My family and I went on our first safari day trip with our young boys, age 3 and 6, to Aquila Private Game Reserve, and it was a fantastic family day outing. The boys absolutely loved the safari experience. Ever since those Super Animal books my 6-year-old has been very interested in learning about animals, especially the Big 5. He was so excited for the opportunity to see them in the ‘wild’.
We left Cape Town at 7am and the drive took us 1h45 minutes. Aquila is very easy to find, approximately 130km on the N1 past Worcester on the way to Touws River, you turnoff onto the R46 and then it is less than five minutes’ drive. There are two Aquila sign boards before the turnoff but at the turnoff there is no sign so make sure you lookout for the R46, it can be missed.
Our itinerary for the day was as follows:
09h00 – Welcome drinks at Aquila
09h00 – Buffet Breakfast
10h15 – Game Drive and visit to ARC
13h15 – Buffet Lunch
14h30 – Time at Leisure
16h00 – Depart for Cape Town
On arrival, we were warmly greeted at Reception and then directed to breakfast. After a delicious buffet breakfast and full tummies we proceeded to Reception to meet for our game drive. We checked in and were escorted to our Safari vehicle and off we went. It was a bit chilly so check the weather and come prepared with warm jackets and beanies if needed (and be sure to check the weather for Touws River or Worcester, not Cape Town like I did! It is definitely a few degrees colder than Cape Town and colder in the mountains on the drive). Warm fleece blankets are provided in the vehicle.
The first animal spotted was one of the Big 5 much to our delight, it was the Rhino. We had an excellent view and where in close proximity. While the vehicle is stopped for viewing and photo’s our informative guide provides information about the animal and gives the opportunity to ask questions. My boys loved learning from our guide.
Next on the Big 5 list was the Elephant. Beautiful creatures to see, and once again we were very close.
On entering the Lion enclosure, we were warned that being cold and day time it was unlikely to see the lions, and they sleep around 20 hours per day. The best time of day would be evening or early morning. As we drove in the guide pointed to a bush moving and we were fortunate to see a lioness, although only briefly as she then lay down and we did not see her again. Too quick for a photo.
Next, we saw wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, springbok and eland. Lastly before the drive was over we stopped at a watering hole to see the Hippo’s. The game drive was 3-hours but it went by so quickly I couldn’t believe it was over and that 3-hours had passed. There is one stop for refreshments which is provided and toilets available if required.
We all absolutely loved the Safari experience, it was so much fun. I wasn’t sure how my 3-year-old would handle sitting in a vehicle for 3 hours but I was so proud he was very well behaved for a busy boy. It was an incredible experience for the whole family. If you are able to stay overnight it would definitely be worth your while to do two game drives and include a morning or night drive.
After arriving back we had lunch, served buffet style. Then it was time at leisure and we went to investigate the kids area which is well equipped with an indoor and outdoor play area with a large wooden jungle gym, mini-golf and giant-size chess pieces.
Thank you Aquila Private Game Reserve for a wonderful Safari experience.
Aquila offer half and full day Safaris, Horseback Safaris, Quad Bike Safaris and Overnight Safaris. Click here to view Aquila Safari rates.
R46, Touws River | Tel: 021 – 430 7260 | www.aquilasafari.com