THE RIDGE WALK
The vast bulk of the land, the ridge will remain relatively untouched, preserving as much habitat as possible for a ‘biodiversity refuge’. An ecological study identified numerous rare trees, plants, ferns and orchids, along with considerable birdlife and wildlife, including porcupines, pangolins, wild boar, pythons, cobras, giant squirrels, ring-tailed civets and two species of endemic monkey. By maintaining the boundaries and adjoining land, we hope to protect many of these from illegal poaching and ensure them a place of refuge for the future.
A number of paths wind their way up, down and around the ridge, but all start or finish from the T-Shed, or the top access to the Banyan Tree. Vistas have been opened up at strategic points, to take full advantage of the spectacular views in each direction. Apart from modest thinning in places for our timber needs, or removing an invasive species for cattle fodder, the rest will be left as it is.
The paths and terraces wind to the crest of the ridge and all along the top, taking one through a Forest of Tea, the long neglected bushes now over twenty feet tall. Albizzias, kitul palms, jak, rubber and breadfruit trees tower above, along with other rare endemic hardwoods like goraka.
Hiking up and down the ridge can be done quickly in half an hour, or extended to a much longer amble, virtually all of it shaded. By taking in the Bowl and the River Walk, a hike of at least three hours is possible, without leaving the land. By taking in a swim in either the river or the lake, this can comfortably stretch to five or more, suitable for a morning, an afternoon or even a whole day.