Now if you had told me a month ago that I would get the opportunity to go on a Safari, I would have laughed at you. If you had told me it would only be a two-hour drive out of Cape Town and that I would see the big 5 ... I would have just walked away shaking my head.

But that was a month ago! Today I stand here, after returning from a two day and one night adventure to the AQUILA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE otherwise known as AQUILA SAFARI & SPA. It was an adventure of a lifetime and one which I will never forget.

"I think your first safari is a little like your first love, it leaves an imprint on your heart and mind which will never be erased."

From the heart racing moments of seeking and chasing down the game to get that 'perfect shot', to the quite nights, clears skies and pure peace that only the bush can bring! Read all about our adventure and it was a grand one!


The adventure started with us being collected from the Lagoon Beach Hotel, Aquila Safari & Spa do transfers from all the major hotels, meaning that you don't even have to drive the two-hour distance yourself but can elect to sit back and relax. For our journey, we were in the capable hands of Anthony who made us feel relaxed, informed and comfortable at all times. Aquila is situated somewhere between Ceres and Touwsriver, and as a result there is a well-positioned pitstop and coffee break along the way.

On arrival, there are welcome drinks. There is also approximately two hours of leisure time, ideal to wander the facilities, order a cocktail, relax beside the pool or take advantage of the in-house spa. Your luggage will be kept in a holding room for collection at 2 pm when you are able to access your room and freshen up before the first game drive for the trip.
We filled our bellies with a bountiful lunch buffet and then proceeded to relax in our room, put our feet up and just enjoy the view for an hour or so, before getting ready to explore the big five.

"The rooms at Aquila Lodge are spacious, comfortable but with a clean modern twist and the views ... well, they are just simply breathtaking!"

The excitement is tangible as we get ready for our first game drive, the air here is chilly at this time of the year so we are wrapped up and ready to roll.

This game drive left us chilled to the bone, but with the adrenalin pumping, it was a minor imposition which was quickly alleviated with a filling and warming buffet dinner. Mumsy and I were here to not only experience the joy of a safari getaway but also to celebrate Mother's Day. What better than to be pampered with a full body 11/2 hour African Wood Massage at the gorgeous Aquila Spa. It has been months since my body has been pampered, I could all but feel my muscles sigh with relief as I drifted off  ... I may even have snored myself awake ...shhhhh it's our secret.
(These were friends we made on the morning drive and rumor has it he was once a Cape Cobra ... shhh!)

And then ... it was good night world! (and no the Hippo's did not even wake us!)


So you know that saying "the early bird catches the worm"? ... well on safari it's "the early bird catches the game!". So yes our first game drive was at 6.30am on day two ... sjoe!

Make-up less and blurry eyed mumsy and I made our way to the waiting area, only to discover we were literally the first to arrive. After a quick coffee, we hopped on our truck and covered our knees with the blankets supplied, nestling like two love birds to try and stay warm. As soon as we were on the road the chill was soon forgotten, along with the bumping and bouncing as we set off to look for the Giraffe.

Well, if I had thought the first days game drive was enthralling I was sadly mistaken, the mornings drive proved to be the most memorable event ever. It was as if mother nature and the big five were all in cahoots. We got to see Elephants pulling some strange sitting manoeuvres, Giraffe eyeing us out, a Lioness chasing another truck (it was quite funny, even though it shouldn't be), Zebra taking a stroll, Rhino's casually roaming and a Gnu getting "miffed" because he wasn't getting enough attention. Nature was at it's best and my camera was in overdrive as I ran up and down the aisle of our truck, like a crazy person. Here are a few of the days fun images ...
We have to give a big shout out to Game Ranger Mike, he had a wealth of knowledge on both animals and their behaviors. He also has nerves of steel and went the extra mile to ensure that we all got great shots (check out my next post).
So on our return, we got to fuel up with a delicious breakfast buffet (always my favourite) with just enough time to shower, freshen up, change clothes and check out of our room. After returning our key, we once again had two hours leisure time and mumsy and I opted for a drive up to ARC or the Animal Rescue Centre. This is a rehabilitation center for animals that have been abused through farming, canning or other means, here they are cared for and where possible reintegrated into the wild or a game environment. Currently in residence are a Crocodile, two lions and the most gorgeous Leopard (he has no nails, as his nails were pulled and he was overfed to get a larger skin for a pelt/skin ... how can people do this!)

Sadly, I lost my photo's of the Leopard and Crocodile with a technical glitch but they are etched in my memory. A huge reminder of how cruel mankind can be!

All in all, words cannot truly express what an amazing experience this was, the adventure of a lifetime but hopefully not my last. I plan in future to share many of my past adventures, as well as, my ever increasing wishlist for both local and international getaways.

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