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adventure travel trip to Papua New Guinea
Meet and chat with a Huli Wigman of New Guinea
  • Privately on Request
  • Duration 12 days
    Group Size 8-15
    Land Cost $7,060 Details
    Single Supplement $2,375 Details
    Lodging 3 stars
    Grade I-II
    Best Time

    Sepik Highlands Odyssey

    Nature and culture exploration based in Papua New Guinea's finest lodges

    Day 1      Port Moresby / Mt. Hagen

    Upon your arrival in Port Moresby, you will be met by our local staff and transferred to your flight from Port Moresby to Mt. Hagen. Mt. Hagen is in the upper Wahgi Valley - a valley with some of the oldest evidence of agriculture in the world. Perched high on Mt. Kuta is Rondon Ridge, with unbelievable views of the Wahgi Valley. Stay overnight at the Rondon Ridge Hotel for the next three nights.



    Meals: Dinner
    Lodging: Rondon Ridge

    Enjoy stunning mountain scenery
    Day 2-3      Mt. Hagen

    Spend two full days exploring the Mt. Hagen area and Wahgi Valley. The Mt. Hagen area is the home of the Melpa people, a people with a strong culture, who, in the face of modernity, still live largely traditional subsistence lifestyles. In the mountains surrounding the Wahgi Valley live a stunning array of bird, orchid, and plant life.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Rondon Ridge

    Keep an eye out for the cassowary
    Day 4      Karawari

    As you fly by charter aircraft from Mt. Hagen to Karawari, the mountains start to give way until vast tracts of dense tropical lowland rainforest cover the landscape for as far as the eye can see. From the Karawari airstrip, you will be transferred by riverboat and by four-wheel drive vehicle to Karawari Lodge. Sitting on a ridge above the Karawari River, Karawari Lodge boasts a spectacular view over hundreds of miles of dense tropical jungle. The Karawari Lodge was inspired by local architecture and was built with traditional materials, yet still provides modern comforts.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Karawari Lodge

    Karawari Lodge Photo by S. Moffitt
    Day 5      Karawari

    Wake up to the chattering of lorikeets and eclectus parrots. After breakfast, enjoy touring programs that provide insight into the amazing ecology and culture of the Karawari area. You will be in the middle of Arambak country, where locals pole dugout canoes, the drums throb, the wild birds call, and traditional village lifestyles continue unchanged.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Karawari Lodge

    Watch locals pole their dugout canoes along
    Day 6      Sepik River Region

    Fly to Timbunke. Transfer from Timbunke airstrip to our floating lodge, the Sepik Spirit. The lodge is based in the village Kaminimbit I. Inspired by the architecture of the "haus tambaran," or spirit house, the MV Sepik Spirit has a truly unique design.

    Begin your voyage of discovery into the mystical world of the Sepik with a slow jet-boat cruise to the air-conditioned comfort of the Sepik Spirit. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon tour to Kaminimbit I, Kaminimbit II, and Kororua Village. While touring the mighty Sepik, visit villages where the people are prolific and famous carvers. Here you can purchase many interesting items such as masks, elaborately carved hooks, ancestral figures, hand drums, baskets, bilums and gourds.

    The Sepik River is one of the largest rivers in the world - in terms of flow. Steeped in mystery, the peoples of the Sepik area have fascinated anthropologists like Margaret Mead since the area was first visited.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sepik Spirit

    Sepik River Cruise Photo by S. Moffitt
    Day 7-8      Sepik River

    Two full days are spent exploring the many waterways of the Sepik and its tributaries, including visits to traditional Sepik Villages.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sepik Spirit

    Look for fellow river travelers
    Day 9      Tari Valley

    Fly by charter aircraft to the Ambua airstrip over some of the most rugged and impressive landscapes in the world. The country between Ambua and the Sepik region is an amazing array of jagged limestone that seems to rise and drop at impossible angles. Ambua Lodge is high on the slopes of the Tari Valley, which is the home of the Huli Wigmen, a colorful and elaborate people, who are still largely living the same way their ancestors did. These proud warriors have great reverence for birds, imitating them in ceremonial dances and decorating their wigs with feathers, flowers, and cuscus fur. The wigs are woven from human hair, daisies are cultivated for use in the wigs, and male dancers paint their faces with yellow ochre. The women, by contrast, wear black for their weddings and coat themselves with blue-gray clay when mourning. This is one of the few places where the traditional way of life can be seen in everyday living. Men and women can still be seen wearing traditional dress, tending to their gardens and pigs, and building their huts from bush materials. Enjoy an afternoon guided nature walk through the alpine forest looking for the exotic bird of paradise.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Ambua Lodge

    Observe traditional celebrations Photo by S. Moffitt
    Day 10      Tari

    A full day of ecological and culturally-based touring is sure to satiate those yearning for discovery. For the adventurous, there is an opportunity to have a bona fide village experience. Enjoy the day exploring the natural wonders of the Tari Valley area, which is home to an incredible 13 species of birds of paradise as well as numerous unique orchid species.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Ambua Lodge

    Tari Valley area Photo by S. Moffitt
    Day 11      Mt. Hagen / Port Moresby

    As your odyssey draws to a close, you depart the Ambua airstrip on a flight to Mt. Hagen and then your flight onward airport to Port Moresby. You will be met in Port Moresby and transferred to the Airways Hotel for your overnight stay.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Airways Hotel

    Airways Hotel
    Day 12      Port Moresby / Onward

    You will be transferred to the airport for your onward international flight.

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