Natural Habitat Adventures - vacations and travel

Wild Papua New Guinea - EXPLORATORY TRIP!

Papua New Guinea

from $9,495* per person 11 Days February, March, December
Boutique accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Natural Habitat Adventures 8 people max
  • Port moresby international, port moresby, papua new guinea
  • Culture & Nature trips
National Geographic Traveler's Tours of a Lifetime 2011
    A rare, fully-guided small-group adventure to a wild land where nature and culture abide in
    ancient rhythms
    Travel up the Karawari River to one of the most isolated and pristine tracts of wilderness on earth, visiting traditional villages by small boat
    Stay at culturally sensitive eco-lodges in diverse natural settings: rainforest highlands, tropical jungle and palm-fringed volcanic coast

Papua New Guinea offers a primal encounter with nature – a sense of the world as it must have existed a thousand or more years ago, and which is largely unchanged today. Discover a little-known land of vast tropical rainforests, jungle-cloaked mountains, pristine islands and indigenous traditions – 800 different languages are spoken among Papua New Guinea’s diverse tribes. We find a vibrant intersection of nature and culture in the Southern Highlands, where the montane rainforest is home to the Huli people, one of the world’s few relatively intact traditional cultures living in unusual harmony with the natural world.

Locations visited/nearby

Papua New Guinea

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Special information

  • May accommodate certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.


Day 1: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Arrive in Port Moresby and transfer to our hotel.

Day 2: Tari / Ambua Lodge
Fly to Tari and transfer to Ambua Lodge. Perched at 7,000 feet with a climate of perpetual spring, the lodge surveys the Tari Valley. We explore the surrounding rainforest trails, venturing past waterfalls and over vine bridges to find orchids, gingers and rhododendrons beneath the dense canopy. Birding is also magnificent, with 13 different bird of paradise species alone.

Days 3 & 4: Discovering the Huli Culture
On two full-day tours we meet the Huli people and learn about their customs and beliefs. One of the most culturally intact groups in Papua New Guinea, the Huli have been known to outsiders since only 1935. Famous for the flamboyant dress that they still wear in everyday life, Huli men collect vibrant bird feathers and cultivate everlasting daisies to decorate their wigs.

Day 5: Karawari
We fly to Karawari and transfer by riverboat to Karawari Lodge. This outpost atop a ridge looks down on tropical lowland rainforest that extends to the horizon in every direction. The Karawari River is the only way in or out of this remote region. We travel its jungle-fringed channels, visiting villages where residents weave fishing baskets from plants along the river and prepare their staple food from the sago palm.

Day 6: Sepik Basin
A journey into the jungle-clad Sepik Basin reveals a unique world. Along the dappled waterways we marvel at giant lichens, vine-festooned trees, and masses of brilliant flame flowers and orchids. Dugout canoes glide by, and stilt villages spring into sight along the shore. The intensity of nature is palpable, and we discover how closely the indigenous people live with the land. They exist as they have for centuries, practicing the same rituals, songs, storytelling and food gathering, which we observe on cultural encounters.

Day 7: Mount Hagen / Rondon Ridge
Traveling by riverboat back to Karawari airstrip, we fly to Mount Hagen and transfer to Rondon Ridge, where we set out for a birding and nature tour along the walking tracks in the area.

Day 8: Mount Hagen
We tour the region around Mount Hagen, which sits at the end of the Wahgi Valley, bounded by 13,000-foot peaks draped in rainforest. The valley floor is covered in a lush green carpet of crops, and traditional homes dot the landscape, representing many cultural-linguistic groups, each with its own customs, body decorations and complex social traditions.

Day 9: Madang / Tadwai Island
Fly to Madang and transfer to Malolo Plantation Lodge, overlooking the ocean. These waters are renowned for diving, littered with World War II-era wrecks and boasting some of the most pristine reefs in the world. We are paddled by outrigger canoe to Tadwai Island, where we snorkel in a protected lagoon.

Day 10: Tadwai Island / Snorkeling
An island idyll is ours today, with more snorkeling among the array of tropical fish found here. We may see soldier fish, angelfish, snapper, fairy basslets, batfish, clown fish, ghost pipefish, long-finned bannerfish, moon wrasse, purple anthias and butterfly cod, as well as hard and soft corals, barrel sponges and delicate sea fans.

Day 11: Fly to Port Moresby / Home
Depart from Madang airport for Port Moresby in time to meet onward flights.

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