What is the best safari park in South Afica and when is the best time to go there?

My family plans to go to South Africa to experience a safari. We have two sons - 6 & 9 -year olds. Which of the parks out there do you think my kids and ourselves will enjoy most? And when is the best time of the year to go there?


Country: South Africa


The Kruger National Park is by far the best safari park in South-Africa, with accommodation needs to suit any pocket. The best time of year would be anytime from April - August because of the fauna that isn't as thick and dense in our winter months and all the herds and prides can be spotted easily. And don't worry, it never gets cold there.
Without a doubt the Kruger National Park is jewel of South African parks - the largest, best infrastructure, all the Big Game South Africa is known for.
There is no question that the Kruger National Park is the best National Park in South Africa by far. Your best time to go is April to September. The park has a very mild winter, and you will have a far easier time viewing animals in the bush then. The Southern sector of the park (Skukuza, Lower Sabie, Pretoriuskop camps) are your best bet to stay in. Kruger is a self drive park, but you can arrange guided drives and walks at all of the camps.
The usual answer is the Kruger, it's the biggest. However, because it's so big, there is the possibility that particular animal species that interest you may be on their own "safari", wandering away from the beaten track. Why not spend a holiday visiting several reserves? Near Pretoria / Joburg there's Pilansberg, (with Sun City a few miles down the road for dad) or Hluhlue / Umfolozi parks down in Kwa Zulu Natal, with local villages and diving facilities on the coast. (Oh, and dad's casino is about 90 minutes drive).
As for the time of year May/June and September/October usually have good weather.
Good day to you,

As per the previous answers you have received, the Kruger national park is by far the best game park in South Africa but it is not the only one.The problem with the Kruger is that you are limited to the safari/game viewing thing. Further down the coast, you have the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi game reserve which offers exactly the same as what the Kruger does,only a little smaller. This is also a much cheaper option as the Kruger is very commercialised in terms of tourism. After your stay at the Umfolozi , a short stay at St lucia(half hour drive from Umfolozi)you will be able to experience one of South Africa's world heritage sites ,the St lucia wetlands. Here you will also find an abundance of game(hippo's, crocodiles, antelope,monkeys warthog)as well as charming accommodation and very friendly people with the fines cuisine around.

A short trip and you are in Durban, with wonderful things for the boys to do in the form of Ushaka marine world,Wet and wild () . You will see dolphin shows,the aquarium,one of the biggest water fun parks in South Africa. This is the ultimate fresh water entertainment centre.There is also GREAT shopping for mom at Gateway and the Pavilion and Dad can play as much golf as he wants at the various golf courses there are to choose from.

Another short drive and you are in the Drakensberg mountains where you can see the incredible San bushmen cave art, go on hikes ,horse rides and so many more.

See our website for more information. Our packages are tailor made to suit your requirements so you can have the vacation that you want to have in every respect

Best regards

Like all the other answers definately the Kruger Park, BUT it depends on when you are planning to go, bookings for the park(especially) the most popular time of the year (May-August) already opens in August the previous year. This is because of the school holidays in South Africa. Other suggestion if you want to be close to the Kruger (if you can't find a booking) look at my website: Let me help you plan your trip!
If you wish for your children to learn about the fauna and flora of Africa there is no place better than the kruger Park.It is ideal for children with most of the camps having educational centres where they will be told about the wildlife by qualified staff.Apart from the educational side the reserve is home to all of the bushvelds wildlife from elephant through to the tiny duicker. TRhye best time to ytravel is in the dry season -May through September - when the animals tend to gather close to waterholes.
I suggest that you visit our website www, where you will find plenty of photographs. We employ only conservationists as guides and woulkd be happy to assist you in planning a safari.

Bob Walley
The Kruger Park for wildlife in the north best time June to October
Addo Elephant Park in the Eastern cape August November
The KrugerNational Park is located in Mphumalanga. I always loved going to the Kruger in September. New Babies arrive then. Do remember to take your malaria tablets when you visit the Kruger. Go to you doctor or pharmacy. The Eastern Cape and Western Cape, you do not need to drink malaria tablets.

Visit .
Kruger is best, Best time would be right now until September. On the flipside big isn't always best and sometimes you won't see all of the Big 5. The other option is to do a few smaller parks. Happy "hunting"
you got lots of answers :)
Looks like Krugger Park is everyone's favorite :)Mine too :)
Hope you will enjoy your stay in South Africa.
Best regards,
Hi there
Yeah... over and over you will receive the same answer...
The Kruger National Park!!!
But we do have some wonderful parks in Southern Africa and, particularly where Transfrontier parks have been created. These (like the Kruger) occur where parks are located on our South African borders. These parks have then been extended into the neighbouring countries to increase the range capacity for the increasing animal populations. See the South African national Parks website for loads of information...
Oh the question of timing... our spring season starting in September is normally a wonderful period for game viewing.
Have an absolutely wonderful stay in our beautiful country!
Hi there :-)The Kruger isn't bad just over popular...
I know of a beautiful lodge in Botswana with is in the tuli block with an abundance of elephants,lions & most antelope:-)the price isn't bad either.The best time to go is from June to early September.Hope to hear from you :-)
Shamwari is the best in SA, this is also where famous people like Tiger Woods vaca's. they have a special lodge dedicated to families with children called Riverdene lodge, the price includes 2 game drives per day and als have a few special things to do with the kids like going to the animal hospital. Best game drive I have ever been on!!
Take a look at if you want a guided tour to Umfolozi Game Park.
I agree with everyone about where and when to go, kruger and our Eastern Cape Game Reserve.the kids will enjoy them all. If this is your first time to S.A., I highly recommend you include Cape Town, and in and around the Western Cape, if you have the time. Its a must see. Its been voted one of the top ten World destinations. The kids will also love it. Table Mountain, the Cape Point Chacma babooons, Boulders Beach Penguins,spectacular scenery,the beaches,horse rides on the beach, Tree top Canopy rides, The Cango Caves, the Knysna Elephants .... the list goes on and on . i hope you have a wonderful holiday!!
There are four parks I will consider in plannin a trip to South Africa.

1. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park the park span over two countries South Africa and Botswana
2. The Kruger National Park
3. Pilanesberg National Park
4. Ado Elephant Park

All the other responses have the date of when its best to visit which park but it is not consistant. I would say the parks in the summer rainfall area visit it in our winter and vice versa vor the parks in the winter rainfall area
The Kruger National Park is the largest and most famous of South Africa's game reserves. However, because of the size of it, the game can be more difficult to find and children can get bored on long game drives and doing the same thing day after day. The St Lucia area and the Umfolozi/Hluhluwe Game Reserve perhaps offers a better option if travelling with children, because there is greater variety, including game viewing, crocodile farms, boat trips on the estuary, etc. The South African winter (April to September) brings cooler weather and lower rainfall (except for the Western Cape which receives its rain during the winter months), so that would be the best time to visit. Visit for some ideas on putting a unique trip together without paying a fortune.
The Garden Route is PACKED with wonderful private game reserves. And they are all wonderful. The most recommended ones are Garden Route Game Lodge and Chandelier. Knysna/ Oudtshoorn areas which cater for kids as well.
There are so many beautiful parks in South Africa, and so widely spread. For how long are you coming to South Africa. The most common park to start at, is the Kruger National Park, and the best time to visit is from April to end of August, Its winter then and easier to see all the animals at drinking holes. The changes of getting malaria is less also.The tariffis are high and you have to book in advance.
But then there is the Pilansberg National Park in North west, also home to the Big 5.The tariffs are good and they have swimmingpools and activities for the children.Also better to visit from April to August, no malaria. Botsalano near Mafikeng, with its own Airport, for a real African safari in the Bushveld.You can stay in Safari tents or in your camper. Tariffis are very good and you may also hike in the park, there are no lions.
Madikwe is a 5 star National Park near the border of Botswana in North West. It has few camps to choose from, all very luxoruis. For Madikwe, go to theire website . You will find all you need over there. I will recomend Madikwe for sure!!Madikwe is also near Mafikeng with the airport. If you would need any assistance or more information, I will be glad so assist you! Good Luck
kruger obviously is the best in your situation. drive around and stay over in different camps to make the most of it. winter is the best time as the grass is short, the trees bare and the game easier to see.

good luck
I have heard that Shamwari outside Port Elizabeth is a great experience for kids. Try them. Kruger is huge so maybe you would get more out of the experience if you try somewhere smaller so that you can see more of the animals.
I believe Pilansberg is also good. It also depends what time of the year you plan to come
I believe that Aquila game park in the Cape also offers a great experience, especially for kids.
Good Day to you,

A short message to advise you that with the up and coming 2010 soccer world cup,prices of everything in South Africa will be on the increase in a dramatic way.

It would be advisable to book your vacation sooner than later in order to get the normal rates as opposed to 2010 rates

Best regards


Yes Kruger Park is beautiful. My uncle loves Talamati, Lower Sabie and Pretoriouskop the most. He also likes to go north in the park to Punda. (uncle lives in UK, but grew up here in SA).

Have you considered going to Serengeti or Okavango Nature Reserve in Botswana. It is a short flight from Johannesburg and is our Neighbouring country. There are some lovelly camps where you can go on a river cruise to view game. Totally awesome. I went to Okovango as a kid and still would love to go back and see it again. I had lots of fun. They take you out in traditional canoes - named macorroes. They stand at the back of the boat (one african gentleman) and they push you along with a long rod (for lack of words!) or paddle but is really a well suited straight branch off a tree! My gent fell off the back of our canoe! I was about 7years old, so I was fluttered over making sure I was OK! The guy jumped back to his poll position (pol-there not paddle!!!! :) ) and continued and soon dried in the African sun! Not phased at all!

I think Namibia also has a national park. What's nice there is that you can go on sand dune adventures if it's your thing. either by 4x4 or quad bikes, or you can go sand bank boarding instead of snow boarding!

Perhaps deep sea fishing off our SA west coast. Catch and release.

Nice times are after the rains in October or nowish. We've had some rain recently so things are a little green. As we near winter things dry out as there is less rain. The "Garden Route" has winter rainfall, and the inland bits of SA seem to follow a summer rainfall, such as more north.

A lot of these parks you can fly to or close to and then probably arrange with the rangers there to fetch you for an additional fee should you prefer this option, otherwise hire a car and drive from the airport - as you'll have to do for the Kruger Park - you fly to Nelspruit airport which is a short distance from the park.

Hope this is helpful!

All the best,
Dear Traveler
It is always a pleasure to answer any questions regarding safaris or hunting in Southern Africa. For me the best Safari Park in South Africa would be the Kruger National Park, It is also the biggest National Park in South Africa. Unfortunately the Kruger National Park isn’t a very good place to take young children for the simple reason they will not enjoy it that much as mom and dad. For the kids, I would prefer Pilansberg National Park and Sun City. The reason for this is: The kids can enjoy the wonder of Sun City where there is a lot enjoyment like water sports, handmade ocean, water skies, paragliding and an entertainment centre. Mom and dad can enjoy the wonderful outdoors in the game park, viewing the big five. If you need any help regarding bookings or wanted me to be your tour guide, please send me an e-mail to or visit our web site on or .
Happy Traveling.

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