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I found it tough to rate this trip, as on one hand I was disappointed and on the other I enjoyed it. But I'll explain my reasons..
When originally booked I was informed that this tour was to begin at 6am and be done around 2.30pm. Early start I know but I thought it was ok as with the 2hour drive we would start early and see moe animals before it got to hot. We also had some friends arriving in Cape Town that day so had arranged to meet up in the afternoon.
The day before the tour I was informed by SpringBokAtlas that we were now to be picked up at 9.10am. I emailed back a few questions and to find out why it had been my bed back and their response was short and sweet ignoring a few questions. After a few emails back and forth and getting no where all i knew was I was being picked up 9.10am sharp and would be back 5pm.
Following morning we got picked up at 9.30am and arrived at Aquila around 11.30am. The site was very clean and we were well looked after upon arrival. We were treating with a glass of bubbles and shown where the pool facilities was and also the complimentary buffet lunch. We got told that we needed to be outside the front at 1.15pm to get onto the trucks for the tour.
The tour itself was really good and informative, our guild was very knowledgeable and told us facts and showed us around the reserve. We saw the 2 Elephants they have though at a distance Rhinos close up, springboks, elands, baboons, water buffaloes and Lions about 2meters away. Our truck did get a puncture but the repair men came out quick and fixed it. Not F1 quickness but faster than most beak down recovery trucks.
We arrived back at 4pm and left 4.30pm returning to Capetown at 6.30pm hour later than advised so we were rushed to get out and meet our friends.
So happy with the reserve, I know their are better ones in SA and if we had been on the earlier trip in the cooler weather then maybe have seen more. But what we did see was incredible.
Nine of us had an amazing day at the Aquila Game Reserve.
We had a glass of fizz on arrival, then a fabulous breakfast, then a three hour safari, had amazing views of some animals and not so amazing views of others, but as the animals aren't in cages you take what you get on the day!
My son did this trip a week before us, and his photos of most of the animals were fantastic.
Half way round the Safari we had another glass of fizz, then returned to a lovely lunch.
We sat by the pool until our pick up time to return us to our apartments! The elephants wandered down to the watering hole opposite the swimming pool!
On leaving the Reserve there were Baboons sitting on the road.
This was a wonderful tour with a chance to see all the key wild animals in a natural setting. The fact that the park is dedicated to healing and caring for animals illegally trapped is an added plus.
A truly awesome experience. Wonderful memories. xx
My husband and I very much enjoyed the safari experience itself. The travel to and from the venue was, however very disappointing given how much the overall experience cost.
Although we were picked up shortly after 6 and others were earlier than us we then spent more than 40 minutes travelling across the city and waiting for one couple who were not ready waiting, and for a more extended period for a couple who did not turn up.
The minibus for journey alternated between having either poor ventilation Windows obscured with condensation or icy cold air conditioning. This was certainly not the comfortable journey I was expecting.
I am disappointed about the lengthy delay between finishing lunch and the return journey of over 1.5 hours - I suspect this was for the convenience of the driver's work at the centre there appears no other rationale for it. There was no activity to fill this gap - we were not advised that there was a pool for swimming so could not avail ourselves of this.
The factors outlined above detracted from our satisfaction of the day, especially given the cost of the experience.
The number of animals on the reserve was pathetic in the truest sense of the word. A minimalist zoo and not worth the investment in time to go see. I would avoid this tour and spend the time in wine country or on the Cape Tour.
Terry United States of ...
Outstanding! This group is doing great work with the animals! We were So close up! We have Wonderful pictures! Kudos to the wonderful staff who prepared breakfast and our lunch. The best food in South Africa!
This safari is nice if you're doing safari for the first time
Amazing, although a game reserve with fencing, all of the animals had acres of space to wander around, for a day trip if you dont have to time to do a full on safari, this is it, be prepared to get up early though, 5.30am start from Cape Town City and camps bay area,
Excellent trip, wonderful food and drink, amazing guides and outstanding setting
This is a great safari taster. We were only in Cape Town briefly on a cruise ship and it was great to be able to have a safari experience so close to Cape Town, in only one day. We managed to see all of the Big Five, even though the leopard was in the rehab centre at the time. The tour was well organised and ran smoothly and the guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. Being greeted with a glass of champagne upon arrival was a pleasant surprise! Can definitely recommend this tour.
Our tour guide Johnny was the good, and accommodated our requests and made us feel at ease. We sat up the back of the minibus, but unfortunately could not hear Johnny's enthusiastic guide about Capetown or countryside highlights of the 2 hour drive above the engine noise and the rattles at the back. There was no microphone.
On arrival arrival at the Aquila Game Reserve we had to stand over 30 minutes in a queue which was outside the door in temperatures which were warming up for the day. We had booked about 10 weeks ago online, and had our booking reference etc, ready. I would have thought that Viator would have been able to expedite our reception process with a bit more professionalism. Our breakfast and lunches included in the cost of the ticket were great value and delicious.
Our safari wagon was a bus holding over 20 passengers. Understandably there was no microphone
so we could not hear the commentary by the driver or the guide.
Although it states that sightings are not guaranteed we did manage to spot the animals at distance.
People with binoculars saw the face of a lion high up in its cave.. The saving moment of this journey was a truly beautiful scene which happened because 3 bus loads arrived before the animals: Rhino mothers with their babies ambled down to a water hole, followed by several Zebras, ducks and a Springbok.
I was disappointed because seeing animals in their natural environment was my reason for coming to South Africa. I really felt as if we were attending a beautiful resort, with a few animals along the route thrown in for a talking point.
tr through the park was excellent and guide was terrific but too much time left hanging around at end of park tour before we could leave on the mini bus.
Our driver, Denver, was awesome and got us safely to and from Aquila Game Reserve. Once we arrived, the bubbly wine and breakfast started the safari on the right foot! We boarded the safari vehicles and started on our journey through the reserve. The animals are fantastic and it was just so neat to see them in action! Just realize that this is a reserve and not a national park- the animals are fenced in and it can feel like a wild zoo and not an actual safari. It doesn't limit the danger, though. We got pretty close to the lions, the rhinos were still treated as dangerous, and the guides still have to keep you safe. Half way through the tour, we were able to get out and walk around with another glass of bubbly near the zebras. The tour ended with a fabulous lunch! After lunch, we lounged in some chairs by the fire pit. There is also drink service at this time. It was an amazing day! Loved every bit of it!
Geoffrey Marshall Barbados
Aquila is very organized and the breakfast and lunch are great. On viewing the lions they seemed to be in an enclosed area and didn't appear to be in a free and natural habitat.
The game reserve was great, and the animals were a pleasure to watch. The buffet breakfast and lunch were super.
Beautiful!!!!! Totally beyond expectations.
It was good to see 'The Big Five' animals around the park. Tour was great with well informed guides. Good food at breakfast and lunch.
Very nice tour with both breakfast and lunch included, totally worth the price!
No onboard guide, driver was terrible, very poor driving skills, the reserve was fine, good guide/ driver
Great day out. Location was stunning, and food (breakfast and lunch included in tour) was first class. Very clean, helpful and friendly staff. Would definitely recommend this tour.
Saw lots of wildlife in natural surroundings-was great fun.
It was a very pleasant day out. Our driver from the hotel to Aquila was very kind and did everything he could to make the group happy. Doing a tour around the game reserve is nice, and enjoying the swimming-pool inside after the tour was great. However, it is not the real safari experience - animals are few, kept separate from each other in some cases. And we also had the truck that had to drive us around the reserve broken down, it took a long time for us to get a new truck and the change was managed poorly.
I WILL NOT RECOMMEND, 2 ANIMALS OF EACH KIND DOES NOT MAKE A GAME PARK!!
Excellent day out. Very well looked after at reserve, loved the animals. Our driver in the reserve could not have been more helpful in getting good views of animals, and he was a mine of information...he clearly loved his job. We were also well catered for. Lunch was very good, and the breakfast buffet on arrival was a real bonus that we were not expecting. The only disappointment was our driver to and from the game reserve, who was uncommunicative and even surly throughout, unlike any other driver I have ever encountered on a Viator tour.
Waaaay overpriced for what it was. During the 2 hour drive to the place, there was no commentor or travel guide. The driver was a speeder. WE had coffee free at breakfast, but was charged for it at lunch time, something we call gouging. AFter lunch we hung around for two hours doing nothing. The guide in the 4-wheeler was hard to understand with his broken English and had somewhat of a chip on his shoulder by the way he responded to questions directed at him. Save your money.
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