Papua New Guinea,

The Natural History Highlights of Papua New Guinea

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Tailor-Made Tour
12 Days
From £7185
GEOIP Not Available
Snorkelling and Diving
Culture and Archaeology
Off The Beaten Track

Tour Introduction

12 Days from £7185
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

Staying in a high degree of comfort at some of the best lodges and dive resorts in the country will serve to enhance the exceptional wilderness experiences in store in this wide-ranging and well-paced Papua New Guinea natural history tour. Highlands, lowlands and coast combine to create a kaleidoscopic showcase for all that is best in Papua New Guinea, often cited as tourism’s last frontier. Seeing is believing that, yes, there are still destinations which successfully maintain their integrity and authenticity in the face of modernism’s relentless advance and Papua New Guinea is at the forefront. [Please Note: Ambua Lodge is temporarily closed.  Please enquire for alternative options]

Full Itinerary

Price from £7185
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Singapore

Depart Singapore on Air Niugini flight to Port Moresby.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Day 2
Mount Hagen

Arrival in Port Moresby. Assistance provided to connect with flight to Mount Hagen. Met on arrival and transfer to Rondon Ridge. In the afternoon there will be a guided excursion in the lush highland rainforest to look for birds and other wildlife. There are over 180 bird species in the area including 10 species of birds of paradise.

Staying at Rondon Ridge. Includes Lunch and Dinner.

Day 3
Waghi Valley

Full day of guided activities in the Waghi Valley visiting some of the local villages. The Mount Hagen area is home to the Melpa people, a community with strong traditions and beliefs who, in the face of modernity, still largely live traditional subsistence lifestyles.

Staying at Rondon Ridge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Sepik River

Transfer to the airport and take charter flight to Timbunke. Met on arrival and transfer to your floating lodge on the Sepik River. After lunch there will be a leisurely exploration of the local Kaminimbit I, Kaminimbit II and Kororua village. Discover the fascinating way of life of the people that still live in the same way as their forefathers have for centuries. The villages are particularly famous for their distinctive traditional art and wooden sculptures.

Staying at Sepik Spirit. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Sepik River

A full day of excursions along the mighty Sepik River and its tributaries to visit and experience the life and customs of the communities living along its banks. There will be plenty of opportunities to buy local crafts and art such as masks, ancestral figures, hand drums, baskets, bilums (colourful woven bags) and gourds. Each village produces its own distinctive style of art and craftwork and you will be spoilt for choice.

Staying at Sepik Spirit. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Sepik River

Another full day of exploring the Sepik area and its village communities on boat outings from your floating base.

Staying at Sepik Spirit. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Ambua

Transfer by riverboat to the airstrip and catch charter flight to Ambua airstrip. Met on arrival and transfer to the lodge. After lunch, there will be a guided excursion in the nearby rainforest including a visit to the Tari Gap for some birding. Thirteen species of bird of paradise inhabit this part of the forest and in the late afternoon many will be displaying. With luck the King of Saxony, Stephanie’s astraphia, ribbontail astraphia and the sicklebill bird of paradise will be seen performing their fabulous displays.

Staying at Ambua Lodge. Includes Lunch and Dinner.

Day 8
Ambua

Full day of guided activities in the magnificent Tari Basin and surrounding slopes. This is the home of the Huli clans, one of the largest and most culturally intact ethnic groups in the Southern Highlands and all of PNG. The Huli were only discovered in 1935 and were one of the last groups to come under government control. During a tour of their village there will be the opportunity to meet these proud people and learn about their traditions and way of life, which is still governed by their belief in ancestral spirits and sorcery.

Staying at Ambua Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Walindi

Transfer to the airstrip and take flight to Port Moresby. Connect with flight to Hoskins, the airport for Kimbe, the main town of West New Britain Province. Met on arrival and transfer to your resort by the sea.

Staying at Walindi Plantation Resort. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Walindi

Day at leisure. Optional activities/excursions available such as diving, snorkelling, volcano visit, guided birding walks.

Staying at Walindi Plantation Resort. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Walindi

A day at leisure to relax or to arrange further activities from the lodge.

Staying at Walindi Plantation Resort. Includes All Meals.

Day 12
Port Moresby

Transfer to the airport and catch flight to Port Moresby. Met on arrival in Port Moresby and enjoy a half day tour to the Adventure Park. Later, transfer back to the airport for flight to Singapore. Arrive in Singapore and connect onward to the London.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Tour Accommodation

Ambua Lodge

Overview

Set in the Southern Highlands at 7000ft with stunning views of the Tari Valley below, long-established Ambua Lodge is an inspired example of environmentally sensitive building. The lodge offers two styles of accommodation: individual thatched bungalows built in traditional highlands style, and a main block with modern hotel rooms. A small hydroelectric unit supplies the electricity. Ambua is a perfect base from which to explore neighbouring Huli villages, and nature walks taken around the lodge and at the nearby Tari Gap offer excellent opportunities for bird of paradise sightings and encounters.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
46
Facilities

Restaurant, lounge, bar, electric blankets, private bathrooms, 24-hour electricity.

Local Wildlife

The Tari Valley and forest around Ambua is a birder’s paradise. Although many species can be seen, it is particularly famous for birds of paradise, of which 13 species can be regularly spotted (some actually in the lodge grounds). Those include the spectacular blue bird of paradise and the bizarre black sicklebill with its energetic courtship display. Other montane species include lesser melampitta, Stephanie’s astrapia, yellow-browed melidectes and the notorious skulking Forbes’s forest rail.

Optional Activities

Birdwatching excursions in the Tari valley and visits to local Huli wigmen villages.

MV Sepik Spirit

Overview

The purpose-built Sepik Spirit was originally used as a tourist cruise vessel along the Sepik River. It is now moored at a strategic location next to Kaminimbit Village on the Sepik River and nowadays acts as a comfortable (stationary) floating lodge. There are only nine spacious en suite guest rooms equipped with large windows and air conditioning. Other facilities include a dining room, well stocked bar and lounge as well as an insect proof roof top observatory deck.

The Sepik Spirit keeps 18-seater speedboats to take visitors deep into the remote tributaries and mingle with the local tribal communities. These isolated settlements are still relatively unscathed by modern life and still live in very traditional ways, their fascinating cultures finding expression in the many tribal carvings and artefacts for which the region is justifiably famous.

The only tourism access to the Sepik River is by light aircraft from Mount Hagen or Ambua Lodge on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
9
Facilities

Private bathrooms, restaurant, bar, lounge and air conditioning.

Optional Activities

Cultural tours and wildlife spotting along the Sepik River and its tributaries.

Rondon Ridge

Overview

Rondon Ridge is a modern lodge situated at 7100 feet on Kum Mountain, near Mt Hagen, enjoying magnificent views of the Hagen Range, Mount Giluwe, the Sepik Divide, the Baiyer Gap and Wahgi Valley. The climate is one of pleasant, spring-like weather. Guests are accommodated in spacious, simply decorated rooms, each featuring 180-degree views, modern bathroom, electric blankets and duvets for the cool highland evenings. The main building houses the lounge, bar, dining room, conference centre and is warmed by a cosy fireplace. There is 24-hour electricity supplied by its own hydroelectric power plant.

Rondon Ridge is a 40-minute drive from Mount Hagen and close to pristine rainforest,. There are abundant orchids and amphibians. This is the land of the Melpa tribe and visitors can observe their traditional customs and lifestyles.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
24
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, lounge, 24-hour electricity, conference centre, electric blankets, seating area and TV and a fireplace.

Local Wildlife

180 bird species including Macgregors’s bowerbird and brown sicklebill, and 10 species of bird of paradise including Stephanie’s astrapia, the superb bird of paradise and King of Saxony. Amphibians and orchids are abundant. Mammals are present but are extremely difficult to see.

Optional Activities

Bird and wildlife watching excursions in the local rainforest and cultural activities such as visits to Melpa villages.

Walindi Plantation Resort

Overview

Located in Kimbe Bay on the northern coast of West New Britain Province, this small dive resort has accommodation in tasteful thatched bungalows and standard plantation rooms and a small swimming pool, bar and dining area.

There are 12 thatched beachfront bungalows with self-contained accommodation and 8 plantation house rooms. The bungalows have en suite facilities, ceiling fans, tea and coffee making facilities, kitchenette and a private veranda. The plantation houses are located in blocks of four amidst the lush gardens and have the same facilities as the bungalows except private veranda. Other facilities include a library, computers and free Wi-Fi.

Adjacent to the resort is the Mahonia Na Dari conservation and research centre where scientists have recorded some 900 fish and 400 coral species, giving some indication of the wealth of marine life to be found here. There are three custom dive boats available to transport guests to the best sites and excellent dive equipment is available for hire.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
20
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, lounge, swimming pool, room service, tea and coffee making facilities, veranda, library, free Wi-Fi, computers.

Local Wildlife

400 species of coral, 900 species of fish ranging from smaller reef fish to larger pelagic species, sharks, turtles and dolphins. Distinguished Marine Scientist, Prof. Charles Veron inspected the reefs of Kimbe Bay on behalf of The Nature Conservancy and reported: "The coral reefs of Kimbe Bay take me back forty years, to a time when corals grew in lush profusion, untroubled by the problems that beset them today. A short boat ride from Walindi Resort and I am diving on reefs that have half the coral species of the world, all awaiting those rare photo opportunities that come only with the clearest water. I am hard pressed to think of anywhere on earth that has this combination of vibrant health, diversity and beauty." The forest surrounding the resort is good for birding and many spectacular butterflies can be seen on flowering plants in the lush gardens.

Optional Activities

Diving, snorkelling, dive and underwater photography courses, bird watching, volcano hikes, village visits, bathing in the Hot River.

Route Map

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Walindi Plantation Resort: -5.436931, 150.086696
Rondon Ridge: -5.875120, 144.250527
MV Sepik Spirit: -4.275208, 143.334098

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

Yes

Flight Info:

Fly from London to Port Moresby via Singapore. Tour must depart the UK on a Monday to fit with domestic charter schedules.

Best Visited:

January to January

Claire Pote

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

There should never be less than three nights in this sensational location [Ambua Lodge] with a superb climate (hot during the day and cool at night) with very good food, and seeing the amazing Huli Wigmen with their outstanding head-dresses.

Mr D C - Essex