Milou Rooijakkers, an intern at Village n Life, recently went on a wonderful day outing to the famed Aquila Private Game Reserve, situated between De Doorns and Ceres in the Southern Karoo.

Hailing from The Netherlands, Milou was excited to see more of what South Africa has to offer – and her trip to Aquila did not disappoint.

We asked Milou to tell us more about her trip to Aquila, and what it was like seeing the sun rise over the Southern Karoo and being up close and personal with some of the Big 5:

As an intern at Village n Life, I was invited to go to Aquila Private Game Reserve with my two colleagues, Yasin and Maanie.

Our trip started very early in the morning, at 06:30 with a pick-up at the Waterfront Village in the middle of May. Aquila Private Game Reserve is about a 2-hour drive from Cape Town, which meant that we were able to see the sunrise – which was indeed a beautiful sight to behold.

We arrived at Aquila at around 08:30. We were instantly welcomed with a sparkling drink by the friendly staff. Getting up so early meant that we were definitely ready for breakfast by the time we arrived, and we decided to make our way to the breakfast buffet.

We were delighted at all the different, delicious food on offer at the breakfast buffet, and we quickly filled up; ready to take the day by the horns.

After I finished my flapjacks, we still had 15 minutes left until our morning safari started. Yasin, Maanie and I decided to take a walk through the garden. Aquila has 3 beautiful swimming pools; the large pool is situated next to the restaurant, the second pool is situated in front of the spa and one swimming pool is situated in the spa. All three of us agreed that, if this wasn’t the middle of May, we would’ve loved to take a dip in either one of the crystal clear pools.

At 10:00 our safari started, and so we gathered by the car. It was here that we were first introduced our safari guide, Brandon. We hopped on the truck, and off we went in search of animals.

After only a few minutes in the truck, we saw the first wild animals… Hippo’s! Brandon stopped the car so that we could take some good pictures, and he even allowed me to sit in the front seat of the truck to get a better look at these beautiful creatures.

While driving through the reserve, he told us a lot of different (and extremely interesting) stories about the wildlife. After taking what seemed like thousands photos of the hippo’s, it was time to move on, and hopefully spot some more wildlife.

As we made our way through the reserve, I was so happy to see so many different animals. We came across ostriches, a zebra and, to everyone’s delight, three white rhinos with a rhino calf with them.

After cooing over the rhino calf, I asked Brandon if he could take us to the elephants. Elephants have been my favourite animals since I was young, and I have never seen an elephant in the flesh before in my life. When you go on a safari you never know what kind of animals you are going to see but my biggest wish was to see the elephants… and so we did! I was so happy that I finally saw some elephants in real life.

After seeing the elephants, we continued with the safari and we saw three giraffes and several baboons.

Last but definitely not least, we spotted the lions. Brandon was able to bring us very close to the lions, so this was naturally very exciting!

After seeing all these beautiful animals, it was time to go back to the restaurant to have lunch. The lunch was just as good as the breakfast, and once again we ate way too much! With our tummies full, we then had some time left to relax on a sunbed in the sun. Next, it was time to see what Aquila Private Game Reserve offers besides the safari.

One of the employees of Aquila gave us a tour through the Premier Luxury Cottage. The cottage was beautiful and secluded, and it even has an outside shower!

It was a wonderful and exhausting day, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Aquila. It was late afternoon and time to go back to Cape Town and dream about the elephants I finally saw…

Do you also want to go on a safari trip to Aquila? Book it at our front desk department at Village n Life – Waterfront Village.






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