Cape Town Day 8 (Vlog) | Aquila Safari

This day was one of the most important days in the entire South Africa trip, we’re going on a safari!!! Having lived in big cities most my life, I haven’t been surrounded by a lot of animals and nature, especially not these types of animals. We were up by 5am, ready to go see if the Lion King was accurate! (Ok, more like seeing wild animals not locked up in a cage in a zoo somewhere). We booked our safari trip with Aquila Park. They are the closest safari park from Cape Town city center. Although it isn’t 100% nature since it is a reserve park (meaning it’s a gigantic piece of private land with animals that were brought in from somewhere else), but at least it is still much more natural than zoos, and animals get tons of land to roam on. It was around $2000 Rand per person, which includes transport from hotel to the park and back, breakfast & lunch buffet, and a 2.5hr safari. There’s also more expensive options to choose a whole day safari, a horseback safari, and a helicopter ride to the park

We were picked up at 6am in an 11 seater van among with other people going to the tour that day. From Cape Town to Aquila was around a 2-hour drive, so by the time we got there it was around breakfast time! You get a very long 1hr breakfast break and also good for you to look around. There are a lot of huts for people staying overnight it looks like you’ve walked into elf land or something. They also have a small gift shop and a cozy little bar on the side. Outside the huts you just see miles of land, hills, and mountains. And occasionally elephants will come walking by to get to some trees for shading. The funniest thing was that the office has this peacock pet, it always blocks the exit from the office to the restaurant, so some people get startled when they try to open the door and all they see are feathers. 

After breakfast we were assigned which safari truck to get on, there were about 5 trucks that fit around 25 people each. We were assigned pretty late so I sat at the very back, which is actually a pretty good seat because you get to look at what’s behind the truck and also see in front without being blocked. Since the driver is sitting on the right hand side, it’s also better to sit on the right because they will tend to drive more towards animals on the right hand side, so you’ll get to see more. The first animal we saw were hippos. Even though they seem cute and chill, they’re actually pretty dangerous and responsible for a lot of deaths. This is mainly because of the speed at which they run and the strength of their bite. After that we saw some more chilled animals like giraffes, spring boks, zebras, elamd, and ostriches. Funny fact I learned about ostriches: their brains are smaller than the size of their eyes. This probably explains why they stick their heads to the ground when they’re scared, but they don’t think about the fact that their whole body is still sticking out. Some people also ride ostriches for fun, but it’s actually pretty dangerous. You could get seriously injured if an ostrich kicked you while you try to get on, so when getting on the ostrich needs to be held down by a couple of people (like 4-5).

The highlight of the trip of course is the big 5. The big 5s are Rino, Cape buffalo, African elephant, Lion, and Leopard. We did manage to see the first five up close, but the Leopard was in the sanctuary under care so we couldn’t see it. The Rinos were surprisingly chilled. They do look really intimidating up close, but even when one of the truck’s tire exploded (which sounded like a gun fire) the Rino just got up and slowly walked away. It’s absolutely adorable though, with tiny eyes, tiny ears, and then big chunky feet. The Cape Buffalo is actually the most dangerous animal amongst the big 5, the reason being that it doesn’t give you a warning sign before it attacks. Usually for other animals they will have a physical warning sign but the Cape Buffalo just charges. If you haven’t seen one of the most famous safari videos on YouTube, you have to. Someone captured Cape Buffalos fighting off a pride of lions and alligators at the same time. The elephants were really chill, they were just munching on my dry bushes (I really don’t get why they find that tasty but they seem to be enjoying themselves). One thing that elephants do is that they fan their ears to cool off, it is really cool to see that up close. Lastly we saw lions, the highlight of the highlight. We saw around 5 female lions and 1 male lion just lounging around. We went there around mid day so I think they were pretty lazy at that point.

After the lions we went back to the main office where there's a cats sanctuary. Because some of the animals that are in the park are actually rescued. There were leopards and cheetahs that were still under treatment and observation. Some were injured from being hunted or just hurt in the wild. But after they've recovered they'll be free to roam throughout the reserve. 
After 2.5hrs of safari, we have some free time. There's another lunch buffet, and then after that we went to the bar beside the restaurant. It's a nice little cozy bar with a lot of sofas throughout the room.  

On the way back we were exhausted. But the weather was amazing and there was a blanket of cloud over Table Mountain. On the very right side of the mountain you can see where there's less clouds right before the drop, there is a small block sticking out. That is the top of the station for the Table Mountain cable car, where I looked out below at the view of the city and Camps Bay. 

Four more days of adventure left in cape town! 

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