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“Amazing Experiance”

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Aquila Private Game Reserve
Cape Town, South Africa
2 reviews
“Amazing Experiance”
Reviewed 7 July 2014

We were booked in over the weekend (05 & 06 July 2014).
I was expecting a less than perfect experience due to it being out of season. Although the price was expensive being a "local" - what we received was totally worth every cent I spent.

We were greeted by a staff member on arrival, with welcome drinks and a small induction to the weekends activities. I would like my review to be in two parts namely the staff and then the activities.

The staff were beyond amazing, they all had warm smiles and the attitude of family members. No request was too big or too small, they made you feel welcome and really went the extra mile to accommodate us. You don’t need to ask, they actually suggested things like extra firewood for the rooms fireplace, wine glasses and wine for the rooms, hot water bottles, extra blankets and even gloves and scarves (at a minimal cost). They were up early to attend to our needs - everyone was absolutely phenomenal right down from the gardeners to the General Manager - Mr Basson. Thank you to all for your attentiveness and willingness to serve us.

The activities were well planned and the game drives were something else, we saw everything and out of past experience - a game drive is only going to be as fun as the other guests and then the ranger. My ranger for the trips was Mike - he went out of his way to make our trip and stay memorable. He did small things for us like allow us great photo ops with the animals (we got out of the truck to get photos of the giraffes in the background and he also broke away from the convoy for us (we were the truck right at the back and the diesel fumes were bad.... so he 'shot left.... problem solved). He was also willing to stop at every single animal we saw for photos and he did not constrict us to a schedule. He absolutely made our trips what they were.

The food was also superb, there was never a lacking of anything.... and it was delicious, we could not have asked for better. The beds were comfortable and HUGE... could sleep a family of 4 in one bed easily.

Like I said in my introduction, the price was expensive for a single day and being a local.... but, for what we received it was worth every single cent and I am also without a doubt going to go back there again, soon very soon.

I would not recommend more than two or three days because you are so busy and active that you need a day or two to recover from the getaway. I also feel the curio shop was a little overpriced but in saying that the proceeds from that shop supplement the anti-poaching campaign "saving private rhino" and once you see these animals in the bush you realise it is a drop in the ocean and worth it.....

I would also like to say thank you to every single person whom had a hand to play in serving us the weekend - you all show passion for the job at hand and it all contributed to an unforgettable stay.

I have some amazing pictures and even the sub-zero temperatures contributed to our amazing experience.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Shaun-j-Schwartz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
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English first
Zemst, Belgium
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2014

5 friend & I stayed in Cape town for 5 nights in June 2014. We heard and read a lot of great things about Aquila Game Reserve and they're definitely true. We got picked up at our own Hostel, got transported all the way to Aquila and started off the day with a glass of sparkling wine and a great breakfast. The game reserve itself is the best guarantee to see as many of The Big Five as possible. With it's low and dry vegetation you get a great look at all the animals. In a trip of 2 only hours we saw rhino's, elephants, lions, buffalo's, leopards, cheetah, giraffes, wildebeasts, springboks, ostriches, zebra's... You don't see a lot of animals per species, but you definitely see a lot of different species. After a nice lunch, we drove back to Cape Town and still had time to go to the top of Table Mountain. One tip: when going in winter, make sure you have warm clothes with you, because the wind can become quite chilly whilst driving.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank RubenJacquemin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
63 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 June 2014

I had been in Cape Town for a week for work and being able to experience all of the animals Africa is so famous for so close to Cape Town was fantastic. I definitely wouldn't have had time to go to one of the bigger or more well known parks so Aquila was the perfect answer! I absolutely loved the game drives and we got so much closer to all of the animals than I was expecting. In the sunrise one, I even looked right into a lion's mouth as she yawned! We saw everything (including hippos both in and out of the water which I thought was cool) and the guide was awesome.

The accom was lovely - quaint but with a luxurious feel at the same time. I loved the towels being folded into animals and the outdoor shower. Hearing the lions communicate at night when you go to be is pretty cool. I really enjoyed my time at Aquila.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rebecca A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
31 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

I loved it! Food was amazing and friendly service. It's a wonderful place in the middle of nowhere.
It has all the facilities, however the bedroom has the shower outdoors and at least in May it was not that warm. We stayed one night and we enjoyed of the safari, Great experience for someone that is not looking for something too wild.

Room Tip: Would be better to choose a room near the bar or restaurant because it's very windy to walk from...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Margonzales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
60 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2014

For USD $220 it was not worth it. It is not a safari, nor did I expect it to be a safari. Yes I saw the big 5, but I have seen the big 5 in quality zoos. Hindsight 20 / 20 I would have spent my Sunday at Camps Bay. Live and learn. Wine country between Cape Town and Aquila is very nice. I recommend spending your day at the wineries instead of Aquila. The previous day I went Great White Shark cage diving for USD $180 - that was far, far superior than Aquila.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Matthew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
Level Contributor
70 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

I had done a day trip ther before a coupl of years ago and this time we stayed the night. We had hut 15 which doesn't have a thached roof but has the largest bed I have ever seen. The food is spectacular though I suspect would get repetitive if you stayed more than a couple of nights. We had sparkling wine on arrival, followed by lunch, with a game drive in the evening followed by dinner and a second game drive in the morning, followed by breakfast. I was surprised at how different each game drive was and how little the (crowds of) day trippers intruded on our visit. I have never been to any of the 'big' game parks (except for Addo where we drove ourselves) and was impressed by the animals we saw.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank George0903
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taunton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2014

We were a little surprised at our welcome - or lack of it, at Aquila. None of the promised sparkling wine, a cold and dismal room with no heating on a very cool afternoon and obviously stressed out reception staff.
They kindly changed our room (eventually), we ate a very average lunch and went out on the 'safari'. This was disappointing. The guide didn't give us enough information about the animals and their habitat, let alone any mention of the fact that most have to be fed hay to supplement the vegetation. Lots of Wildebeest and Springbok, lovely Rhino and Hippo, 2 Elephants and a rather ill looking lioness. Our guide twice found himself with Rhino blocking our only driveway out, but ended up tooting his horn at them to move, not a great idea. There were a couple of Cape Buffalo waiting by the gate to be fed on our way out of the enclosure.
The evening meal was poor, just a re-hash of the lunchtime menu.
The bright spot of our stay was the Lounge Bar run by a great guy who was interesting and a super host.
We had booked for 2 nights, so decided (in common with 4 others from our bus) to give the early morning trip a miss. Luckily, it seems. There was one giraffe at the park which they added to the 'list'. The Elephants chased the bus - the guide is an accident waiting to happen in our opinion, but the lions were still nowhere to be seen. We do understand that this will happen in a Game Park.
Breakfast was inedible. Cold fried food.
We left early, forgoing our second night and taking the hit on the lost money. We emailed the Manager to tell him of the low - and high points, but 3 days later have heard nothing.
Every other Trip Advisor report we have written has been to say how good the experience has been. It's a shame this has to be the first 'poor'.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank woods01
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

Property: Aquila Private Game Reserve
Address: Route 46, Cape Town Central 8000, South Africa
Region: 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 #27 of 125 Speciality Lodging in Cape Town Central
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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