Owned and run by local people, Kumul Lodge stands at 2,800m (8,500 ft) above sea level in a montane forest area near Mt Hagen. The word kumul means bird of paradise in Pidgin English: there are not many other properties in PNG where you can see wild birds of paradise inside the lodge grounds, sometimes even from your room. Nearly 100 avian species have been recorded in the lodge grounds alone, including three species of birds of paradise, and more can be found at nearby sites at various altitudes on guided tours.
Kumul Lodge was locally designed and built with regional natural materials and all the staff are from the local community. Accommodation is in simple rooms with private bathroom. There is also a stove to keep the lodge warm in the cool evenings and electric blankets are provided on the beds.
The lodge has a strong ethos concerning the environment and uses some of its funds to increase awareness of the vulnerability of the forest and the birds among the local population. The local owners hope that eventually the area will be declared a national park and are working towards that end.
Restaurant / bar, en suite rooms, feeding platform for birds
The lodge’s feeders encourage a plethora of birds into the lodge grounds and create outstanding photographic opportunities. Some which regularly visit the feeders include smoky honeyeater, Brehm’s tiger parrot, Belford’s melidectes, brown sicklebill, ribbon-tailed astrapia, island thrush, Belford’s melidectes, Brehm’s tiger parrot and chestnut forest rail. There are trails through excellent moss forest where crested satinbird, lesser melampitta and New Guinea woodcock might be encountered. Excursions from the lodge can produce sightings of blue, King of Saxony, and lesser birds-of-paradise. For instance, on a guided visit to Pigites Site at 2,500m (7600 ft) one can find King of Saxony bird of paradise, Princess Stephanie’s astrapia, Loria’s satinbird, wattled ploughbill, regent whistler, tit berrypecker, black-breasted boatbill and garnet robin.
Guided birdwatching in the local forest and excursions to visit tribal villages.
Best time for seeing birds of paradise is May to October. The colourful Mount Hagen Cultural Show is held in August – please enquire for details of our group tours.
If you have any questions regarding our Papua New Guinea tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965
Kumul was, as expected, rudimentary but an experience enhanced by THAT BIRD FEEDING STATION! I was literary just two metres away from a Bird of Paradise!