Imagine waking up at 4:00 on the morning of your birthday to the sounds of buffaloes wading through the stream running past your cottage. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Thanks to Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa, that is exactly how I woke up on the morning of my 39th birthday.
Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa
‘Since the 4-star Aquila Private Game Reserve was founded, its ethos and that of our team of dedicated staff have been to educate guests on the importance of wildlife conservation, how it affects us all and what we as individuals can do to protect the environment. Aquila is not only a luxury game reserve and lodge. Its primary purpose is to offer an educational experience to all who visit in the hope that knowledge will enrich our understanding of the importance of living in harmony with Mother Nature. Over the years, Aquila Private Game Reserve has gone to massive efforts and expense to source and re-introduce wildlife into the Cape region so that local residents and visitors alike can benefit and we are therefore proud to offer our visitors an opportunity to experience a Big 5 safari.’ – Aquila
When I received the invitation to visit Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa, I almost fell off my chair. I have been dreaming of an Aquila visit for ages and finally my dream was going to become a reality. And as luck would have it, we could book for my birthday. It doesn’t get any better than that.
The moment we arrived at the reserve, I knew that it would be an unforgettable experience. We were treated like royalty and we really did not want to leave. In all honesty, I can’t really say if the scenery, the spa treatment, the 4 star luxury, the game drives, the hospitality or the food was my favourite part. Everything was just perfect.
Danie and I stayed in a Premier Cottage. Wow. Just wow. The moment we entered it felt completely secluded and private.
The rustic decor of our cottage was simply beautiful and the bed was so incredibly comfy. It was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months.
This was the view from our stoep. No words can describe the beauty and tranquility.
My favourite part of the cottage was most definitely the outdoor shower. What’s better than showering under the stars? It was heavenly.
Aquila offers a number of accommodation options to choose from which includes Premier, Luxury Family or Standard Rooms and Cottages.
Above is the view of the grounds from one of the lodge balconies. Nice, nè?!
The triple volume Aquila restaurant can seat 280 – 300 guests and offers breath-taking views of the reserve and the Karoo Mountains. The restaurant opens up to a sunken boma area which is where we enjoyed all our meals as the weather was lovely during our stay. I can imagine that the log fireplaces inside the beautiful restaurant will ensure a very romantic dining experience on chilly evenings though. The restaurant offers buffet-style meals and I guarantee that you will find the food to your liking. It was gooood.
The pool bar is just fabulous. Lounging in the pool on a hot day sipping on a delicious cocktail sounds like bliss, don’t you think? Another reason why we have to visit again soon.
During our stay we were also treated to 2 game drives and a visit to the ARC (Aquila Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Conservation Centre).
The game drives were amazing! We saw so many animals – elephants, lions, buffaloes, rhinos, zebras and giraffes to name a few. We also spotted the eyes and ears of a few hippos, but they were shy. The animals roam free and it was amazing to see them in a natural habitat. We also learned so much from our guides who really made this a memorable experience.
As part of the evening game drive, we enjoyed bubbly and snacks whilst soaking up the complete stillness of the bush while the sun set. I am still in awe of the beauty.
Tranquila Spa Review
The main reason for the Aquila visit was to experience their newly opened spa.
Tranquila is a place of total peace and tranquility and the moment you step through the door you can feel yourself letting go of the hussle and bussle outside.
The spa is truly spectacular and it is evident that much attention to detail went into the design and planning of this facility. The spa features 2 large heated indoor pools, a steam room, sauna, nail bar, 10 beautiful treatment rooms, a couples/group treatment room and an outdoor pool. Unfortunately our schedule was quite jam packed which meant that I sadly didn’t have a chance to make use of all the facilities, but I did have a fabulous massage. Next time (and there will most definitely be a next time) I will make sure to take time for a swim in those spectacular pools and a nice long steam.
I was treated to a 90 min African Wood Massage and I promise you, it was THE BEST massage I have ever experienced. Never in my life have I felt so relaxed after a full body massage. The therapist was amazing and the Matsimela body butters she used was to die for. I highly recommend this massage.
The Spa offers an array of treatments including facials, massages, tints and waxes, mani’s , pedi’s and you can even have your hair braided. You can have a look at all they offer over HERE.
A stay at Aquila will not be complete without a visit to this glorious African spa. And believe me, the photos do not do it justice.
Our stay at Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa was truly a magical one.
A special mention of Aquila staff is needed – every single person we encountered was extremely friendly and helpful and smiles were definitely not in short supply.
Thank you to Johan and the Aquila team for a wonderful stay and a most memorable birthday. We hope to see you again soon!
To make a booking, visit www.aquilasafari.com or call 0861 7373 783.
Disclosure ranking: 2