AUG 6, 2024
Papua New Guinea Expedition
An expedition to PNG means traveling to the stone age and encountering some of the most unique and fascinating wildlife anywhere, including multiple Birds of Paradise species.
New Paths Expeditions has 19 years of experience exploring the remote corners of Papua New Guinea. We have used our vast knowledge on the Island to craft the ideal itinerary, one that will expose you to the natural and cultural wonders of the land of the unexpected.
After we arrive in the Islands’ capital, Port Moresby, we will fly to the tropical forest to navigate the Sepik River remote headwaters on board a very comfortable 16-guest ship. The main objective of our voyage is to encounter the Crocodile men and their Spirit Houses.
Later, at Karawari River, we will search for the fantastic Twelve wired Bird of Paradise, meet former cannibal tribes, and learn about the Kamongabi spirit.
Then it is to the beautiful Tari Highlands to meet the complex culture of the Huli Wigmen and birdwatch at the impressive Tari Gap for more species of Birds of Paradise.
Our last destination is Mount Hagen, where we will birdwatch for more Bird of Paradise species, meet the local tribes, enjoy superb nature hikes, and participate in a private Sing-sing, all this before experiencing the biggest tribal gathering in the world, Mount Hagen Sing-sing.
Papua New Guinea is a destination reserved for experienced travelers. We guarantee it will change the way you see our world -and remain in your heart- forever.
SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EXPEDITION
- Port Moresby tour
- Pre-Hagen Sing Sing (Intimate and with fewer tourists)
- The Mount Hagen Sing Sing (The biggest tribal event on Earth)
- Tari Gap for Birds of Paradise and other wildlife
- Huli Wigmen
- Crocodile Men of the Sepik Headwaters
- Enjoy birding in search of Birds of Paradise
- Sepik Spirit Navigation
- Upper Karawari River & Lodge and more
- Amazing private flights
Exploring PNG is traveling to the stone age, and to enjoy one of the most magnificent wildlife anywhere
Daniel M – Houston. TX
If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!
A 14 DAY EXPEDITION TO MEET CROCODILE PEOPLE, THE HULI WIGMEN, SEARCH FOR BIRDS OF PARADISE, JOIN THE BIGGEST TRIBAL GATHERING IN THE WORLD, AND MUCH MORE FROM US$ 11963.00 EXCLUDING FLIGHTS
Itinerary in Brief
Arrive in Port Moresby
Arrive today in Port Moresby. After clearing immigration and customs and exiting the arrival lounge, you will meet our representatives and check in at the Airways Hotel, the best hotel in Papua New Guinea, located just 5 minutes from the airport.
In the afternoon, your senior leader will provide a complete expedition briefing and orientation, followed by a short tour of the National Museum and Art Gallery and a visit to Port Moresby National Park.
Afterward, return to your hotel for dinner and rest.
Overnight at Airways Hotel Dakota Wing (D)
Charter Flight to Karawari – Embark Sepik Spirit
Transfer from your hotel to Jackson’s airport for your flight to Mt Hagen. At Mount Hagen, connect with your private chartered flight to Karawari, an amazing morning flight over the highlands that later descends to the tropical rain forest of the Karawari River. Upon landing, we embark on jet boats for travel to the junction of the Karawari and Krosmary Rivers, where we plan to arrive in time for lunch on board the Sepik Spirit. This river cruiser will be our home for the next 3 days and nights. Inspired by the spirit houses of the native tribes, this is a small, intimate, and unique-looking ship, and the only one that allows for exploration of these very remote waterways.
Overnight at Sepik Spirit (B, L, D)
Day 3 & 4
Explore the Head Waters of the Sepik River
We will use these two days to explore, on our jet boats, the remote villages found on the headwaters of the Sepik River. Among the people we meet will be the Crocodile People, who were formerly cannibals. These people scar themselves in a ceremonial process to honor their totem, the crocodile, and also their ancestors. We will even be invited into the most sacred of their places – their spirit houses. If you are an art lover, you will also find traditional art to add to your collection.
Needless to say, birdwatching is fantastic both on the river and in the areas surrounding the clan villages, and we will hopefully see more birds of paradise.
Overnight at Sepik Spirit (B, L, D)
Explore the Nature and Cultures of Karawari
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Karawari Lodge. Karawari Lodge, poised on the ridge overlooking the river and jungle-clad Sepik Basin, is a world entirely unique. The real fascinations here are the people and how they live with the land and how it molds their lives. They still live as they have for generations – rituals, sing- sings, storytelling, food gathering, and preparation. With Karawari’s carefully planned cultural program, daily visits in riverboats are made to selected villages allowing one the opportunity to be able to observe village life and customs, participate in typical daily activities and see traditional ceremonies. We will visit remote jungle waterways where we will find huge lichen and vine – festooned trees, masses of brilliant flame flowers, and a profusion of orchids. The soft dawn glimmers on these waterways and the vast plain erupts with a myriad of birds – the raucous jungle music. Dug-out canoes glide close by the river banks – stilt villages suddenly spring insight along the flowing waters. Here we will see the man and the environment as it has been for thousands of years. We also have the possibility to birdwatch for the Twelve Wired Bird of Paradise!
Overnight at Karawari Lodge (B, L, D)
Chartered flight to Tari – Home of the Huli
Among the highlights of this expedition are the small aircraft flights that will allow us to observe the mountains and forests of Papua New Guinea from the air. After breakfast, we will embark on our first flight towards the Tari Highlands, the territory of the Huli Wigmen.
Depending on the weather, we will either land at Ambua Lodge or at Tari Town. The latter landing will necessitate a drive of 1 1⁄2 hours to the lodge.
The Ambua Lodge is located at 7,000 feet in the Tari Gap region and borders on pristine mid-montane rainforest grading into the valley grasslands. Spring-like temperatures are the norm, as well as magnificent views of the Tari Valley. The forest canopy, a dense mass of interlocking tree tops spreads out like a green carpet with the occasional splash of bright color to provide an exhilarating setting for venturing along the graded nature trails. You’ll have the fun of crossing traditional vine bridges and discovering secluded waterfalls. Your guide will instruct you in the ways the Huli people utilize the abundant natural resources, as well as pointing out the variety of plants and animals in the forest.
The nature walk will also increase your chances of seeing up to 13 species of birds of paradise found in the vicinity of the lodge. Birds of paradise mostly display during the late afternoon, so you may be lucky enough to see the King-of-Saxony, Stephanie’s astrapia, ribbontail astrapia, and sicklebill birds of paradise during this time period.
Overnight at Ambua Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 7 & 8
Tari, Land of the Huli and Birds of Paradise
The great Tari Basin, with its surrounding mountain slopes, is the home of the Huli clans, one of the largest ethnic groups in the Southern Highlands, and one of the most culturally intact in PNG. Only discovered by the outside world in 1935, the Huli were one of the last indigenous tribes to come under government control. Fierce in warfare and merciless to opposing clans, the Huli dig huge trenches with wooden paddles to delineate clan boundaries, control the movement of pigs, and as secret passageways for warriors during clan battles.
Renowned for their elaborate wigs decorated with everlasting flowers and bird of paradise feathers, the Huli will provide you with a unique and unforgettable cultural experience, and a journey back in time. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and interact with these proud people and experience their traditional way of life, which is still governed by their belief in ancestral spirits and sorcery.
Our two days at the lodge will be filled with early birding excursions, both at the lodge and the Tari Gap, then visits to the Huli Wigmen until it’s time for lunch, when we will return to Ambua. Afternoons can involve nature walks, birding, or more interactions with Huli men and women. And of course, you will always be able to enjoy the amazing views and gardens of Ambua Lodge.
Overnight at Ambua Lodge (B, L, D)
To the Highlands on a Private Flight – Nature Walk
Early morning breakfast and check out for your room. Transfer to the airport in time for your charter flight to Mt. Hagen over vast tracts of highlands grasslands, besides some of the tallest mountains in the country. This is a spectacular flight. Mount Hagen town is in the upper Waghi Valley – some of the oldest evidence of agriculture in the world. Once in Mount Hagen, enjoy a scenic drive up the mountains to the beautiful Rondon Ridge Lodge. The views and nature that surround it are simply amazing. An afternoon guided nature walk and birding tour will enable you to explore the area surrounding the Lodge grounds in search of Birds of Paradise.
Overnight at Rondon Ridge (B, L, D)
The Melpa People
Today will take you on a journey through the traditions and customs of the Melpa People.
The first contact with the Melpa was made in the mid-1930. The Melpa people are “true farmers” who maintain traditional farming methods that can be traced back 9,000 years.
The visit will bring you to local villages where the villagers will share their fascinating tribal traditions, such as the rites of widowed women, the ceremonies surrounding marriage and
funerals, the rules of tribal warfare, and the daily customs of the Melpa people.
This area is also the home of the famous Pogla Mudmen, famed for their unique bilas (traditional dress) and the ancient story surrounding it.
Overnight at Rondon Ridge (B, L, D)
Pre-Show Sing Sing
In preparation to the Mount Hagen Sing Sing (Show), this gathering is attended by over 100 men and women from more than 10 tribes scattered across the highlands and mainland coastal areas. While this sing sing is relatively small in comparison to others, we will be more than compensated not only by the beautiful setting, including the stunning village location, but also by the absence of crowds of tourists; this is a meaningful, friendlier, and intimate experience for all of us.
We will be able to watch the participants prepare their bilas, or traditional dress, paint their faces and bodies, and embellish themselves with bird of paradise feathers. The group will be able to mingle with the performers and take their pictures. Once the dancing begins, we will really be able to appreciate these preparations and take part in the festivities.
Overnight at Rondon Ridge (B, L, D)
Mount Hagen Sing Sing – Back to Port Moresby
This is one of the greatest experiences of your life. After breakfast, you will be transferred from the lodge to the showground in Mount Hagen. Today you will spend the full day at the Mount Hagen Show – world-famous for its color, culture, and vibrancy. It is a truly spectacular event where 60 to 100 tribes (Thousands of participants, all dressed in traditional customs and body paintings). The diversity of the coastal, lowland and highlands sing sing groups at the Hagen show reflects the incredible diversity of Papua New Guinea’s landscape – an unforgettable experience to all the senses, and a photographer’s dream. After the show experience, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight from Mt. Hagen to Port Moresby. Upon arrival, transfer to your modern and very comfortable hotel, located just 5 minutes away from the airport.
Overnight at Airways Hotel Dakota Wing (B, L, D)
Explore Port Moresby
After breakfast, visit the National Botanical Gardens now changed into Nature Park; and the Hanuabada (big village) to see the collection of ramshackle houses built on stilts.
Once back at the hotel and after time to relax, enjoy a cocktail and farewell dinner.
Overnight at Airways Hotel Dakota Wing (B, D)
Fly Back Home
Transfer from your hotel to Jackson’s airport for your international flight. (B)
Airways Hotel – Port Moresby
This is the best hotel in all of Papua New Guinea. Located just 5 minutes from the airport, it not only has modern facilities but also lovely surrounding vistas. We have blocked rooms in the Bacchus Wing on the ground floor, and these are comfortable rooms with air conditioning, a safety deposit box, and modern bathrooms with all the needed amenities. The restaurants and bars on the hotel’s upper floor provide great views and the best food in the country. The Airways includes a gym and shops where fine and tribal art objects, as well as souvenirs, are available. WiFi is available in the guest rooms and lobby, but it can be slow or fail altogether temporarily.
Ambua Lodge – Tari Gap
Located at 7,000 feet in the middle of the cloud forest, Ambua Lodge not only offers beautiful common areas and fantastic food but is rightfully considered to be the best accommodation in the Tari area. The lodge staff is composed mainly of local people and is known for providing warm and friendly service. The rooms are simple, but come with electricity, electric blankets, and hot running water. There could be temporary power outages, but these do not interfere with the enjoyment of the stay, and generally service is restored quickly. The lodge gardens are simply beautiful, and the grounds and nearby nature walks provide excellent birding opportunities.
Mount Hagen – Rondon Ridge
Rondon Ridge is located 7,100ft above sea level on the fringes of the Kubor mountain range. With panoramic views of the Wahgi Valley down below, it is a great location for an exploration of the Highlands.
The lodge is a 40-minute drive from Mt Hagen town and features 24 rooms with modern en-suite bathrooms. Electricity is generated from the lodge’s own hydroelectric power plant which harnesses the power of a nearby mountain stream. There is also a bright and spacious restaurant and lounge area overlooking the forest.
Sepik Spirit – Sepik River
The Sepik Spirit is the best, and the only ship that navigates the headwaters of the Sepik River. This is a comfortable ship designed to look like a tribal spirit house and features artistic, handcrafted woodwork made by the local tribes. Air conditioning is available in all the guest rooms and the common areas. Rooms have comfortable beds, large windows, and ensuite bathrooms with hot running water. The food aboard the ship is good and the lounge cozy and relaxing. The Sepik Spirit is equipped with jet boats for exploration (please be aware that jet boat engines are loud and vibrate, so if you have sensitive ears, please include earplugs in your luggage).
Karawari Lodge – Karawari
Perched high on the banks of the remote Karawari River, and built to resemble a spirit house, the Karawari Lodge includes an impressive collection of tribal art as well as providing beautiful vistas, especially the unforgettable, color-saturated sunsets. The lodge rooms are basic, with fans and mosquito nets. Electricity is spotty, and although it is a beautiful property, because of the rusticity of the rooms, we are staying here only one night. However, your stay will be unforgettable in a good way.
With 21 years of experience exploring and photographing Papua New Guinea, Jorge is one of the most experienced Leaders on the Island. An honorary member of two clans, Jorge has explored the remote corners of PNG and guarantees access to the best that the country has to offer. He is a recognized travel photographer and author, published by Smithsonian, WWF among many others.
Jorge is the Founder and President of NPE.
Departure Dates & Rates
Aug 6, 2024
Note: All prices are in US$, per person, and based on double occupancy.
*Domestic Air prices are estimated and may change due to cost variation by the airlines.
** Some special conditions apply, please check the single supplement section of the expedition booklet by downloading the complete details.
The expedition needs 8 guests to depart.
Included in the Land Cost:
- 24/7 services of a Senior Leader during the expedition.
- Services of English-speaking local guides and naturalists.
- All ground transportation (including airport transfers) if arriving on day one, and leaving on the last day (If you arrive before day 1, or leave after the expedition ended, extra charges for airport transfers may apply).
- Accommodations as noted.
- All sightseeing, entrance fees, and visits as noted.
- Meals as noted.
- Bottled water during meals, transfers, and tours.
- Services of transfer assistants, drivers, and local staff.
- Gratuities for luggage porters, transfer assistants, and restaurant staff.
- International flights.
- Excess baggage charges.
- Gratuity for Local Guides; Drivers and Expedition Leader.
- Personal expenses and incidentals, such as, but not limited to, phone calls, e-mail, and laundry.
- Trip cancellation, travel delay, and baggage loss insurance.
Deposits and final payments:
- A deposit of US $1,500.00 per participant is required at the time of booking.
- The remaining balance will be charged 120 days before the expedition begins.
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