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“Amazing 4 Star Safari and Rustic Resort Experience near Cape Town!”

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Aquila Private Game Reserve
Reviewed 20 October 2017

Our 4 night stay at Aquila Private Game Reserve was the highlight of our time in South Africa. The reserve itself is more like a rustic resort with indoor/outdoor pools, a full service, affordable spa, amazing food and drink selection and very quaint romantic accommodations. We stayed in cottage #7 which is one of the rooms in Aquila's FB cover photo above. It was perfect for a couple with the large comfortable bed, fireplace, exquisite view and all around loveliness. It even had an outdoor shower...which my husband enjoyed thoroughly. We highly recommend booking one of these premium accommodations as it makes the experience so much better! At night, we could even hear the hippos playing in the waters right in front of our room (but don't worry, there is a barrier to keep the animals at a safe distance).

It seems that most guests only come to Aquila for a day-trip or 1 night stay; but, we found that 4 nights was a great amount of time and we could've easily stayed longer. They provide 3 meals a day with excellent food and much variety, featuring a lot of local fares. We enjoyed trying all the authentic South African food. Alcohol and beverages cost extra, but the selection is good and affordable too.

As far as the safari experience, we very much enjoyed the group safari with head ranger Memory. He also took us on a few private safaris as well - we rode quad bikes throughout the 10,000 hector property which was adventurous and exhilarating and we even did a couple of walkabouts. Each safari (2 per day) offered us a unique and exciting experience. Memory provided a wealth of knowledge, history, cultural facts and entertainment. He is literally the most amazing guide we could've asked for. We also had an incredible horseback safari with Shadrik. Even if you are afraid of riding horses, he will make you feel comfortable, safe and I am convinced he is the horse whisperer!

During our stay, we saw 4 of the BIG 5 wild animals (Rhinos, Elephant, Buffalo, Lion) but of course, the leopards evaded us. We also saw Zebras, Ostriches, Hippos, Giraffe, SpringBok, Eland and more! If the weather is nice, you can hang out by the pool and in the evenings, they do fireside hang outs and star gazing. We have NEVER seen so many stars in the sky. It's breathtaking.

Please note that this game reserve has a lot of rescue animals which is wonderful to see. Even within the 10,000 hectors of land, you are pretty much guaranteed to see 4 of the BIG FIVE if you stay for 2 or more safari tours. For us, we enjoyed having the extra time to explore the reserve and go on a few private safaris. It made our experience unforgettable.

Also, connecting with the staff was quite a treat as well. We learned a lot from Barend, the head of security and had a fun time chatting with Mr. D and Timothy over meals. These guys all made our experience so special and we can't wait to go back! The ladies in the spa do great work as well. I had an amazing deep tissue massage by Zena.

The only bad experience for us was that we needed a private airport shuttle from Cape Town airport to Aquila which is a 2 hour drive. The reserve quoted us 7,000 rand round-trip which is about $500 USD. They did not offer any other options for us so we had to search quite extensively for a separate shuttle company who offered a much better price of 3,100 rand round-trip. We used Mitchell at Western Shuttles which was a great experience.
Overall, we absolutely loved our time at Aquila and highly recommend it for anyone wanting to go on Safari in Cape Town. It's the perfect mix of rustic and relaxation!

Room Tip: The private cottages/cabins make it a LUXURY experience. They are cozy and romantic. Perfect for a...
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  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Shantelle T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AquilaSafari, Public Relations Manager at Aquila Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2017

Wow!

Smile all round for your fantastic 5-star review. It was a pleasure hosting you for 4 nights at Aquila and we thank you for the recommendation.

We will make sure we share your comments with Memory and the the reserve management.

Thanks for choosing Aquila.

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Reviewed 16 October 2017

Great to see the Big 5 and beautiful property, but definitely felt like people were being pumped through. Much busier and more commercial feeling than I had hoped. Front desk staff needs serious help in being welcoming, friendly, and answering questions. Would much prefer an alternative to the buffet--got really old for a 2 night stay eating every meal there. Also buffet lends itself to the feeling that people are just being pumped through. Nice spa, and had fun on the trail ride. But next time will look for something more intimate and more wild, so that we don't see fences and lions not in enclosure, etc. Kids club was the best part, as well as the babysitting service. Our kids had a great time in this indoor/outdoor space.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank SBGWashington_DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AquilaSafari, Public Relations Manager at Aquila Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2017

Hello.

Thank you for writing to us about your most pleasant Aquila experience. We offer a child-friendly safari experience, and we are glad that your kids enjoyed themselves at our property.

The spa is a really luxurious treat to the Big 5 experience.

Thanks for visiting.

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Reviewed 29 September 2017

I have a stayed at Aquila a couple of times, and the experience is always a treat! Just a 2 hour drive from Cape Town allows for a convenient African bush getaway - even if just for 24 hours.

Staff are always friendly and the schedule of activities runs to time. Being a smaller reserve allows for ample and varied animal-sightings - with most if not all big game seen over the course of the two drives - afternoon and evening. The Arc is also a wonderful initiative!!

On this particular trip we made use of the wonderful Tranquila (clever name) Spa facilities - what blissful relaxation!! Sauna and Steam Room... mildly heated waterfall pools... and excellently trained therapists - from the local community too! We had wonderful massages and facials, as well as manicures and pedicures and felt totally revived afterwards. I would HIGHLY recommend using the spa facilities at Aquila.

The food was particularly delicious this trip ...being a buffet it's incredibly dangerous for the waistline... MORE!
I loved the African dishes - the kudu steak was superb, as was the eland stew. All 3 meals are eat all you like - one just needs to be disciplined to not overdo it!

Our room was lovely - we love the fact there is no TV in the rooms - it forces you to be present and to slow down. And bathroom facilities were lovely - rain shower!
As a Cape Tonian I was very impressed to see the politely worded signs imploring people to conserve water during this drought crisis.

Thank you for a wonderful stay! Looking forward to the next one

Room Tip: If you can afford a hotel room overlooking the reserve, you're in for a treat!
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  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank RobynB_CT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AquilaSafari, Public Relations Manager at Aquila Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 9 October 2017

Hi!

Yes, we agree: all guests should at least have a spa tour! It was a pleasure to have you as our guest at the reserve. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

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Reviewed 20 September 2017 via mobile

We arrived in good time with the transfer all done and a nice coffee break half way. Greeted with wine on arrival and luggage away. Served lunch which was great and time to relax and have a drink not over price like others say gin and tonic 50 bucks about £3. Log cabin ready at 2 pm into room which was clean tidy and far better than I have stayed in Europe. Wi-Fi was great in the rooms and bar which is wear I am now. First trip out was excellent saw elephants,lions, hippos and many more wonderful wildlife in the park. Got with 30 foot at times. The guide was excellent and explained everything. The wellbeing of the animals is first at all times. They do subsidies the food for the animals due to the longest drought in the last few years. You can see this with the lack of water. When we got back we showered and ready for dinner good and again food was very good and service was excellent.
Next day we went on the 2 nd trip and was lots off animals back for breakfast hot food it was cold this morning. Check out at 10pm and pick up at 12noon. Back to cape town
My wife tried the spa facilities and they were very good and service was excellent in there
Thank you for the lovely time

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank gjkuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AquilaSafari, Public Relations Manager at Aquila Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 9 October 2017

Good day!

Thank you for your super 5-star review. We love your positive remarks and share in the memories of your good experience.

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Reviewed 17 September 2017

A good experience but poor service and not much of a welcoming feel from staff at the reserve. The game ranger was incredible and knowledgeable. The game drives were incredible and it was amazing seeing the big five up close and personal. It is a pity that it is evident that it's all about filling up the rooms.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank terri34482017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AquilaSafari, Public Relations Manager at Aquila Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 9 October 2017

Hello!

Thank you for taking the time to write to us about your recent Aquila visit. Our Big 5 game drives are really spectacular and we glad to read that you enjoyed it with us.

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Additional Information about Aquila Private Game Reserve

Address: R46, Cape Town Central 8000, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 131 Speciality Lodging in Cape Town Central
Price Range: R 3 092 - R 7 771 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa is a family-friendly, Big 5 safari destination just 2 hours' drive from Cape Town. Experience luxurious African hospitality with world-class facilities and services. ... more   less 

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