains are late, many waterholes dry up and animals desperately compete for the remaining water sources. Before the rains, the bush is dry, dusty and what little grass remains is brown and trampled. The game viewing can be spectacular. Expect hot weather during the day, reaching well above 30°C on most days. Sometimes up to 40°C. During November, soon after the first rains, the impala ewes give birth in their thousands and the time of abundance begins again. The bush transforms within a matter of days from lifeless to blooming, and from dusty brown to vivid green. This is an exciting time to be on safari. Perhaps the best time to visit Kruger.
Combining Kruger with other destinations?
Ask us for expert advice on the ideal time to go to get the best out of multiple destinations. Read more about Kruger in our Kruger Park Travel Guide