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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.

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

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 Experience

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 habitats. In order to be regarded as a “big 5 game reserve”, a reserve must  be home to ALL FIVE of South 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. 

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 many other native African species, including giraffes, zebras, hippos, ostriches, eland, wildebeest, springbok, and more. Keen-sighted guests can also spot various South African birds, unique Karoo fauna and indigenous plant species.

The Aquila Experience

Great for day trips close to the city, Aquila’s Big 5 Safari is only 2 hours from Cape Town. Enjoy poolside cocktails, world-class Spa treatments, and stunning Karoo landscapes. Packages include welcome drinks and meals.

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’s purpose is to protect and preserve South Africa’s increasingly threatened wildlife, and is fully committed to social upliftment, job creation, skills development and various sustainable empowerment programmes. 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. 

Getting to Aquila

Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa is only two hours from Cape Town. With a variety of transport options available, guests can choose to Self-drive to the reserve, book an Aquila Shuttle Transfer, inquire about our Tour Group and Transport Packages, or Fly-in from Cape Town.

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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 day trip or as an overnight, luxury experience. Only two hours from Cape Town, the reserve offers a unique opportunity to experience the reserve’s natural flora and fauna by vehicle, quad bike or on horse-back. Guests have the option to customise their overnight safari packages or choose from 4 different day trip safari packages.