Michael and Norma Rattray, have “retired” after 52 years at the helm of the MalaMala Game Reserve, and will be focusing their energy into developing and managing Mount Anderson Water Reserve in Mpumalanga, where the luxury lodge, Golden Cottage, is situated.
The lodge is in a secluded valley overlooking trout ponds and offers exclusive-use accommodation for a maximum of 12 guests.
Activities, always conducted by an experienced guide, include trout fishing, wildlife safaris on foot or four-wheel-drive vehicles, horse-riding, mountain-bike riding, hiking to waterfalls, visits to San rock paintings, Pedi tribe ruins or gold mining relics, and picnics at one of the reserve’s lakes with zip-lining and row boating on offer.
To assist with marketing and reservations, the Rattrays have brought their youngest daughter, Sarah Wilson, on board, who has worked in the African tourism industry for some years. The reserve is managed by Trent Sinclair assisted by his wife Monica. Trent and Monica have worked for the Rattrays at MalaMala and have been at Mount Anderson for many years.
“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,” said Rattray.
Mount Anderson Water Reserve comprises 7 300ha of wilderness above Mashashing (formerly Lydenburg), Mpumalanga, and was purchased by Michael Rattray in the 1980s in an attempt to restore it from domestic overgrazing to its original ecological splendour. Today the reserve protects some of the major river catchments in the area, while rare and endangered wildlife, such as the oribi, eland and Black wildebeest have been successfully re-introduced. It is also home to species including leopards, Brown hyenas and the aardwolf. Recently, a new species of the Callipses flower was discovered 100 metres from Golden Cottage. It has been named Callipses Normae after Norma Rattray.
MalaMala Game Reserve was the subject of a land claim process that began in December 1998 and in 2013 was sold and then transferred to the N’wandlamharhi Community Property Association.