Today was an early morning for the GLCM crew as we were all eager to finally experience an authentic safari of South Africa. The Aquila Safari is located in the midst of the southern Karoo semi-desert region two hours away from Cape Town. We began scenic journey at 6:45 AM. Along the way, we saw many vineyards, mountain ranges, and even baboons crossing the street posing for our pictures.
Once we reached our destination at 9:30 AM, we were courteously served a refreshing bubbly drink followed by a fulfilling breakfast. We then hopped onto an open-air safari vehicle with our tour guide named Mark and began our adventurous drive through the deserted, mountainous regions. The first animal that we saw was a young hippopotamus sleeping on a sandy beach surrounded by many birds. Mark explained to us that hippopotamuses are known to be very aggressive animals when they feel threatened in their own territory. Moving along, one of the most exciting animals we encountered was a white rhinoceros, as many of us had never seen one before. Fun fact about white rhinos is that they can weigh up to 8 tons in their lifetime and despite their name, they are actually gray.
Next on our journey we came across elephants but may have caught them in a bad mood arguing with each other. We decided to keep our distance but still managed to get enough pictures. Mark was also able to show us a designated rehabilitation center for animals that were abused or injured. An interesting story was about a female cheetah that was bred in captivity to eventually be sold to the market as a fur coat. Fortunately, the cheetah was saved and the Aquila staff is dedicated to permanently look after its well being.
Throughout our two hour bumpy ride, we were able to see Lions, Zebras, Springboks, Wildebeests, Cheetahs and even Roosters roaming around. Below are some fascinating images of the animals we got to see and much more. Test out your knowledge and see if you can guess which animals are which.
Once we returned from our safari, the Aquila staff had buffet lunch prepared for us. Some of us even decided to dip our feet in one of the pools outdoor and enjoy the calming view. It was truly a memorable first half of the day that was met beyond our expectations.
After returning to our hotel, many of us decided to rest up and refresh ourselves for our dinner reservation at the Royale Eatery restaurant near our hotel. The restaurants slogan is “Royale is a restaurant. We serve burgers. Not just any burgers-Burgers that make your soul tingle and your dreams come true.” Surely enough, this restaurant lived up to its high expectations. It truly was a burger joint with character. The restaurants menu consisted of 50 different types of gourmet burgers along with many vegetarian options as well. Aside from the delicious food, the restaurant had a very colorful ambiance for us to enjoy our food and even discuss the rest of our exciting upcoming plans we have in South Africa.
Blog by Yash Baheti