WATCH: Riding through a Western Cape game reserve on horseback

2018-09-21 12:00 - Gabi Zietsman
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Photo: Gabi Zietsman

The Western Cape isn't exactly known for its big, wild game that you find in the other provinces, but just a 2-hour drive outside of Cape Town you can see the Big 5 in bush luxury perfect for a weekend escape.

Aquila Private Game Reserve might be small and not as wild as Kruger or Addo, but they make up for this by offering other ways of seeing wild that's a little different to a traditional guided game drive.

You have the option of either exploring the reserve quietly on horseback, or rev through on a quad bike (the animals don't even flinch at the noise) - and afterwards you can get your sore muscles massaged into oblivion at their top-of-the-range spa facilities. 

PICS: Lions and giraffes frolic in the snow at Western Cape game reserve

Hut looking out on bush with mountains

Photo: Gabi Zietsman

baby rhino lying down

Photo: Gabi Zietsman

Aquila also has its own vegetable hydroponics garden, fertilised by the fish they breed - and these organic resources go straight to their kitchen.

They are home to a few animals in rehabilitation - lions rescued from the canned hunting industry, as well as a sweet abandoned rhino named Osita that's kept in a private enclosure not open to visitors. The lions however can be seen on a drive, but due to their inability to properly fend for themselves in the wild, they are kept in a separate area to the rest of the animals where they are fed whole carcasses.

Besides its natural beauty, visitors are also immersed in cultural experiences, greeted by traditional South African dancing at the bush boma in the middle of the reserve, where a braai feast awaits under the sparkling wild sky. 

PICS: New baby hippo in Aquila Game Reserve likes to hide behind its mama

Ears of a horse behind another horse with a rider

Photo: Gabi Zietsman

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