Aquila Collection, a portfolio of Big 5 Safari lodges and unique bucket list experiences situated outside of Cape Town, is leading the way in conservation and anti-poaching.
From Aquila Private Game Reserve’s fight against rhino poaching to cheetah conservation at Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve-the Big 5 portfolio has prioritised its wildlife initiatives.
In fact, Aquila Private Game Reserve has received internationally acclaimed awards for its ethics, based on social upliftment, sustainable development and conservation, for over 20 years.
In honour of World Wildlife Day, we take a look at some of their wildlife initiatives:
Aquila Private Game Reserve
To help rhino calves whose parents have been killed during poaching, Aquila Private Game Reserve established a rhino orphanage.
This comes after a devastating poaching incident that killed two rhinos and severely injured one in 2011.
Aquila provided intensive care and embarked on a cutting-edge operation for the surviving rhino named, Absa. Absa, also known as the first rhino to be reintroduced into the Western Cape, (the species was hunted out 250 years ago), did not make it. Sadly, these calves have become secondary victims of poachers as they’re left to fend for themselves.
With no facility for orphaned rhino calves in the Western Cape, Aquila founded Saving Private Rhino.
In case of a rhino emergency, their dedicated Saving Private Rhino staff and veterinarians are able to offer:
• Free telephonic support: 086 11 RHINO (74466)
• Free expert rhino carer dispatched immediately to your reserve.
• If required, free transportation is provided for the orphaned rhino to the safe and secure rhino orphanage. Alternatively, they provide free training to your appropriate reserve personnel to care for the orphan on site.
Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve
This luxury game reserve has implemented a successful conservation project aimed at cheetah rehabilitation and release.
When Aquila Collection took over the ownership of Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve in 2018, the owner Searl Derman announced a strict “no touch” policy at the reserve. He also got industry and conservation partners together to establish an ethics committee to look into the programme, reconsider the mission statement and look at future cheetah conservation efforts.
Today, the programme offers:
Rehabilitation preparation: The purpose of rehabilitation camps is to allow cheetahs to interact with each other in a more natural environment. As a result, three successful litters have been born at Inverdoorn.
Dehumanisation for final release: Stimuli, such as view of prey, running and mating behaviours, are crucial during the final stages of the programme and when cheetahs are ready for release. Three months before their release, the cheetahs partake in full-body diets, fast days are increased, and human contact is restricted.
Fast days and enrichment: The programme includes one fast day per week. These days are vital as they mimic the natural hunting behaviour of the cheetah. In addition, the areas are strategically positioned to provide optimal natural enrichment, including trees for shade, exercise, scratching and water holes.
Cheetah diet: The cheetahs enjoy a varied diet, which includes full feathered birds, red meat, game meat and rabbit. The diet and exercise of cheetahs are vital for rehabilitation.
For further information www.inverdoorn.com