Big 4 to Big 5

The 4-star Aquila Private Game Reserve has relocated two bull elephants at a total cost of R2 million, in order to grow the reserve from Big 4 to Big 5 territory, therefore making Aquila the closest authentic Big 5 safari to Cape Town.

Aquila Creates Big Five ReserveThe elephants, aged between nine and eleven were purchased and relocated from Tzaneen in the Lowveld and transported in a specially designed game vehicle to the 4, 500 hectare private reserve accompanied by qualified and experienced elephant game capture specialists.

Owner Searl Derman has invested R1 million on the temporary one-hectare boma which took six months to build to ensure every comfort and requirement was met and approved in order to ensure a safe transition to their new home where they will be closely monitored on a 24 hour basis.

States Derman, “I’m proud to have finally created the closest authentic Big 5 African safari within a daytrip range of Cape Town. The benefit(s) to the Western Cape’s tourism infrastructure, Touwsrivier's job creation and social upliftment as well as conservation of animals and habitat are unparalleled.”

Once again, Aquila has practised job creation by training local staff by South Africa’s leading trainers such as Vicky Broeker and Lisette Whithers. Derman is the only person in the Western Cape that has done an elephant capture course and was also part of the ground breaking team which included Douw Grobbelaar - a world authority - and the Disney Land Vets, when they sterilised 2 female elephants in KZN.

Aquila is very proud to be the only Reserve in the Western Cape to have reintroduced lion, rhino, buffalo, Cape mountain leopard and now finally the elephant to complete Cape Town’s BIG 5 experience. Having the Big 5 in the Western Cape will ensure that visitors to our region spend more time in the area and are no longer forced to risk malaria, incur high travel costs and extra travelling time going north for their safari experience.

Aquila is already home to a large quantity and variety of game in the Western Cape which includes lion, buffalo, rhino, rare mountain leopard, giraffe, hippo and large herds of black wildebeest, burchell's zebra, springbok, gemsbok, eland, red hartebeest, steenbok, blesbok, ostriches, klip springer, duiker, greybuck, baboon, black backed jackal, caracal (lynx) and bat eared fox. Aquila is also home to a wide array of bird species that have made the wetlands their home and ancient Khoi San Rock Art can be visited on game drives.