Aquila Private Game Reserve is situated just over a 2 hour’s drive from Cape Town. Dive Inn Cape Town had some guests who needed a surface interval before flying to Aliwal shoal and we arranged a day trip out to the Aquila Private Game reserve.
Aquila Private Game reserve can arrange a pick up from your hotel as well but Dive Inn also provides this service and we add some extra touring information on route and have the flexibility to stop and check out other places of interest, depending on time of course.
We had an afternoon safari booked and needed to be there at 12pm. On arrival you are welcomed with a glass of bubbly or a non-alcoholic a sparkling grape juice. After a quick registration and payment the guests are directed to the restaurant for lunch where a buffet of traditional South African food is served. This is included in the day trip price but excludes drinks. The food is top notch and for the morning trips a breakfast is also included.
Aquila Private Game Reserveprovides stunning accommodation and to do an overnight or longer stay plus a safari on horseback is highly recommended.
Aquila Private Game Reserve
And back to the safari part. After lunch we got directed to a truck where about 12 people can sit. All on and after some nice warm blankets were distributed we headed off to the reserve. The blankets are needed as it can get very chilly in the Karoo. Aquila is situated on 10000 acres of land which includes some small hills flat veld and a dam. The Dam was the 1st stop and in it the Hippo’s.
They were underwater most of the time and then all of a sudden the male hippo rose out of the water and then every now and then a nose of the female would break the murky brown water to breath and disappear underwater again ;-).
The driver /guide started the truck again and the next stop were in an opening where we had some Black wildebeest and Springbok with a far sighting of a Rhino bull. The guide also mentioned about rhino dung that they have a toilet and go back to the same spot.
Further down the road a couple of blue wildebeest with their blond tails. Vehicle will be switched off at most of the stops and the guide would provide information about the animals.
Some springbok were all happy and was stotting (Afrikaans – Pronk) around. But on the other side of the vehicle 3 rhinoceros cows were lying down and chilling. So cameras were snapping away and the guide pouring out info. From here we could also spot another grey back of a rhino cow who was had a small calf and still hiding it away.
The lions are housed in a big enclosure where they can roam freely and safely. They can hunt some smaller animals like dassies and duiker but are mostly fed. This could be seen as they are massive and like all cats were cleaning themselves and each other and having naps. It is really an impressive site to see the king of the jungle out in veld.
Through the lion enclosure the hunt was on for elephants and giraffe. NO luck so a stop for a smoke and water break, stretching legs and looking closely to local plants.
Back on the Aquila Private Game reserve safari truck and hoping to see more animals. A couple of Zebras was also spotted before our break. As we rounded a bend 2 young elephant males were strolling down the road. We followed at a decent distance as they were meandering about in the road in front of us. About 10 minutes later they went off the road and we could pass and get another view point from them. One of them was in a play full mood and pick up a branch and balanced it on its head.
After this we headed back to the reception area with no giraffe in sight. This was the end of the day safari trip. Across the road Aquila Private Game reserve have a small rehabilitation centre with cheetahs, more lion and even a leopard to see if you are lucky. They house a small solar power farm and next to the farm a salad/vegetable and herb garden on aquaculture. I could not say if there was fish in the dams which is normally the case with this type of farming.
I did recall that as we came close to Aquila late morning I was sure I noted Giraffe near the fence at the corner of the reserve.
So on our way back to Cape Town we stopped and yip we had a sighting of a couple of Giraffe. Indicators on, cross the road, jump a fence and walk 50 meters closer to take a pic. What a way to end a great day out in nature.