Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa is a four star family friendly safari destination just 2 hours’ drive from Cape Town. The 10 000 hectare conservancy is situated between the Langeberg and the Outeniqua Mountains in the Western Cape, South Africa, and home to the majestic Big 5 legends: elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, and rhino.
Game drives are offered on traditional safari vehicles, on horseback, or on quad bikes. Each of these offering their very own unique personal encounters with the wildlife at the reserve. Guests also have the opportunity to experience a fly-in safari by helicopter.
The reserve has a large swimming pool with a poolside bar, serving cocktails and ice-cold beverages for socials around the 35m long crystal clear pool. There are large dedicated dining areas and an African-style restaurant that serves local cuisine and traditional South African dessert. Furthermore, overnight visitors can relax in the dedicated mezzanine-level bar and lounge with magnificent reserve views.
Having always embraced Halaal travellers, Aquila offers on-site prayer facilities. The Salah prayer room is equipped with a basin and water-friendly services, prayer mats, the Quran, and seating for the elderly.
Aquila has a curio shop and children’s entertainment area with mini-golf, big chess, and childcarers. Children also have the opportunity to join rangers on a fascinating Junior Ranger Programme.
The nighttime fire pit transforms into a social gathering under the Karoo stars. Here guests share their stories and safari photos while enjoying a Marshmallow braai. They are also entertained by a stargazing guide and telescopes that bring the magic of the Milky Way to the fire pit.
The Tranquila Spa adds to the world-class facilities and services on offer. Here visitors can enjoy a luxurious African treatment and unwind after an action-packed day. The spa boasts a heated indoor pool, outdoor pool, sauna, steam room, and ten treatment rooms; it is a masterpiece of luxury. A group or couples room adds to the special serenity of the spa and its creative use of natural elements.
Accommodation is offered in various styles. Guests can opt for the bush-style cottages with outdoor rock showers or the modern-style Aquila Lodge with great vistas over the Reserve. Formats include rooms for two people up to accommodation for families of four, six, or eight. Accommodation includes welcome drinks, lunch, dinner, and breakfast as well as two traditional safaris.
Many awards and accolades over the years have reaffirmed Aquila’s conservation and community upliftment projects. The reserve most recently received the Skal International Sustainable Tourism Award for its various projects and policies that find the perfect balance between tourism, conservation, and the community.
Included in the Aquila safari experience is a complimentary eco-synergy project tour. Here guests learn about Aquila’s projects to offset its carbon footprint – including recycling, solar energy, aquaponics, and many other green projects.
Aquila is so much more than just an unforgettable wildlife experience. It is a luxurious African adventure that will make memories to last a lifetime.
History of Aquila
Acclaimed for service excellence, renewable energy, social responsibility efforts and conservation programmes, Aquila is more than just an unforgettable wildlife experience, it is an experience in luxurious African hospitality, traditional culinary delights, service excellence and the restoration of pride to the indigenous people and the land.
Named after the endangered black or verreaux eagle (Aquila verreauxii), Aquila’s story began in 1999 when its owner, Searl Derman, driven by a desire to share his passion for the wild with Cape Town, set about searching for the perfect piece of land to re-introduce the Big 5 to the Western Cape. He was fortunate enough to come across a nature reserve that would later become Aquila Private Game Reserve.
Situated in the historic town of Touws River, in a valley between the Langeberg and the Outeniqua Mountains in the Karoo, the 10,000 hectare conservancy has evolved from its early days of being residence to various antelope species only to becoming the home of the Big 5 – elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and leopard – as well as a significant amount of other wild game, which roam freely on the reserve.
Aquila’s purpose is to protect and preserve Africa’s increasingly threatened wildlife and is fully committed to social upliftment, job creation, skills development and various sustainable empowerment programmes.
Creating the ideal, sustainable balance between nature conservation and the empowerment of the local community of Touws River is at the core of how Aquila operates.
Today, Aquila’s guests can experience a day or overnight safari experience. Aquila offers its guests a unique opportunity to experience the reserve’s natural flora and fauna by vehicle, quad bike or on horse-back. Guests have the option of tailor making their overnight packages or choosing from 4 different day trip safari packages.
Premier Lodge Rooms
These lodge rooms are spacious and pleasant while they offer magnificent views of the reserve. Guests can relax and enjoy unforgettable sunsets from the balcony or patio.
The Premier Lodge Rooms are furnished with a useful sleeper couch for afternoon leisure time or can accommodate one child for an overnight stay. The rooms offer en suite bath and shower facilities with reserve views from the bath.
Premier Lodge Rooms have twin beds which can be made up to queen size beds. The lodge accommodation is conveniently located next to the restaurant and mezzanine bar with access by stairs and lift. The lodge accommodation also has parking for ease of access.
Family Lodge Rooms
This configuration is perfect for families or friends travelling together as the Standard Lodge and Premier Lodge Rooms are connected by a common passageway which forms a private and safe space for families. This family lodge configuration will offer two bathrooms and a shared balcony.
Premier Luxury Cottages
The Premier Cottages offer a rustic Karoo overnight safari experience with the units privately positioned on the hillside – built in harmony with the rock – which is the focal point in the large bathrooms and alfresco showers. These cottages also offer a private wood deck patio with amazing panoramic reserve views while guests enjoy unforgettable Karoo sunsets.
At check-in, guests in the Premier Cottages get to enjoy a complimentary bottle of house wine and they can opt to replace one game drive with a horseback adventure. If you are planning to celebrate a special occasion, make sure you check the availability of the honeymoon room.
Aquila Overnight Restaurant
The triple volume restaurant is perfectly situated to offer breath-taking views of the reserve. The upstairs viewing area enables guests to enjoy cocktails while watching the sun set behind the magnificent Karoo Mountains.
This thatched spacious African- character building is the perfect setting for the extensive buffet-style meals served. Meals to suit all culinary/dietary requirements are prepared by our resident chefs, including traditional South African cuisine.
Complete with wall to ceiling windows for optimal viewing the restaurant can seat 280 – 300 diners in comfort and large log fireplaces set a romantic mood. The restaurant opens up to a sunken boma area and the large welcoming swimming pool.
Aquila Wet Bar
Situated adjacent to the swimming pool and restaurant, the Pool Bar enjoys the same architecture and African design as the restaurant and seats approximately 20 guests while enjoying the convenience of the pool area and includes a “wet bar”. Speciality cocktails are served poolside. Bar drinks, covered pool seating and a crystal clear swimming experience awaits.
Join us in our of our newly opened African spa using natural products that harness the medicinal powers of indigenous plants, flowers and herbs and are free from petrochemicals, synthetic ingredients, colourants and preservatives.
Spa facilities include: 1 large heated indoor pool, 1 cold indoor pool, steam room, sauna, nail bar, 10 treatment rooms, a couples or group treatment room and an outdoor pool.
The Tranquila Spa is a place of peace and serenity and as such access is subject to availability. Access to the Tranquila Spa is free to guests booked into the Premier Cottages and guests that have overnight stays for 2 nights and longer.
Day visitors can buy spa access to also make use of the locker and change rooms. The use of the spa facilities and all treatments are only available to Aquila guests and visitors.
Aquila Infinity Pool
The swimming pool has a length of 35 meters, and features a rim flow as well as ample decking for lounging in the African sun. A wet bar which is well-used in the summer months, finishes off this special area at Aquila. This is situated next to the restaurant. Bar drinks, covered pool seating and a crystal clear swimming experience awaits.
Aquila Conference Venue
Aquila is an outstanding South African conference venue with a host of wildlife safaris. Safaris include full course buffet breakfasts, picnics at rock pools, and etched-in-memory animal encounters. Aquila is an ideal executive getaway close to the city.
Aquila Private Game Reserve is situated on the R46, just off the N1, near Touws River and is under two hours’ drive from Cape Town. Aquila is an ideal executive getaway and Cape Town conference centre. There are a variety of room set-ups possible, full catering amenities and stately conferencing equipment.
Aquila Game Reserve has a conference centre with a dance floor and buffet area. The conference centre can seat up to 92 pax. There are two breakaway rooms and an option to strategise in the Boma restaurant. Aquila has an impressive activities list. Traditional game drives, safaris on horseback, quad biking.
Aquila Children’s Entertainment Area
Aquila offers an indoor and outdoor children’s play area, with a variety of activities aimed at toddlers to pre-teens. The outside area has a mini-golf course, a sandpit and a wooden playground to delight your little ones. Offering daily activities and Junior Ranger program. The Children’s area is open from 8am to 8pm daily.
Wildlife and Conservation
Aquila is proud to have re-introduced the big 5 into the western cape and is dedicated to the preservation of wildlife. Aquila’s conservation efforts extend to wildlife rehabilitation and re-introduction, land rehabilitation, anti-poaching programmes, eco-friendly tourism and community support
When you start researching an African safari, the term “Big 5” often crops up. The “Big 5” refers to the African lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo. Approximately 250 years ago, the Big 5 were on the verge of extinction in the Western Cape by virtue of being hunted.
The owner of Aquila, driven by a desire to share his love of the wild with Cape Town, set about searching for the perfect piece of land to re-introduce the Big 5 to the Western Cape. He was fortunate enough to come across a nature reserve that would suit his purpose and was already home to various antelope species.
Day Trip Fly-In Safari
This exhilarating Big 5 Fly-In safari gets you to Aquila quickly and conveniently, maximising your time in the Karoo. The route takes you over the Hex River Mountains and Cape Winelands Vineyards.
You’ll be awed by the mix of ruggedness and might in the mountain peaks, interlaced ridges, wild bush shrubs and high waterfalls. Helicopter and fixed-wing transfers include luxury road transfers between your Cape Town hotel and nearest airport.
Overnight Fly-In Safari
The overnight safari starts with a 45-60 minute flight over the majestic Hex River Mountains & Cape Winelands vineyards. Guests have the option to fly either via helicopter or airplane. The overnight fly-in safari includes scenic flights, traditional Big 5 safari game drives, hearty meals and luxury Aquila accommodation.