The lion is undeniably one of the most exciting and sort after animals in the Kruger National Park. As with all wildlife, there is no guarantee that you will see all of the animals that you have on your bucket list, but if you plan your trip properly, and if you know where to go, you can greatly increase your chances of seeing what you have come to see
ARC (Aquila Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Conservation Centre) is a non-profit section 21 organisation # 2004/011009/08 - a sanctuary for animals that can never be released into the wild again and a temporary home for those who need attention before being released into the wild.
Aquila has invested over R1million building a large outdoor sanctuary comprising of several 1 hectare fenced camps where once canned lions can now live out the remainder of their lives. ARC is also home to a rescued leopard and a cheetah breeding pair (part of a cheetah breeding programme). Previous released animals include: 3 mountain leopards, numerous lynx, porcupines, owls and many other species.
The “Saving Private Rhino” initiative has been established to ensure the future conservation of Africa’s rhino and wildlife heritage. Aquila was responsible for a R30million ivory arrest, the largest ever in the Western Cape. On a separate occasion, two Zambian nationals were arrested trying to sell a baby rhino horn covered in blood.
As part of a leopard monitoring programme, Aquila staff place cameras at the site of recent kills made by several of the elusive and endangered nocturnal Cape Mountain Leopards that hunt on the Reserve. Owner Derman commented that “it is nice to have a healthy natural predation at Aquila, and although lions, elephants, buffalo and rhino are regularly seen, the leopards are elusive and until now, only spoor, scat and the carcasses of the leopard kills were seen regularly on game drives.
In addition to wildlife conservation, Aquila’s objectives are to develop the local community, both economically and socially and reduce its carbon footprint.