Mount Anderson Ranch
of Lowveld Game Reserves ©MalaMala
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MOUNT ANDERSON RANCH RATES: Mount Anderson Ranch Rates
ANDERSON RANCH, DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS, MPUMALANGA,
in the dramatic highveld of the Drakensberg Mountains
of the Mpumalanga Province (which sweep up to the 7,500-ft
Mount Anderson Peak), this 8,000 ha / 20,000 acre property
in the catchments of the Kruger National Park provides
an exclusive location for an unforgettable fishing
and wildlife getaway. No less than five major rivers
rise on the ranch providing magnificent trout fishing
facilities, a wide variety of fauna and flora, and
a remarkable selection of indigenous game and birdlife.
Proclaimed in 1990 as a water conservancy, this
unique venture provides environmental protection
to Africa's high altitude flora and fauna.
Guests at Mount Anderson Ranch can enjoy a wide
diversity of activities in the company of a qualified
A compatible consequence
of protecting the water catchments has been the
outstanding trout fishing available on the property.
There are extensive fishing opportunities for Brown
and Rainbow trout with a total of 24 weirs, a large
lake and long river catchments. The quality and
diversity of the trout fishing suits all levels
of ability from beginner to the more experienced.
fly-fishing rods and reels are available.
A wildlife safari,
conducted in a 4-wheel drive vehicle or on horseback,
in the mountains surrounding the homestead will
yield herds of Africa's less famous antelope, including
eland, black wildebeest, blesbok, mountain reedbuck
and oribi. Catch a brief glimpse of predators such
as the elusive leopard, jackal or caracal. Whilst
you might occasionally hear baboons barking from
the cliff tops, the only disturbance to the solitude
of one's trout fishing experience is caused by
Africa's game approaching the streams to drink.
Indigenous birdlife includes the brilliant malachite
sunbird, the Cape vulture, the fish eagle and numerous
species of francolin.
The relics of the
gold mining era of the 1920's and 1930's still
remain on the property and many workings are easily
visible. Old miners' houses, a mining press and
deep level shafts bear witness to the harshness
of the conditions in which the pioneers worked.
Guests may explore these old gold mine workings
and shafts and even try their hand at panning for
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Mount Anderson must be booked
in entirety by groups of six or less.
Guests stay in the lovely Golden Cottage. This
pink stone, ranch-style homestead situated in the
Krantzkloof valley on Mount Anderson Ranch, is totally
secluded and tastefully furnished to the highest
standards. The Cottage consists of two buildings,
one containing 2 bedrooms and the other, the main
building, housing the lounges, dining and
living areas, plus the third bedroom. The limited
number of six guests have exclusive use of the entire
ranch, together with their own team of staff, which
gives the feeling of being in a private, luxurious
is in three double luxury suites, all with en-suite
bathrooms. In addition, there are two elegant,
spacious lounges, a dining room, fully equipped
snooker room and a terrace overlooking the
tiered trout ponds, which offer stunning views,
particularly at sunset.
No children under the age of 12
years are allowed at Mount Anderson Ranch.
3 Luxury, double/twin bedrooms.
En-suite bathroom with separate shower.
Full range of guest amenities.
Heated towel rails.
Insect proof screening on
all windows and sliding doors.
Insect repellent supplied in all bedrooms.
Supply of up-to-date magazines in all bedrooms.
Private verandahs overlooking the surrounding
Complimentary bottled Mount Anderson Spring water
in each bedroom.
International direct dial telephone available
- 24 hour service.
Facsimile facilities are available.
24-hour air-conditioning and heating.
Separate tour guides' accommodation (B grade).
Complimentary laundry service.
Complimentary bar service.
Television (with Satellite)
inclusive of all meals, snacks and drinks (SA brands
only), game drives, fly fishing, horse riding
and laundry. Children under 12 years of age are
not permitted at Mount Anderson Ranch.
All meals and snacks.
Game drives in a 4-wheel
drive vehicle, conducted by an experienced ranger.
Trout fishing including necessary
Game walks accompanied by
Laundry service available
(min. 2 nights only).
Transfer to and from Lydenburg
Clay Pigeon Shooting.
Travel to and from
Sumptuous hearty meals are the order of the day.
The management at Mount Anderson try request detailed
personalized information on each client prior to
their arrival in terms of their tastes and preferences
so that all meals may be catered accordingly... a
truly special dining experience awaits!
at Mount Anderson Ranch have a wide variety of activities to choose from,
ranging from those that cater for the highly energetic; hiking and horse
riding to the more sedate pastimes of trout fishing, clay pigeon shooting,
going on a game drive or exploring the old gold mining village.
who just want to relax, there is a diverse assortment of reading material
available and you are encouraged to make yourself comfortable on the
patio and just enjoy the view and the tranquil montane setting.
Rangers - The Ranch
rangers are employed for their knowledge of the African bush and the
surrounding area and their ability to communicate with people. They
are highly qualified, formally trained men who are thoroughly conversant
with all aspects of ecology. Apart from conducting informative game
drives, the ranger is the guests' host for the duration of their stay.
Climate - The climate
over most of southern Africa is temperate. However, because Mount Anderson
Ranch is located at high altitude, temperatures tend to be cooler than
in most other areas. The summers tend to be mild with heavy afternoon
thunderstorms being commonplace and winters are generally cold with
snow falling occasionally. Rainfall occurs mostly during the summer
months (October - March).
Dress Code - The dress
code is casual but a sweater may be required at anytime, whilst during
the winter months (May to September) very warm clothes including a
windbreaker (anorak) are essential. Please
note: Mount Anderson do request that gentlemen wear slacks to dinner.
The spectacular habitats of Mount Anderson support
a wide variety of plant and animal species. At the higher altitudes,
water oozes from sponges or from between rock fissures creating marshes.
There are also beautiful kloofs, which are home to some splendid patches
of indigenous forest. These are fortunately still intact and here one
finds some magnificent trees.
In summer the beautiful greeny-blue Malachite
Sunbirds abound as do the uncommon Gurney's Sugarbird. Both species
visit the Protea trees and the aloes for nectar and are a magnificent
sight while they do so. Raptors can frequently be seen circling the
sky, as can swallows and swifts. Rustling among the long grass are
francolins, including the unusual greywing and redwing species.
value of Mount Anderson as an exceptional environment in South Africa
lies in the high altitude sponges or bogs from which the clear streams
rise. These marshes harbour shrews and moles and are popular habitats
for frogs, including Common Toads (Bufo gutturalis). Dragonflies are
invariably about on warm days, when at rest their wings in a forward
position. Damselflies also occur, more sedentary than dragonflies and
remaining stationary on reeds for long periods with wings folded back
along the length of their body.
Mount Anderson Ranch has been re-stocked
with a number of species of game that formerly occurred in substantial
numbers before commercial hunters brought destruction to the wildlife
herds of southern Africa in the nineteenth century. Because of its
remote location, the Mount Anderson district was once home to some
of the last specimens of big game. Some of the farm names in the vicinity
bear testimony to the sad demise of the wildlife frontier. Olifantsgeraamte
- the elephant's skeleton - south-east of Mount Anderson Ranch is reputed
to have been where the last elephant in the district was shot, while
the neighbouring farm Rhenosterhoek is supposed to have been where
Petrus Coetzer shot the last rhinoceros in the 1870's.
Dominating an extensive and rugged
area, the summit of Mount Anderson appears to the Ranch visitor in its
imposing grandeur. In the 1920's Prime Minister Jan Smuts wrote that the
tremendous escarpment around Mount Anderson contained some of the most
magnificent scenery of the whole African continent'. Now encircled by a
modern road system but still isolated and inaccessible, Mount Anderson
has been in the center of the vortex of Transvaal natural and human history.
The beauty of Mount Anderson is enhanced by its immense hydrological
significance. It is, quite literally, the wellspring of the water supply
of Mpumalanga. Near its summit gather the principal drainage lines and
headwaters of rivers which flow both east and west - the Ohrigstad, the
Klein Spekboom and the Spekboom, the Kliprots, the Kranskloof, the Sabie,
the Treur and the Blyde. Many of these rivers tumble down the cliffs
of the escarpment in spectacular waterfalls - Mount Anderson, Bridal
Veil, Horseshoe. The high altitude brings with it a cool climate throughout
the year and high rainfall, often in the form of heavy mist.
The rivers originate in springs which ooze from high altitude bogs or
sponges and the hillsides glisten with sheets of water. The streams are
clear and fast-flowing, plunging down over rocks in waterfalls and rapids.
Trees line the stream beds and ferns overhang the waterfalls, and birdlife
and wild flowers are abundant. Today, as a Water Catchment Reserve, Mount
Anderson Ranch is little disturbed by man, and wildlife such as eland,
blesbok, mountain reedbuck and zebra take refuge in its seclusion. Wild
flowers, including some rare alpine species and a close relative of South
Africa's national flower, the Protea, flourish in the veld, on the sides
of the mountains and along the edges of the streams.
Mount Anderson also has an interesting
and complex geology. The summit region is rich in minerals, including
both valuable gold and rare titanite. In the 1870s it was part of the
first South African gold rush, and in the 1920s and 1930s Mount Anderson
had a brief gold rush of its own when the Mount Anderson Gold Field
supported prosperous little mines such as Golden Hill, Jackpot, Little
Joker, Formosa and Finsbury. The abandoned workings can still be seen
and they provide a window into the fascinating human drama that digging
for riches in this craggy landscape entailed.
The name of Mount Anderson commemorates two Irish brothers who were
both surveyors in the Transvaal: William Alfred Blackburn Anderson and
Harry Mitchell Anderson. In 1883 William surveyed the boundaries of the
farm Hartebeesvlakte 163JT, which borders on Mount Anderson Ranch and
gave his name to the peak of Mount Anderson (which is actually on the
farm Mountain Top). At 2284m, Mount Anderson was for many years thought
to be the highest point in the Transvaal but a resurvey done some decades
ago showed that De Berg (2331m) in the Steenkampsberg to the west, was
Mount Anderson Ranch comprises three old Transvaal settler farms, Kranskloof
554KT, Kliprots 558KT and 158JT and Goedverwacht 152JT.
Michael Rattray's family has for a
period of 34 years owned MalaMala Game
Reserve in the Mpumalanga Lowveld,
adjoining the Kruger National Park. Prior to this, Mr Rattray's association
with The Kruger National Park extends as far back as 1938. During this
time, as a consumer of water both directly for his camps and indirectly
for the wildlife that drinks from the rivers flowing through these wildlife
properties, he has watched concerned, as the river levels dropped lower
each year. In the winter of 1982 the perennial Sand River on Mala Mala
stopped flowing for the first time in living memory. Whilst the flow resumed
again in the wet summer months, the Sand River assumed non-perennial status
and flowed intermittently each year thereafter during the dry winter period.
This is the unfortunate state of affairs with most of The Kruger National
Park's rivers and it is vital that something is done to reverse this trend.
The continual decline in instream flows must impact negatively on wildlife
biodiversity in parks such as The Kruger National Park with a possible
worst case scenario being the resultant decline in tourism numbers.
In 1990 Michael
Rattray exercised options on 8000 hectares (20 000 acres) of land
in the Lydenburg district and the consolidation of these properties
created Mount Anderson Ranch. At 2000m (6500ft) above sea level in the
river catchment areas of the Blyde river system of the Eastern Transvaal,
it was the start of his contribution to serious water conservation and
the simultaneous protection of indigenous highveld fauna and flora. Mount
Anderson Ranch derives its name from the highest peak in Mpumalanga,
namely Mount Anderson, which at 7500ft forms the most southern point
of the property.
His first response to this land acquisition was the removal of all exotic
livestock. The use of these former summer grazing areas for sheep and
cattle had denuded the flora and in turn damaged the catchment areas
of the five rivers that rise on the property. Overgrazing of the grass
cover had seriously affected the water retaining sponges, but the simple
removal of bulk indiscriminate grazers, restored the rivers to produce
a strong year round flow. Michael Rattray's passion for new forms of
conservation and his vision and commitment, was his reasoning behind
acquiring the source of the rivers where some misinformed farmers were
inflicting much of the damage.
The Mount Anderson Water Catchment Reserve was formed and proclaimed
in 1993. A process whereby the negative effects of overgrazing and inadequate
road maintenance had caused soil erosion was immediately addressed and
resulted in a short period, in the most severe thunderstorms producing
crystal clear water. A comprehensive exotic plant eradication program
was also initiated with the removal of all plants and trees not indigenous
to the area. Exotic vegetation that was removed included eucalyptus,
wattle, and pine.
The necessity to protect catchments is borne out of the fact that 80%
of any river's flow emanates from 20% of its most upstream area.
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of Mpumalanga Province
tourist information and activities in the
Mpumalanga Province, click More
For further information about Kruger National Park, click More
For further information about South Africa, click More