The Best Time to Visit Kruger National Park

Three buffalo sitting in a pool in Kruger national Park
Edwin Remsberg / Getty Images

The best time to visit Kruger National Park is during South Africa's dry season, which typically falls between April and September. Dry season is the best time to visit Kruger National Park due to the lovely temperatures that occur during this time. Temperatures can range from the 40s F in the evenings to the mid-80s F during the day. Since the main objective of visitors to Kruger National Park is sighting animals in the bush, dry season with low amounts of rain is the perfect time to visit the park.

Weather in Kruger National Park

Overall the range of temperatures in Kruger National Park go from the high 70s F to the low 90s F. Thus visitors can enjoy extremely pleasant temperatures year-round at the park. While dry season is the best time to visit the park, July, August, and September are the driest months and can cause an abundance of animal deaths. If you're visiting through the extremely dry months, proceed with caution. Rainy season occurs between October through March, making it a difficult time to spot animals due to heavy showers.

Attractions in Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is made up of a host of key sites and wilderness trails for visitors to explore. The biggest attraction is, of course, the abundance of wildlife including the big five (elephants, lions, buffalo, leopards, and rhinos). Many venture to the park to explore the grounds in 4X4 trucks on safari, but the park also offers rustic camping faculties and trails for exploring the flora and fauna spread amongst 7,722 square miles of zoned wilderness areas. Trails worth discovering include Bushman’s trail, home to beautiful rocky cliffs and a botanical reserve, and Wolhuter trail, which is the oldest trail in the park.

January

January is one of the hottest and wettest months to visit Kruger Park, due to it being in the midst of rainy season. It is during the summer season for the region and can be difficult to enjoy game walks and drives due to the rain. Nevertheless, visitors can expect for rain showers to be sporadic during the day and mornings are generally clear.

Events to check out: During the month of January Kruger National Park hosts birding events each weekend hosted by SANParks Honorary Rangers. These events are available at various camps throughout Kruger National Park.

 

February

Hot and wet weather conditions persist through the month of February, with temperatures averaging 90 F. The climate can be muggy so pack a change of clothes from day to night outings. Some tourists prefer to relax during the mid-day in their air-conditioned lodges while enjoying safari game drives in the early morning and cool off during the evening. Late afternoons and evenings on occasions bring about thunderstorms which can be quite refreshing.

Events to check out: Birding events and sighting opportunities continue through the month of February with the SANParks Honorary Rangers.

March

On the tail end of rainy season, March brings about subtropical rainstorms and beautiful scenery for photography buffs. However, due to the rainy climate in addition to being a bit challenging to spot animals, the rain draws out mosquitos who make it difficult to enjoy a game drive or walk in the bush. Evening temperatures average in the mid-60s F and daytime highs hover around the high 80s F.

Events to check out:  The birding weekends hosted by the South African National Parks honorary rangers take place through mid-March.

April

By the month of April, high temperatures begin to cool down averaging around 85 F during this transitional month. Rainfall and high levels of humidity begin to disperse making it a great time to visit Kruger National Park. Visitors can expect the landscape to be at its greenest and for vegetation to be thick and lush. However, due to the large amounts of vegetation during this month, it can be trying for tourists to spot game in the wild.

 Events to check out: The weekly Summerfields 5K run are a great activity to do during the fall month of April as temperatures cool off.

May

May is a great month for game viewing in the park, as the vegetation thins during the dry season. Rain is rare during the month so it’s a great time to enjoy viewing animals in the bush. It is also mating season for many animals, especially antelopes, making it a prime time to spot animals looking for their partners in the wild while on safari. By late May, average early morning temperatures typically fall to around 54 F as highs average around 80 F.

 Events to check out: The Virtual Vitality 10K Run occurs in May at Kruger National Park giving running enthusiasts a chance to participate in the race virtually or at the park in person.

June

June ushers in the winter and dry months in South Africa, thus making it a pretty pleasant time to visit Kruger Park due to the cooler winter temperatures. In June the average high temperature is around 78F during the day and a low of 47F so it is recommended to bring a jacket for the evenings. It is a fantastic time for game viewing as there is little rainfall, so animals come out to find small amounts of water available.

 Events to check out: June is a prime time to visit and get shoulder season pricing by safari operators and tour companies.

Safari gravel scenery in Kruger National park, South Africa
Utopia_88 / Getty Images

July

Dry season continues through the month of July, still making it a prime time to visit Kruger National Park. Cooler temperatures prevail with average highs near 79 F during the day and the high 40s F in the evenings. With little to no rain, it is a great time to enjoy the outdoors as there is no need to fight off many misquotes in the park.

Events to check out: July is high season for visiting Kruger National Park and experiencing game drives.

August

August is the tail end of the dry, winter season which offers warm and mild days, with average high temperatures around 80 F and average lows of 52 F. Early morning and late evening game drives occur during the lower temperatures so it’s advised for visitors to bring a jacket and sweater to keep warm. As long as it is not uncharacteristically dry, August is a great time for spotting wildlife in the park.

Events to check out: Continued opportunities for game viewing on safari drives with park rangers.

September

The spring month of September is an excellent time for venturing to Kruger National Park, as average mid-afternoon temperatures hover around 84 F. Early morning and evening temperatures are around 57 F, making it pleasant for game drives either early morning, mid-afternoon, or through the evening.

Events to check out: Baroque in the Bush are three days of Baroque concerts held at Shingwedzi in the Kruger National Park. Visitors can enjoy an array of concerts held in a large thatched veranda overlooking the river.

October

Spring-like temperatures continue through the month of October. However, as it is close to the end of dry season, brief showers and rainstorms begin in October bringing about the opportunity for vegetation to reappear in the park. Additionally, many animals give birth in the park during this time making it a lively time for exciting animal sightings.

Events to check out: Steppe eagles begin to arrive in the park making it a great time for birders to enjoy treks on the trails to spot them.

November

Rainy season starts picking up during the month of November in the park, which brings with it higher levels of humidity and mosquitoes are more prominent. The summer month can offer average temperatures of 90 F and late afternoon thunderstorms often occur.

Events to check out: Loads of young animals are visible making it an ideal time for game drives.

December

December can also be a difficult time to enjoy Kruger National Park due to the continuation of the rainy season storms and muggy air. It’s a must to pack rain gear and mosquito repellent as both rain and bugs will be out in droves during the rainy month.

Events to check out: Impala breeding season brings out an array of predators to spot while on safari.

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