About Us

Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa

Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa is a family-friendly African safari less than a 2 hours’ drive from Cape Town. Home to the legendary big 5 (lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinos), the 10 000 hectare wildlife conservancy sits between the Langeberg and the Outeniqua Mountains in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Aquila is more than just an unforgettable safari destination, it is an experience in luxurious African hospitality, traditional culinary delights, service excellence, and the restoration of pride to the indigenous people and land.

About Aquila Safaris

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, infinity pool. There are two dedicated dining areas and a buffet-style restaurant that serves local cuisine and traditional South African dishes. Overnight visitors have the opportunity to relax in the private, mezzanine-level bar and lounge with magnificent views of the reserve

What Animals are at Aquila?

As Cape Town’s closest big 5 safari experience, Aquila Private Game Reserve is home to the legendary big 5 animals: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. Visitors can also see some of South Africa’s most iconic wildlife, including: giraffes, zebras, hippos, ostriches, eland, wildebeest, springbok, and more. Keen-sighted guests should also look out for over 150 species of native birds — especially the rare Verreaux’s Black Eagle, which the reserve is named after.

Family-Friendly Big 5 Safari

Great for families and guests of all ages, Aquila has a children’s entertainment area with mini-golf, giant chess, and childcare. Children also have the exciting opportunity to join game rangers out in the reserve with our Junior Ranger Programme. At night, the fire pit transforms into a social gathering under the Karoo stars. Here, guests share their stories and safari photos while enjoying a Marshmallow braai and unique stargazing experience. Led by a stargazing guide, our telescopes bring the magic of the Milky Way to the reserve.

Halaal-Friendly Cape Town Game Reserve

Having always embraced Halaal travellers, Aquila offers on-site prayer facilities and SANHA certified meals. The Salah Prayer Room is equipped with a basin and water-friendly services, prayer mats, the Quran, and seating for the elderly.

What is a Big 5 Game Reserve?

A game reserve, also known as a wildlife reserve or game park, is a designated conservation area that is home to various native animal species, indigenous flora and region-specific natural habitats. In order to be regarded as a “big 5 game reserve”, a reserve must be home to ALL FIVE of Africa’s largest and most famous animal species: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalos. 

There are also many habitat requirements, environment regulations and safety protocols needed for large and dangerous wildlife to live freely on a reserve. A game reserve exists specifically for the preservation and conservation of wildlife. And, a lot of time, funding and work goes into running a big 5 game reserve. Not only must the animals be secured in a safe and controlled area, but there is also lot of science and research that goes into keeping the animals healthy and within the ideal animal carrying capacity for the area.

The Aquila Experience

Great for day trips and wildlife tours close to the city, Aquila Big 5 Safaris is only 2 hours from Cape Town, South Africa. Offering an authentic African adventure, guests can sight the big five animals and iconic wildlife, enjoy poolside cocktails, world-class spa treatments. And, most of our safari packages include welcome drinks, buffet meals, and guided 4×4 game drives. Learn more about the Aquila experience with our helpful FAQ page.

Getting to Aquila

Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa is located only two hours from Cape Town, South Africa. With a variety of transport options available, guests can choose to self-drive to the reserve, book a shuttle transfer add-on, or enquire about our tour group and transport packages. And, for those seeking the ultimate luxury safari adventure, fly-in from Cape Town in a fixed-wing plane or helicopter.

Conservation and Community Initiatives

Aquila Private Game Reserve is so much more than just an unforgettable wildlife experience, it’s a luxurious South African adventure acclaimed for service excellence, renewable energy, social responsibility efforts, and conservation programmes. Many awards and accolades over the years have reaffirmed Aquila’s conservation and community upliftment projects.

The reserve recently received the “Skal International Sustainable Tourism Award for its various projects and policies aimed at finding the perfect balance between tourism, conservation, and the local Touws River community. Aquila is fully committed to social upliftment, job creation, skills development and various sustainability programmes. To learn more about our local community initiatives and social responsibility campaigns, please follow the link below.

Aquila's Animal Rescue Centre

Aquila’s purpose is to protect and preserve South Africa’s increasingly threatened wildlife. Included in the Aquila Safari experience is a complimentary eco-synergy project tour. Here, guests can learn about our projects to offset the reserve’s carbon footprint, from recycling and composting, to solar energy, aquaponics and many other green projects.

The History of Aquila Private Game Reserve

Aquila Private Game Reserve traces its origins back to 1999, when its visionary owner, Searl Derman, sought to share his passion for wildlife and conservation with Cape Town. Driven by his goal to reintroduce South Africa’s magnificent Big 5 animals to the Western Cape, he set out to find the perfect piece of land. He was fortunate to come across a nearby nature reserve that would later become Aquila Private Game Reserve.

What started as a sanctuary for various antelope species has evolved into a thriving home of the Big 5: elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino, and leopard that roam freely on the reserve. Today, Aquila offers guests an unforgettable Big 5 safari that can be enjoyed as a day trip tour or an immersive, overnight experience. Take the opportunity to visit us on your next trip to Cape Town, see South Africa’s incredible wildlife in person, and learn more about what makes Aquila Safaris the Western Cape’s leading wildlife reserve. 

Safari terms you need to know in South Africa: View of the watering hole on a sunset winter safari. Learn all about wildlife and see Africa's big 5 at Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa.

Learn More About Us

Only two hours from Cape Town, Aquila offers guests and travellers a unique opportunity to experience the Cape’s natural flora and fauna by traditional safari vehicle, quad bike or horseback. Customise your overnight safari itinerary or choose from our 7 different day trip safari packages, available daily. Contact us to learn more about our rates or enquire about our latest specials.