How have you all been enjoying my posts from my trip to South Africa so far? Envious yet!? :P Okay, so time to talk about my personal FAVORITE part of the trip. Everyone, and I don't think anyone is excluded, dreams of going on an African Safari. It's a bucket list staple so we ofcourse had to find the best way to do it on our trip. We researched and hunted and read reviews...Z wanted to go to Krueger National Park, the largest park in South Africa, where we would have to drive out into the wilderness and do some gritty camping (bugs, tents, extra things to bring). We opted to do our safari in the Karoo national park and desert, where there are an infinite amount of game reserve's ranging from a full on wild experience to the rehabilition centers where you take lions and cheetahs on walks and feed and ride elephants. Being environmentally concious and inclined towards positive animal welfare we wanted to choose a more natural reserve. Aquila's luxury accommodation's made it the winning ticket.
We drove two hours from Cape Town, through gorgeous mountains and wineries, avoiding wild baboons, and arrive to be greeted with fresh champagne and lunch. We relaxed poolside before heading out to our first game drive. It was a beautiful day and all the animals seemed to agree; we saw elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, springbok, ostriches, elans, wildabeast, lions...the list goes on, but the gist of it is that our expert tour guide (who has worked there for over 9 years) was able to find us all the wildlife efficiently and safely (though some rhinos did like to follow us rather closely). It was magnificent to see wildlife being wild; rhinos fighting elephants, lions eating a zebra, and hippos bathing in mud.
After a long four hours of exploring (and that tasty stop for champers and photo ops) we headed to our cabin and back to the main lodge for dinner. We had an individual cabin to ourselves complete with a patio, chairs, outdoor shower, and large soaking tub. Perfect for post-dinner romantic relaxing with a bottle of wine before calling it a night.
Day two had us up before the sun to catch the gorgeous sunrise as the animals awaken. We woke up to a Cape Buffalo outside of the fence to our cabin; cuh-razy. Though we missed most animals due to them probably still sleeping we saw cheetahs,buffalo, wildabeast, ostriches and...a leopard! We had a full breakfast and lounged around the luxury setting before heading on our way.
I'm so so happy we chose the Aquila Game Reserve for our African Safari. Our tour guide Timothy was so knowledgeable yet casual and was able to ensure we got the most of our experience. The lodging was cozy and exceptional, and I loved that it was a short two hour drive from Cape Town. If you're headed to Africa (and I advise South Africa), I urge you to go to Aquila. And request Timothy if you can!
What do you think of my experience? Are you thinking about a trip to Africa?! Let me know what you think in the comments!
Disclaimer: I was comp'd a two day, one night stay at the Aquila Game Reserve. All photos and opinions expressed are my own.