Skip to Content

Best time to visit KNP - where and when

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
User avatar
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:56 am
Location: Kleinmond

Best time to visit Kruger-May or Aug

Unread post by pamelajane » Wed May 09, 2012 7:43 am

We have the choice of visiting Kruger in either May or August next year and were wondering which month will be better for game viewing.We usually go in Aug/Sep and have experienced great :great: game drives with the bush not too thick -after the summer rains is there still a lot of water around in May and what is the bush like? :hmz:

User avatar
Posts: 16297
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Tinley Manor, KZN North Coast, South Africa

Re: Best time to visit Kruger-May or Aug

Unread post by Elsa » Thu May 10, 2012 8:46 am

We go in late May/June every year and find it a wonderful time of year to visit the park, weather is usually great.
It will depend on if the park has had late rains as to how much standing water there is, I recall 2 years ago they had had torrential late rains and there was more water lying around than in the Feb!
but normally the water is starting to dry up, certainly by late May, although this year most of the park had plenty of rain.

User avatar
Bush Baptist
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 6884
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:38 pm
Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain

Re: Best time to visit Kruger-May or Aug

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Thu May 10, 2012 1:04 pm

I have found August better than May, because the bush is thicker and there is still surface water around in May.

It is warming up and the gate open hours are longer in August.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

In a world of grey, be RED

User avatar
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:50 pm

Re: Best time to visit Kruger-May or Aug

Unread post by Blouaap » Fri May 11, 2012 7:44 am

If I have the choice... I'll go with Aug.
The grass not as long, bush not as thick etc.
But on my previous two trips in Aug I haven't been nearly as lucky with rare sightings & predator sightings as in June :lol:. All in the South.
Never went further up than Tshokwane.

User avatar
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:03 pm
Location: Pretoria

What is Kruger like in June ?

Unread post by Carole » Mon May 14, 2012 12:42 pm

Although we have been going to Kruger for the past 38 odd years, we have never been during winter time. June, July and August seem to be extremely popular.

We shall be staying at Letaba for 5 days.

What is the bird life like during June and weather-wise will it be nippy?

Many thanks.

Carole :) :)

User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 14313
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands

Re: What is Kruger like in June ?

Unread post by bert » Mon May 14, 2012 12:55 pm

Bird life in camps is great during the winter
can get nippy in the early mornings and evenings in june
So take along some warm clothing and a windproof jacket
And very cold during a sunset/night drive

just returned from Kruger and the evenings/mornings started to get nippy

User avatar
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 442
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:22 am
Location: Pretoria

Re: What is Kruger like in June ?

Unread post by Dabchick » Mon May 14, 2012 1:02 pm

We've had June vacations in the Park where everything was green, the streams full and the bird life exceptional.
We've had more June vacations where it was dry and dusty, with sparse undergrowth, streams have dwindled to a few puddles, and the birds life was less spectacular.

Evenings, nights and early mornings will generally be cool to chilly to cold, and if you're camping - quite cold <in the middle of the night>.
However, it warms up quickly and day time temperatures can easily reach 30 degrees by midday
(I've had one of the worst sunburns of my life on the roads around Satara in June - wasn't expecting the sun to be that hot).
Generally days are pleasantly warm rather than too hot though.
But mornings and evenings are chilly enough that a fleece jacket and hot cup of coffee are very welcome indeed.

Re birds again.
I usually miss the presence of some often-encountered summer visitors such as yellow billed kites, however it is not as if there are nothing to be seen... still lots of birdies around, and some that should migrate, does not necessarily do it.
I've encountered booted eagle and yellow billed stork in the middle of the winter near Lower Sabie.

User avatar
Crested Val
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
Posts: 8834
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:49 am
Location: Brecon Beacons National Park

Re: What is Kruger like in June ?

Unread post by Crested Val » Mon May 14, 2012 1:14 pm

I agree that the birding life is ok for all year round birds, but my favourites are mostly the summer visitors, so I was disappointed on our last visit not to see them!!!

June is very popular however, so I'm sure there are very good reasons for going then!!

Kruger is amazing whenever you visit. :dance: :dance:

Hope you have a wonderful time. :thumbs_up:

User avatar
tent dweller
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 448
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:35 pm

Re: What is Kruger like in June ?

Unread post by tent dweller » Wed May 16, 2012 5:47 am

We always go to Kruger in July, weather is freezing at night and early mornings, but hot during the day.
We drive with the aircon on some days.
Sunset drives and night drives are freezing.
We love the Kruger in winter, let me put it in another way,

User avatar
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:22 pm
Location: Bela-Bela, Limpopo

Re: What is Kruger like in June ?

Unread post by Roan » Wed May 16, 2012 10:01 am

Hi everyone.
I am planning a trip to Kruger during July (booked and ready to go to Punda).
Has anyone been to the North of the park recently and if so, what does the veld look like?
I heard from someone who's just returned that it is very dry up there with hardly any grazing left.
I desperately need to go and recharge my batteries, but the friends I'm going with are a bit sceptic if it is so dry up there. They reckon we should then stay outside (central area) and drive in everyday. :sniper:
Feedback is extremely welcome!
2013. . . . . Okavango?

User avatar
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2763
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:44 pm
Location: Welkom Free State RSA

Re: What is Kruger like in June ?

Unread post by Rooies » Wed May 16, 2012 11:26 am

Roan, as mentioned elsewhere on the forum, the dry season may be more rewarding in terms of sightings at water holes.
The fact that the veld seems dry, does not mean that there will be less wildlife.
Kruger is in essence a dry area with an average rainfall at some areas as little a 350mm per year, and yet, the animals still survive there.
You want to recharge your batteries? Go north my friend.
Give thanks for unknown blessings already on its way---African saying
Member nr 8512
Cheetah supporterPURIST and proud thereof

User avatar
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:44 am
Location: Somewhere nr Jhb but not close enough to Kruger

Re: What is Kruger like in June ?

Unread post by Nicolette » Wed May 16, 2012 12:05 pm

I agree July is a good month.
I don't think dry veld is a problem.
I have been many times and seen sometimes more than traditionally wetter or greener veld.
There is more chance of seeing game at water holes, whilst in the other months it is more difficult to spot because the grass is longer and the bush thicker.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle

Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:55 pm
Location: UK


Unread post by mikath » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:33 am

Is it best to come to Kruger to see birds either October or March.

Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:21 am
Location: johannesburg

Re: Birding

Unread post by JimS » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:04 pm


My wife and I are avid birders and feel that late October/early November is a good time for birding, many of the migrants are returning at this time of year. Early March is OK, but by late March the migrants have packed their bags and are heading north.

Obviously December/January is great as all the migrants have arrived, but you asked specifically about March and October.


User avatar
Crested Val
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
Posts: 8834
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:49 am
Location: Brecon Beacons National Park

Re: Birding

Unread post by Crested Val » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:34 pm

Last year we spent Sept Oct and November in Phalaborwa, and the summer migrants were no where to be seen until towards the end of November.

When we were there the previous March for the Cricket, they were all still there, so I would go for March, as far as summer migrants go.

However if you are not worried about the migrants, ANYTIME is wonderful of birding in Kruger. :thumbs_up:

Return to “Kruger National Park”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: iLoveMeerkats! and 1 guest

Webcam Highlights

Submitted by vinkie at 01:43:46
Submitted by Sabina01 at 23:27:06
Submitted by adw at 18:12:20
Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 19:01:26