Aquila leading the way in Responsible Tourism

From its work with rescued animals, upliftment of local communities and a drive towards lowering its carbon footprint, Aquila Private Game Reserve is a shining light in Responsible Tourism practices.

Just over two hours outside Cape Town, Aquila Private Game Reserve is located 10 minutes from the small town of Touws River, a town which provides the reserve with the bulk of its staff.

Aquila is well known in the Western Cape for the work being done with the Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant and Cape buffalo – and the rescue and rehabilitation of the country’s wild animals, but the community development is equally important and just as impressive.

Lions at Aquila

Image courtesy of Aquila Private Game Reserve.

The game reserve is a huge operation, with services ranging from daily game drives and a restaurant offering buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner, to the luxury spa and kids centre.

With a strong drive towards social and economic upliftment, Aquila has focused on helping revive and uplift the Touws River community by employing community members in all aspects of the reserve’s operations, including in the spa, restaurant and in the field as guides and game rangers.

Aquila has been a finalist for FEDHASA’s prestigious Imvelo Responsible Tourism awards for 3 consecutive years and, in 2014, was the winner of the Lilizela Imvelo Award for best economic impact by a large tourism establishment in South Africa, promoting the local economic development of communities for ensuring industry sustainability. In 2015, they added the National Best Social Involvement program to their list of accolades for their work with the Touws River community.

Aquila Horseback

Image courtesy of Aquila Private Nature Reserve.

On top of its work with South Africa’s big game and the local community, Aquila has also begun an exercise which aims to cut down on its carbon footprint through a number of Eco Synergy systems, including a waste management program that incorporates worm farms, bio gas plants, community vegetable and herb gardens, and an aquaponics system.

Guests are invited to tour these facilities as Aquila continues to be one of the leaders in Responsible Tourism in the Western Cape.

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Tags: Editors Pick