Aquila Private Game Reserve Reviews & Information
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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 new biomes of vegetation set in the most magnificent Karoo mountains, valleys, rivers and kloofs.
This 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 in Cape Town.
There are three 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 of 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 an outdoor Jacuzzi.
- Cottage 6: Sleep 4 (family unit)
- Cottage 7: Sleep 2 (Twin sharing)
- Cottage 8: Sleep 2 (King size bed)
- Cottage 9: Sleep 2 (King size bed)
- Cottage 10: Sleep 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 stonework using raw materials from the area. The large en-suite bathrooms feature corner baths with outdoor showers.
- Luxury Family Units 31 & 38 sleeps six guests
- Luxury Family Units 32 - 37 sleep four guests
- Both the Premier Cottages and the Luxury Family Units have tea and coffee making facilities and a mini bar.
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 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: Sleep 2 per cottage (Twin sharing)
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 while 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 open bars; 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 an open fireplace, and the Cigar Bar room offers DSTV facilities.
This wood paneled 'study' style room with its large fireplace offers many valuable reference books as well as novels for the guests' enjoyment.
The boutique style curio shop is situated by the 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 big Conference Center and can seat up to 40 guests. It is ideally 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, klipspringer, duiker, greyback, 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.
This Game Reserve is a great one-night getaway for business people traveling 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.
Below detailed information about the Aquila Private Game Reserve is available.
For any queries regarding this hotel, you are welcome to contact us.
- Bar Fridges in Room
- Ceiling Fan
- En-suite / private bathroom
- Tea and coffee making facilities
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 open log fireplaces set a romantic mood.
Aquila Private Game Reserve is a 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 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
- Matjiesfontein Village visits
- 4x4 mountain trails
- Karoo National Park visits
- Trout fishing
- Cherry Picking
- 9 and 18 hole golf courses.
Aquila offers a unique conference venue that features a meeting room, two breakaway rooms and a thatch outdoor boma area. Platters can be served in our conference area with tea, coffee and 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
- 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
Check in and Check Out Times
- Check in: 14:00
- Check out: 10:00
- Concierge services
- Game drive safaris
- Housekeeping service
- Wake-up call
Malaria and Animals
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 nearby town of Touwsriver. For a city with a 97% unemployment rate, Aquila provides over 120 jobs. Aquila is also the sponsor of a full-time teacher in the community and a local cricket team. Aquila feature's its 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, an 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 taupes are highlighted by a beautiful 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 real 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 stonework 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.
Family Luxury Cottage 4 Sleeper
- # Rooms:
- Privately situated
- Air conditioners
- En suite bathrooms with twin hand basins, bath and toilet
- Own patio with stunning views
- Tea and coffee making facilities
- Mini bar
- Best quality percale linen
- Chalet 6: Sleep 4 (family unit)
- Chalet 7: Sleep 2 (Twin sharing)
- Chalet 8: Sleeps 2 (Queen size bed)
- Chalet 9: Sleep 2 (Queen size bed)
- Chalet 10: Sleep 2 (Twin sharing)
Family Luxury Cottage 8 Sleeper
Luxury Premier Cottages King
Luxury Premier Cottages King and Twin
Lodge: Standard Room
Premier Lodge Room
Aquila Private Game Reserve Specials
The specials listed below will automatically be offered to you when proceeding through the booking process.
Join renowned Spanish photographer, Marina Cano, for a photographic workshop at Aquila.
Duration: 2 Nights and 3 days
Dates: In 1st September 2016 out 3rd September 2016
Levels of experience: all levels welcomed
Rate: R8950 pps. R10590 Single
Includes: 2 nights stay in 4 star luxurious Premier Cottage, meals and activities as per itinerary below.
Excludes: transfers, refreshments, laundry, camera equipment & items of a personal nature
Location: Aquila Private Game Reserve – Western Cape Province
Day1: 1st September 2016
12h30 - Welcome drinks at Aquila
12h30 - Buffet Lunch
14h00 - Check into Cottage
14:30 – Marina Cano presentation
16h30 – Private Game Drive
19h00 - Buffet Dinner
Day 2: 2nd September 2016
07h00 - Game Drive
08h30 - 09h30 - Buffet Breakfast
09h30- Private Game drive
12h30- Buffet Lunch
14h00 - 16h30 – Review work
16h30 – Private Game Drive
19h00 - Buffet Dinner
Day 3: 3rd September 2016
07h00 - Game Drive
08h30 - 09h30 - Buffet Breakfast
10h00 - Check Out of Cottage
10h00 - 11h30 - Time at leisure
12h30 - Depart for Cape Town
What you will learn:
• Improve your photographic skills with leading internationally recognized wild life
• Developing com positional skills
• Understand the best use of light in all kinds of lighting conditions
• Choosing the best moments
• What makes for an excellent wildlife photo
• Learn to get the best out of your camera settings
• Develop you technical skills
• Mastering you own creative skills and so much more
I’m a Spanish wildlife photographer, based in Cantabria, Northern Spain. I’ve been taking pictures since I was a teenager, started with my father’s camera. My work has been published around the world and have won international awards.
In 2009 I’ve published my first book, Cabarceno, with the pictures I’ve took for three years in the largest park of wildlife in Europe, with the same name.
In December 2012 I published my second book: Drama & Intimacy, a carefully selection from the pictures I took in South Africa, Kenya, England and Cabarceno. I’ve also made exhibitions in Cape Town, London, Spain, La Habana, Korea.
My talks took me to different places like Finland, Cuba, South Africa, Israel, Mexico, Spain and United Kingdom. Currently I'm working in my third book that will be launch in October 2016.
In 2015 I’ve been finalist of the most prestigious Nature Photography Contest:
Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Since 2015 I am part of the Canon Ambassador Team, representing the field of Nature Photography as a Wildlife Photographer. It’s been a great honor, as only a few top photographers of the world are part of it.
Included in the rate:
- 2 nights stay in 4 star luxurious Premier Cottage,
- meals and activities as per itinerary
Excluded from the rate:
- transfers, refreshments, laundry, camera equipment & items of a personal nature.
Terms and Conditions:
- Valid 1 - 3 September 2016 only
- Limited availability
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1. Take the N1 from Cape Town for approximately 131km.
2. The road will take you past Paarl, through the Huguenot tunnel, past Worcester, De Doorns and the Hex River Valley.
3. Approximately 31 km after De Doorns and just past the road sign indicating 11km to Touws River
4. Take the R46 turnoff to Ceres.
5. Take the turnoff to the left. Follow the road for approximately 3km.
6.You will find the Reserve's main entrance on your left-hand side.
On site parking facilities are provided for guests.