New Guinea, the last great land mass to remain unexplored, still remains a place of great wonder and mystery. Exotic animals, extraordinary art and flamboyant warriors await the curious traveler. The tour begins in the Tari valley, home of the colorful Huli, a race whose right of passage for young men is to grow their own human hair wigs. In the forest surrounding the valley awaits a plethora of thirteen species of birds of paradise and a whole host of unique orchid species. From there, the wondrous journey continues to the Sepik Region and Karawari Lodge - an area that was still a restricted area in the 1960's. Discover river life on the Karawari River and spectacular primitive art as well as an incredible array of parrots and orchids. From the Sepik Region and back to the highlands to explore the world of the Melpa people. Exploration continues in this area where no white foot had ever trodden until the mid-1930s
- 3 nights Ambua Lodge, Southern Highlands
- 2 nights Karawari Lodge
- 2 nights Rondon ridge, Mount Hagen
- 1 night Airways Hotel Port Moresby
- Daily Touring Program
- Charter flights & Airport transfers
- ** NOTE: INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE FROM US & DOMESTIC AIR NIUGINI FLIGHTS ADDITIONAL **
Upon arrival in Port Moresby from your international flight you will be met and transferred to your hotel (Dinner Included) for your overnight stay at the Airways Hotel.
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)
Day 3 & 4
(Saturday & Sunday)
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 two full days 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. (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. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included.)
Day 6 (Tuesday)
Karawari Lodge, poised on the ridge overlooking the river and jungle-clad Sepik Basin, is a world entirely unique. The real fascination here is the people and how they live with the land and how it moulds their lives. They still live as they have for generations - rituals, sing-sings, story telling, food gathering and preparation. With Karawari's carefully planned cultural programme, daily visits in river boats 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 re-enactments of 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 in sight along the flowing waters. Here we will see man and the environment as it has been for thousands of years. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included.)
Overnight at Karawari Lodge.
This morning you will fly by charter aircraft to Mt. 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)
A full day 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. Overnight RONDON RIDGE (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)
Land Cost: On application
Charter Flights: On application per person
Mon Day 5 Tari/Karawari
Wed Day 7 Karawari/Mount Hagen
Special Note Regarding Charters:
Maximum baggage allowance is 10kg per person and a maximum of 5kg carry on baggage per person.Large, hard sided suitcases are not permitted on charter aircraft.
ADDITIONAL TO ABOVE COSTING:
- ROUND TRIP airfare from US to PNG
- Thu 19 May PX180 Port Moresby/Mount Hagen
- Fri 27 May PX187 Mount Hagen/Port Morseby
Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Ask your travel consultant for single supplements. Tour places are limited and subject to availability. LAND COST INCLUDES: Accommodation, airport transfers and tours on a seat in bus basis, meals from dinner local guides and sing sing entry. LAND COST DOES NOT INCLUDE: internationaL airfare and PX domestic flights, gratuities, visa fees and services of a personal nature such as beverage, laundry charges, phone and fax bills etc. 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. International airfare and scheduled flighs to and within Papua New Guinea not included in package price, ask an Aspire consultant for current rates.