Overview – Kruger NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Kruger National Park is justifiably one of the most famous parks in Africa. The park is the size of a small country and supports a huge variety of wildlife. All of the Big Five are present in large numbers. A comprehensive road network that is fine for 2WD cars means Kruger is one of the best parks for self-drive safaris.

Best Time to Go May to September (Dry season)
High Season December to January and July to August
Size 19,485km² / 7,523mi²
Altitude 140-783m / 459-2,569ft

Pros & Cons

  • Teeming with a breathtaking diversity of wildlife
  • Birdlife is phenomenal
  • Good facilities and roads
  • Excellent choice of lodges and rest camps for all budgets
  • The far south gets very busy in high season
  • Trunk roads are tarred and lack wilderness appeal

Kruger NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Kruger National Park offers magnificent wildlife viewing. All the major safari animals are present including the Big Five. The big cats are present in healthy numbers, and lions, in particular, are frequently seen. Elephant and buffalo are common throughout, while white rhino, though still numerous, are under threat from poaching. Kruger NP has a wide variety of antelope including greater kudu and the very common impala.

Scenery

Kruger’s main habitat is woodland savannah, and the vegetation is relatively thick throughout, especially during the Wet season. The gently undulating landscape has its highest peak at Khandzalive (839m), in the southwest. Olifants Camp sitting high on a bluff overlooking the Olifants River is a scenic highlight with jaw-dropping views. Trees to look out for include the baobab in the tropical north and the striking yellow fever tree near water.

Weather & Climate

Kruger experiences a hot and tropical summer, from October to April, and this is when the park receives most of its annual rainfall. Storm activity is common during the afternoons. The milder winter, from May to September, is more comfortable for visitors, although it can get chilly overnight.

Best Time to Visit

The Dry season (May to September) is usually regarded as the best time to visit Kruger. Skies are normally clear, wildlife viewing is at a premium and it is low season – a big drawcard for a park that can get very busy (especially in the south). However, if birding is your interest, consider scheduling your trip during the Wet season (October to April) when a multitude of migrant birds arrives.

Want to Visit Kruger NP?

Kruger NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Killing time in Kruger
5/5

The mothership of South Africa’s parks, Kruger is more organised and has more variety of accommodation than any other park. It also has a HUGE number of animals with the Big 5 and every other kind of 5 you can think of rustling around in...

Latest User Review
Saad Bashqa  –  
Qatar QA
Reviewed: Jan 13, 2020
4/5

The overall experience was fantastic. I was a little disappointed not to properly see the big five

Full Review