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Papua New Guinea: A Cultural Immersion


A group destination like no other, Papua New Guinea will not disappoint any one with an adventurous spirit and a desire to experience traditional lifestyles that have not changed for thousands of years -- from the subsistence farmers of the Wahgi and Huli peoples of the highlands, to the river people of the Karawari in the lowlands, and the incredibly remote Hewa people of the Lagaip Valley. Our immersion into the hearts of some of these fascinating cultures will engage all our senses and leave us wanting more.

In a country filled with geological and cultural contrasts, the itinerary focuses on 3 diverse regions: Mt Hagen in the Western Highlands, Karawari Region in the Sepik River Basin and Tari in the Southern Highlands.


 

Day 1

Fly Hometown to Port Moresby

Day 2

Cross The International Dateline

You will regain this day when you return to North America.

Day 3

Arrive Port Moresby and connect to Mt Hagen

Welcome to PNG and the bustling highland town of Mt Hagen where stone-age customs intermix with modern influences on a daily basis. On arrival, we are met and transferred up a winding road to our accommodation at fabulous Rondon Ridge overlooking the stunning Wahgi Valley.  After settling in to our rooms we have time to relax after our long journey before enjoying a delicious ‘welcome dinner’ at our hotel.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Rondon Ridge Lodge

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  • Rondon Ridge Lodge



    Rondon Ridge is a 40-minute drive from the town of Mount Hagen and just under an hour from the airport. There are several daily flights between Mount Hagen and the capital, Port Moresby. Rondon Ridge is a perfect hub for access to Ambua Lodge, Karawari ...

    Rondon Ridge is a 40-minute drive from the town of Mount Hagen and just under an hour from the airport. There are several daily flights between Mount Hagen and the capital, Port Moresby.
    Rondon Ridge is a perfect hub for access to Ambua Lodge, Karawari Lodge, MV Sepik Spirit and Bensbach Wildlife Lodge.

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Day 4

Mt. Hagen Sing Sing

A wondrous day today as we spend our time at the famous Mt. Hagen Sing Sing. Held on the third weekend in August every year, we are free to wander the grounds and meet the dancers and the locals and just blend in to the rhythms of the show. We will be awe-struck by the stunning visual display of traditional costumes and headdresses, body adornment, music, chanting and dancing… for the whole the grounds are a sea of motion, sound and colour.  Later in the day, we transfer back to our hotel, a welcome respite from the day, allowing time to reflect on such an incredible sensory experience.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Fly Mt. Hagen to Karawari

This morning we transfer to the airport for our 45 minute charter flight that takes us off the highlands to the Sepik River Basin at Karawari, one of the Sepik’s main tributaries. From the cool, spring-like weather of the Highlands, we arrive into the hot, humid conditions of this dense tropical lowland rainforest region, one of the great, untouched rainforests on the globe.

After a short walk to the river’s edge, we board a small shuttle boat for the quick ride upriver to the stunning Karawari Lodge, our home for the night. Not only was the Lodge built to blend in to the landscape using local materials, its remote location and setting on a ridge overlooking the river and jungle-clad basin makes it one of the most unique lodges in the world.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Karawari Lodge

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  • Karawari Lodge



    Guests are accommodated in ten separate cottages, each built out of local bush materials and inspired by traditional architecture. Each cottage has two private twin rooms, each with modern en-suite bathrooms, and a communal veranda. Despite its remoteness, the lodge has 220V electricity, hot and ...

    Guests are accommodated in ten separate cottages, each built out of local bush materials and inspired by traditional architecture. Each cottage has two private twin rooms, each with modern en-suite bathrooms, and a communal veranda. Despite its remoteness, the lodge has 220V electricity, hot and cold water, comfortable mosquito-netted beds, ceiling fans, and a breezy veranda - all make for a welcome sanctuary after a day's exploration.

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Day 6

Exploring the Sepik Basin

After a hearty breakfast at the lodge, we board our river boat and spend the day travelling up and down the tributaries in the area. Life in the Sepik Region revolves around the rivers and lakes of the basin; the waterways and the land on its fringes are their lifeline, and the day to day subsistence activities are molded to their ebb and flow. As we motor our way along, the power of the river will be evident in every twist and turn we take; narrow dug-out canoes gliding by full of goods to trade, women fishing or making sago, kids shreaking and splashing in the water, villages suddenly coming in to view and people smiling and waving wherever we look. In the early afternoon, we arrive at Karawari Village for our overnight stay. Although the amenities are basic, the chance to interact with the villagers will be an amazing and humbling experience.

Accommodation: Village House (1 night)

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Exploring the Sepik Basin

We spend the morning in the village helping the villagers fish and make sago. Sago is the staple food of the river people and the process to get it from a tree trunk to an edible flour is very labor intensive: from chopping the wood pulp, to soaking and squeezing out the starchy residue, to draining off the water, to forming the dough balls, to flattening and frying over an open fire. The end result is a bland, tortilla-like pancake that is then filled with fish or just eaten plain. This afternoon, we say good bye to our new friends, and journey downriver back to the Karawari Lodge for the evening. Our evening will be one of relaxation with a sundowner on the lodge veranda followed by a delicious dinner. 

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Karawari Lodge

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Location View map
  • Karawari Lodge



    Guests are accommodated in ten separate cottages, each built out of local bush materials and inspired by traditional architecture. Each cottage has two private twin rooms, each with modern en-suite bathrooms, and a communal veranda. Despite its remoteness, the lodge has 220V electricity, hot and ...

    Guests are accommodated in ten separate cottages, each built out of local bush materials and inspired by traditional architecture. Each cottage has two private twin rooms, each with modern en-suite bathrooms, and a communal veranda. Despite its remoteness, the lodge has 220V electricity, hot and cold water, comfortable mosquito-netted beds, ceiling fans, and a breezy veranda - all make for a welcome sanctuary after a day's exploration.

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Day 8

Fly Karawari to Hewa Village

Our charter flight this morning takes out of the Sepik lowlands and up to the edge of the highland region to the extremely remote home of the Hewa people of the Lagaip Valley. The Hewa were first studied as a cultural group by anthropologists in the 1960's. Prior to 2001, the Hewa did not even have an airstrip and the only access was by foot -- several days walk to the nearest road. 

Accommodation: Hewa Village (2 nights)

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Hewa Village Visit

A full day is spent amongst the Hewa people, learning about their culture, language and traditions. The Hewa, being on the edge of the highlands, have a culture that is an extraordinary mixture of lowlands and highlands cultures. Being extremely remote, they live very traditional lives and very few people speak Pidgin (the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea); let alone English. 

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10

Fly Hewa to Tari

We are off again on our charter plane to Tari, the main service centre for the Southern Highlands Province. We are now in one of PNG’s most remote, undeveloped regions where the traditional warrior cultures of the Huli and Duna Wigman have thrived for thousands of years. In fact the whole region was not “discovered” until 1935!  From the airport we are met and transferred up into the mist-shrouded mountains to fabulous Ambua Lodge built with an eclectic mix of modern and traditional design –incorporating traditional building materials while maintaining a first class standard for the international visitor. The remainder of the day is free to relax in the Lodge’s lounge area, walk through the lush gardens or take a walk to a spectacular waterfall with glorious views of the Tari Valley en-route. 

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Ambua Lodge

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  • Ambua Lodge



    Nestled amongst the Doma Peaks near Tari, almost 7000 feet above sea level, is Ambua Lodge. An award-winning, eco-friendly lodge boasting magnificent views of the Tari Valley below. Guests are accommodated in forty round houses, set amongst landscaped gardens and built almost exclusively from natural ...

    Nestled amongst the Doma Peaks near Tari, almost 7000 feet above sea level, is Ambua Lodge. An award-winning, eco-friendly lodge boasting magnificent views of the Tari Valley below. Guests are accommodated in forty round houses, set amongst landscaped gardens and built almost exclusively from natural materials.

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Day 11

Tari

For those early risers, we will meet our guide to search out the elusive but beautiful Birds of Paradise that are so famous in PNG. After our birdwatching adventure, we head back to the hotel for breakfast before heading off on our full day tour into a world where clan dominance, war-like mentalities, ancestral spirits, sorcery and pig wealth govern daily life. From watching a Huli warrior dance, to learning more about the secrets of the Wigman’s headdresses, it will be another day where all our senses are engaged.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 12

Tari to Huli Village

This morning we are on foot and trek through sweet potato gardens, past sugar cane, and banana trees to a Huli village for our overnight stay. The rest of the day is filled with interaction with the village people and learning more about life in the highlands. 

Accommodation: Huli Village (1 night)

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 13

Huli Village to Tari

After spending the morning in the village, we are then transferred back to Ambua Lodge for our final night in the Tari Valley.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Ambua Lodge

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Location View map
  • Ambua Lodge



    Nestled amongst the Doma Peaks near Tari, almost 7000 feet above sea level, is Ambua Lodge. An award-winning, eco-friendly lodge boasting magnificent views of the Tari Valley below. Guests are accommodated in forty round houses, set amongst landscaped gardens and built almost exclusively from natural ...

    Nestled amongst the Doma Peaks near Tari, almost 7000 feet above sea level, is Ambua Lodge. An award-winning, eco-friendly lodge boasting magnificent views of the Tari Valley below. Guests are accommodated in forty round houses, set amongst landscaped gardens and built almost exclusively from natural materials.

    More Details

Day 14

Fly Tari to Port Moresby

We transfer to the airport for our flight to PNG’s largest city, Port Moresby, for our overnight. Tonight we enjoy a “farewell” dinner at our hotel. 

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Airways Hotel

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  • starstarstarstar

    Airways Hotel



    Airways Hotel is Papua New Guinea's leading hotel, Australasia's leading airport hotel and one of the most unique airport hotels in the world. Nestled into the mountainside in its own botanical gardens, with stunning views from crystal clear waters of Bootless Bay to the majestic ...

    Airways Hotel is Papua New Guinea's leading hotel, Australasia's leading airport hotel and one of the most unique airport hotels in the world. Nestled into the mountainside in its own botanical gardens, with stunning views from crystal clear waters of Bootless Bay to the majestic mountains of the Owen Stanley Ranges, the hotel it is located just 2 minutes from Jacksons International Airport, Port Moresby.

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Day 15

Fly Port Moresby to Hometown

We transfer back to the airport to connect with our flights home.

Meal Plan Breakfast

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