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Kruger in Winter.

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Re: Winter Rivers

Unread post by saraf » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:46 am

The Crocodile, Sabie, Olifants, Letaba and Levuvhu usually have water in them in winter. You may be lucky and get water in the Limpopo at Crooks Corner but more often than not its just one big sand bank. The Shingwedzi has a dam so has some water but more often than not is dry by the camp.
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Re: Winter Rivers

Unread post by Stoffel » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:45 am

Although not flowing, the Ngotso (north of Satara) and the Tsendze (south of Mopani) are two of the smaller rivers in the park that has some waterholes right through winter.

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Re: Winter Rivers

Unread post by cheetah2111 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:32 pm

Even the dry river beds provide brilliant game viewing in Winter!
The clay soil acts as a giant sponge holding a vast reservoir of underground water and keeping the vegetation lush
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Driving in Winter to Kruger Mists?

Unread post by Nicolette » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:19 pm


I have had bad experiences with driving on the road to Kruger from Johannesburg with mist early in the morning. Has anyone driven up this morning ads the radio reported bad mist. Any advice on the best time to start out. I have tried various times but what are your experiences. The man this morning said people were driving like maniacs and visibility was about 10 20 metres

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Re: Driving in Winter to Kruger Mists?

Unread post by Rooies » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:37 pm

We have experienced mist from 06h00 until about 11h00. The worst part this time of the year is between Jo'burg all the way to Dullstroom. And yes, a lot of people think that if they put their headlights on, the are immune to any accident. Unfortunately the guy that is coming from the front thinks the same.
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Re: Driving in Winter to Kruger Mists?

Unread post by WildThing » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:39 pm

At this time of the year in the early morning, the mist can be very bad on both the N4 , and particularly the N12 to Witbank. One year we hit mist before Bronkhorstspruit, and it carried on till the Ultra City near Middleburg. I could not believe how people were driving. Sometimes the mist does not lift until 11am, so it would be difficult to know when to leave Joburg.

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Re: Driving in Winter to Kruger Mists?

Unread post by Son godin » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:18 pm


I am staying in the Mpumalanga mist zone and finnd it difficult to predict how bad the mist will be. The one day it is completed clear and the next morning very misty like last week when I drove to Pretoria and could not see more than 50 meters

We travelled to Kruger end of March and tried to leave early at 5 am, but still had some mist around Hendrina to Carolina. On that day the mist were so bad near Middelburg and due to an accident the highway was closed.

The best is either to leave very early so that you are past Waterval Boven by 6 am or rather leave later at 9 am.

Hope the coast is clear when you leave and sleep well before you leave. Enjoy your trip and good luck with the cats.
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Re: Coldest Kruger

Unread post by Grantmissy » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:55 am

Although Kruger is relatively warm during the winter months there are some nights that can be cold,
I also think the Kruger houses are designed for hot weather and not cold weather which is understandable as Kruger weather usually ranges between very warm to blazing hot :D .
But we have had shivering nights in Kruger, according to SA standards of winter weather that is and we have found a few nights a bit difficult to keep warm :o .
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Re: Coldest Kruger

Unread post by Crested Val » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:01 am

Us fourumites that come from colder climes than SA, usually have a giggle, when Saffies talk about the cold, but I have to admit many years ago, we had a weekend away in Kruger in July, and boy was it cold at night!!!

As said previously, it's quite true that Saffie homes are built to keep cool in summer, rather than warm in winter, so when it gets cold, it is really noticeable!!

Still, although the nights were very cold......those winter days were amazing!!!! :thumbs_up:

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Re: Coldest Kruger

Unread post by Penny » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:22 pm

One morning at Talamati we had to throw buckets of water over our windscreen as it was a solid sheet of ice and on another evening drive at Biyamiti I distinctly remember the ladies outvoting the menfolk and telling Van Rooi that we would be returning to camp early as despite huge layers of clothing and blankets it was below zero with the wind chill factor! We no longer do the Park in June or July for this reason!
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Re: Coldest Kruger

Unread post by tent dweller » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:30 am

We visit Kruger every July (and we camp), the coldest we have ever been has been on the sunset drives which we always book, the drive starts out fine BUT as soon as the sun sets you start freezing no amount of clothes or even the blankets that they supply can keep you warm. This year we are very prepared, we have bought beanies which are used by climbers when climbing Mount Everest.

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Re: Coldest Kruger

Unread post by Wild@Heart » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:46 am

wildtuinman wrote:One of my coldest nights in Kruger was when we slept in the "Tree House" in Skukuza, next to the Sabie river. I hardly closed an eye.

The gaps in wooden walls leaked in the cold air from the river below and you may as well have slept in a walk-in freezer!

I remember putting on as many clothing items as possible during the night to try and stay warm in my way too thin sleeping bag. I even wore some boxer shorts as a beanie to try and keep the heat from escaping via my head!

I remember waking up the next morning seeing okes like Matt and KNPSpokesman get out of their double insulation sleeping bags wearing thermo gear and beanies!

Was one of my top 10 coldest nights ever! :lol:

JISSIE!! I was thinking that same night! Thermal underwear, double insulated sleeping bag capable to keep the snow from Mount Everest out .. and all I had was shorts, a beanie and gloves ... And no one wanted to cuddle :shock:

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Re: Coldest Kruger

Unread post by Aquilla » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:44 am

I did the Lebombo 4x4 trail in June 2005.
On the first night, we camped very near the Sabie River.
I needed the loo in the middle of the night but couldn't leave the tent as there was a huge male lion about 30m away roaring.
I could see his silhouette in the moonlight, hear his breathing and see the mist of his breath......

The following morning there was ice on my little tent!
Need i say more....

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Re: Coldest Kruger

Unread post by Bundi » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:48 pm

Last year in May it was so cold that one morning when I opened my cupboard in the caravan, my jersey was wearing my jacket.

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Re: Coldest Kruger

Unread post by Foxy » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:02 pm

Some year ago in the middle of July we were staying at a bush camp in a game reserve close to Orpen.
As the weekend progressed it became colder and colder and turned out to be the coldest weekend of the year and snow in many areas.
On the Saturday night we were all out on an evening game drive - the longer we were on the drive the colder it became and the more jackets and jerseys we put on.
We saw no animals on the entire drive.
The safari tent sides did not go down to ground level, the 'V' section above the door of the tent was also not enclosed welcoming the icy cold air into the safari tent.
The toilet area was enclosed with slats which had gaps between the slats and the hot water came from a 'donkey' which was only lit in the mornings and hot enough for a shower after breakfast.
Even the dining area was very open - ideal for summer but not fun on an icy cold evening.
It was bitterly cold through the night and hot water bottles had been put in the beds - in the morning it felt as though our clothes were stiff with cold.
There was no escaping the cold that night.
I now see on the website that the safari tents are looking very upmarket with thatched roofs and bathroom vastly improved.

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