Our Guide to Big 5 Safaris in Kruger National Park by Season

Big 5 Safaris in Kruger National Park, Umsisi House, Big 5 Safari

The first rule of planning South African Big 5 safaris in Kruger National Park is knowing that seasonal fluctuations can bring about incredible transformations to the natural landscape and the wildlife that call it home.

The second rule is that a safari is best experienced away from the maddening crowds that stay inside the park. Our large, luxurious African country house villa and our smaller (although equally luxurious) self-catering cottage are located just 20 minutes from the Numbi Gate entrance to the park.

Here we offer the kind of personal service that only a small, privately owned and managed, home-away-from-home can provide. Not only will you be avoiding the maddening crowds, but you can always ask us about any special rates we might have on offer, and know that we are here to help you plan self-drive routes or book you a private safari vehicle for the day.

Getting back to the first rule, we have put together this ‘seasonal guide’ to help you plan Big 5 safaris in Kruger National Park that will provide you with the best opportunity to enjoy your dream South African getaway:

The dry, winter safari

A stronghold of Africa’s iconic Big 5 animals (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino), South Africa (and Kruger in particular) is celebrated as a top destination for excellent wildlife sightings.

Big 5 Safaris in Kruger National Park, Umsisi House, Big 5 Safari

Many safari aficionados are drawn here during the winter months from May to October, as the dry weather shakes the trees and bushes bare, leaving animals and birds without many places to hide. Scarce water means wildlife congregate in large numbers at reliable water sources. Predators, large and small, take this chance to attack game animals when they are at their most vulnerable.

Big 5 Safaris in Kruger National Park, Umsisi House, Big 5 Safari

Cooler weather, minimal rain and beautiful clear skies, bring soft wintery light that makes this a dream come true for photographers. The weather shift also means there are fewer mosquitoes and low risk of malaria, which means it is a good time of year to take children on safari.

The wet, summer safari

While South Africa is considered a year-round birding destination, it really is during the summer months from around November to March that our feathered friends dazzle the Kruger. Along with birds of prey and other special residents, birders will be delighted as the warm temperatures bring migrant species in colourful breeding plumage.

Big 5 Safaris in Kruger National Park, Umsisi House, Big 5 Safari

A green season safari has a major cuteness factor going for it too. The lushness is the perfect condition for plains game animals to give birth and numerous wobbly calves learn to walk under the watchful eye of their mothers.

Big 5 Safaris in Kruger National Park, Umsisi House, Big 5 Safari

The summer rains are generally short afternoon showers, which bring greenness to the landscape for a spectacular setting. There is a profusion of colourful wildflowers and dramatic light following thunderstorms, which make for great photography.

Contact us about spending time in absolute privacy and indulgence during your Big 5 safari experience.

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T.  + 27 (0) 13 750 1520
M. + 27 (0) 82 479 9700
M. + 27 (0) 82 969 4455
F. + 27 (0) 86 548 5686

Postal Address: 
PostNet Suite 123, Private Bag X11326, Nelspruit 1200, Mpumalanga, South Africa

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