Eco Synergy Tour

Visit Aquila's Eco Synergy Centre

At the core of Aquila Private Game Reserve’s Animal Rescue Centre (ARC) lies the Eco Synergy Systems, a collection of groundbreaking conservation and sustainability projects designed to minimise the reserve’s environmental footprint and establish a self-sustaining ecosystem.

Through innovative waste management programmes, sustainable farming practices, and award-winning recycling initiatives, Aquila’s Eco Synergy Systems strives to create a harmonious balance between human activities, wildlife tourism, and the delicate natural environment.

The Eco Synergy Tour

The Eco Synergy Tour, a complimentary experience for guests at Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa, offers an immersive journey into the heart of the reserve’s award-winning Wildlife Conservation Initiatives and Eco-Synergy Systems.

Guests can witness firsthand the transformative power of modern conservation efforts and discover how the reserve’s innovative aquaponics system harnesses the symbiotic relationship between fish and plants to produce fresh, organic produce while minimising water consumption—a crucial resource in the Karoo. Visitors are also invited to tour the Duckweed Farm, where this fast-growing aquatic plant effectively purifies wastewater, ensuring the preservation of the surrounding ecosystem.

But the Eco Synergy Tour is more than just a glimpse into ARC’s sustainable practices; it is the pursuit of a harmonious relationship between humans and nature, and we encourage all our Big 5 safari guests and wildlife enthusiasts to show their support for a future where conservation and sustainability go hand in hand.

From Farm To Table

Aquila Safaris is committed to sustainability and using fresh, local ingredients. Our organic vegetable gardens and on-site greenhouses supply Aquila’s kitchens with an abundance of fresh produce, herbs, and garnishes—and our homegrown produce features in all the reserve’s restaurant meals, from breakfast to dinner. You’ll find strawberries from our gardens in desserts, crisp salads made with our fresh greens, and hearty soups flavoured with our herbs and seasonal vegetables. Even your cocktails and cold drinks are garnished with mint leaves and lemon slices harvested from the greenhouses.

Aquila's Animal Rescue Centre (ARC) & Eco Synergy Systems

Aquaponics: Creating Waves in the Karoo

The forefront of ARC’s Eco Synergy Systems, the Aquaponics system and Duckweed Farm form a dynamic duo that helps to shape the reserve’s conservation initiatives.

The Aquaponics system, a closed-loop ecosystem that combines fish farming with hydroponic gardening, is a testament to the reserve’s commitment to sustainable practices. Nutrient-rich fish water is circulated through the hydroponic system, providing nourishment for the plants, while the plants, in turn, filter the water, creating a clean environment for the fish. This symbiotic relationship not only produces fresh, organic produce for the reserve’s herbivores but also significantly reduces water consumption.

The Duckweed Farm, another ingenious innovation at ARC, plays a crucial role in the reserve’s efforts to minimize its environmental impact. Duckweed, a fast-growing aquatic plant, is a voracious consumer of nutrients, making it an ideal candidate for wastewater treatment. The duckweed absorbs excess nutrients from the reserve’s wastewater, purifying the water before it is released back into the environment.

Vermiculture: The Wriggly World of Worms

Witness the magic of our award-winning vermiculture system, a vital force in the reserve’s veld regeneration and soil rejuvenation project. Delve into the intricacies of our earthworm composting and waste management system, and understand the pivotal role of our vermiculture initiative in sustaining the ecological balance or ARC’s ecosystem.

Visit ARC: Aquila's Eco Synergy Tour

One of the highlights of the tour is a visit to the reserve’s seasonal produce gardens and greenhouses. This organic and sustainable farming initiative is a testament to ARC’s commitment to using fresh, local ingredients at the reserve; providing a year-round supply of fresh produce, herbs, and garnishes for the reserve’s restaurants and lodges.

Feeding the Local Community

Aquila Private Game Reserve’s dedication to conservation and sustainability extends beyond the boundaries of the reserve, reaching out to empower the neighboring Tows River community and support schools in need. The reserve’s Community Upliftment and Sustainability initiatives are designed to foster a harmonious relationship between the reserve and the surrounding communities, ensuring that the benefits of conservation and sustainability are shared by all. 

A cornerstone of Aquila’s Community Upliftment initiatives is the “food for litter” campaign, a project that has made a significant impact on the lives of local residents, particularly during the harsh winter months. This campaign encourages community members to collect litter from public spaces in exchange for food parcels and meals at ARC’s community ‘soup kitchen’. The Food for Litter feeding programme supplies daily meals for up to 400 children during the winter months.