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All reviews game drives cape town outdoor shower an overnight stay buffet style buffet lunch sparkling wine south africa private game reserve horseback safari welcome drink following morning tour guide spa facilities couple of hours their natural habitat aquila
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Reviewed 25 July 2021 via mobile

Aquila Private Game Reserve is nothing but an African wildlife version of Jurassic Park. There is only 1 lonely Elephant and the Lions is caged in a fenced area and don’t hunt for themselves. The poor Giraffes have to vent down to eat Karoo bushes that is just not natural. The Game viewing vehicles are overloaded with guests and don’t allow for any social distancing. The food is comparable to hospital cafeteria food at best. What a disappointment…

Date of stay: June 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank WilliamT3391
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 15 June 2021 via mobile

I wrote the following email to them shortly after our stay in April,and to this date I have not received any feedback. I have followed up twice and it seems that they really do not care what their customers think. You will be very disappointed if you spend that kind of money.
We recently had a break away from your lodge and after great excitement we could'nt help but be so disappointed in the fact that it was really nothing special at all. To pay R9000 for your premium cottages on a SPECIAL was a total ripoff. With a reputation like Aquila I would expect a lot more. I under no means take the covid situation away but these things that I am going to mention doesn’t have anything to do with Covid,its about getting what you pay for and final touches to create an unforgettable stay. I would like to give you some positive criticism as I feel word by mouth travels quick and before no time you will see a great negative effect on your business.
 

The fireplace in the restaurant is stocked with wood but not lit at all, no extra effort is created for an ambience.

The weather proof roller blinds that is down all day and night long on the outside terrece of the restaurant  ,breakfast,lunch and dinner ,regardless of the beautiful evenings outside . It’s small detail

On your website it states that you get a bottle of house wine on your arrival/stay. We did not get that.

The pool bar was not open despite the amazing weather . Doesn’t that create a holiday spirit in everyboday.After all we pay for it . This will also bring more income to your bar. We were constantly looking around for waiters to serve us. We had to timelessly get out of the pool and walk to the bar in our swimming constumes to order.

No rusks in our room for morning coffee or bubble bath for the bathtub -I mean isn’t that a final touch in your room ,paying for a Premium cottage . Our geyser was empty in no time and the water wasn’t even quarter full in our bath.

We had to carry our own luggage at check out. I don’t mean for anybody to carry us on their hands but again,it’s an extra effort from your staff to end our stay on a positive note, seeing that we stay in the last cottage at the end.

The food was very unpleasant and tasteless

Really nothing special on the game drives and the snacks and treats were so disappointing ,early morning for the sunrise,what about a nice coffee on the go ?

In the same email I would like to compliment you aswell on all your staff for the friendliness and ‘sout van die aarde personalities’ , I believe if they take the ‘wold class’resort to heart and get the necessary training for going that’extra mile’ for your customers it will work in your favour in the long run to keep your doors open .
 
Your spa was beautiful and we enjoyed the warm pool,but even for a pool full of people and everybody wanted a drink there was not even a waitress available and after asking twice for one most of the people went to the bar themselves,even then not even 1 came.
 
There is great competition out there at this stage .We honestly did not feel like it was a treat for that amount of money. If you feel that for a special price you are taking away the small detail of your lodge you are making a big mistake. If you feel that your target market is not South Africans,I can tell you that even for a tourist this would be disappointing. This is the time to up your game and make every stay as memorable as possible for everybody to remember. Times are tough and for most people a break away to a ‘world star lodge’ and get this is rather super disappointing .
 
I was so excited to try your sister reserves out but now I am thinking twice .
I hope you take my complaint to heart and address this to upper management.
 

Date of stay: April 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank Resort50567077753
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 27 May 2021

With limited time and hosting overseas guests who wanted to see the big five, we decided to make use of the special rates and booked a weekend at Aquila. It was still, at the discounted price, very expensive and our expectations were high. We were utterly disappointed and felt that we received very little value for our money and this is why:
The lodge is situated next to a secondary tar road and the noise from trucks and cars passing can be heard all the time.
Our accommodation was pedestrian to say the least. The rooms are dark and cave-like, very dated and uninviting. Actually quite awful, keeping in mind that one pays nearly R3500 per night for the room with meals.
The safari trip to view the animals can not be described as a safari -- it was more of a game drive on 2 dirt roads, maybe 4 km in total. From the lodge to the lion camp and back and to the feeding spot of the rhinos and back.What a joke! The lions are totally overfed and it sad to see them like this. The rhinos were great to see and it seems there are only 1 or maybe 2 elephants. Do not be deceived by the stunning wildlife photos on the website. It is a pity that tourists visiting Aquila would think this is what a safari is all about. The driver and/guide did his best to share his knowledge of the animals with us and we appreciated this. The game drive lasted maybe an hour and a half, but most of it was stationary watching the few animals and listening to the guide.
Meals at the restaurant were ok with many options. Unfortunately, not all dishes were tasty and after 2 sittings of basically the same variations of dishes on offer, our appetite diminished quite a bit.
The swimming pools are lovely and on a nice sunny day, one could sit there enjoy the surroundings. We enjoyed the stargazing as the guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable.The staff were friendly and tried their best .
In conclusion, it is our opinion that Aquila gives very little value for your money, whether it is Rand or Euros . It is pricy and can not compare with similar reserves. U

Meals at the r

Date of stay: May 2021
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank AKruger
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aquila Safari, General Manager at Aquila Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2021

Good day.

Please note that the current lockdown budget room specials are in fact R4999 for a weekend for two people fully inclusive of meals and safaris (an afternoon and morning safari of 2 to 3 hours).

Herewith our email response previously sent:

Thank you for writing to us and supporting us in an effort to restart our tourism businesses during a very trying time. We are currently open at heavily reduced rates in an effort to support our Karoo teams with wages. These staff currently go over and beyond duty to service guests and provide a fantastic safari stay to secure business and an income.

Please note that at the onset we would like to make a statement that we have most certainly not misled you or any other guest. All of the services and facilities advertised - as well as all of our marketing collateral - are photographed and produced at the property.

Based on your correspondence below, it is clear that you have not been informed about the conservation efforts of Aquila, the history, the landscape and surrounds and the wildlife on our 10 000 hectare conservancy.

Our property history, conservation work, awards and wildlife background is clearly available on our website:

https://www.aquilasafari.com/about-us/
https://www.aquilasafari.com/conservation/
https://www.aquilasafari.com/wildlife-and-conservation/
https://aquilacollection.com/awards/

We are saddened when guests feel that they have not had an enjoyable time at Aquila during their brief safari visit. Regarding your observation and statement of “not seeing enough animals”, we hope that your ranger would have explained that all the animals are wild and that there are no guarantees on animal sightings.

Even though the conservancy spans 10 000-hectares, we do our absolute best to offer our guests the best possible viewing during their 2 to 3 hour game drive. We trust that you understand the nature of game-viewing and that you will appreciate the sightings you did have.

We further would like to note that our correspondence with the reserve management indicates that room upgrades were offered but these were declined.

Once again, the room offering and inclusions are clearly displayed on our website at all times and our confirmation letter also request that guests familiarise themselves with the offerings they choose at the time of booking and payment.

As you rightly mention, the staff are exceptional and they are currently in a very damning situation due to the ongoing pandemic and throttling of tourism services. We pride ourselves on the very friendly smiles and service of our reserve teams and we are sure that they would have serviced you with utmost respect and professionalism should they have had the opportunity to do so should you have stayed for the weekend. Dinner and all other food services were prepared for you and a ranger and other staff were also allocated to your stay – incurring mobilisation costs to the property to welcome guests like yourself.

We thank you for the kind comments regarding the staff and will most certainly pass them on to the hardworking team at Aquila.

In closing, we’d like to highlight that we can ill afford refunds based on expectations and our terms also clearly state that we do not offer refunds for unused services or early check-out. These terms are made available throughout our websites, booking platforms and the booking confirmation.

We once again thank you for choosing Aquila Private Game Reserve during the tourism recovery period.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2021

There is NOTHING to recommend Aquila! The game is in sorry state (more like a run down zoo!) The rooms were not serviced - the excuse being Covid ( I have stayed in several establishments that managed to service their guests accommodation in spite of Covid . The food is probably the worst I have ever had ! Boring , tasteless and some of it NOT TOO fresh! It is grossly overpriced for a very poor offering.

Date of stay: April 2021
2  Thank 480susan1949
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aquila Safari, General Manager at Aquila Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2021

Thank you for your review. Our Covid room servicing policy is available on your booking and on the website for all to view, and should you have required servicing, you are welcome to ask. Starting from R4999 for the entire weekend for 2 people inclusive of meals and game drives is in fact one of the lowest priced safaris in the country. Thank you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2021

Arrival & Welcome drinks: 2/5 - Staff was friendly and helpful, but the welcome drink was revolting (no wonder it's free!) and served out of stainless steal wine glasses (not-so-classy)
Karoo Cottage: 3/5 - The room was clean and the bed was huge and comfy. The fireplace was great as well as the outdoor shower and corner bath. Wifi was almost non-existing and there is no TV in the room. Nope, no telephone either and as such, if you need the fireplace lit, wood for the fireplace, extra coffee etc. you need to walk in the cold and rain to reception to sort it out. Not so pleasant, especially on a cold night. The mini fridge is only stocked with 4 bottles of still mineral water, nothing else. No snacks! It's really as if they have put absolutely no effort whatsoever and I'm sorry but you can't blame COVID for that.
Safari: 3/5 - You won't see the big five and the guides aren't too enthusiastic and engaging. Just a regular drive around the reserve. The stop for refreshments is also a joke - Just some more cheap sparkling grape juice and mini cheddars. Really???
In summary, we paid R7K for two nights and we feel completely ripped off and disappointed. For the same amount of money I would much rather drive a bit further to Botlierskop or Gondwana, because I know they will give me the special, luxury experience I expect for the premium price that I paid.
I would never recommend Aquila to anyone I know, it's just not worth it.

Date of stay: May 2021
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank 17bernices
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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