Community Upliftment

CULTURE PRESERVATION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Aquila Private Game Reserve is highly regarded for its efforts to restore pride within the local Touws River community and its commitment to conserving the Karoo land. As one of the largest employers in the area, Aquila collaborates closely with the local Touws River Municipality to preserve and develop local structures, educate the community, and remain attentive to local culture and community needs.

Aquila is dedicated to investing in the community’s future, sponsoring teachers at local schools, as well as soccer and rugby teams. This ensures that community members receive a quality education, empowering them for future success. Furthermore, Aquila hosts complimentary day trips to the reserve for children from previously disadvantaged local schools, providing a unique opportunity for these urban students to learn about nature, wildlife, sustainable social upliftment, conservation, and responsible tourism.

Local Community Involvement

Aquila’s community upliftment initiatives include winter soup kitchens and a recycling “food for litter” campaign in the nearby Touws River community. These efforts have contributed towards educating staff and the community on the value of responsible living, creating opportunities for the local town to live more comfortably and sustainably.

As a business operating in South Africa, Aquila adheres to the country’s laws, respecting the Bill of Rights and the South African Constitution. Since its inception, Aquila has welcomed guests of diverse genders, religions, cultures, races, and languages, offering all visitors the same quality of service, without exception.

Staff members are treated with equal respect. All religious, cultural, and sexual preferences are embraced at the reserve. Aquila’s digital presence celebrates various occasions such as Christmas, Eid, and Pride Month, showcasing its welcoming and inclusive nature as an organisation.

Creating the ideal, sustainable balance between nature conservation and the empowerment of the local community of Touws River in the Western Cape of South Africa, is at the core of how Aquila operates. 

Temperatures in Touws River can drop to -7 degrees Celsius during winter months. Aquila has exchanged over 12,000 blankets for litter, providing warmth to the community while keeping the town clean. Proceeds from the “food for litter” project go towards subsidising school supplies and teachers. 

CREATING LONG-LASTING ECONOMIC IMPACT

Located approximately 12 km from the town of Touws River, Aquila Private Game Reserve is one of the largest employers in the area. The reserve employs around 500 previously disadvantaged members of the Touws River community, which has a 97% unemployment rate in a town of only 15,000 people.

Over the past 21 years, Aquila has contributed millions in salaries, empowering the local community and supporting the creation and sustainability of small businesses. For instance, many of the doors, bricks, and windows used in the reserve’s developments have been proudly made by local community members. Approximately 35% of the residents in Touws River are directly dependent on the employment opportunities provided by Aquila. The reserve also outsources most of its food supplies, veterinary services, labour, and building materials to local businesses.

Since 2004, Aquila has sponsored a full time teacher at the local school, as well as local soccer and rugby teams. This ongoing  investment in the future of Touws River ensures that the local community obtains a good education and empowers them to succeed in the future. Aquila frequently hosts school children from previously disadvantaged local schools on complimentary day trips to the reserve. 

We believe that urban children learn more about nature, wildlife, sustainable practices, conservation, and responsible tourism in one day (while visiting Aquila and ARC), than they could ever learn in a classroom.

CREATING LONG-LASTING ECONOMIC IMPACT

Aquila prides itself on social development, community upliftment and responsible tourism. Since it’s establishment, the reserve has selected candidates from the local community of Touws River to train in wildlife conservation, sustainable farming, and community development. The majority of Aquila’s previously disadvantaged employees have been trained in the tourism, hospitality and conservation industries. 

Aquila is dedicated to on-going training programmes, including but not limited to, health and safety, security, first aid, firefighting, and information & technology (I.T.) training. 95% of all previously disadvantaged staff members have been trained to be fully competent and certified as game rangers, drivers, wait-staff, chefs, registered security officers, anti-poaching guards, cleaners, front and back of house staff, game capture and translocation rangers, environmental and maintenance staff.

Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa, ARC and Saving Private Rhino NGO have been honoured to receive the most prestigious South African and internationally acclaimed awards for job creation, conservation and social upliftment. These awards acknowledge the passion and commitment of the Aquila team and highlights their dedication to conservation, social upliftment, and responsible tourism.

In addition to the Eco-Synergy Centre, Aquila has entered into a R3 billion partnership with a leading international renewable energy company. 

Carbon Offsetting & Climate Change Mitigation

Together, we have constructed a 44MW Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) solar plant on Aquila’s land to provide much-needed power to the Western Cape grid amidst the ongoing energy crisis and load shedding. A second 120KW CPV solar plant has been established at ARC, featuring 12 large CPV panels. This facility generates on-site renewable energy, which is utilised by both Aquila and ARC, thereby effectively reducing our collective carbon footprint.