The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares, SANParks – Kruger National Park is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.
Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Man’s interaction with the Lowveld environment over many centuries – from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela – is very evident in the Kruger National Park. These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the Kruger National Park and are conserved along with the park’s natural assets.
When to go: Lets take a look at the best time to visit Kruger National Park South Africa. Generally considered a year-round destination, the Kruger National Park has two distinct seasons and choosing exactly when to go to the Kruger depends on what you want to experience.
Most visitors to the Kruger National Park come for the wildlife and there’s no question that the dry winter season from May to October is considered the best time to go to Kruger for game viewing as well as walking safaris. Vegetation is low and sparse at this time of year, making animals easier to spot and follow, and permanent water sources provide rewarding game viewing.
Mid-winter – June to August is a very comfortable time of year to visit the Kruger as there are few mosquitoes, little if any rain and temperatures are pleasantly warm during the day and refreshingly cool at night. The bone-dry, end-of-winter months of September and October often experience uncomfortably hot and humid conditions but concentrations of animals around water sources are at their highest – this period is often regarded as the best game-viewing time for a Kruger Safari.
The summer rains arrive from November onwards, peak in January and February and end around April. The Kruger is transformed into a beautiful, thriving green landscape and it makes for superb photography. During the “Green Season”, game viewing is still good – with many young summer-born animals around it’s a predator’s paradise – and it’s the also best time to visit the Kruger for bird watching as well as safari-and beach holiday combinations.
How to Get Around: Whether you wish to fly or drive to Kruger Park, Siyabona will get you there. Fly in on a commercial line or by private charter, or, make your trip by car or 4×4 SUV. Make your trip around the best time to visit Kruger National Park South Africa.
There are three airports serving Kruger Park:
Northern Kruger Park: Phalaborwa Airport
Central Kruger Park: Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport
Southern Kruger Park: Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMI)
Where to Stay: You can choose to stay in a number of different accommodation units in a number of different camps. Get your suitable accommodation around the best time to visit Kruger National Park South Africa.
Kruger National Park offers camp-run accommodation. Each camp has its own unique selection of accommodation types.
Sites for caravans or tents – most have power (except Balule and some at Punda Maria). Sites at lower Sabie have designated boundaries and own water taps.
Single room units with communal kitchen and communal ablution facilities.
Permanent canvas tent bedrooms on permanent platforms. Some have communal kitchen and communal ablution facilities, while others are fully equipped and have more luxurious trimmings.
Single bedroom units with a bathroom. Some have communal kitchens while others have own kitchenettes with basic kitchen equipment. Some bungalows have perimeter or river views, while others have been upgraded to luxury status.
Single bedroom units with living room, bathroom and kitchen.
Multiple bedroom units with a living room, bathroom and kitchen.
Multiple bedroom units with at least 2 bathrooms of which one is en-suite. Fully equipped kitchen.
Multiple bedroom and bathroom units with lounge area and often with bar facility and exclusive view.
These exclusive private lodges, with a unique style and atmosphere form part of a suite of products known as SANParks “Golden Kudus”, where luxury is the order of the day.
1. The Big Five – Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino.
2. The Little Five – Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew, Leopard Tortoise, Ant Lion and Rhino Beetle.
3. Birding Big Six-Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Lappet- faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Saddle-bill Stork.
4. Five Trees – Baobab, Fever Tree, Knob Thorn, Marula, Mopane.
5. Natural/Cultural Features – Letaba Elephant Museum, Jock of the Bushveld Route, Albasini Ruins, Masorini Ruins, Stevenson Hamilton Memorial Library, Thulamela.
Bats & Insects: Light draws many flying insects and with these insects come their predators. These predators could take on the form of bats and frogs. Please remember to keep your screen doors closed as this will prevent these unwanted creatures from entering your room. Should you forget and a bat enters the room by mistake, please do not panic! Calmly place a towel over the bat and release it outside or call for assistance.
Spiders, Snakes & Scorpions: Yes, these creatures are part of our environment but will most probably not harm you if not threatened. If you must walk around at night please DO NOT DO SO WITHOUT A TORCH. If you do come across a snake please do not try to catch it! Rather report this to the Manager on duty or to reception.
Fun Fact: Monkeys, baboons and tame bushbuck are very cute and can be entertaining for young and old, BUT PLEASE DO NOT FEED THEM. Remember that by feeding them, you are signing their death warrant, as they become aggressive and may have to be destroyed. By feeding these animals you do not only aggravate the situation but you also make these animals lazy and they become dependant on this food supply. The same applies to animals you may encounter along the fences of the camps in KNP, including Hyaena. Do not throw food to them or attempt to touch or tease them.
Before going out in the morning in search of animals please make sure that you have put all foodstuffs securely away. Remember that these monkeys and baboons have learnt to open up fridge doors and cupboards.