Papua New Guinea with the Mount Hagen Cultural Show
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Port Moresby, Papua New GuineaAugust 7
Arrive in Port Moresby and transfer to the Airways Hotel with the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Port Moresby / KarawariAugust 8
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Karawari via Mount Hagen, and check in to Karawari Lodge, poised on a ridge overlooking the river and jungle-clad Sepik Basin. Inspired by local architecture and built with traditional materials, the lodge offers a spectacular view over hundreds of miles of dense tropical jungle. You are in the middle of “Arambak” country—one of the most remote and unspoiled areas of Papua New Guinea. Enjoy the surrounding scenery from the comfort of the lodge’s deck, and watch for birds of paradise, cockatoos, parrots, hornbills, cormorants, and other water birds; or, relax and enjoy the lodge’s amenities, which include a dining and lounge area and a bar.
Today, visit the local Kundiman village by boat. Their lives have changed little over the centuries, and they continue to practice their traditional rituals, sing-sings, storytelling, food gathering, and preparation. Discover how the local tribe people make use of the land–weaving baskets from river plants that are used for catching fish, or gathering, preparing, and cooking their staple food from the sago palm.
Explore the amazing ecology and culture of the Karawari area. Travel along the jungle-fringed waterways where boatmen, standing upright, paddle their slender dugout canoes. See bountiful birdlife and a profusion of orchids along the rivers and nearby lakes. You’ll also visit some of the local Sepik villages, where you may watch as villagers create elaborate carved totems, drums, and other expressions of traditional tribal art.
Karawari / Lake MurrayAugust 11
After breakfast, travel by boat to the Karawari Airstrip to meet your charter aircraft to Lake Murray. Upon arrival, transfer to Lake Murray Lodge, which is nestled on an island spit overlooking the lake. The largest lake in Papua New Guinea, it reaches up to 2000 square kilometers (over 770 square miles) during the wet season. It is also home to about 5,000 natives that live in small villages and on tiny islands in stilted homes. After lunch at the lodge, set out for a walk around the island and visit a local village.
Lake MurrayAugust 12
Today, explore the waterways of Lake Murray and travel by boat to the remote Pari village. During your boat ride, keep an eye out for rich birdlife including birds of paradise, pelicans, hornbills, parrots, and more. At the village, learn about the Pari people’s traditional way of life through demonstrations and interactive activities. Back at camp, relax and enjoy the eco-lodge’s amenities, including a wrap-around porch, dining room, lounge, and bar.
Lake Murray / TariAugust 13
Transfer to an airstrip to meet your charter aircraft. Fly over impressive, mountainous landscapes to Tari. Check in to the Ambua Lodge, set in the Tari Valley, home of the colorful and proud Huli tribe. Located at 7,000 feet, your accommodation is in eco-friendly bush-material huts, set on a hillside of flowering gardens, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and rainforest.
This afternoon, enjoy the crisp mountain air while exploring the area on a guided nature walk through the alpine forest. Birdlife proliferates in the forests of Papua New Guinea, including many species of birds of paradise—of the 43 known species, 38 are found in Papua New Guinea. These birds can sometimes be seen performing bizarre ritualistic and mating dances. The flamboyant Huli Wigmen of the Tari Valley revere these birds, decorating their human hair wigs with their colorful plumage.
TariAugust 14 — August 15
Enjoy two full days of touring while learning about the highland culture and traditions of the famed Huli Wigmen. These proud warriors, famous for their elaborate and colorful dress, display their great reverence for birds—imitating them in ceremonial dances and decorating their wigs with feathers, flowers, and cuscus fur. They paint their faces in patterns of yellow and ocher, and adorn themselves with strings of necklaces and elaborate headdresses. Their wigs are woven from human hair, donated by teenage and young adult males. The costumes of the women are in stark contrast to their vibrant male counterparts—they wear black for their weddings, and coat themselves with blue-gray clay when in mourning. The Huli culture is one of the most vibrant, intact, and colorful in the world.
Tari / Mount Hagen / Rondon RidgeAugust 16
Transfer to the airport for your charter flight to Mount Hagen, this spectacular flight crosses over vast tracts of highlands and some of the tallest mountains in the country. Mount Hagen Town is in the upper Waghi Valley—where there is evidence of the oldest agriculture in the world. Check in to Rondon Ridge Lodge, perched high on Mount Kuta, with unbelievable views of the Wahgi Valley. Spend the afternoon exploring along the lodge’s vast network of forest trails searching for ten species of birds of paradise, along with numerous orchid species.
Rondon RidgeAugust 17
In preparation for the Mount Hagen Cultural Show, attend a briefing to help you better understand and appreciate the wonderful spectacle you will witness the following day.
Rondon Ridge / Mount Hagen / Port MoresbyAugust 18
After breakfast, spend the full day at the Mount Hagen Cultural Show—world-famous for its vibrant and colorful cultural displays, it is a truly spectacular event. The diversity of the coastal, lowland, and highlands sing-sing groups, reflects the incredible diversity of Papua New Guinea. After the show, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Port Moresby. Check in to the Airways Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Port MoresbyAugust 19
Today, visit the Parliament House and the National Museum, which houses artifacts from around the country. In the Nature Park discover Papua New Guinea’s diverse flora and fauna during a guided tour.
Port Moresby / DepartureAugust 20
Board your independent homeward flight.