Aquila Winter Safari

Find Me Where The Wild Things Are

Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need. Sometimes that break comes in the form of a 5-day stay at Aquila Private Game Lodge.

The charges to my credit card came as a surprise. My sister booked a long weekend Safari (she is under the impression that we share my credit card) before cheerfully notifying me of this impulsive purchase that will take us away (2 hours to be exact) from our busy Capetonian lives. We both felt the need to trade in the city lights for starry nights.


We arrived early morning to welcoming drinks, fresh linen, and towels folded in the shape of animals. Not even to mention all you can eat buffet heaven. We got settled and went exploring straight after. For 5-days we were getting away from it all. 

There is an African proverb that says everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is the worst.

Our incredible tour guide gave us each a blanky as we got ready for our sundowner safari. He told us everything there is to know about the animals. Most we knew already being privileged enough to grow up rather wild and free and in touch with nature, but some of his wisdom was even new to us.

I have never been so grateful for my beautiful pair of black gloves with the leather ribbon as we braised the crisp winter air for our first game drive.

We smelled rhino poop that really only smell like grass. We toasted marshmallows and we made new friends while sipping on some sparkling wine. Our tour guide, Max, told us stories about the big five, the small five and the ugly five.

After an incredible buffet dinner and some wine, we set out for our night safari. Stargazing and planet watching through microscopes. Venus, Mars, and Saturn were very clear in the cold winter night sky while the heavens were ablaze with stars that flickered like little fireflies in the Milkyway. My heart was content.

The next morning, after our early morning safari and brunch we decided to treat ourselves. We booked hot stone massages and spent the entire morning in this leading luxury spa being pampered. Before our mesages, we went for a dip in the two heated pools that can be found right at the heart of this beautiful building. We made use of the sauna and steam room as well and emerged two very happy humans.

Our mesages was incredible, my masues had healing hands. Also seeing as we stayed longer than two nights we had free access to the spa during our entire stay, and we made good use of it.

The afternoon came and again we ate ourselves into oblivion before heading out on our evening game drive.

Day 3 we decided to brave a horse safari. It was a particularly cold crisp morning and we could feel numb fingers thumbing around as we put on our riding boots and pants before walking over to saddle our horses.

Lieneke and I are both avid riders and couldn’t wait to get up close to the game on horseback. We could feel our noble steads’ energy change as we walked through the gates into the wild. They were suddenly more alert, restless. The frost was glistening in the morning sun. A deer carcass laying close by looked like it was covered in Stardust as the sun caught the frost and sparkled.

As we made our way through the fauna and flora we almost walked into the game by accident. We were close enough to count the hair on the zebras’ backs. At one stage it was a little touch and go when we got caught between a mamma rhino and her calf and a buffalo making its way towards us, but the guide knew exactly what to do and we were never in real danger.

The horseback safari was such a lovely experience that we were torn in two deciding if we should cancel our quad-bike safari to go on another horse ride. Instead, we decided a new adventure was waiting on us.

We were living our best lifes on those quad bikes. It was just sooo much fun! We made new friends from Joburg and then we hit the road. We saw everything. From hippos laying like big rocks close to where we were passing to baby rhinos and even giraffes. There was this one spot where we could happily play around, and as they say in the little country town where I’m from – “If mud ain’t flying, you ain’t trying! We arrived at the dinner buffet tired, dirty and thoroughly satisfied. The staff new as by name after our first day and they knew it was time to bring over a good bottle of red wine.

Lieneke went for a nap and I headed over to the common room where high tea was served. I got cosy in one of the comfy chairs close to the fire and lost myself in a book.

I am currently reading Stormkind by Riana Scheepers. What a good choice if I do say so myself.

As our last safari approached we sitting close to each other, quietly, drinking in every little bit of beauty.

There is something about safari life that makes you forget the rest of the world and make you feel drunk on happiness and Amarula unable to resist the lure of Africa’s wild.

Here I am, right where I belong. In Africa.


Born and raised in Africa


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