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Willie was awesome! Very informative and was very respectful to our needs for a group of 4.
We toured the nature reserve through MoAfrika tours. We left our hotel near Johannesburg at 5.30am and after picking up other guests we did the 3 hour drive to Pilanesburg.
There was initially a bit of hanging round while we waited for our safari truck but once we got going it was worth it.
Our driver was Peter who proved to be very knowledgeable and tried his hardest to find the big 5 for us.
We first spotted some Impala, then Wildebeests followed by Zebras and Giraffe. Peter then spotted a group of Elephants making their way through the bush so we shot off to try and cut them off. We eventually stopped right next to their trail and had the most marvellous views as the Elephants passed within a few feet of us.
Further exploration of the park unearthed a family of warthogs, kudu, tortoise, baboons and 2 white rhinos as well as more wildebeest, giraffe, zebra. We also spotted a lion high up in one of the rocky hills and the noses of a few hippos in one of the lakes.
A fantastic tour was just about to come to an end and we were on our way back when we came across a leopard taking a midday snooze.
So a great 4 hour safari and we managed to see 4 of the 5. Fantastic.
Doing what: Full-Day Pilanesburg Nature Reserve Tour
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.
I am not one for animals or rough outdoor excursions but this day tour was a magnificent, really up close way to see the Big 5. Our guide was great and allowed us to sleep during the 2 hr drive to Pilanesburg from Jo'burg. He was a little late in picking us up because he wanted to help another couple get to another nearby attraction - Sun City. He made up for it by connecting us with another tour guide once we got closer to the city, who drove us back to the hotel. The tour was a great experience and the park was amazing. The lunch was also a great value and we enjoyed the options. I would highly recommend to anyone who wants the full safari experience but doesn't have many days to sacrifice.
Doing what: Full-Day Pilanesburg Nature Reserve Tour
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.
This tour was outstanding from beginning to end! My guide, Paddy, knew the park inside out, and even knew many of the animal's names. A great tour! And even greater guide! Worth every penny. And will come back again to see more of this park. I hope Paddy is available!
Great intimate experience, dedicated tour guide took care of everything
Attentive local company.
A brilliant way to see the big 5! Close by and inexpensive, good food, cordial hosts, and just fun. The day was wonderfully entertaining and educational about the animals. The ranger-guides-drivers are well informed and knowledgable. If you have limited time and a limited budget, this is a great way to see the South African wildlife.
Doing what: Private Tour: Wild Life Safari from Cape Town
It was a very good tour and met expectations.
The tour guide was very good and we saw many interesting animals ,She worked with us on what we wanted to see and she was very knowledgeable. The long trip was worth it and she gave a good account of the history of the area.
We stayed at the Green Fire Game Lodge, and the stay was super amazing. The guide 'Mr. Given', was extremely knowledgeable, polite, articulate and helpful. We felt safe and explored the wild to our fullest satisfaction. Excellent food was served by the in-house chef. The resort itself is super amazing and well equipped. Great place, amazing people, awesome food.
Most importantly, we were satisfied with our sightings.
Although I loved seeing the animals, there were a few things about this tour that frustrated me. First of all, it is advertised that the safari is a BIG FIVE game drive. This was not true our safari guide at Botlierskop told us that they do NOT have the big five no leopards at their reserve. I didn't really care about the leopard, so I wasn't disappointed, but they advertised the big five and our safari was not that. The other thing I didn't like was that they took us to Buffelsdrift for the elephant experience which is not included in the fee mind you, the elephant encounter was my favorite part of our vacation getting hugs from the elephants was memorable, but the fact that you had to pay separately or sit there for over an hour and do nothing seemed ridiculous. I don't know why it's not just included in the price. I liked the experience, but it did not meet my expectations.
A truly awesome experience. Wonderful memories. xx
Jean Graham of Discover Kruger Safaris is the best person to share this incredible experience with on so many levels. Jean was on time, friendly and extremely knowledge. We got to see all of the Big Five and then some. She drove from one spot to another in order to observe upfront and personal all species of animals and birds. I even got to see large white snails. a snake, and a turtle just hanging on the side of the road. The meals and rest spots were perfect. I couldn't think of having anyone else take us out. You have to plan on going out more than once. It is so worth it.
My family and I had the most special day , our guide,Prince ,was especially good . We saw Rhino Elephant ZEbra Giraffee wildebeest Buffalo baboon warthogs and lots of Buck . I definitely want to return and maybe be lucky enough to see some cats next time .
Recommend this tour as it was just the 3 of us.
Doing what: Hluhluwe Game Reserve Safari
Not a safari, more like a zoo. The best part of this tour is walking with the elephants, which is an extra cost.
Amazing game drive. Especially loved our guide Ted, who knows everything about the national park and its animals.
This tour was amazing!
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