If I was asked what a perfect world would look like to me, I think my description would be Aquila Game Reserve and my reason for that would be acres of untouched land, fresh air and the sound of animals for me it doesn’t get better than that. It’s like being on a whole different continent yet you only 2hours out of Cape Town.
We were invited to do the overnight safari by Aquila Game Reserve and it truly was a magical experience. If you need a break away from the real world to get some clarity in your life I would highly recommend Aquila.
We stayed in the standard luxury chalets which are all named after birds our one was called “Cape Wagtail” and it overlooks the reserve.It has two single beds put together to make one huge bed which you can lose yourself in,a massive corner bath and outdoor rock shower. The room is fully air-conditioned with a fire place complete with wood,fire lighters and matches for colder nights. The room is furnished with a cupboard, safe and has a kettle with tea and coffee. They have the most amazing photos on the walls of animals found on the reserve. Each chalet has it’s own private patio with patio chairs and a table as well as extra wood for the fireplace. The accommodation really is an extension of the feel of the whole reserve -natural. They even go the extra mile by providing bug repellent sprays and creams in the bedside cupboard as well as a hair dryer.
The restaurant and food
The restaurant overlooks the pool and has a African theme to it with two massive fireplaces and paintings all over. It also keeps to the natural theme and you even find birds flying inside the restaurant. All meals are buffet and includes just about everything you can think of. The highlights for us was the marshmallow pudding, crumbed prawns, Kingklip, the melt in your mouth roasted lamb and the breakfast danishes.
There were two safari vehicles which went out at the same time each one had about 15 people. It’s equipped with fleecy blankets as well as rain coats.
Our afternoon Safari started around 3pm with the most amazing ranger, Marco Lottering, he made you feel relaxed , gave a lot of information about Aquila as well as the animals, made jokes and just really played a major role in the overall experience. We saw 3 of the big 5 the rhino, the elephant and the lion and loads of other animals ranging from ostriches to springboks and even a little riverine rabbit which is endangered and mostly found in Touwsrivier.After 2 hours we took a break on a peak which overlooked the reserve and our ranger set up a little table with sparkling wine,water and snacks such as dried fruit,nuts and biltong. We then continued on our safari and ended with the lion enclosure, which was quite the experience getting that close to 7 Lions it is not for the faint hearted.
The morning Safari started bright and early and not to mention cold at 7am but boy was it worth getting up that early, we got to see the Giraffes and actually got to get out and walk on the reserve to get abit closer to the two Giraffes. We got too see some Hippos poking their heads out the water, we then carried on back to the Lion enclosure where we got to see them sleeping all on a heap (it was too cold for even them lol), they really did look like a bunch of overgrown cats laying there still scary though. We then saw some Buffalo, which the ranger kept a really safe distance from, as they are considered the most dangerous one of the big 5 as they have no warning signs before attacking. Our tour ended with a visit to ARC which is Aquila’s Rehabilitation Centre where we got too see a cheetah which has been hand raised so sadly will never be able to join the reserve and two Lions who were saved and they are trying to migrate them with the 7 Lions they currently have on the reserve.The leopard is also held at ARC but unfortunately he hid away from us.
The first highlight for us would be seeing a rhino , they are such beautiful and passive creatures when not provoked hard to imagine what kind of person would kill them for no reason. The zebras play fighting was another spectacular sight they were like two little kids even the sounds they made. We got to see the mating ” dance” as it referred to of two ostriches.When we got back to our chalet after the 3 hour safari there was a little surprise waiting on our bed a elephant made out towels.
We had a rocky start with a booking mix up but it was handled swiftly and without much hassle while we had lunch.The staff is friendly and helpful. There is a wide variety of different foods on offer and the chefs certainly know what they are doing. Love the natural feel to the whole reserve and it truly is an amazing experience one I would encourage people to do. We had an amazing time there and it surely is a experience neither one of us will forget.
Extra info on Aquila Game Reserve
Aquila is child friendly and has a massive outdoor play area for kids as well as a swimming pool for summertime. They also offer horseback safaris as well as quad bike safaris. There is a curio store located in the reception area filled with Aquila branded goodies and things you might require for your stay such as sunglasses.
For more Pictures of our Safari check out our facebook page
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Disclaimer: Our stay at Aquila Game Reserve was sponsored however our post is based on our experience and honest opinion.All pictures were taken by #TeamInvisable and has not been edited.