Kruger National Park in January
The Kruger is at its hottest during the month of January. You’ll want to be in the shade during mid-day as temperatures regularly soar over 30°C. It’s also the rainy season which brings mild humidity and afternoon thunderstorms. Evenings are generally warm and pleasant.
The holiday season in South Africa lasts until the second week of the month, so to avoid the crowds it is best to head for the north of the park, one of the private concessions within Kruger or the several private reserves along its borders. Besides, the oasis of a luxury lodge (personal splash pool, anyone?) is the best place to be in the summer heat. Game drives in these areas deliver better results than self-driving in the Kruger, as the expert game rangers can track animals off the beaten track.
The rainwater turns the African savanna beautifully lush and green, but it also means animals are harder to spot. More available water keeps them from congregating at larger water holes too. Birding, however, is great since large numbers of migratory species can be seen.