Visiting or experiencing Safari was my dream, very high on my bucket list and always on my mind. When we visited Cape Town South Africa a couple of years ago i was blown away and it was my first experience with the African continent. (When i don´t count a week on Cabo Verde Island.)
When we booked the tickets for our next visit in December 2019 i was on a mission to find ourselves some Safari near Cape Town we could go to. Sadly i found out, that they are kinda over our budget, but there are couple options, just couple hours drive outside of Cape Town and that is where i stumbled across the Aquila Private Game reserve, that is open to the public as well, not just hotel guests, and does this one-day Safari experience.
You can book directly with them and drive there on your own in case you have rental. They also provide a shuttle, which i find rather expensive (almost the price of the Safari itself) or you can book it via an agency which is what we did. We were in touch with the African Blue Tours who provided excellent customer service.
We started with a pick up by our hotel in Cape Town. Jumped on to a minivan with some other tourists from America, France, England, India ... it was a great international group i have to say. We headed to the Karoo, a semi-desert region outside the city. In two hours’ time, we found ourselves at Aquila’s property, greeted by a glass of sparkling wine and directed to the breakfast buffet, which is included in the price, after which we joined our group and pile into a big safari vehicle, ready to spot some wildlife. The game drive is a two-and-a-half-hour affair that took us all around the reserve.
We were able to see the gentle giants - elephants, those are my favorites, but to see them simply just roaming around was very special. We got to see bathing hippos, running ostriches, gracefully walking zebras, relaxed rhinos, elegant giraffes as well as yawning lions. We stopped along the way in a hut, just to stretch our legs, get some water, use the restrooms and simply indulge in the wilderness that was all around us.
As we got back to the hotel grounds it was lunchtime and there was an impressive buffet ready for us. Luckily for me, there were as many salad and vegetarian options as there were meat options - South African cuisine can be very much carnivorous. We eat overlooking the swimming pool and game reserve, getting excited as we spot elephants again in a short distance. The absolutely perfect and peaceful moment i could not be more grateful for.
We obviously could not leave without a dip into the hotel pool, which we slightly regretted doing so quickly as it was very cold. Refreshing one would say. We enjoyed our time, our view, each others company and we never wanted to leave this perfect bubble, but the time has arrived and after 6 hours we were on our way back to Cape Town and to reality.