Find out when is the best time to visit Kruger National Park in South Africa. Game-viewing in Kruger Park is best in winter but some visitors prefer the lush vegetation of the summer months.
Best time to visit
The Kruger Park is an all year round destination
, with each season bringing its own highlights. Whatever time you decide to safari in the Kruger National Park - you will not be disappointed!
Game viewing can be at its best during the dry winters months, however the wet summer season brings full waterholes
, lush bushveld, many newborn wildlife and the summer migrant birds arrive.
The Kruger Park has a hot, sub-tropical climate
and most of the year it is hot during the day (above 25 ° C).
Summer is the rainy season in Kruger Park. The rains fill the rivers and waterholes, resulting in the bushveld looking lush. Game viewing is sometimes a bit more difficult in the summer season because the vegetation is dense, making it bit harder to locate and observe wildlife. Towards the end of November and early December, Kruger National Park is filled with newborns and spotting wildlife with their young is a memorable Kruger Park safari experience.
Birding is excellent during this time as the summer migrant birds arrive. If you are planning on visiting the Kruger Park during summer we recommend you travel in an air-conditioned vehicle and stay in air-conditioned accommodation.
It can get very hot during the day with up to a high of 30 degrees celsius. Camping can be a bit unpleasant, but if you are a die-hard camping enthusiast the heat and rain should not deter you.
Although some visitors might prefer the lush vegetation of the summer months, the best time for observing African wildlife in Kruger National Park is the dry winter season. The bushveld is more open allowing for better visibility. The grass is low, the bushes and trees are sparsely leaved and because it is so dry - with no rain - the wildlife will migrate towards the water.
Water holes, dams and rivers become a hive of activity and you are more likely to spot wildlife in the morning and evening as they come for a drink of water. The day temperatures in winter are pleasant but it can get quite chilly during the night-time so make sure you pack something warm when going on your afternoon/night game drives.
November through December:
The summer months in Kruger Park are very hot and humid with either continual rains 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 normally drier months with very hot days. Bird watchers can enjoy the array of migratory birds during this period.
- January Temperature: (+/-) 18 - 34 °C
- February Temperature: (+/-) 18 - 33 °C
- March Temperature: (+/-) 18 - 33 °C
This is Kruger Park's autumn period and the vegetation starts changing from thick lush green bush to a slightly sparser browning bush. The temperatures start cooling down at night but daytime is still warm. Scattered thunder showers can be experienced 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 becomes totally brown and trees start losing leaves. Visibility during game drives is enhanced due to sparser 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 the early morning and late afternoon game drives. Game viewing is generally fantastic as the visibility is good and the game is concentrated around any water source.
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. Because the rivers and dams are low, high concentrations of game can be viewed at these areas and game viewing in general is good. The first rains may start towards the end of October and the signs of spring and a new wet season are evident.
- September Temperature: (+/-) 12 - 28 °C
- October Temperature: (+/-) 16 - 32 °C
Read questions and answers in our Help on Planning