The ultimate safari guide to Kruger National Park

Safari

The haunting cry of the fish eagle, a rare leopard sighting, and the mock charge of an elephant fiercely guarding her young will stay with you for years to come.

South Africa is one of the best safari destinations in the world. Not only does it have abundant wildlife and some of the world’s top safari guides, but it’s filled with luxurious lodges – and with an eternally weak currency, it’s affordable too! Pack your bags, don your khaki, and book a trip to the Kruger National Park for a holiday you’ll never forget.

 

About Kruger National Park

At the top right hand corner of South Africa, the Kruger National Park is the most well-known game reserve in the country. The park stretches an impressive 54 km wide and 350 km long – about the size of Wales!

The Kruger National Park has the highest wildlife density of all South Africa’s parks, so it’s a great choice for your first safari. When travelling through Kruger, you’re likely to have impala dotting your safari like unnecessary punctuation marks. But if you’re really lucky, you’ll spot the Big Five – the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo. There’s also a variety of buck, birds, and other mammals, including giraffe, zebra, cheetah, and African wild dog. Keep an eye out for the Small Five – the ant lion, leopard tortoise, rhino beetle, elephant shrew, and buffalo weaver.

No Sighting Guaranteed

Wild animals are unpredictable. You may get lucky and spot all of the Big Five in one day. You may spot none at all. This is what makes sightings in the Kruger National Park all the more rewarding.

 

Climate & When to Go

Kruger by Lauren Morling

The Kruger National Park has a subtropical climate. Summer days (October to April) are hot, humid and wet with average temperatures of 32˚ C. Winter days (May to September) are dry, warm and sunny with average temperatures of 26˚ C. While you can enjoy fantastic game viewing all year round, seasoned safari-goers declare winter the best time for a safari.

October to April: rainy season

In summer, rains transform the golden veld into thick, green foliage. It’s very hot between December and February, with the parks more crowded in December due to South African school holidays. There are short afternoon showers, though these rarely interfere with game drives. Summer is best for bird watching, with a variety of migratory birds in the park.

May to September: dry season

Winter is the dry season, when the lack of dense foliage makes for great game viewing. Animals can be found gathering around water holes. There is little to no rain, the days are warm and there are fewer mosquitos. As winter is low season in the Kruger National Park, the parks are less crowded and you’ll get slightly cheaper rates.

 

More Information

Safari

All-inclusive

Most lodges in the Kruger National Park will be all-inclusive: accommodation, food, and game drives will all be covered. Game drives are run in open top safari vehicles in the early morning and late afternoon. In the middle of the day, the animals will likely be tucked away in a spot of shade – so it’s best you do too. Guided game walks can be arranged for the brave. Book now.

What to pack

It’s important you blend in as much as possible to maximise your safari experience. Avoid bright colours and animal prints and stick to neutral colours. Khaki is best, but greens and browns work too. Hats, sunblock, sunglasses, water bottles, and closed shoes are a must. Pack a wind breaker no matter when you visit as temperatures can drop drastically – especially at night.

Malaria Precautions

The Kruger National Park falls within a malaria area so malaria prophylactics are advised. Consult your doctor before you leave for your safari.

 

Recommended Apps

Africa: Live: Spot and report wildlife sightings on safari.
Download Africa: Live
Sasol eBirds of Southern Africa: Great photos of birds and a variety of bird calls.
Download Sasol Ebirds of Southern Africa
Sasol Young Explorer Mammals: Introduces children to the animals of southern Africa.
Download Sasol Young Explorer Mammals
Park Spotter Africa: Photograph, tag and share your sightings instantly.
Download Park Spotter Africa

Have a tip or question for your safari? Let us know in the comments below. Click here to view and book your Kruger accommodation today!

Author Bio: Lauren Morling is a South African travel writer for the Best At Travel blog. Follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

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