When travelling into the Kruger National Park, there are two times of the day that are considered the best times to go on a safari; the early morning or the late afternoon.
For some guests, the early morning adventure is right up there on the to-do list. They wake up, grab a snack and something to drink, and then take a drive into the park just as the sun starts its ascent. In the hazy morning light, they look out for wildlife and by the time the sun is really beating down, they are on their way back to their accommodation.
Then there is the other group of guests, those who love an afternoon game drive and will plan their whole day around that trip. Just as the sun starts going down, they will head into the park for a really lazy trip, and just before the gates close for the day, they’ll go back to their evening lodgings.
But is there really a right time of the day to go into the Kruger National Park, or is it all just a matter of preference?
The Perks of an Early Morning Game Drive
The mornings start really early if you wish to journey into the park for a morning safari. For this reason, it is not everyone’s favourite time of the day. The park gates are generally open at around 5am in summer and 6am in winter, and as some of the first people to take a drive in, there is possibly a lot more excitement around an early morning drive.
Kruger morning safaris offer the opportunity to see quite a lot. Animals tend to be more active during the earlier parts of the day and if you are travelling in summer, the mornings are a lot cooler than the temperatures during the rest of the day.
The Perks of an Afternoon Safari
An afternoon Kruger Park safari is a quieter experience. For the most part, guests will have left the park (those who are not staying over) and so the park will be a lot more peaceful. By late afternoon, the heat of the day has all but abated and a drive is a lot more comfortable. The animals would have also come back out of hiding. Usually, by midday at any time of the year, the heat is quite intense, and so animals try to find a shady spot to wait it out. When the heat of the day passes, the wildlife start looking for water and a place to spend the night.
If you were to ask those who are Kruger regulars about which time of day they feel is best to go on a drive, they will probably tell you that the best time of say to visit is going to be the morning. When you are visiting in the morning, you can have that full safari experience, see plenty of animals, and be back at your accommodation by the afternoon, where you can then relax by the pool and indulge in a little you time.