Overall, it has to be said that the Kruger National Park is a stunning year-round destination. However, depending on your interest in the various Kruger animals and your weather preferences, you should consider how the seasons will affect your Kruger experience. With regards to wildlife viewing in particular the seasons and the rains they bring play a huge role in Kruger animal activities and safaris near Johannesburg in general. Below is a short but comprehensive guide to seasonal Kruger National Park and the corresponding animal sightings.
Winter- The Dry Season
Winter at Kruger National Park is normally between May and August. April commonly sees a sharp decline in rainfall; September and October also experience few showers. This is arguable the best season for viewing Kruger Park animals as foliage is thin and dry, allowing us to peer deeper in the bush. With fewer trees and bushes to obstruct the view, Kruger animals of all families have little to hide behind. Leopard sightings in particular increase during the dry months. The notoriously shy Big Five Kruger Park animal spends most of her time lounging in trees, which in winter are bare. Furthermore, animals congregate to permanent waterholes where they are easy and common to spot. Temperature wise the dry winter hosts warm days and chilly nights. Average maximum temperature is 24 degrees with the average minimum temperature dropping to 8 degrees.
Summer- The Wet Season
Summer (November to March) is when Kruger National Park sees most of her rain, usually in spectacular afternoon thundershowers, which are something to admire. With the rain comes the growth of lush, green foliage, which inevitably makes Kruger animal viewing more challenging. Furthermore, Kruger National Park animals tend to travel away from permanent waterholes as alternative water sources become available, making it difficult to anticipate their daily movements. However, the green summer offers a beautiful landscape and if you are a keen bird watcher, the rainy months deliver incredible bird watching safaris in Kruger National Park. Visiting migrant birds and insects make an arrival, resulting in increased bird activity. Another plus for the summer months is that it’s the time for viewing baby Kruger animals. Temperatures at an average maximum are 30 degrees and minimum 20 degrees. Depending on your Kruger National Park animal list, be sure to choose the right season for the optimum Kruger experience.