Papua New Guinea is a land on edge, and in many areas still a land forgotten in time. Ancient rituals, such as strict tribal practices, even cannibalism, still reside in remote areas. This, along with the untouched beauty of their land and natural wildlife, present an unmatched opportunity to experience and photograph these rich cultural practices that will soon become history.
During this trip, we will travel to and around Port Moresby, Sepik, Mt. Hagen and Milne Bay (Alotau) and the Kanaganamum village. Tour leader Karl has ensured that participants will have the opportunity to be truly personal with many tribes as they prepare and perform up-close dances and demonstrate their way of life.
We will also journey through the Sepik River region to experience the dynamic environment of Papua New Guinea and additional cultural festivals. The tribes of the Sepik River provide stark differences in tribal life from those in the mountain region of Mt. Hagen.
During our journey, we will also have time to stop and explore the diverse bird life of Papua New Guinea that is as unique as the cultures, and view the splendid, rugged landscape that is still difficult to navigate. Considered one of the top bird-watching destinations globally, these birds, and other wildlife, cannot be found any other place in the world, such as the famous Bird of Paradise.
Go back in time. Experience cultural diversity, wildlife and beauty available no other place in the world. Join us as we take on one of the truly finest adventures on Earth.
NOTE: On two nights of this trip, accommodations will be much like camping – we’ll be sleeping on the floor and there will be no electricity or running water and any bathing would be with a bucket.
Day 1: (Sep 7)
Participants are met at the Port Moresby airport on arrival and transferred to the hotel. Lunch/Dinner will be provided. There will be a group get-together in the evening. Overnight in Port Moresby.
After breakfast, the group will be off to the airport for a flight to Wewak, gateway to the Sepik river region. You’ll be met on arrival by local guide and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, you’ll tour Wewak town, where you will be greeted with a welcome dance, then continue to see war relics, old church buildings, settlements, local market. Overnight in Wewak.
After an early breakfast, we’ll begin our photographic adventure in earnest as we travel to the diverse and fascinating Sepik River region. The Sepik River is the largest river in Papua New Guinea and heavily depended on for transportation, water and food. We’ll transfer to the village of Pagwi, (3-4 hours’ drive), where we’ll connect with a motorized canoe to Kanganamun. We’ll be met on arrival and check into village guesthouse. Afternoon tour of Kanganamun village – making sago, weaving, making carvings and other art displays. This will be the first of two nights we’ll have the opportunity to experience village living. Overnight in Kanganamum village.
Breakfast, then prepare for the mini festival organized by the local people. The locals perform traditional dances for the group. There will be time to take photos and mingle with the people to learn about their cultures. Take time also to visit Spirit house and its spiritual displays, gods believed to be living spirits that had been worshiped for many years. Overnight in Kanganamum village.
Continue with village study and cultural activities as you travel upstream, back to Pagwi, and onward to a waiting vehicle back to Sepik. Overnight in Wewak.
Morning Breakfast, then transfer to Mt. Hagen via Port Moresby. Meet on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon, if time permits, tour Mt. Hagen market and coffee processing plant, then back to hotel. Overnight in Mt. Hagen.
We’ll have a full day at Paiya village on a private photoshoot with various groups including, Tari Huli Wigmen, Mud Men and Skeleton men. Overnight in Mt. Hagen.
Day 8 :
Early breakfast, then transfer to Paiya village for Paiya mini show. Welcome by the chief and his five wives in traditional attire, exposing some of the rich body ornaments. Continue with Paiya mini show involving different dancing groups. Performers in traditional clothing with plumes of Bird of Paradise. You will have the opportunity to see different dancing groups, from preparation to face painting, feathers display and body decoration, to the actual show in the main arena. This will be followed with a courting ceremony; traditional fighting using bows and arrows; traditional marriage exchanging pigs, money, and other valuables; and traditional cuisine prepared underground with hot stones. Local mumu is to celebrate the festivity with the performers and tourists. Tourists have the chance of tasting local cuisine. Paiya mini show has been highly commended because of the village setting that perfectly blends with the environment, such as the friendly people who love to meet tourists and share their cultures. Overnight in Mt. Hagen.
Day 9 :
After breakfast, we’ll transfer, via bus, to Goroka – Full day traveling- approximately a five-hour drive. On the way, visit Hagen market, then Mindima village for a courting performance. We’ll stop for panoramic view of the Highlands with their beautiful landscapes, high mountain terrains, fast-flowing rivers, and villages. Upon arrival in Goroka, we’ll check in at our hotel. Overnight in Goroka.
Day 10 :
After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the Goroka show ground. This will be a big festival that involves more than 50 ethnical dancing groups from the Highlands and coastal PNG. We’ll arrive early in order to see the preparations to performance. The show goes on for 2 days. You will be allowed to enter the main arena with tourist’s badge. It will be your chance to mingle with the performers and take photos, and even talk with them and learn about their cultures. Afternoon, McCarthy Museum and a scenic tour to Asaro village. Overnight in Goroka.
Day 11 :
Breakfast, then continue with the show; afternoon scenic drive. Overnight in Goroka.
Day 12 :
After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport to catch our flight to Port Moresby. Meet the local guide and transfer to hotel to check in. After check-in, we’ll tour Port Moresby and surroundings. Overnight in Port Moresby.
Day 13 :
This morning, we’ll return to the airport to continue our journey to Milne Bay with a morning flight. Once we arrive, we’ll be met by a local guide and transfer to the beautiful Tawali Resort. Tawali is located in a secluded area of Milne Bay amongst local fishing villages and accessible only by boat, (approximately 90 minute ride). Built on a limestone bluff eighty feet above the water, Tawali offers guests a private retreat in which to enjoy the wonders of PNG. Tawali was constructed by local craftsmen and you will find beautifully carved totems and woodwork in the spacious main lodge and throughout the resort. After check in, you’ll enjoy a scenic tour and optional water activities until the afternoon. Overnight at Tawali Resort.
Day 14 :
After breakfast, we’ll visit local fishing villages where we’ll meet and photograph locals and their unique arts and crafts, including canoe building, wood carving and generally village life. Afternoon retire to hotel/lodge. Overnight at Tawali Resort.
Day 15 :
Today there will be free time to enjoy some of the resort’s activities including scuba diving, bird-watching or hiking. There will also be opportunites to work with selected individuals /groups for photography in selected areas, water fall, mountain, village or sea activities. Overnight at Tawali Resort.
Day 16 : (Sep 22)
After breakfast, we’ll be transported to the airport for our flight to Port Moresby where you’ll connect with your flight home.