Three and half hours from Oudtshoorn or two hours from Cape Town, lies Touws Rivier town. As the first town of the Karoo, coming from the Cape, it is known as the “Gateway to the Karoo” and driving the other direction: “Gateway to the Boland”. This Central Karoo town has one of the richest and most diverse histories and once played a crucial role in the developing railway sector of South Africa. Touws River has seen the humble bushman trek across its vast undulating planes, witnessed the Griekwas briefly find refuge here and can give testimony to the arrival of man and machine.

It is here in Touws Rivier, in a valley between the Langeberg and the Outeniqua Mountains in the Karoo, where you’ll find the 10,000-hectare conservancy Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa. This malaria-free private game reserve is home to an abundance of animal and birdlife, including the legendary big 5; elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, and rhino. Go on exciting early morning- and late afternoon game drives when the wildlife is most active, as they tend to rest in the heat of the day. Qualified field guides track the animals and interpret nature, allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy. The safari drives last 2–3 hours depending on how much time is spent at each sighting, and evenings include a sundowner stop at one of the popular lookouts in the game reserve.

Aquila is more than just an unforgettable wildlife experience; it is a luxurious South African adventure acclaimed for its service excellence, renewable energy initiatives, experience in luxurious African hospitality, traditional culinary delights, and the restoration of pride to the indigenous people and the land. Aquila is dedicated to social responsibility efforts and conservation programs, making it a truly remarkable destination.

The reserve has a large swimming pool with a poolside bar, serving cocktails and ice-cold beverages around the 35m long crystal-clear, infinity pool. There are two large, dedicated dining areas and an African-style restaurant that serves local cuisine and traditional South African dessert. As a staying guest, you will have access to the mezzanine-level bar and lounge with magnificent views of the reserve. For some added adventure, who not substitute a game drive for a horseback or quad bike safari? The Tranquila Spa adds to the world-class facilities and services Aquila offers. Here, you can enjoy a luxurious African treatment and unwind after an action-packed day. The spa boasts a heated indoor pool, outdoor pool, sauna, steam room, and ten treatment rooms; it is a masterpiece of luxury. Aquila promises a serene escape immersed in nature’s tranquillity. From luxurious accommodations to breathtaking wildlife encounters, it offers an unforgettable experience under the starlit African sky.

Aquila Private Game Reserve is highly regarded for its efforts to restore pride within the local Touws River community and its commitment to conserving the Karoo land. As one of the largest employers in the area, Aquila collaborates closely with the local Touws River Municipality to preserve and develop local structures, educate the community, and remain attentive to local culture and community needs.

Aquila is dedicated to investing in the community’s future, sponsoring teachers at local schools, as well as soccer and rugby teams. This ensures that community members receive a quality education, empowering them for future success. Furthermore, Aquila hosts complimentary day trips to the reserve for children from previously disadvantaged local schools, providing a unique opportunity for these urban students to learn about nature, wildlife, sustainable social upliftment, conservation, and responsible tourism.