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Best time to visit KNP - where and when

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
Hippotragus
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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by Hippotragus » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:28 pm

Hi johnnyboy and welcome to the Forums. You will find a lot in useful information here and be able to "chat" to like-minded people.

First of all, Lion Sands Camp in not in the Kruger National Park and is not run by SANParks. On the Forums we can only discuss SANParks-run camps and parks and other pertinent information. My answers below refer to Kruger National Park.

I have been in Kruger National Park a couple of times in late-November and have found the sightings no less than in other months. The migrant birds (including raptors) are back then and there are lots of newborn impalas around.

Sightings of the Big 5 are always a matter of luck - being in the right place at the right time - and not really dependent on time of year. For big cat sightings, very early in the morning (get out of the camp gate as it opens) or on a night drive (only available on SANParks Vehicles and booked at the camp you are staying in) are the best times - the cats usually find some shade to rest in during the midday heat.

Hope this helps.
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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by skywalker2251 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:37 pm

Yep I think it's very confusing to a new visitor. I often speak with people who have traveled to South Africa once. They often tell me they visited Kruger during their stay for a few days, which leads me to ask the question of where did they stay. Most of the time, it's in one of the private reserves outside of Kruger, but they still think they went to Kruger.

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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:35 am

I have done a bit of sweeping in this topic as some posts are really not in the spirit of these forums.

A warm welcome to the newbie - we are here to assist where we can; and if you are not treated with a warm welcome, please let the mods deal with it.

November weather can be wet as it is when the rain season starts, but Nov is one of my favourite times to visit the park. The birds are about, the impala drop their lambs and bush comes alive after winter ....
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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:46 am

Thanks for your concern young man, but I have a life and have been awarded the title of advisor of the year by my fellow forumites 3 times, and have won other things as well.

I love to assist people by giving precise advice, but it is difficult when the questions are vague and inaccurate.

The best time to visit Kruger is any time, which is better than being at work, but you are thinking about late November, which I found to be a great time in the park, because it had already rained, so the bush was greener but not yet exploded, the migratory birds were back, the lambing season had started, and the animals were getting better quality food.

I hope that helps you.

Sorry that I am so precise. :redface:
Last edited by DinkyBird on Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Quote removed as part of topic clean up
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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by squirrel_asc » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:45 pm

November is a great time to visit Kruger, as if every other month of the year. As someone mentioned, in November, you will find the park full of migratory birds, and tiny, cute lambs. Just be aware that it can be very hot, and make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself against Malaria. :wink:

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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by saraf » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:17 pm

It's difficult at times, especially for foreign nationals and especially those whose first language is not English, to know what to ask. Kruger is the size of a small country and the selection of accommodation and where to stay and what to do is very confusing for the un-initiated.

For example, my first couple of visits I didn't realise that you could stay in Bush Camps. It's only by reading what other people have asked and reported on that I have experienced them.

Sometimes a general question is like dipping your toe in the water. Sometimes you don't know what you don't know.
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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:25 pm

Quite so saraf.

The heading to this thread is the problem though.

Best time for what? :hmz:

To find suitable accom?
To avoid malaria?
To avoid rain?
To get special prices?
To see migrant birds?
To do a walk?

The list is amost endless.

Many of my fellow Capetonians create the impression that Joburg is the area beyond the Hex River mountains, and that London is a country! :wink:
Last edited by Bush Baptist on Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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saraf
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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by saraf » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:10 pm

Every month of the year has its own pros and cons when visiting.

November specifically has changeable weather, one day it can be hot, other days it can pour with rain and be relatively chilly.

If there has been rain, the park can start to look green, with leaves returning to the trees and grass shoots beginning to emerge.

The birds start to get their breeding plumage and are colourful and the summer visitors are returning.

The impala lambs are being born, for me this is the deciding factor in visiting in November.
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saraf
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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by saraf » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:13 pm

johnnyboyjf07 wrote:Hello I'm looking to book up and visit Lion sands in the kruger park but the only time available is in late november as i have spoken to some people and they have told me the weather won't be good and i won't see any wild animals :dance: :think: :cam:


My bold. I think the question is pretty obvious if we take time.
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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by johanrebel » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:03 pm

Despite the vagaries of the weather, which nobody can predict anyway, November is my favorite Kruger month by far. Has been for as long as I can remember. I even go to the extreme of trying to ensure that I have no obligations or commitments of any kind that month, so I can spend it guess where.

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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by Grantmissy » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:23 am

During November in Kruger we have had some of our best sightings including the abundance of Impala lambs already mentioned. It can get hot though we once experienced a heat wave with daily temperatures 40+ during the time that we visited. But despite the high temperatures we went for many drives seeing many animals and had a very good time and therefore I can say :thumbs_up: for visiting Kruger during the month of November.
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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:54 am

For me, 40+ is definitely not good weather, as I sit here suffering from heat rash from the heat wave we had in the last few days.
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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by johanrebel » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:28 am

Grantmissy wrote: It can get hot though we once experienced a heat wave with daily temperatures 40+ during the time that we visited.
Indeed it can. I spend most of my time up at Pafuri, and boy does it get hot sometimes. Not that I would use it, but there is air conditioning either.

Letaba is officially the hottest place in all South Africa (as in having the highest mean annual temperature), but if Pafuri had been equipped with an official weather station for long enough, I'm sure it would give Letaba a run for its money. The combination of very low altitude and a location far from the coast causes these extreme temperatures. Even on the hottest days the temperature rises as you descend into the Luvuvhu valley from Baobab Hill. It hits you in the face, you can feel what the car thermometer is showing you.

Highest Lowveld temperature I've experienced was farther south, and in October. The closest official SAWS met station (Phalaborwa) recorded 46°C.

Having said all that, it is possible to adapt to and deal with high temperatures.

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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by moobox » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:07 am

I dont mind the heat but it does make for some inconvenience when handling camera, binoculars, etc.. Due to perspiring and so forth. And I also dont like confining myself to an air-condtioned motor car or chalet. I was in KNP this past December and I dont think I'll do that again. It seems that KNP is a few different things. And the thing that it was in December was a holiday resort. I can get that a lot closer to home. So, I will go there when it is a game reserve rather.

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Re: BEST TIME TO VISIT KRUGER PARK

Unread post by squirrel_asc » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:01 am

I dunno... We were in Shingwedzi last December, and the highest temperature we saw on the car display was 46 degrees. Yet, we coped. We went out early morning, when it was reasonably cool. By 10/11 am, we'd come back, and take a nap with the air-condition in the bungalow on. Then we'd go out again between 3 and 4pm. It was hot, yes. I kept a spray bottle with water in the cooler in the car, and when the heat became unbearable, I'd spray myself all over. Then I'd be comfortable again for a while.

The only part that really sucked was that we had to go to bed with the (noisy!) aircon switched on in order to get any sleep, so no night sounds :( I would do it again, though. I can really cope with having the woodlands kingfishers wake me up in the morning :D (I would just make sure that next time we don't get a bungalow that faces North-West! That was really stupid :roll: )


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