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Best time of year to do Kruger?

lancashire
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Best time of year to do Kruger?

I want to take my husband and small family to the Kruger next year.

What is the best time to go and any other advice on posh accomodation etc.

Thanks

Port Elizabeth
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for South Africa
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1. Re: Best time of year to do Kruger?

June to October

Somerset
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for Cape Town
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2. Re: Best time of year to do Kruger?

Anytime is a good time to visit Kruger !! October is good because it is coming to the end of the dry season so the foliage is sparse making it easier to spot animals, due to the lack of water they tend to spend time at the waterholes, again making sightings easier and the mosquitoes are at their lowest level.

As you mention a small family you must be aware that Kruger is a malaria area and I would stongly advise taking anti-malaria tablets whatever time of year you visit there. Your local GP/Holiday Clinic will advise on that but I recommend Malarone tablets as there are very few reports of any side effects unlike others, like Larium which I won't take because of potential side effects.

There are three options regarding accommodation, private game reserves - these are all inclusive of meals and game drives. They offer the best opportunity of animal sightings as the ranger/tracker will take you out in an open vehicle, they can drive off-road anywhere within their reserve. Normally two game drives a day, early morning (5.30 am start) and evening 4.30 pm start)

One thing you must consider and check - you don't mention the age of you children but you are going to be driving in an open vehicle over rough terrain and getting very close (3 or 4 yards) from animals like lion/buffalo/elephants etc Whilst the animals are used to vehicles approaching and do not represent a threat, they are still wild animals and you have to consider how your children will react and cope with being in a vehicle for 3 to 4 hours at a stretch. Some private reserves have an age limit, usually 12 years old, others cater for younger children. I am not for one minute trying to discourage you, quite the opposite as most children have the time of their lives but you know your children best.

Private game reserves are expensive ranging from about R2300 - R10,000 (about £150 - £690) per person per night. There are a variety of lodges on the Sabi Sands reserve with different levels of luxury and prices. Have a look at www.sabisands.co.za to get some idea of what is on offer. There are many others which are mentioned on this forum.

Secondly - No where near as luxurious and usually self catering is National Park Accommodation (www.sanparks.org) You would self-drive into the park to whichever Rest CAmp you chose and with a family you would probably choose a bungalow. You can then drive yourself around the Park, but you have to stay on the roads so depend on the animals being close to the road. Lower Sabie Camp has a good reputation.

Thirdly, you can stay in accommodation outside the Park, somewhere like Hazyview, and drive yourself in for the day and/or arrange organised game drives.

There is a wide range of hotels/guest houses. Hippo Hollow has a good reputation and apparently you can watch hippos whilst you sit on the lawns.

So you can choose any of these options or, as we do, combine them. We stay in Nelspruit or Hazyview and self-drive several times and also drive the Panorama Route and admire the scenery and waterfalls and also spend a few days in a private game reserve (We happen to like Thornybush Game Reserve and n'Kaya Lodge in particular- Thornybush is located in the Timbavati area)

Sorry this has been a bit long but hopefully will give you a better picture of your options. I'm sure specific Lodges/hotels/guest houses will be recommended if you decide on a rough itinerary.

South Africa
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3. Re: Best time of year to do Kruger?

Very helpful answer thanks Somersetal. Each season has its advantages. Jan - March is hot and humid, the bush is lush and green and the birding is excellent. Some dramatic skies and thunderstorms. April-May is the beginning of the dry season, still warm to hot and the grass is tall, but the bush is slowly turning from brown to green. Game viewing is a getting easier. June to September are the dry months and great for general game viewing. Visibility is good because the bush is less dense, the animals congregate around the waterholes, malaria risk is lower and the temperatures are warm during the day and chilly at night. This is the most popular time to visit Kruger. October is usually hot and dry, the bush is barren and dusty until the rains come, the animals are desperate for water and the remaining waterholes are very active. Summer migratory birds start returning. November and December is the season of new life, the rains start and the bush turns from brown to green, baby impalas and other baby animals abound which makes for great game viewing. Despite the heat this is one of my favorite seasons for visiting Kruger. That said, I have been to Kruger in all different months of the year and I can honestly say Kruger is great to visit any time of the year.

lancashire
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4. Re: Best time of year to do Kruger?

Thankyou so much for your fantastic info!

The kids are 7 and 10 and have taken malarone whilst trekking in Borneo, so I hope that your help and the Kruger will suit them just fine.

I was also thinking of nipping up to zambia then getting the train over to Zanzibar for a posh snorkel and beach part of the hol.

Any ideas?

Thanks again for your help!

New Zealand
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5. Re: Best time of year to do Kruger?

Ulusaba are great with kids. We took ours (then 14 and 15) and they had a ball. I think they take younger children at Rock Lodge. It's certainly quite posh. Sabi sabi bush lodge also takes children and looked quite posh, we stayed at Earth Lodge that time.

Enjoy

Mandy

6. Re: Best time of year to do Kruger?

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