One of the first things that come to mind when thinking of South African travel is definitely wildlife and safari adventures and with one of the world’s greatest parks it’s easy to see why. When it comes to diversity and pure density and number of animals Kruger is unparalleled as an iconic safari destination. It’s a wildlife spectacular where The Big 5 roam the veld along with a variety of species of other mammals, birds and plants as they unknowingly put on one of the best shows of all time.
Relaxation and slowing down is absolutely compulsory as your clock switches over to ‘bush time’ where early morning and afternoon drives allows you to see majority of the action and there’s no need for rushing anywhere, you can simply sit back and watch the world go by.
When to go
Each season comes with its own advantages, the time you choose to go all depends on what you’re looking for. Most people tend to visit from May through till October as this is the dry season and best for spotting wildlife.
Between June and August is very popular as these are the driest months and temperatures are moderate during the day and refreshingly cool at night. These months are also the great as the vegetation is dry and low allowing for optimum sightings.
Spring rears its head in September and brings with it the peak of dry season which can be very hot with warm dry winds and humidity however this does mean that animals find comfort at the watering holes in their masses and these open spaces are perfect for viewing these magnificent creatures.
The summer rains begin in November and continues through till April and the Kruger is transformed into a lush green landscape. Game viewing is not as great but still good with many young being born in summer months. Summer is definitely a great time for bird viewing. However if you plan on visiting during or just after summer be sure to consult your medical practitioner about malaria prevention as although the risk is low the area does lie within the malarial belt. December and January are busy times as school holidays in South Africa mean that families flock to the Kruger so best to stay away then if you’d prefer to avoid the masses.
Where to Stay
With its immense size there are many options for accommodation in and around the Kruger. Within the park are a number of lodges, bushveld camps, overnight hides and rest camps that offer everything from luxurious 5 star stays to good old fashioned camping. To see the variety of options have a look here.
Just outside of the park are a number of accommodation options with elusive villas, hotels, guest houses and even some private safari lodges. Most options are on a bed and breakfast basis however there are some great self-catering spots ideal for families. Many safari lodges in the greater Kruger area have their own game viewing and bush adventure experiences for you to enjoy when you’re not inside the gates of the Kruger. Some popular options include Sabi Sands, Bushwise Safari Lodge, and Tanda Tula.
What to Pack
Sun protection is a must so be sure to bring along a hat and loads of sunblock. Depending on the time of year be sure to bring along the necessary malaria medication. Along with medication it’s also a good idea to bring some mosquito repellent.
Although unlikely don’t forget to bring your camera, (the bigger the zoom, the better!) you’ll definitely want to capture these memories forever.
In terms of clothing, keep it light and breezy with thin cotton fabrics preferably. Good walking shoes are important especially if you’re planning on a walking safari.