The jewel of South Africa lies in Cape Town, you cannot go to this country and skip this incredibly beautiful city. However, many don’t realise that visiting Cape Town doesn’t mean you will be missing out on experiencing a safari – this is where Aquila Game Reserve comes in.
Aquila Game Reserve
About a 2 hour drive inland (we recommend you hire a car) from the Cape Town international airport lies the private game reserve of Aquila. This 10,000 hectare conservancy invites you to see the big 5 in their natural habitat.
Your nights stay includes an afternoon and morning game drive alongside buffet style lunch, dinner and breakfast meals the following day. The centrepiece of Aquila is the 35 metre salt pool overlooking the reserve. Picture yourself going for a swim in the morning as elephants walk past you with the sun rising in the distance.
Our initial thoughts of the lodge rooms is that they feel more like a hotel than a luxury resort. The tall block of rooms is where you will find the majority of rooms, however they do also offer luxury mountain view cottages for a higher room rate cost.
Certainly the standout was the decor of the room, from the African inspired bed linen to the exposed wall in the bathroom. We were more than comfortable with ample room and a bed that made it very hard to get out of for our very early morning drive.
The Game Drive: Being Stormed By An Elephant
This was our very first game drive in South Africa, which meant we will never forget it. We saw just about every animal we wanted to see, from giraffes slowly walking to an elephant charging our safari jeep. There were high octane times filled in with peaceful picturesque moments.
The afternoon drive concluded with our truck stopping amongst a heard of buck and giraffes as champagne and treats were presented to us with enough to have multiple refills, what a way to end the day.
Having both a convenient and reasonably priced accomodation along with being the easiest accessible safari park from Cape Town ensures the masses will flock. This meant the illusion of having a personal experience with the hotel and staff were void. In at 2pm, out at 10am, the turn around of guests really stood out which made me feel more like cattle than a guest.
This is an overnight experience, it’s hard to recommend extending your stay. The morning drive is almost identical (minus the sunset snacks and drinks) which means your bite sized Safari may get diluted if you stay longer. The hotel staff are so in tune with their clockwork schedule of churning through the guests on a nightly experience that even the hotel knows you should only stay one night.
Don’t get us wrong, we had a lovely time with our family and for many of us this was our first safari experience so it was still very exciting, it just wasn’t 100% what we were expecting our first African safari to be like. Later during our trip we ended up visiting 3 more game reserves where we had the time of our lives and would highly recommend you check them out – Ndaka Safari Lodge, Cheetah Ridge Lodge & Springbok Lodge all found in the KwaZulu-Natal region.
As always we film our lives every single day so why not check out day 317, the day we experienced Aquila Game Reserve.
Where did you have you first game drive experience?
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