I had never been on a Safari before, and so, i had no idea what to expect. But as a first Safari, I have to say that Aquila safari exceeded all expectations. The Safari cost around 2100 rands (about £113), including transport from Stellenbosch. As the trip was organized by The programme director of the Summer School at Stellenbosch University which I was attending, we all had to get up early for the roughly 2 hour long drive from Stellenbosch to the Aquila Game reserve
However seeing the beautiful South African sunrise made all that worth it
One thing I have appreciated about being in South Africa is how beautiful and scenic our daily drives are.No matter what time of day, or where you are in South Africa, you will always appreciate the beauty of your picturesque surroundings.
We were in a small open jeep with roughly 10 people so there was still room for moving around to take pictures. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about all the animals and an excellent tracker as were able to spot 4 out of the Big 5, Which are Lions, Buffalo, Leopard, Rhino and the Elephant. He warned us before we began that we may not see a leopard as they mainly come out at night. We were given blankets as even though it was july, it was winter in South Africa and so, very cold.
Some of the beautiful views I captured on the way to see the animals
The first animal we saw was a hippopotamus, and apparently, they are vicious animals and will kill you in many ways if you go near their territory. Due to the drought in South Africa, their ponds were getting smaller and smaller and so they were all huddled together and can only stay in that pond for the time being. They didn’t come out of their watering hole initially but we got a good look at them on the way back. Then we saw the 2 African elephants
Our guide was very informative about all the animals, and talked about the difficulty in maintaining and sustaining a lot of the habitats, due to the current drought in South Africa. We drove around looking for more animals and we found so many. When it started to rain, we were all given branded ponchos, which was amazing as i was already starting to fear for my phone
We stumbled on some Rhinoceros
We also went on a hunt for the Lions and after a few minutes we found all 7 of them casually chilling and enjoying the cool weather
Springboks, South Africa’s National animal
Just before the Safari we stopped for a glass of sparkling wine or juice and a rest break
Some sleeping hippopotamus, they clearly enjoyed the rain more than we did
I really enjoyed the safari, not only for the big 4/5, but also for the other animals like the zebra’s, springboks (national animal of South Africa), wildebeests etc. I liked the fact that they are sustainable and grow the food they use to feed the animals and the guests on the reserve, and that there was so much space for the animals to roam around. There were cabins and rooms in the reserve to stay overnight if you were so inclined and they also did sunset safari’s which i would have done if we had that option. It truly was a wonderful day, with marvelous scenic views, and though it rained, there was a rainbow afterwards, which was the icing on an already filling cake