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How HOT does it really get

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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by Dabchick » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:42 pm

The hottest I've experienced it in December was about 39 degrees up at Satara. And though it was hotter than I like, it was bearable as it is generally a dry heat (not like a seaside holiday). I've had it much more uncomfortable at about 35 degrees at Lower Sabie during October and November as it was humid weather. We also do one of two things:
1. get back to camp and cool down in the airconned bungalow that is the only kind of accommodation that we book in December (the preferred option, as the 14 hrs one get for driving around in the summer is really too much without a siesta)
2. drive with the windows closed and aircon on between about 12:00 and 14:30 (not the prefered option - but the only one open these days when one is only allowed to book in at 14:00 when changing camps :x )

But December is :thumbs_up: for bird life, beautiful green veld, baby animals (especially love the impala "creches")

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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by Alto » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:51 pm

We had 43c in September last year at Balule. We're going to be at Punda in January and I'm so looking forward to the bird life as it will be my first summer visit. Expecting it to be hot, hot, hot!! :redface: That's why I've booked a bungalow with aircon rather than the tent I much prefer.
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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by Penny » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:21 pm

We are always in the Park during September/October and then again at the beginning of January and two years ago in the beginning of January at Talamati it was so bitterly cold that we had to resort to putting the weber on the verandah and sitting huddled up to it wrapped in blankets. I have experienced far hotter weather in September/October!
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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by Bushbaby30 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:32 pm

I've been going to the KNP in Dec for the last 12years... The weather is really unpredictable. One year we had to go and buy socks and extra warm tops at the park shop! Then again we've had some scorchers where it was already over 35 at 8am... But I won't swop it for anything.
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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by dungbeetle2 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:00 pm

We usually visit Kruger in December.

Most years it has been HOT!!
40c+ some years, but in 2007 we went mid December and it was freezing and we were nearly flooded out!!
We were in Letaba and had to have the heating on!!

So you never can tell.
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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by TonyP » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:51 pm

Tomorrows forcast is a high of only 18 C so it is varaible at the moment. You'll be just fine in December, the all day drives become a bit of a waste of time as the animals tend to seek shelter from 10:00 until 16:00, so spend that time in a pool somewhere.

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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by oddesy » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:17 pm

:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

I remember one day when it was so hot that we were forced to close the windows and have the aircon on and when we stopped to watch a couple of elephant and opened the windows it was so hot my eyes started to water!

But there are so many positives to going in december, and the weather is extremely variable as others have said. A few years back in December we would have been better off having a canoe up Punda way
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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by mposthumus » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:05 am

HOT or NOT ....... I think Kruger is :thumbs_up: from January to December :lol:

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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:35 am

A few years ago I camped for 4 nights in CB over the December 16 long weekend. It was quite a rainy weekend so the weather was bearable.

On the other hand, on my Olifants River Backpack Trail last year in the beginning of September, we had a day of 42 degrees...
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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by pnm » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:55 pm

I will be making my first Christmas visit to KNP this december. An astounding number of people have been doomsayers and warned me how hot it will be in Kruger. I take great glee in pointing out that I will probably be cooler in Kruger than I will in Paarl over Christmas where when it gets hot it REALLY gets hot. So I'd rather get hot in Kruger than get hot in Paarl. The logic really is simple. I rather like the American phrase "no brainer" when applied to this one.


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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by Ladyhawke » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:50 am

IN Dec 2008 we had the mercury at 42,,,,,use a spray bottle to cool down ,fill up with water and leave it in the coolerbox,,,,
Dec 2012 - Hluhlwe Umfolozi then Swaziland then KNP

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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by johanrebel » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:47 pm

TheunsH wrote:Someone told me the temp was more than 50 degrees in Skukuza about 3 or 4 weeks ago, can anyone confirm this?
That is most unlikely!

The highest temperature ever recorded in South Africa was 50.0°C in Dunbrody on November 3, 1918. Dunbrody is in the Sundays River valley at low altitude but some distance from the coast, which is why it can get so hot there.

Second place goes to Vioolsdrif (Orange River), with 49.9°C.

There is another record of 50.3°C from Kirkwood, also in the Sundays River valley, from 1928. This record has not been officially recognized by the SAWS, though.

Generally speaking, various claims about high temperatures recorded by visitors to the KNP should be taken with several grains of salt. The thermometer in the car may well show e.g. 44°C, but were the temperature measured properly (i.e. in the precise way that official weather stations do), the result would be many degrees lower.

Anything over 40°C in the lowveld is hot, temperatures in the mid-40s uncommon. Highest temperature recorded at Skukuza in the period 1960-2001 is 45.6°

Letaba is officially the hottest place in South Africa, with a mean annual temperature of 23.3°C and an average maximum temperature for the year of 35.0°C. I would not be surprised, however, if the Luvuvhu valley is even hotter. The temperature rises appreciably as one passes Baobab hill and descends into the valley, by at least 2 - 4°C even on the coolest of days.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the Lowveld climate. Anybody interested should read An Analysis of Skukuza Climate Data (

Johan (who is writing this as a blizzard rages outside).

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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:38 pm

The temperature is measured in the shade, so in the sun it could be hotter.

We had 45 at Skukuza and 43 at Letaba once.

We had 46 at Twee Rivieren in KTP.
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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by Mant » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:01 pm


We had 45 degrees once at Satara.

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Re: How HOT does it really get

Unread post by DinkyBird » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:05 pm

johanrebel wrote:
TheunsH wrote:Someone told me the temp was more than 50 degrees in Skukuza about 3 or 4 weeks ago, can anyone confirm this?
That is most unlikely!

Yes, on Monday 11 Oct it was 49 degrees. I can vouch for it, I was there.
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