The New Guinea Explorer takes the intrepid explorer on a journey through Papua New Guinea, traversing the massive Central Ranges, visiting ancient cultures and seeking exotic animals. Discover the extraordinary Melpa people of the Wahgi Valley, cruise on the Sepik Spirit and explore the wonders of the Sepik River and its tributaries, seek the incredible Ribbon-tailed Bird of Paradise and shake hands with a Huli warrior.
* Internal charter PNG flights
* 3 Nights Rondon Ridge Lodge*
* 3 nights Sepik Spirit Cruise
* 1 nights Karawari Lodge &
* 2 nights Ambua Lodge
* Daily touring program
* Airport transfers
* All meals
Upon your arrival in Port Moresby you will be met and transferred to your Air Niugini flight from Port Moresby to Mount Hagen. Mount Hagen Town is in the upper Wahgi Valley - a valley with some of the oldest evidence of agriculture in the world.
Mount Hagen City is the business heart of the Papua New Guinea highlands supporting a number of important industries such as tea, coffee, mining and transportation. It is a city where stone meets steel and where tradition and history is juxtaposed against modern ways. A comprehensive touring program takes you on a journey through the traditions and customs of the Melpa People. First contact with the Melpa was made in the mid-1930s when the Leahy brothers were prospecting for gold. The Melpa are said by anthropologists, to be 'predisposed to capitalism' because of their complex traditional society in which 'big men' earn status by accruing wealth and then giving it all away in a ceremonial exchange called "Moka". The Lodge has a variety of new touring vehicles and all excursions are accompanied by experienced local guides from the area.
Over 180 species of birds have been recorded in the rainforests around Rondon Ridge including ten species of Bird of Paradise. The surrounding area is pristine rainforest and home to numerous orchid species. The lodge has hours of walking trails providing ample opportunity to explore the unique ecology of this area. All nature and birding walks are accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable nature guides. Comprehensive bird and orchid lists are available for Rondon Ridge.
Guests are accommodated in twelve tastefully appointed rooms with warmed king beds for those fresh highlands nights, with modern en-suite bathrooms. Rondon Ridge has 24-hour, eco-friendly electricity, provided by its own hydroelectric power plant that generates clean, natural energy from a nearby mountain stream (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included) (Lunch & Dinner included)
Day 2 & 3
(Saturday & Sunday)
Two full day are spent exploring the Hagen Area and Wahgi Valley. The Mount Hagen area is the home of the Melpa people, a people with a strong culture, who still live largely traditional subsistence lifestyles. In the mountains surrounding the Wahgi Vally live a stunning array of bird, orchid and plant life. Overnights RONDON RIDGE (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Fly by charter from Mount Hagen to the Sepik, the mountains start to give way until eventually vast tracts of dense tropical lowland rainforest cover the landscape for as far as the eye can see. The country between Ambua and the Sepik region is an amazing array of jagged limestone that seems to rise and drop at impossible angles. Upon disembarking, enjoy a scenic cruise on the Mighty Sepik river on a small jetboat, ending at our “floating lodge” the MV Sepik Spirit. Your 2 night Sepik stay explores the many waterways, villages and cultures of the Sepik River and its tributaries Overnight MV SEPIK SPIRIT (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Day 5 & 6
(Tuesday & Wednesday)
Two full days are spent exploring the many waterways of the Sepik and its tributaries including visits to traditional Sepik Villages. The Sepik River is one of the largest rivers in the world - in terms of flow. Steeped in mystery, the people of the Sepik area have fascinated anthropologists like Margaret Mead since the area was first visited. Part of the mystery and attraction of the Sepik peoples is their amazing carvings, now famous the world over. Overnight MV SEPIK SPIRIT - click for details (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
In the morning you will be transferred to your Charter flight to Karawari. Karawari Lodge stands majestically on a lone ridge amidst a vast expanse of dense tropical lowland rainforest which extends beyond the horizon for what seems a thousand miles in every direction. You are in 'Arambak' country here, one of the most remote and unspoilt areas of Papua New Guinea, with the Karawari River only 300 feet below as your only way in or out. This tropical lowland rainforest is one of the earths most complex of habitats, housing an immense variety of flora and fauna along with a unique culture. Exploring villages in small river boats along the jungle fringed waterways, is as rewarding as it is exhilarating. See the people at Kundiman Village make use of the land - weaving baskets for catching fish from a mixture of plants along the river, or gathering, preparing and cooking their staple food from the sago palm - taste for yourself! From the lodge veranda, view the setting sun colouring the clouds and the snaking river below. One could almost believe that the world was born yesterday. Enjoy an afternoon tour of the surrounding areas before your overnight stay at the Karawari Lodge. Overnight KARAWARI LODGE (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
In the morning you will be transferred to your Air Niugini flight to Tari - home of the Huli, a colorful and proud people still largely living the same way that their ancestors did. Ambua Lodge, located at 7000 feet in the Tari Gap area, borders on pristine mid montane rainforest and the beginning of the valley grasslands. This location promises the visitor spring like temperatures abd magnificent views of the Tari Valley. The forest canopy, a dense mass of interlocking tree tops of all shades of green and the occasional bright splash of colour, provides a natural setting and an exhilarating climate for venturing along the graded nature trails - crossing traditional vine bridges, discovering secluded water falls. High altitude orchids, gingers, rhododendrons and many more will be highlighted by the guide. Your guide will also point out the ways in which the Huli people utilize the abundant natural resources around them and also the great variety of plants and animals found in the area. After the nature walk you will take advantage of the birding in the Tari Gap area where one may chance to observe up to 13 species of the birds of paradise. As the birds of paradise display in the late afternoon you may be lucky enough to see the King of Saxony, Stephanie's Astrapia, Ribbontail Astrapia and the Sicklebill Bird of Paradise.(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
The great Tari Basin and surrounding mountain slopes are the home of the Huli Clans, one of the largest ethnic groups in the Southern Highlands and one of the most culturally intact in all of PNG. The Huli were only discovered in 1935 and were one of the last groups to come under government control. The men take great pride in their appearance, cultivating everlasting daises and collecting bird of paradise feathers to decorate their wigs. They were particularly skilled in warfare and merciless to the opposing clans. Huge inter-connecting trenches (dug by hand with wooden paddle - like spades) were used to delineate clan boundaries, to control the movement of pigs and as secret passageways for warriors during clan fights. You will meet these proud people and learn much of their traditions and way of life which are still governed by their belief in ancestral spirits and sorcery. .Enjoy a full day of cultural and ecological touring. The Tari area is home to an incredible 13 species of birds of paradise, as well as numerous orchid species. Learn how the Huli live and how they interact with and use their environment. Overnight AMBUA LODGE (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
This morning you depart for Port Moresby. Upon arrival in Port Moresby, you will be met and transferred to your ongoing international flight. (Breakfast included)
Please note this is a land package - international airfare from US to PNG ADDITIONAL
Land Cost Includes: Accommodation, airport transfers and tours on a seat in a bus basis, meals, services of local guides at each location and show gate fees.
Land Cost Does Not Include: Domestic and international flights, gratuities, visa fees and services of a personal nature such as beverage, laundry charges, phone and fax bills etc.
Please note these Air Nuigini
flights need to be booked and are ADDITIONAL to land
Prices are per person based on double occupancy thru 31 Dec 2012. Ask your travel consultant for single supplements. International flight costs to Mt Hagen are additional to the above package price - your Aspire consultant will advise the best current price. Hotels subject to availability. All prices reflect a 3% discount for purchases made by cash/check. There are no discounts for payment made by credit cards. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply