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“Baby Safari” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Aquila Private Game Reserve

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Aquila Private Game Reserve
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4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   P.O. Box 1861, Cape Town Central 8000, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Switzerland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Baby Safari”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

You do not go to Aquila to simply stay at the hotel, but you will necessarily do so to do some safari. We wanted to show our son some animals he would normally only see in the zoo and since he is only 2-years old, Aquila was the only available option.

We were staying for 2 nights, which is more than enough since for every night's stay, there is an afternoon safari and a morning safari. So by staying two nights, you basically do the same tour twice. But it was ok for us, since we then simply skipped some drives. I am sure nobody would expect an actual safari, it is rather a drive-through zoo. If you are aware of this, the experience is ok.

The accommodation was very nice. We only didn't understand that at the booking, we were only given the option of a family cottage even though the age of the child had to be indicated. This meant we had an upper floor with two additional beds, which we of course did not use. At his age, our son had to stay with us in our bed. Otherwise, we were happy with our cottage, it had a nice touch and we loved the outdoor shower.

The one thing that needs major improvement is the food. Since there was no way to go and eat elsewhere, the hotel restaurant is the only option (which is also why it is included in the price). Another reason not to stay more than one night as you get somewhat fed up by the same style of food all the time. Also, the food is often only lukewarm and sometimes barely edible.

Otherwise, there is a very nice pool and a great children's playground and indoor playcenter.

  • Stayed October 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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132 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
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london
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went for a two night stay which only one night is enough, on the second night our room was not made up and we had been out of the room all day, only to return at 9pm to find un made bed but the little elephant that they made out of a towel was on the bed even though the towel it was made out of was damp so obviously used the morning before. The construction and shouting was appalling as were the tatty pool loungers when you could get one amongst the bus loads of tourists that use the pool and residents cant get a lounger. On the positive side our game driver Abriel was extremely informative and a pleasure to be with, other than that I would not recommend a over night stay. When complaining at check out no apology was given they just give you a form to fill in and place it in a box, clearly no guest relations what so ever.

  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Aberdeen, Scotland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is not my first safari experience and i have to say not the best one i have been on however that is kind of expected for only being a couple of hours from Cape Town. We travelled with a group of friends and family who enjoyed it so that was good.

Accommodation was lovely with great views as we stayed in the honeymoon suite with jacuzzi on the side of the hill. However we were never made aware of the construction work going on when we booked or arrived so some notice on that would have been nice. Food served was a large buffet with a good selection.

On our first day we had a 3hr safari where we got to see 4 out of the big 5. We stopped for some drinks and nibbles on the drive which was a nice opportunity for photos. We felt that the morning drive was a bit of a waste of time as we didnt get to see anything different apart from finding a giraffe so didnt feel it was worthy of having to get up so early. Our driver was very informative though and interacted with the group well. We enjoyed visiting the Arc Project and felt this would have been enough to see the following morning and being able to sleep in a later

Room Tip: Might as well upgrade to premier as not much difference in price
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Our two day stay turned into punishment and we left after one day of suffering the gross inconvenience of the current construction going on. No mention whatsoever was made of the construction upon booking and what was supposed to be a peaceful relaxing experience was marred by banging, grinding, drilling, loud shouting and bantering by the hordes of construction workers. I tried to escape from all of this from the city and ran headlong into this unbearable situation, causing me to forfeit my second day's stay. The mass produced food was somewhat ok, but by no means lived up to expectation and left me wanting. As this was our second attempt at staying here due to the first experience having been a disaster, it unfortunately only served at affirming what a total rip-off tourist trap this place is. We again ended up with a badly leaking dirty uncleansed toilet, no mirror in the bathroom, un-replenished disposable items and sadly lacking attention to housekeeping details. I have stayed in better two star accommodation and this does NOT deserve its four star rating. As for the animals it is totally staged and caged. How sad that they are being used purely for the greed of mankind. Considering that we were in the so called premier cottages at R6500.00 per night, it makes me very sad that no matter of my experience and opinion, many more unsuspecting clients will be subjected to the same undeserving rip-off. This is sadly a current SA trend in exploiting tourism and surprisingly some find the experience wonderful. I will never ever go back here, nothing is worth something this bad.

Room Tip: There are no good rooms.
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The game viewing was great and the guide was informative. As for the rest, it was terrible! The accommodation and services are definitely not up to standard of a 4 star. The food is mass produced and although there is a variety, it is not great! Service in the restaurant is slow. Then there was the construction site that was not mentioned when booking...lying at the pool with jack hammers and front end loaders drowning out the beautiful sounds of nature was very annoying. Pool loungers are old and tatty and there are not enough for the guests staying in the lodge. Overall it seems that the lodge wants to only cater for the bus loads of people and forget they have guests staying in the lodge that need to be accommodated. This is the place to go if you want to see the Big 5, but don't stay over...one day is all you need! Don't think about complaining either to the Customer Relations Officer as she doesn't care about what you actually think and there is no interest in improving their service.

Room Tip: Don't stay over.
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerpen
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We went there for half a day. 1295 rand for what they call a game drive, is very expensive. In most European zoos the animals have more room than here. Leopards, cheetahs and crocodiles stay in small cages.

  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stellenbosch, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We had a lovely time at Aquila! Good service, wide variety of food to choose from, an overall good experience. Thank you to our guide Taylor who was very friendly and knowledgeable. I would recommend it:)

Stayed November 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aquila Private Game Reserve

Address: P.O. Box 1861, Cape Town Central 8000, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central
Hotel Style:
Ranked #48 of 102 Specialty Lodging in Cape Town Central
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Aquila Private Game Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 33
Also Known As:
Aquila Private Game Reserve Cape Town, South Africa

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