Attention, please: BUCKET LIST MATERIAL! It’s pretty safe to say that anyone who has ever been on safari (especially in Kruger NP) would do it again in a heartbeat! There is just something about the vast savanna, pink early morning skies, and the sounds of animals echoing in the night that feels almost surreal.
One of the best places in the world to experience pristine wildlife is South Africa’s largest and most iconic game reserve, Kruger National Park. And since the question is not whether to go on safari or not (the answer is obviously yes!), but rather when is the best time to pack your khakis and binoculars and fly to Africa, here are 5 reasons why you should visit in winter (Southern Hemisphere’s winter, that is!).
During the winter months (May-September), days in Kruger NP are blessed with pleasantly warm temperatures, lots of sunshine, and clear skies all around and can be easily spent in short sleeves. That being said, if you’re taking a guided tour (which we highly recommend you do), be prepared for those early morning and evening game drives in an open vehicle and don’t forget to bring warm clothes as well. Layering is the key!
Winters in South Africa are normally dry with very little rainfall, resulting in thin bush and leafless trees, which makes wildlife in the park easier to spot. Due to dryness of the land, animals are attracted to permanent water sources and are often seen drinking and bathing in waterholes and rivers. A delight to watch!
Meaning, no mosquitos – meaning, no malaria. Dry season comes with very low humidity and therefore low risk of catching malaria.
Despite being the best time of the year to visit, winter is still deemed as a low tourist season in Kruger National Park. Great news for you, right? There’s less traffic on the roads, plenty of available accommodation to choose from, and, most importantly, less cars and people to come between you and that perfect shot of amazing African wildlife.
Strange as it may sound, this can be a good thing! As you may know, African wildlife is most active in early mornings and late afternoons and that’s when you’ll be taken on game drives to get the most out of your time there. Morning drives start at dawn, giving you the opportunity to witness those beautiful savanna sunrises. And who doesn’t like to sleep in, right? Evening drives start before sunset and continue into the night, giving you a chance to catch a glimpse of nocturnal creatures as well.