Hubby & I bought an overnight stay at Aquila Safari through Groupon for about RM500/person, which is about 50% discount.
Of course we did not know the way, so we used our trusty Garmin to guide us, as usual.
At first, we drove on highways with beautiful scenery.
Then Garmin asked us to turn into the housing area/shacks of the black people.
The roads were not paved and it was rather scary to drive through that. We kept our car doors and windows locked at all times.
Then Miss Garmin told us to drive into the mountain road, with the destination sign rather near. We were quite skeptical at first but then thought 'Maybe a safari could be in deserted places/mountain side, right?' so we kept on driving.
Initially, the road was still tarred.
Then it became like this. No more paved road but just a path based on trampled grass. It was more suitable for a jeep to drive through than a normal car of us.
In the end, it was a wrong direction. Miss Garmin tricked us. Luckily we had a mobile phone with a local prepaid sim card with us. We gave Aquila Safari a call and only found out we are 2 1/2 hours away.
I really don't know how to describe it here but hubby & I were really scared at that time. First of all, scared the car tyres punctured 'coz the paths were not paved. If punctured in the middle of a mountain, we also die. Dunno how to walk out from the mountain.
Secondly, we were afraid that we would run out of petrol. That place is so ulu, and we were the only car in sight. And even if we managed to drive out of the mountain, we remembered we were driving on the highway for about an hour or so without any nearby towns.
Sigh. We set our Garmin again and off we set off again, praying for the correct destination this time. And we stopped at the first petrol station we saw in the nearest town.
After 4-5 hours drive, we reached our destination - Aquila Private Game Reserve
Of course we were late for our activities. But the reception lady was kind enough to make some modification on our activities.
After a welcome drink of grape juice and wine, we were ushered to our accomodation to refresh ourselves.
It's called the Standard Luxury Chalet. It is a semi-detached unit with thatch roofs and exterior stone work.
It features a mini bar, fan, and coal stove for the winter months.
It comes with a corner bath and an outdoor rock shower.
It even has its own patio.
At 5pm, it was time for our Game Drive.
We saw the buffalo...
Look how near he walked by us.
They were really near us. Can you see the shadow of our jeep?
There, you can see how near we were. I was actually quite scared. If that lion decided to leap to us, I would be the first one to die before my window was actually nearest to his.
So after this photo, I walked out of my seat and walked further away in the jeep. Haha.
We then took a break and we were being served grape wine/juice and some snacks.
It was nice being out in the open air. The view was pretty, and I love the wide space of Africa wilderness.
A photo of the 2 of us at last.
It seems like this is the only 'full-bloom' tree around.
We then saw more springboks...
We didn't manage to see any leopards, which was a disappointment to many in the jeep. But I didn't mind. I mean, I saw these animals in zoos before, so it was no big deal to me. :)
After the game drive, we went back to our chalet to refresh ourselves.
Then we went for our buffet dinner. It was a generous buffet spread, full of African food.
Love the lighting in the restaurant and love the tranquil night scenery on our walk back to our chalet.
The next morning, it was American buffet breakfast style, with some African food thrown in.
We then took some photos of the reserve, waiting for our Horseback Safari at 2pm.
This is the reception.
Then we saw a huge children's playground area.
very nicely done, environmental friendly too.
There were mini-golf for u to do putting as well.
Love the scenery there.
The place is so beautiful we couldn't help sitting outside.
We were there by the poolside reading.
The sun was glaring thus the shades, but hubby is wearing a light sweater because of the cool breeze. Awesome.
Look at the scenery. No photoshop. Taken with my point-and-shoot. Isn't it beautiful?
Too beautiful for words. So I can't help but to post more photos of the scenery.
Then it was time for our Horseback Safari.
We were both nervous. I mean, riding in a horse for 2 hours....wow!
With our helmets on.
Hubby with the guide with the horses.
Hubby's on a horse.
That's hubby & me!
It was awesome. Riding on a horseback while seeing animals. No photos here because I was too nervous to hold on to the reins and my camera. I didn't want to be thrown off a horseback.
We were riding for 1 1/2 hours. Legs were a little stiff and opened too widely, but it was all good. No muscle ache the next day, surprisingly!
The best part of my stay in Aquila Safari is to witness with my own eyes the beautiful scenery of South Africa, in wide open spaces and not jam-packed with tourists. ;)
And a little getaway with hubby, without Shern. Peace! :)
And the drive home took us 2 1/2 hours only. :)
I achieved another strike off my Life List: 59: Safari in Africa!
p/s - To read more about our trip to Cape Town, South Africa, pls click here.