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.
We would however recommend consulting a medical practitioner for advice about malaria if you plan to visit the Kruger during or just after summer. The risk of malaria is low but the region does lie within the malarial belt. And if you want to stay away from the crowds, we would further advise avoiding the southern/central Kruger during the long December/January school holidays - go to the far north of the park or the Kruger's private reserves or concessions instead.
Planning on combining a visit to Kruger with other Southern Africa destinations? Read our advice on the:
For more information on when to go to Kruger, use our climate guide below or simply enquire with one of our Africa Safari Experts.
At a Glance
South Africa's flagship reserve has earned a global reputation for delivering peerless Big 5 safaris and is home to some of Africa's most luxurious safari accommodation.