Trip from Cape Town Hotels was uneventful but not very informative. The reserve main lodge is very nice. Good food (breakfast and lunch) were included as well as champaign stop at the midpoint of the 2 hour safari tour. The safari felt like Noah's Ark ( two of these, two of those) and is more of a small park than the vast plains teaming with wildlife that we hoped to see.
Lots of fauna to view in this reserve. I did not appreciate the driver for the tour tailgating most of the way on the return trip.
Pleasant day however be aware the animals are pretty regimented, 2 elephants 2 giraffes etc hardly on safari but lovely setting and lunch etc
A great day out at a fabulous location. The day started with a wonderful full breakfast. We enjoyed the benefit of a greatly experienced ranger guide, who located all the Big Five, my personal favourite being the White Rhinos!. We had a nice break stop, enjoying a little winter warmer (a glass of Sherry). after around 4 hours of touring round the reserve in our 4x4 (worth noting we where supplied with blankets and hot water bottles) we spent some time with the big cats, then returned to the lodge for an extensive buffet lunch. I just wish I had more time to stay overnight at one of the wonderful lodges. All in all a great experience anyone should participate in whom only has a short time to visit this wonderful area. Yes, its not the Serengeti, but thoroughly a memorable experience!
We only had a few days in Cape Town and wanted to see as much as possible. This tour gave us the opportunity to experience a game reserve within a couple of hours drive of Cape Town. Pick up arrangements worked well ( very early start! ) excellent breakfast provided on arrival at the reserve followed by approx 3 hour tour. Bit disappointed we didnt see giraffes but did see lots of other animals and quite close up. Lunch was provided, again good, before making the trio back to our hotel. Good value trip
I went into this knowing I wasn't getting a real safari. But even then it was still pretty lousy. Two elephants, one giraffe, two rhinos. The lions are kept in a cage and they pretend like you're lucky to see them. It's all staged and really not worth the trip.
a- The brochure did not mention that this game reserve is actually so small that it could almost be called a big zoo, without the partitions among animals. They actually ad a lion reserve, and although it was nice to see them, it was also not the ‘wildlife’ experience we had hoped for.
b- The greater concern involves the driver. He came on duty while suffering from a full blown flu infection. Throughout the journey he coughed, sneezed, blew his nose and spit, almost non-stop. We were trapped in a closed vehicle with him for several hours and by the end of the day I had contracted the infection and my entire trip to South Africa went south from then on. We went on the trip on May 17 and by the time the trip was over I was having sore throat and sneezing. On May 18, I started having fever and flu symptoms. I suffered all through the trip and ultimately had to seek medical help and use antibiotics.
When I asked the driver why he came to work although he was so sick, he said that he would not get paid if he did not come to work. I found his attitude extremely irresponsible and callous. He was fully aware that he had a severely contagious illness; yet he chose to put the health of all his passengers at risk by exposing them to the flu virus. This is the height of irresponsibility, both on the part of the driver and the company who will not take appropriate measure to prevent such incidents. The driver got his pay, and I am still paying the price for it!
We had a great time. We saw all of the Big 5 close up and personal, especially the elephants, their clash with the rhinos (the rhinos the winners), and finally the lions at feast. There were also the hippopotami in and out of their pool, and in the latter situation getting very nervous when a delicate little impala came tripping up to the water for a drink. The guide could have been clearer for the folk at the back of the truck, apparently, but we were seated up front, which was a great listening as well as viewing platform. Good breakfast and lunch at the hotel, and really the only criticism is the length of time we had to wait after breakfast was over for the tour to start; a bit wearing when we had made a very early start indeed from Cape Town (2 hours away). The drive through the Franschhoek mountains and the Heck valley was beautiful both ways.
Not worth the travel there. One giraffe, one buffolo, 6 zebra, one oryx, two elephants, etc etc. A trip to the local zoo would have been better. PA system on troop carrier was inefficient and those at the back could not hear.
First the down side--there are still not a lot of animals at Aquila. The Game Reserve is only 13 years old and is still stocking up. They also lost a few animals to poachers. Now, the up side--everything. The 2-hour ride out of Cape Town to Aquila was beautiful and showed scenery not seen in Cape Town. At arrival, we had champagne and an excellent breakfast and then some free time before the driving began. While in the open buses, we got very close to the "Big 5" and spent a lot of time seeing them. Very exciting. The guides tried to give you a lot of good angles and viewing points for pictures. We saw an "argument" between and elephant and two rhino (elephant won). The game reserve is fairly large in size and the guides had an idea where the wildlife was and drove you to the animals. Stopped half way in the middle of the drive for champagne and to stretch outside the bus. Finished with a good lunch. We didn't have time to get to Kruger--thank goodness we took this tour since I feel like we would have really missed something critical if we got to South Africa and didn't see the animals in their native habitats.
If this is the only safari trip you have ever been on then you will enjoy it. It is more like a drive round a huge wildlife park than I imagine a safari to be. Having said that you are practically guaranteed to see loads of animals wandering around (and some rescue ones in pens). The breakfast and lunch were very good indeed and the place itself is stunning. Worth a visit but don't expect "Wild at Heart".
The driver that collected us to the hotel and then took us to the game reserve didn't speak to us and tell us the timings of the day which was annoying as to begin with we felt that we were in the dark about where to go and what to do. The game reserve trip itself was excellent and breakfast and lunch was delicious.
An outstanding day trip, not a safari but if you only have a short time to see animals in the wild this is great. Hospitality and food was superb.
If only one tour is done this is the one ! Nice drive punctuated with stops to take pictures. Welcome at the reserve exactly as promised, breakfast delicious and the safari itself was exceptional, we saw all the promised and spent lots of time with the lion ! a must to do in your lifetime.
I booked this tour after I read the reviews and it was not as good as the reviews had said. I was incredibly disappointed with the game drive part of it because it was very artificial instead of what a natural game drive is really supposed to be. The guide knew exactly where the animals would be and the lions were kept behind a gate in a different section of the park. While the land is big and the animals are roaming free, some of them are fed and it wasn't a game drive experience that seemed very authentic to me. If it was the only game drive I did on my trip, it would've been disappointing that this is the only way that I saw African animals.
Having said that, the pickup was on time and the driver was really nice. The game drive driver was very knowledgeable about animals and was really good. The food at the lodge is incredible as well, almost worth it just for the food - but not for that price.
Loading more reviews