Aquila Private Game Reserve bags Lilizela Award
The National Department of Tourism, in partnership with South African Tourism, created the Lilizela Awards, a premier award that gives recognition to the top tourism players in the sector. The awards reward and celebrate the highest levels of excellence across the tourism industry.
Aquila Private Game Reserve has been honoured to be awarded second place for Service Excellence in the Accommodation category. The judging was largely based on guest feedback, as measurements were put in place to allow the public to cast their vote.
Judges were comprised of the Tourism Grading Council assessors, trade partners, tour operators and independent auditors who oversaw the judging process. Judges considered the consumer feedback, site visits, TGCSA scores, accessibility and affordability, authenticity of the experience and the overall quality of the experience.
Set in the pristine Southern Karoo Highlands against a backdrop of dramatic mountains, the Aquila Private Game Reserve offers an exciting taste of real Africa just two short hours from Cape Town by road.
Aquila is home to an enormous variety of game, including the Big 5 — elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard — giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, many different antelope, baboons, jackal, bat-eared foxes, hippos and crocodiles. And many migratory birds stop en route at Aquila’s own wetland. Two- to three-hour game drives are a perfect way to see the animals (in four-wheel-drive vehicles, quad bikes or on horseback).
Aquila’s four-star chalets are built largely from rock, thatch and wood to blend with the environment and offer every comfort like roaring log fires, wooden viewing decks, air conditioning, crisp percale linen, rock bathrooms and, in some, alfresco rock showers. A luxurious honeymoon suite is perched on a hill for the ultimate romantic getaway. Aquila also offers ideal facilities for conferences and business meetings and it’s a perfect place for the wedding of a lifetime too.
There are two swimming pools, a pool bar, a cosy cigar lounge and a large dining room where the executive chef presents a rich variety of authentic South African cuisine. Feast on a breakfast fit for a king and for lunch and dinner a range of meat dishes including springbok and roast lamb, a variety of beautifully prepared vegetables and other side dishes, and to round off your meal, an array of superb puddings created on the premises as well as local cheeses and biscuits. Superb South African wines are on offer with your meal.
If you don’t have a lot of time to spare, a daily shuttle service from Cape Town International airport and all major Cape Town hotels will take you to Aquila and back for a perfect day trip.
Owner of Aquila Searl Derman has always been committed to uplifting the town of Touws River, ever since hearing about the withdrawal of the railway from the town in the 1980’s. This left massive unemployment of approximately 97% of a town of 9000 people. Derman has been recognised as ‘Champion of the Poor’ by the press and has been featured on Carte Blanche and Fokus for his award winning social upliftment and conservation efforts that have sustained the town. These include; a soup kitchen that has swopped food for litter and feeds up to 12000 meals per month. By cleaning the town, the recycled litter is used to pay for the school teachers. Derman continues to support the old age home and developed youth by sponsoring the town’s rugby, cricket and soccer teams. Furthermore, Derman has donated several thousand blankets over the past 10 years, providing at least 1 blanket to almost every person in the town.
Aquila Private Game Reserve has always been proud to host all visitors to Cape Town, however it is always very exciting to have visits from both local and international celebrities.
Over the years Aquila has welcomed very influential visitors like Baroness Margaret Thatcher and Dep. President Rodolfo Nin as well as socialites and celebrities like Paris Hilton, Sacha Baron Cohen, members of Good Charlotte including front man Benji Madden, Rihanna, MC Hammer, Katie Holmes and Luke Perry to name a few. With quotes left by Luke Perry “I’ve been to San Francisco but I did not leave my heart there, and it is a damn good thing cause I’d rather leave it here…” and Paris Hilton “incredible experience .. had the best time”, Aquila hopes to see them back on the reserve soon. Watch www.facebook.com/aquilasafari for updates.