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Ecotourism doyens champion water conservation at Mount Anderson Water Reserve

Michael and Norma Rattray, doyens of the South African ecotourism industry, are now focusing their energy into developing and managing Mount Anderson Water Reserve, after 52 years at the helm of the MalaMala Game Reserve.
The Mount Anderson Water Reserve, in 1990, was successfully proclaimed South Africa’s first private water catchment reserve. The reserve comprises 7,300ha of wilderness in the mountain landscape above Mashashing (formerly Lydenburg), Mpumalanga. Michael Rattray purchased the reserve in the 1980s in an attempt to restore it from domestic overgrazing to its original ecological splendor.

At the official opening of the reserve he said, “My vision is the proclamation and restoration of the river catchments of the entire eastern escarpment of Mpumalanga province. Water for the people of the province will be our priority. Water in the rivers for our wildlife in the Kruger National Park is our responsibility and water for the citizens of Mozambique our obligation.”

Unique vegetation, rare wildlife


Mount Anderson Water Reserve protects not only some of the major river catchments that are the lifeblood of all the local communities and the Kruger National Park, but also carries some of the most unique vegetation in the country together with rare and endangered wildlife, such as the oribi, eland and black wildebeest that the Rattrays have successfully re-introduced. The fortunate guest may also have a glimpse of the secretive leopards, brown hyenas and aardwolfs. Recently, a new species of the Callipses flower was discovered, named after Norma Rattray as “Callipses Normae”.

“We felt it fitting, particularly in the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, to open up the reserve as part of our ongoing effort to restore and protect one of South Africa’s most unique private nature and water reserves whilst providing an exclusive and meaningful experience for visitors. We look forward to welcoming guests to Mount Anderson and sharing this pristine wilderness experience,” concludes Rattray.
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