Aquila Private Game Reserve, offering big 5 safaris two hours from Cape Town, makes it easy for you no matter what your time constraints are, we offer half-day, full-day, and overnight safari package options!
Situated in the historic town of Touws River, in a valley between the Langeberg and the Outeniqua Mountains in the Karoo, the 10,000-hectare conservancy has evolved from its early days of being residence to various antelope species only to becoming the home of the Big 5 – elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and leopard – as well as a significant amount of other wild game, which roam freely on the reserve.
Aquila’s purpose is to protect and preserve Africa’s increasingly threatened wildlife and is fully committed to social upliftment, job creation, skills development, and various sustainable empowerment programs. Creating the ideal, sustainable balance between nature conservation and the empowerment of the local community of Touws River is at the core of how Aquila operates.
Today, Aquila’s guests can experience a day or overnight safari experience. Aquila offers its guests a unique opportunity to experience the reserve’s natural flora and fauna by vehicle, quad bike, or on horse-back. Guests have the option of tailor-making their overnight packages or choosing from 4 different day trip safari packages.
Leave from Cape Town
For this tour, we depart from the Cape Town City Centre. Cape Town is a dynamic and beautiful city that is consistently named as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Filled with great sights, top-class restaurants and friendly people; a visit to this picturesque city is infinitely memorable.
Cape Town’s distinctive architecture is a legacy from the many people and cultures who have settled here over the last few centuries. As we make our way through town you might notice an unusual gable design on many of the buildings, this was brought into the Cape by the early Dutch settlers of the 1600 and 1700s.
We will head out of town on the N2 Highway.
Drive over Sir Lowry’s Pass
The N2 winds its’ way past the verdant Cape Winelands and then onto the flat plains of Somerset West. The road then rises to make its way through Sir Lowry’s Pass; a scenic mountain pass that crosses the Hottentots-Holland Range. At the start of the pass, you can look back for a panoramic view at the low-lying area that stretches out towards Cape Town.
Over the mountains, we split off from the N2. The road steadily makes its way down to the coast.
Arrive at Hermanus
Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Hermanus is a charming hamlet whose pristine beaches and ‘champagne air’ have been delighting visitors for years. Along with these spectacular attractions, Hermanus is most famous for the incredible Southern Right Whales that come into the bay seeking sanctuary in the cold winter months. From the shore you can see these gentle giants at play in the water; Hermanus is renowned for offering the best shore-based whale watching in the world.
Aside from the awesome natural attractions, Hermanus is filled with fantastic restaurants and fabulous boutique shops. The size of the town makes it perfect to be explored on a short walking tour. Small picturesque cliffs that edge Hermanus are threaded with paths; perfect for getting a clear view of the surrounding waters.
Southern Right Whale
The Southern Right Whale is a baleen whale that can grow up to 15 metres in length and weigh up to 47 tonnes. They are closely related to, and indistinguishable from, North Atlantic and North Pacific right whales; however they are unable to cross the warm equatorial waters and interact with other subspecies.
The whales spend the summer months in the far Southern Ocean and migrate northwards in the winter. More than 100 whales visit the Hermanus area during this time. Whale watchers might see behaviour unique to the Southern Right Whale known as “sailing”. They use their elevated flukes to catch the wind; it is thought to be a form of playing for them.
In Hermanus, you can enjoy the best land-based whale watching around, or tour the town.
Hermanus is one of the most picturesque towns in the country and is blessed with spectacular natural views of the ocean and mountains. Your guide will take you on a panoramic drive along Rotary Way, which offers fantastic views across Hermanus and Walker Bay.
We will explore the heart and centre of Hermanus and you can discover the fascinating history of this town.
Get up close to the Giants of the Sea
An incredible opportunity to get within close proximity of the Southern Right Whales, this fantastic land-based activity can be enjoyed from the famous Cliff Path which hugs the waters of Walkers Bay. Walk along this well laid out route which meanders closely along the very edge of the bay, offering you the most incredible and unforgettable opportunities to view whales and other sea life from the comfort of your own feet and in your own time. In addition to the whales, dolphins, seals and a wide variety of birdlife can also often be seen on these walking activities.
Drive along R44 Coastal Road
The scenic stretch of coast between Hermanus and Somerset West is known as the Cape Whale Coast because of many opportunities for spotting these amazing creatures. Along this pristine stretch are a rustic collection of villages, farms, rivers, bays and coves.
This is a stunning natural area that is a key eco-conservation area. As we travel up this stretch of coast you can relax and enjoy South Africa’s spectacular scenery.
Visit the Bouchard Finlayson wine estate, in a hidden valley at the Southern tip of the new world lies a winery that combines the best of the old ways with a streak of innovation and creativity
Sundays - Visit a Penguin Colony
A little way down the coast is the seaside village of Betty’s Bay. Sitting on a narrow strip of land which is sheltered by the Kogelberg Mountains on one side and looking out to the ocean on the other; Betty Bay is home to a thriving fishing community. It also holds one of only three land-based penguin colonies in South Africa.
Return to Cape Town
After a day exploring the charming towns and amazing marine life around Cape Town, we will return to the city in comfort and style.
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