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“Average stay at Aquila Private Game Reserve”

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Aquila Private Game Reserve
Reviewed October 6, 2013

We stayed at Aquila Game Reserve on 23 & 24 September 2013. The resort is well kept, tidy and clean. I thought the lawn could do with watering - as it would add to the aesthetic look of the resort - if they just used the automatic sprinkler system already in place. The rooms, regardless of what chalet/room you stay in - are in good clean order and are of a standard 3 to 4 star hotel. The restaurant is well run, with ample food from the buffet.

We enjoyed a sunset and sunrise game drive. The game ranger was knowledgable enough to give sufficient basic facts about the various wildlife. We did see the Big 5, and I personally loved getting up close with the lions. The Reserve keeps the minimum number of each of the wild animals - enough to give the tourist site of each species. So do not expect teeming heards. This is due largely to the size of the property and what it can comfortably sustain.

The animals, although wild and in a 'natural' habitat - I felt are so used to been gawked at 3x a day by tourists taking game drives .... that they are almost tame. As a result, you can virtually drive right up to them and they will not flinch.

My opinion is that Aquila may excite tourists who have NEVER seen wild animals before and this is their first experience. However, if you have had the privilage of seeing wild animals in bigger numbers and at bigger game reserves ... this experience could be a little disappointing.

My overall opinion of Aquila is absolutely "down the middle of the road". I cannot give it a poor rating, but neither can I rave about it. I'm just neutral.

"Little" things could be improved, like: (1) the curio shop was closed at 15h45 already, despite a sign advertising they are open to 16h00 (2) when providing our bill after meals, they never supplied a pen to sign the bill with (3) the window of the game drive vehicle was never cleaned before a game drive, so we were forced to look through a dirty window (4) we were supplied with wood in our chalet to make a fire - but no matches or fire lighters were supplied ... and one or two more observations that I could list here - but wont. These are small things - but were frustrating enought to take away "slightly" from the overall experience.

Room Tip: All rooms are decorated the same - so it does not matter where you stay. Views are also the same, r...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank HelgaE65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 30, 2013

we had a weekend planned away at Aquila. Once again we read a few trip advisor reviews after we booked the trip and were surprised to find a particularly negative review about the trip (rats, boring safari, boring food etc) but we decided to go there with an open mind and this is what we found:

Pros:
1.only 2 hours away from cape town
2.very very friendly staff (dont expect 5 star luxury but very helpful friendly people)
3.gorgeous views from the property
4.excellent selection of fresh buffet meals
5.clean, spacious rooms depending on which option you choose
6.interactive safari drives in evening and morning
7.Big 5 upclose and personal

Cons:
1.2 safaris in a matter of 12 hours seems tedious, but i can understand why they have it as you are not guaranteed to spot the big 5 on your first drive
2.even though food is freshly prepared and of very good quality, it tastes a little bland (i am guessing because they have to cater to people from many countries, many palates so it is easier to add seasonings depending on personal preference)
3.advertised as full board but drinks are not included
4. I personally do not think you can spend more than 2 days here as you can only see so many safaris :)

Highlights of our stay:
1. On our first safari, we saw all the big 5 upclose and personal!All the rhinos came out to play, all the lions were sitting around our ranger vehicle (even had a faceoff with the dominant male who refused to get off the road)
2. When we returned from the evening safari, it was very very cold (4 degrees) and it was such a pleasant surprise to walk into our rooms and the sheets had been adjusted, the Aircon was set to a warm 28 degrees and 2 hot water bottles were on our bed ready and waiting!
3. While having our breakfast (their lodge has expansive rooms of the property), we could see a lot of animals coming and drinking from the watering hole (close to the dine area),so it was literally like dining in the wild and with the animals!
4. During the night, you can hear the animals in the background and the sky is full of stars , something you dont really see in the city!

there are other things like quad bikes etc, but we didnt really make use of it!

Room Tip: definitely choose the rooms facing the pools or the luxury chalets as they have un-obstructive views...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Amarshallsaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

Nice cozy place, the rooms were clean, people are nice and the game drives are also nice. A pace for family who dont want to rough it out as the animals are limited. The game drives will provide hot water bottle for cold days.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Timothy413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights at Aquila in July. It was great, the staff was fantastic, the room was beautiful, the food was delicious and the trips through the reserve were amazing. Aquila is a private game reserve, so don't think it's the same as Kruger, it's not... but if you take it for what it is, you will have a fantastic time. The animals were wonderful and the rangers were very interactive and knowledgable. You want ALVIN as your ranger... he was just great, knowledgable, funny... you get a feeling that he's a good guy. The GM, Neil was a pleasure to meet and spend some time with.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ChrissyJ768
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

The weather was wonderfully bright and sunny, but chilly. The Lodge is organised and we felt VERY welcome.. we were expected and greeted warmly. We went straight into lunch which was buffet and plentiful followed by a game drive. Our ranger was informative and we saw lots of game including hippo out of the water. We returned for fireside cappuccinos and a brief rest before dinner where we were entertained by a marimba female trio.. very good ! Buffet dinner was fine. Accommodation standard... breakfast BUSY ! followed by horseriding - 6 ladies who can't ride was quite funny ! we experienced a tiff between an elephant and a rhino which was a bit disturbing once we realised why they were fighting.( the male elephant wanted to mount the rhino female.) .. I foresee a problem here... anyway, it was a good experience all round and we enjoyed ourselves. !

Room Tip: I think the cottages are probably cosier for couples.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Chris F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

We have just returned from 10 days in Cape Town. We wanted to go on a safari as we had been to Kenya twice and loved the early drives and the looking out for animals.
We got picked up from our hotel on time and were greeted with a drink and a lovely setting . The first thing I spotted as I walked to the front of the lodge were 2 elephants strolling across the vista . Fantastic . We had a lovely lunch in a great lodge .We then went on a game drive on a Quad bike .and saw a Giraffe , Hippos , 2 buffalos ,Zebras , Springbox , and wildebeast. We had a game drive in the evening and the next morning but only saw the same animals . They only have 1 giraffe and 2 elephants . I hated seeing the lions in large penned areas ; They were fat and don't hunt so are just given carcasses. Our room was lovely but all overpriced for what is just a wander around a small area to see the same animals . 1 game drive would have been enough to see the animals as they seem to be in the same place and the food was very samey . No trees so we were not sure how the animals will survive in that environment . A nice day out as we were only in cape town but we wouldn't go again .

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Rugby2013_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

Arriving back home after spending the on safari with the Aquila-team, I can look back on a day that was absolute therapy and pure bliss!

I knew the day was going to be good when the driver turned up exactly on time for the arranged pick up. The drive to the reserve was pleasant and on arrival, on a freezing cold morning, we were welcomed with a nice sherry and a warm towel to break some of the cold.

After a delicious breakfast we got onto the vehicle for the game drive. While settling into our seats trying to shiver off the bite in the air, along came a gentleman, handing out a blanket and hot water bottle for each guest! We all agree that this was undoubtably the cherry on this amazing day!

The game drive was so much fun as our guide, Daniel, is clearly quite well informed and likes what he does. He shared some very interesting facts in a very quirky way. Ten out of ten to you Daniel, keep it up!

After the game drive and a visit to Animal Rescue Centre, we were treated to a very tasty, warm lunch and a quick tour of the facilities, before our driver, Chris, drove us back to Cape Town leaving us with a warm and relaxed feeling.

I will surely visit Aquila again gladly. A big thumbs up to the management and team of this gem in our tourism industry. And trust me that blanket and hot water bottle will not be forgotten!

Well done guys!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Abel J
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: Route 46, Cape Town Central 8000, South Africa
Location: 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 128 Specialty Lodging in Cape Town Central
Price Range: $157 - $525 (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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Also Known As:
Aquila Private Game Reserve Cape Town, South Africa

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