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Best time to visit KNP - where and when

Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 2:44 am
Posts: 13
Location: Australia
Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:30 am Unread post
Hi all :D

Was just wanting to know when the best time to visit the park is. In September 2006 I took my husband over (we now live in Australia) and we were incredibly blessed with what we saw. However it was soooooooo hot - like 45 degrees hot, so we really couldn't enjoy being outside in the picnic areas.

When I was still living in SA my family would often go in April - is this still a good time of season, or should we go at another time of year?

My other query is about safe seasons in regards to malaria - just curious as we will be trying for a baby the same time we're looking to be in the park, and I've read that it's not safe.

Thanks so much - I'm truly envious of those of you who frequently visit this amazing place!!!!
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:08 am
Posts: 2157
Location: Leeu Valley
Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:57 am Unread post
Just to add what gerhard said.

I have been to Kruger in all of the seasons. Everytime I see something different and see sopmething else.

Just a quick guideline:

Jun-Aug - Best game viewing time, animals tend to congrigate close to waterholes. Bush is not thick which makes it easier to spot something.

Sep-Nov - Spring, First rains. New life, everything around seems alife and happy, bush is still not too thick so game viewing is good. Many animals give birth, or start mating.

Dec-Feb - Summer time is in full swing and bush and surroundings are lush and green. Tempratures can reach boiling point at midday. Best game viewing time are in the morning and afternoons when cooler tempratures allow animals to move around. Vegatation is thick and spotting game can be tricky at times.

Mar-May - End of Summer. Tempratures are still very hot during midday. Game viewing is eratic as animals are widely dispersed throughout the park. Vegatation is at its thickest which can make game viewing difficult at times. Last bit of thunderstorms come down before winter.

Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:11 pm
Posts: 1607
Location: Back on earth.....
Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:06 am Unread post
There is a poll with the same topic, with all pro's and cons of every season.

I personally think April/May is a nice time to go, nature is not too dry yet, tempratures still warm but not extremely hot, nights are just perfect :dance:

Its kind of a personal choice and preference I guess :wink:

Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:20 pm
Posts: 2664
Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:00 pm Unread post
Don't forget school holidays which are April (Easter) and July, so if you should either of those periods you should make your reservations as soon as possible.

Legendary Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Posts: 13495
Location: meandering between senility and menopause
Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:37 am Unread post
April is good, but I do like May. School holidays are over, the weather is perfect, sightings are excellent. There tends to be large herds of animals..
having said that, it's not the best time for birds and it is very brown.

In terms of early pregnancy, I would try rather to go from May onwards. It can still be rather wet in April and mozzies might still be around.

Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:52 pm
Posts: 3403
Location: Africa's Largest City
Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:04 pm Unread post
April, May & June are great because its not too hot.
However if you are into raptors, you need to go in summer because all the migrants are here then.
BTW we also in Kruger in Sept 2006.
It was unbearable and for the 1st ever we tried to find accommodation outside the park as we were in tented accommodation with no air con.
I've never had it that hot even in Jan & Feb!
The winter months are great for game viewing as has already been said as the game tends to congregate near the waterholes and is easier to locate.

Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 4
Location: Kruger Park Lodge, Hazyview, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:05 pm Unread post
My 2 cents: We were last there in the last weeks of April, early May. Weather was stunning and the visibility was also good.

Re: where to stay in summer? South or Middle of the Kruger

Virtual Ranger
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 4:10 pm
Posts: 2416
Location: SA
Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:26 pm Unread post
The entire park is very productive in summer- if you want mammals, go south or central, for birds go north.
Note: The northern region is very remote and peaceful.
Its the perfect place to go if you want to escape all the day to day fuss.
Very quiet. J
However, the south are extremely productive regions, and lions and others big cats are spotted on a daily basis.
The temperature is a lot cooler than up north, especially in summer.


Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:21 pm
Posts: 370
Location: Port Elizabeth
Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:14 am Unread post
We have this morning got a booking in KNP for 10 - 28 March 2009. :clap: :lol: We have never been in March before - what can one expect at this time of the year:- are the summer birds still around, temperatures, etc? It was very easy to get the booking exactly as we wanted it, so I am assuming it is not one of the busier times? (1 night Croc Bridge -just to get in, 3 nights Letaba, 5 nights Satara, 5 nights Lower Sabie.)


Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Posts: 1375
Location: Doha, Qatar
Profile  WWW 
Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:33 am Unread post
Hi carolynn
We went the beginning of April this year and I must say, spotting animals was not that easy...The grass is very high and the bush very dense :(
The only nice thing was the pleasant temperatures during the day and night and seeing the wonderful thunderstorms :D


Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:20 pm
Posts: 469
Profile  WWW 
Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:40 am Unread post
Hallo carolynn.
March is still hot and we have had great bird sightings during March.:
I would suggest that you must do most of your driving around Satara because the terrain always delivers the best sightings.
Maybe it will be best to stick to the river and Sunset Dam at Lower Sabie because of the dense bush.

Trip to KNP in May

Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 4:54 pm
Posts: 474
Location: Essex UK,too far from SA.
Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:53 pm Unread post
Hi everyone,
We are thinking of returning to KNP next May :dance: .
Both previous trips have been in September when park was very dry but game sightings good.
Presumably May should be greener (after the rains).
Can anyone give advice on how the weather will be in May. Also, as we are only intending visiting within the Mopani / Letaba / Olifants area what would game viewing be like at this time of year.
Advantages and disadvantages?

Re: Trip to KNP in May

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 10351
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:36 pm Unread post
We travel to Kruger every May/June and I can assure you the weather is usually very good at that time of the year, cool to cold nights and lovely warm to hot days with very little rain. :D
Game viewing is also good as the bush thins out and becomes browner.

Re: Trip to KNP in May

Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:08 am
Posts: 2157
Location: Leeu Valley
Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:24 am Unread post
Hi there

Was in Kruger in May this year and although at the end of the rainy season, the bush is at its thickest. Game viewing is still great but you might find especially around Mopani that sightings might be erratic.
That said there are other advantages to this time. The bush will still be lush green and impala's are in their rutting season which makes for some great viewing.

Olifants and Letaba are both great camps and game viewing tend to be very good in the immediate vicinity.

Weather wise you will still have very hot days and night time will also not be bad at all (you might get a chilly night so take warm clothes in case). We sat in shorts and T-shirts outside during May and didn't have one cold night.

Hope you have a great time :)

Re: New Years in Kruger

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:08 pm
Posts: 142
Location: Gauteng, South Africa
Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:20 pm Unread post
Hi fieryneck,

We have spent the past 4 years in the kruger at new years.. Most camps have a special news years dinner, but that doesn't really go on past 11ish. Some camps organize a bush braai, which I've heard can go on pretty late and are more of a party. You would have to have a look closer to the time though. Otherwise.. besides the far away merriment of the staff, the camps are very quiet mostly.

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