Ten fun facts about spring season in the Greater Kruger National Park
Photo by: Callum Evans
Some images in this article were taken pre-COVID-19.
BY: Tasneem Johnson-Dollie
What’s the African wild like in the spring season? Read these fun facts about spring season in the Greater Kruger National Park to find out!
If you’re looking to see the savannah buzzing like no other time of the year, visit South Africa during the spring season and set yourself up for a memorable time in the Greater Kruger National Park.
While you’re at it, why stop at just a visit? Why not make the savannah your office for the spring season?
1) When are the different seasons in South Africa?
South Africa lies below the equator and the seasons follow the Southern Hemisphere’s schedule.
In the African savannah, the wet, hot summer season spans December to February, with the milder temperatures of Autumn settling in from March to May. By June, the rainfall subsides and temperatures sink to winter-chilliness levels. The winter season sticks around until late August, before giving way to the spring season, which lasts from September to November.
2) Where is the Greater Kruger National Park
The Greater Kruger National Park includes the well-known Kruger National Park in Limpopo as well as more than 180,000 hectares of land to the west of the park in Mpumalanga. This stretch of savannah is home to over 20 private reserves.
Photo by: Callum Evans
3) What are springtime temperatures like?
Springtime in the Greater Kruger National Park falls in the heart of the dry season.
But, while there may be little moisture in the air, temperatures in the spring season remain chilly – by South African standards – with lows of around 10 degrees celsius. On warmer days in the springtime, temperatures can reach highs of 27 degrees celsius.
4) When is the best time to travel to South Africa and visit the Greater Kruger National Park?
You may have guessed it by now: it’s the spring season, from September to November.
But, you may be wondering why spring is the best season to visit the Greater Kruger National Park if it’s chilly and dry? Let’s find out.
5) What’s so exciting about the African savannah during the spring season?
Photo by: Donald Fraser
One of the best parts of the spring season is that the dry weather makes spotting African savannah animals much easier, because there are fewer water holes around. The scarcity of water draws African savannah animals out of hiding as they seek out fresh water.
During this time of the year, you may also see a wider variety of African savannah animals in the same spot at the same time – all taking advantage of the precious water on offer.
6) Which African savannah animals can I see during the spring season?
South Africa itself is recognised as a megadiverse country, with its seven different biomes acting as habitats for thousands of species of plants and animals.
The savannah biome is home to some of the country’s best-known creatures, like the Big Five – lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and Cape buffalo – and an array of leaping buck, furry rodents and slithering serpents.
As one of South Africa’s largest regions of savannah terrain, the Greater Kruger National Park makes a big contribution to the biodiversity of this biome. It houses over 500 species of birds, around 114 species of snakes, 147 mammal species and more insects than you can easily count.
Photo by: Donald Fraser
During the spring season, the colder daytime temperatures mean that reptiles are less active (they get moving after heating up in the sunshine). So, you may not see as many reptiles on the African savannah during this time.
But, bigger mammals will still be around in their numbers, and smaller mammals will start to come out of hibernation. So, in addition to the zebras, lions, giraffes, elephants, antelope, wildebeest, rhinos, warthogs, hyenas and African wild dogs, you could also get an eyeful of meerkats, dassies, weasels and savannah rodents.
Read more about the African savannah biome in this article: All you need to know about field guiding and biomes of South Africa
7) Which plants can I see in the African savannah during springtime?
Towards the end of September, the Greater Kruger National Park starts to experience its first rains of the spring season. By the end of October, the African savannah is bursting with lush vegetation.
So, if you stick around long enough, you’ll get to feast your eyes on a wide variety of plants in the African savannah too.
From acacia and jackalberry trees to bermuda and elephant grasses, you may think you’re not in semi-arid terrain after all!
This showy greenery is a sign that the spring season is coming to its end. So, you could see the African savannah adorned with a sea of green spindles, broad canopied trees and bushels of thorny thicket.
Photo by: Donald Fraser
8) What are the best ways to experience the Greater Kruger National Park during the spring season?
With this region of South Africa housing an array of different game reserves, booking a safari holiday in the Greater Kruger National Park is easy enough.
Going out on a safari with a field guide or game ranger is a great way to learn more about the area from a field expert. But, there are also ways that you can add to your own expertise as a wildlife enthusiast.
Bushwise Field Guides offers in-country courses set in this region, and you’ll learn all the theory you need to become a certified field guide. Our courses also ensure that you’ll gain all the practical experience essential for anyone wanting to work in the African savannah.
With courses like these on offer, anyone who becomes besotted with the Greater Kruger National Park, and its plants and animals, can spend more time on the terrain – while working towards a career in the great outdoors.
Photo by: Ben Klunder
9) How can I become a professional conservationist in time for the spring season?
Bushwise offers Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) accredited online and in-country courses that can build on your employability as a field guide or game ranger in a big way.
You can join our in-country field guiding course or internship and start your studies off this spring in the African savannah. This means you should be a certified wildlife conservationist by the spring season next year!
10) Can I make the Greater Kruger National Park my office during the spring season?
Once you’ve got your qualifications, you can apply to work at reserves in the Greater Kruger National Park and make the outdoors your office for all the seasons in South Africa – with the spring season being a highlight of course!
Bushwise prides itself on offering the most comprehensive courses in the industry, and 100% of our professional field guiding course students have gone on to secure work in the field (locally or internationally).