Planning Your Kruger Park Holiday

This guide to Help on Planning your safari to Kruger Park offers information on the best time to visit, getting there, most suitable safari options and booking related questions and answers. Things to know when planning trip to Kruger Park.

When to Go

Is there a peak season in Kruger?

The Kruger Park is a popular destination all year round with over a million visitors annually. Peak seasons are over school holidays in June, July, September and December. Public holidays, especially if a long weekend, are also in high demand. These dates can get booked up almost a year in advance.

What time of the year will I be most likely to view wildlife?

Kruger Park is a year round destination. The best time for observing wildlife in the the Park is during the dry winter season which is between June and October. The grass is low and the bushes and trees are sparsely covered - you should have a fairly unobstructed view of the surrounding area. Animals gather around waterholes allowing for greater game viewing opportunities.

If you are traveling to South Africa between November and March, combining a Kruger Park Safari with a beach holiday is a great way to experience the best of what South Africa has to offer.

What is the weather in Kruger Park like?

In the Kruger National Park you'll find a subtropical climate, with hot summers (40 C / 104 F), and warm, dry winters, (17-22 C / 60-70 F), with intermittent summer rains which fall between October and March.

Read more about the weather and seasons in the Kruger Park Calender

How to Choose

What should I base my choice on for which safari to book? How do I decide which package is right for me?

This depends on how much time you have available, as well as the type of safari experience you are looking for.

Contact our expert Safari Consultants to help you with a few suggestions; they will be able to tailor make your safari to suit your needs.

What is the benefit of a Private Game Lodge Safari over a Self Drive Safari?

A Private Game Lodge Safari is fully inclusive of accommodation, game drives and some bush walks, meals and other added values. The drives are conducted in 4x4 open safari vehicles which brings the bush sounds and smells much closer to you. The number of people per vehicle is limited and all these safaris are conducted by qualified Rangers and Trackers - there are also limited vehicles traversing the area.

Trackers and Rangers look out for spoor and signs that animals have moved through an area. They are in radio contact with other ranger teams to share information on sightings of animals.

The Private Game Lodge Safaris offer more exposure to viewing animals and you get the chance to see animals from the deck of the Lodge too.

What are the benefits of a Self-Drive Safari over a Private Lodge Safari?

The main advantage is you are not bound by a time schedule and you can plan your day as you please.

You can stay at accommodation around the Park and self-drive inside the park at your leisure.

Your children, irrespective of age, can drive around with you on the hunt to spot the BIG FIVE.

How long should I go on safari for and should I stay at one lodge or different Lodges each night?

The average stay is between 2 and 3 nights (many stay for as long as a week), but ideally no less than 2 nights. That would give you the best chance to enjoy the surrounds and improve your chances of seeing all there is to see in the African bush. What safari experience you are hoping to have also guides the amount of time to spend on safari.

If you are staying in a Private Game Lodge then staying in one place maximizes your game viewing and minimizes your travel time.

If you are planning on staying more than 4 nights we recommend splitting your stay between 2 Private Game Lodges or even stay a few nights in one of the bordering Private Reserves like Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve or Timbavati Private Game Reserve

Can I bring my children?

Yes. The Kruger National Park is an ideal destination for children of all ages and offers families a great way to see the BIG FIVE. Some private game lodges are more suited for children 12 years and older but we have put together several family friendly safari packages that often include specialized childrens programs. These programs keep your children entertained and also focus on environmental education. You as parents can enjoy family time as well as time for yourselves.

For safety reasons no children under 6 years old are allowed on game drives and no children under 12 years old are allowed on bush walks. There are different age limits for various activities at various places and it its best to speak to your consultant about the best options for you and your family.

Getting There

How do I get to Kruger?

There are several transport options into Kruger. The most important question you need to ask yourself is - how much time do I have?

You can either fly into a regional airport near the Kruger Park, fly into a private airstrip in the Kruger National Park, take a road transfer or self-drive.

For more detailed information read the Getting to Kruger Guide

I only have a few days, is flying my best option?

Yes, flying into Kruger Park saves you valuable time and maximizes the time you can spend on game viewing. So if you only have a few days to spend in the Park we definitely recommend a fly-in option like the Magical Moments Safari Package

What are the closest airports?

There are scheduled flights to and from the Kruger Park Regional Airports. In the Southern section there is the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA), in the central section Hoedspruit Airport and in the north you have the Phalaborwa Airport.

Will I have problems getting a flight - do they only operate on certain days?

No, there should be no issues getting a flight. There are daily scheduled flights to and from the Kruger Park. Depending on which airport flights depart from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

For more detailed information read the Flight to Kruger page.

I'm flying to Kruger Airport but how do I get to the Private Game Lodge I'm staying at?

Transfers to and from the regional airports to the lodges are available and normally part of your Siyabona Africa Safari Package

Depending on which lodge you are staying in, the road transfer can add another 30 - 90 minutes of travel time.

I don't like to fly, how long will I drive from Johannesburg?

If you are planning on driving yourself to Kruger you can hire a vehicle in Johannesburg. The drive from Johannesburg is about 5 -7 hours, depending on your final destination in the Park.


Do I need to pre-book my safari and accommodation?

Yes most definitely. Annually there are over a million visitors to the Kruger Park and surrounds, making this area one of South Africa's most popular year round destinations. Availability can be limited over certain peak periods.

Private Game Lodges only accommodate small numbers of guests at a time and due to their often remote location in the bush, food and supplies need to be organized in advance, so early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

How far in advance do I need to book my safari and accommodation to ensure that there is availability of space?

Make your reservations as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Do I have to pay to make a provisional booking / reservation online?

Provisional bookings and reservations are free - it is a provisional request for a service. A Siyabona Africa Safari Consultant will contact you once your request is received.

Only once you have confirmed that you would like the service arranged with your consultant, would you be required to pay either a deposit or in full, depending on the travel date.

If I make a reservation / booking online does that mean my reservation is confirmed?

No, all reservation / booking enquiries are a request for service and require a response from a Siyabona Africa Safari Consultant.

Your Safari Consultant will reply with a quote and give you availability details as well as advice, options and alternatives - whatever is appropriate to your request.

Only once full payment has been received is a booking confirmed.

How long will it take before I get a response?

As soon as possible, usually within hours depending on which part of the world you are in, the time difference and if it is a weekend - but no more than 24 hours.

Siyabona Africa is open Monday - Friday from 8am - 5pm, and on Saturday from 8am - 12pm.

For clients travelling in Africa with a confirmed reservation, a 24 hour emergency contact is available.

When do I need to make payment?

After a Siyabona Africa Safari Consultant has sent you an invoice, which will show the payment deadline and payment options. Accommodation and safaris can be held for a few days while you confirm other travel arrangements.

However, in order to secure the booking a deposit or full payment is required otherwise the booking is released. Full pre-payment is required at least eight weeks prior to arrival.

Why do I need to pay a deposit?

This is a popular destination with limited availability - a deposit ensures that your booking is secure.

If the deposit / full payment is not paid by a specified date - the provisional booking will lapse.

Can I pay a deposit to Siyabona Africa and the balance when I arrive at the Park?

No. The full payment needs to be received by Siyabona Africa on the date specified on your invoice.

What happens if I have a confirmed booking but when I arrive my booking has been canceled or I've been delayed?

You need to contact your Siyabona Africa immediately. Contact numbers and emergency after-hours numbers are provided on your confirmation voucher.

This is a very unusual occurrence, but can happen due to a high volume of visitors to the Park. Once you have called for assistance, Siyabona Africa will act immediately to resolve the issue and minimize any impact to your holiday.

Kruger National Park - South African Safari