Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the Asia-Pacific region’s most varied and least explored country. This British Commonwealth territory, which earned independence from Australia in 1975, was formerly a German colony and has always piqued the interest of tourists and explorers. By 2011, it had become the world’s sixth fastest-growing economy, owing primarily to its extensive mining and natural resource industries.
PNG has approximately 600 islands and over 800 distinct ethnic groups, each with its own dialect, art, music, dance, dress, and architecture. Over 95 percent of the nearly 6 million people are Christians; however, many also practice indigenous animism. Until 1933, seashells were the official money. PNG is less than a tenth the size of Australia, yet it contains the same number of animal species. This is a location where kangaroos dwell in trees, and marsupials abound.
PNG has lush rainforests, flooded deltas, virgin highlands, dense jungles, active volcanoes, and stunning mountains (the highest peak is 14,793 feet). Military historians will enjoy seeing different places where severe battles occurred during World War II, particularly in and around Rabaul. Among the locations are Alotau, the Sing Sing festivals at Mount Hagan, Goroka, world-class diving in Madang, Simbai/Kaironk Valley, Ambunti, canoe trips on the Sepik River, and the capital Port Moresby.
The difficulty for this country, which has been independent since 1975, has been to unify 750 formerly separate tribes into one nation. The diversity of historical peoples and customs, however, is part of the appeal for guests.
Experience the world-famous Mount Hagen Cultural Show, a piece of spectacular tribal music, dance, and pageantry display. Sail on a cruise ship on the Karawari, a remote tributary of the mighty Sepik River. Take an excursion to the secluded villages of Black Water Lake and enjoy a picnic on the river’s banks, watching as local men gather on their clan’s bench, children paddle canoes to school, and women fish with hand lines. Meet the Tari Highlanders, who use body adornment and face painting, as well as beautiful wigs, flowers, and moss. Drive through beautiful farmland and coffee farms in the shadow of majestic mountain peaks, past pristine rainforests, sparkling lakes, and a spectacular assortment of colorful, unusual birds.
With a 40,000-year history and customs that have stayed untouched for generations, the time to visit Papua New Guinea is now. We can customize your expedition travel to Papua New Guinea – a growing tourist destination but still a genuinely wild and exciting travel location! A journey to Papua New Guinea will provide you with an authentic, off-the-beaten-path adventure. PNG is a wildlife and natural history paradise, as well as a fantastic place for diving vacations.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA HIGHLIGHTS
- Hustain Nuruu National Park
- Hovsgol Lake
- Gun Galuut Nature Reserve Gobi
- Yol Valley National Park
- Naadam Festival
- Moltsog Els
- Flaming Cliffs
If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!
Time and Weather
Throughout the year, the climate of Papua New Guinea is hot and humid at the beaches and in the plains, becoming increasingly cooler and eventually colder as one ascends in height. There is no dry season in much of the nation, which is covered in dense rainforests to speak about equatorial climate, but there is a comparatively dry season from July to September in certain inland valleys and along the south coast; thus, the weather is tropical.
The monsoon circulation influences the climate: the northwest monsoon reigns from December to April, and the southeast monsoon from May to October. Usually, each monsoon delivers rainfall to the exposed slope, but it rains throughout both monsoons in many locations, making it rain all year.
Temperatures on the coastlines are high and constant throughout the year in the north, hovering about 30°C/86°F during the day. In the south, being farther from the Equator, they drop slightly during the winter season, from June to September.
PNG is an island country comprised of the eastern half of New Guinea (the western half belongs to Indonesia) and a few smaller islands (including New Britain, New Ireland, Manus, and Bougainville).
The islands (including New Ireland, New Britain, and Bougainville) to the east of the eastern section of New Guinea, which forms the majority of the nation, are also highly wet throughout the year. Rains are most plentiful from December to April in general, although not everywhere: at Lae, facing southeast on the Huon Gulf, rains are most abundant in July and August when more than 500 mm/20 in fall every month.
The best time to visit
The ideal season to visit PNG is between May and October, when the weather is dry, and most festivities are held.
Lowland and coastal areas are hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 24°C/75°F to 35°C/95°F. In the highlands, temperatures range from 12°C/54°F to 28°C/82°F, with much lower humidity.
Clouds generally emerge in the afternoon, and rain falls in the late afternoon and evening. PNG is reported to have dry (June to September) and rainy (December to March) seasons; however, rain is predicted throughout both. There is plenty of sunshine and little rainfall throughout May, June, and July, making these typical travel months.
The ideal time to visit Port Moresby, the capital, is from June to September, when it is also the least hot, with maximum temperatures about 29-30 °C/84-86 °F), rather than the 31-32 °C/88-90 °F reported the rest of the year.
With 781 bird species, 190 mammal species, hundreds of reptile species, and thousands of insect species, PNG boasts abundant indigenous biodiversity. However, most of this biodiversity is situated in isolated places and is sometimes impossible to locate without the aid of an expert.
The Tari Basin and Tari Gap are world-renowned birding destinations, with a great diversity of species due to the height range of 1700m to 2800m via various habitats. Tari is especially endowed in birds of paradise, such as the King of Saxony and the Blue Bird of Paradise. Sir David Attenborough visited the region when filming his documentary Attenborough in Paradise (1996), which helped to popularize the location among twitchers. The ideal time to observe these birds is between July and October when their plumage is peak.
The Port Moresby Nature Park is located at the northern end of Waigani Dr, near the University of Papua New Guinea. More than 2 kilometers of paths weave beneath and through the rainforest canopy, with well-kept gardens showcasing indigenous and exotic plant species, including native and hybrid orchids. Fruit bats scream in the trees, while animal displays include tree kangaroos, hornbills, cassowaries, and an immense aviary with parrots and birds of paradise.
Most visitors come to view a microcosm of PNG’s fantastic flora and animals, such as birds of paradise, cassowaries, and tree kangaroos. Still, the true star is ‘Agro,’ the massive and primarily inactive saltwater crocodile. The habitat includes around 3000 square meters of recreated rainforest inside a walk-through aviary and a variety of smaller cages. Unfortunately, everything is in disrepair, with falling pathways and abandoned cages. It has seen better days.
Our Papua New Guinea Expeditions
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