Aquila Private Game Reserve
- Star Rating:
- Hotel Type:
- Family, Conference, Leisure, Game Lodge
- Address: R46 Ceres
The Aquila Private Game Reserve nestles in a Big 5, malaria free game reserve which can be reached from Cape Town via a two hour scenic drive. This 4,500 hectare private nature reserve is rich in Khoi San and Boer War history and is home to three unspoiled biomes of vegetation set in the most magnificent Karoo mountains, valleys, rivers and kloofs.
The reserve is in South Africa's Western Cape Province and has been recognized as one of the major tourist attractions, along with Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Robben Island, as it is the closest authentic Big 5 safari experience to Cape Town.
There are 3 different room types on offer:
- Premier Cottages
- Luxury Family Cottages
- Standard Cottages.
The Premier Cottages at the Lodge are situated on the hillside of the reserve providing privacy and tranquility. These cottages have been built in harmony with the rock which is a principle focal point in the large bathrooms and alfresco showers. They are constructed from wood, stone and thatch and feature fans, air conditioners and fireplaces. Each en-suite bathroom is unique, with twin hand basins, bath and toilet. The Premier Cottages offer a wooden deck with panoramic views across the expanse of the reserve. The luxurious Honeymoon Suite boasts a private alfresco Jacuzzi.
- Cottage 6: Sleeps 4 (family unit)
- Cottage 7: Sleeps 2 (Twin sharing)
- Cottage 8: Sleeps 2 (King size bed)
- Cottage 9: Sleeps 2 (King size bed)
- Cottage 10: Sleeps 2 (Twin sharing)
Luxury Family Cottages:
The Luxury Family Cottages at the lodge provide mini bars, tea and coffee making facilities and feature indoor fireplaces. These chalets are under thatch and feature exterior stone work using raw materials from the area. The large en-suite bathrooms feature corner baths with outdoor showers.
- Luxury Family Units 31 & 38 sleeps 6 guests
- Luxury Family Units 32 - 37 sleep 4 guests
- Both the Premier Cottages and the Luxury Family Units have tea and coffee making facilities, a mini bar and the highest quality percale linen is used throughout.
In keeping with the design and flow of the architecture at the reserve, the Standard Cottages do not compromise the experience nor standard. Each has its own patio, corner bath and outdoor rock shower. Cottages are equipped with mini bars, fans and feature 'coal' stoves for that extra bit of warmth and coziness in the colder months.
- Cottage 11 - 30: Sleeps 2 per cottage (Twin sharing)
Throughout the malaria free Game Reserve, natural materials found on the property such as rocks, river pebbles, reeds, wood and thatch have been used in order to blend with the surrounding environment.
This Main Lodge provides the perfect setting for the extensive buffet-style meals served. Meals to suit all dietary requirements are available including traditional South African cuisine. The restaurant can seat 180 diners in comfort and large log fireplaces set a romantic mood. The restaurant opens up to a sunken boma area - a unique design feature to Aquila.
Originally the homestead, this building has been redesigned into a sumptuous yet intimate colonial style Cigar Bar. It provides one with the opportunity of enjoying an after dinner night cap in front of the roaring log fire whilst sampling the quality cigars on offer.
Located adjacent to the swimming pool and restaurant, the African design Pool Bar at the lodge features a restaurant which can seat approximately 20 guests while enjoying the convenience of the pool area. The Pool Bar is only operational during the summer months.
There are two public lounges, the one is located in the restaurant and the other one adjoins the Cigar Bar. Both feature large leather sofas in which to relax, read a book or catch up with friends. The restaurant lounge has a large feature fireplace and the Cigar Bar lounge offers DSTV facilities.
This wood paneled 'study' style room with its large fireplace offers many prominent reference books as well as novels for the guests' enjoyment.
The boutique style curio shop is situated by reception and offers various African souvenirs for sale, as well as locally manufactured items and Aquila branded apparel. For the guests' convenience, items such as camera spools and batteries are stocked.
The rock style saltwater pool is surrounded by manicured lawns with comfortable sun-lounges and waiter service.
Under thatch, the Conference Boma is an addition to the spacious Conference Center and can seat up to 40 guests. It is perfectly positioned to use in conjunction with any conference/team building etc.
Outdoor sunken boma - situated adjacent to the Restaurant and can seat 64 guests.
Morning and evening game drives with qualified field rangers in open 4x4 vehicles are offered to guests and the game drives range between two and three hours with sparkling wine, grape juice, water and snacks such as biltong, 'droewors', nuts and dried fruits served at various lookout points. Blankets and raincoats are made available to guests on the 4x4 vehicles. Specially designed ladders are used to assist guests embarking and disembarking the vehicles.
- Minimum age requirement is 15 years old.
- There is a maximum of 9 people per safari; these are guided by one of the rangers.
- Duration: 2 hours
Quad bike Safari
- Minimum age requirement is 17 years old.
- There is a maximum of 10 people per safari guided by two rangers - 1 guest per vehicle.
- Duration: 2 hours
The Reserve is home to Africa's Big 5: elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and the rare leopard. Giraffes and hippos can also be seen here. It is also is home to lions which have been saved from the 'canned hunting' trade. They are genetically linked to the Barbary Lion - a close relative of the extinct Cape Mountain Lion. The reserve is also proud to have the first rhino to be born in the Western Cape in 200 years.
Other game can also be found on the reserve such as black wildebeest, burchell's zebra, springbok, gemsbok, steenbok, caracal (lynx), blesbok, bat eared fox, ostriches, klip springer, duiker, greybuck, baboon, black backed jackal, eland and red hartebeest.
The malaria free reserve and its natural wetland is home to 172 species of birds and is also home to several breeding pairs of the rare and endangered black eagle, after which the reserve has been named.
Karoo chat, rufous-eared warbler, fairy flycatcher and yellow-bellied eremomela can be found on the reserve. Lark-like bunting and black-headed canary move in after the rainy season. In the summer months the booted eagle is a regular visitor and the rainy season attracts flamingos to the reserve.
In addition guests have the chance to participate in:
- Horseback Safaris
- Quad Bike Safaris
- Walking Safaris
Our Personal Opinion
This Game Reserve is a great one-night getaway for businessmen travelling to South Africa who would like an opportunity to see what Africa is famous for - its wildlife. Although the reserve has the Big Five, there is only one or two of each species and the cats are not free-roaming. Aquila in no-way replaces a safari holiday but is ideal for those people who want something close to Cape Town and only have a day or two to spare. The accommodation is comfortable and the food rustic and delicious.
Situated only 2 hours from Cape Town, Aquila Game Reserve is a malaria free game reserve. Apart from being a Big 5 Reserve, Aquila is home to hippo, giraffe and over 170 different species of bird.
Aquila Private Game Reserve features a kids clubhouse with many activities on offer for children to enjoy. A 9 hole putt-putt course, kiddies quad biking course and an extensive jungle gym are all found in the children's area. Children can also enjoy pony rides and movie and pizza nights.
Aquila is proud to be the largest job creator for the near-by town of Touwsriver. For a town with a 97% unemployment rate, Aquila provides over 120 jobs. Aquila is also the sponser of a full-time teacher in the community and a local cricket team. Aquila feature's its own solar power facility, which covers the daily energy requirements of the reserve. All toiletry products provided in the room are eco-friendly and biodegradable. The Animal Rescue & Conservation Centre is on site at the reserve. The centre provides homes for many big cats that were previously doomed to "canned" hunting facilities. On the reserve, a anti-poaching unit is also found where rangers from other reserves can be trained with regards to Rhino conservation methods.
These units are semi detached with attention paid to privacy. All Chalets have tea and coffee making facilities, a mini bar and the best quality percale linen is used throughout. Each of the cottage types at Aquila are slightly different in décor and design, yet as is with nature, the colours, form and flow create a natural space in which to relax. Thatch, slate and natural rock elements are featured throughout, especially in the bathrooms.
Brown’s, beige and taupe’s are highlighted by fine percale white linen and decadent duvets offer guests a sanctuary in which to relax and unwind amidst a natural setting that enhances the environment outside.
Rooms open up to a private terrace so guests can experience a true African sunset while enjoying their favourite sundowner from the mini-bar. During the winter months, one can curl up by the log fire and reminisce of yet another beautiful day on this reserve. The cottages, as with all the buildings on this eco-friendly reserve, have been architecturally designed and styled to complement nature.
These units are semi detached with attention paid to privacy. They are under thatch and feature exterior stone work using raw material from the area. They all have fans and feature a “coal” stove. The large en suite bathrooms feature corner baths with outdoor showers.
Single Room: R2500.00
Double Room: R3340.00
These units are privately situated and have been built into the hillside with the natural rock featuring in the bathrooms and outdoor showers. They are constructed from wood, stone and thatch and feature fans, air conditioners and fireplaces.
The en suite bathrooms are all unique, with twin hand basins, bath and toilet. Each unit has it’s own patio with excellent views. The honeymoon suite boasts a Jacuzzi with spectacular views across the reserve. All Chalets have tea and coffee making facilities, a mini bar and the best quality percale linen is used throughout.
- Chalet 6: Sleeps 4 (family unit)
- Chalet 7: Sleeps 2 (Twin sharing)
- Chalet 8: Sleeps 2 (Queen size bed)
- Chalet 9: Sleeps 2 (Queen size bed)
- Chalet 10: Sleeps 2 (Twin sharing)
Single Room: R2630.00
Double Room: R3510.00
The main lodge at Aquila provides the perfect African setting. The restaurant serves extensive buffet-style meals, featuring traditional South African cuisine. The restaurant can seat 180 diners in comfort and the large log fireplaces set a romantic mood.
Address: Ceres Road, Touwsriver, Ceres, Western Cape, South Africa
Activities / Sports and Leisure
Aquila Private Game Reserve is 7500 hectare park and is home to the big 5 - elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino. All game-drives are in an open 4 x 4 safari vehicle, and are lead by experienced guides.
Activities at Aquila also extend beyond traditional safaris. Safari activities include horseback safaris, quad bike safaris, game drives and fly in safaris. All safari activities include an optional free visit to ARC (Aquila's Rescue Centre found on land adjacent to the Reserve).
Conferences and Events
Aquila offers a unique conference venue that features a conference room, two breakaway rooms and a thatch outdoor boma area. Platters can be served in our conference area with tea, coffee and/or other beverages.
The main conference room seats 80 people cinema style and 56 people in U-shaped seating. Activities and team-building events can be tailor-made according to a group's needs.
- Overhead projector
- Flip chart
- White board
- DVD/ CD player.
- Boardroom Facilities
- Childrens playground
- Conference venue
- Swimming Pool
A night at the Aquila Private Game Reserve: Itinerary
- 12h00 Welcome drinks upon arrival at the Aquila Game Reserve
- 12h30 Lunch
- 14h00 Check into Cottage
- 16h00 Game Drive and visit to the Animal Rescue Conservation Centre
- 19h00 Dinner
- 07h00 Early morning Game Drive
- 09h00 - 10h00 Breakfast
10h00 - 11h30 Time at leisure
Aquila Private Game Reserve Specials & Packages
1. Follow the N1 highway from Cape Town for approximately 130km.
2. The road will take you past Paarl, through the Huguenot tunnel, past Worcester, De Doorns and through the Hex River Valley.
3. Approximately 30 km after De Doorns and just past the road sign indicating 10km to Touws River, you will get to the R46 turnoff to Ceres.
4. Take the turnoff to the left. Follow the road for approximately 3km.
5. You will find the Aquila Private Game Reserve main entrance on your left hand side.
Aquila is the ideal place to enjoy a relaxing weekend break. The food was great, the peace and quiet was ideal and the facilities are top class. The horseride safari was a great experience however the reserve has limited animals on site. I would not replace a visit to Kruger or Addo with one to Aquila.