We visited Aquila with our two young children, and even though we knew we should not expect a similar experience to the bushveld, we understood from marketing as well as ratings that Aquila would be worth the visit. Unfortunately it is tough to find positives in this place and we believe it is falsely marketed, a tourist trap and overall an embarassment for South Africa, which the tourism board should investigate. Overall this is just a big Zoo with predators caged and not free roaming. Definitely no "safari"....
We left a day earlier than paid for and the reception didn't even question why we left! We are aware of numerous complaints by other guests the same time we were there as well as other guests who left earlier similar to us.
A list of negatives,
- unfriendly staff on arrival (had to carry our own luggage to rooms),
- the chalet (stated as luxury) was quite basic with no curtains of equal length, the one shower curtain was almost 30cm higher than the floor, rooms were dusty due to tatch roof....
- cost was more expensive than Fancourt yet rooms significantly smaller and more basic
- internet in rooms didn't work (gave up after requesting staff 5 times)
- game ranger was shocking (made various inappropriate comments, such as complaining about quality of vehicle to guests, saying the facility had 6 giraffes but 5 died as there was no food, told guests it was safe to get out with the lions as lions were fed with sheep earlier in the week, and the ranger was having glasses of shampagne when we stopped for a sundowner!
- lions and leopard were in electrified areas, same size almost as in a zoo
- no preference for staying guests compared to day visitors in game drives
- buffet food monotonous and it seemed some food not consumed at lunch was served again during dinner.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with South African Hotels and TripOnline SA so you can book your Aquila Private Game Reserve reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Aquila Private Game Reserve Cape Town, South Africa