Example Itinerary

Sepik Highlands Safari

Duration
13 days / 12 nights
Price Per Person
From $16,300
Interests
Off The Grid, Tribal
Destinations
Papua New Guinea
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This 12-day Papua New Guinea itinerary guides you through the highlands of Sepik, trekking between villages and staying in guest houses. You’ll head out on a three-day canoeing trip along the Sepik River and its complex system of waterways, staying overnight in villages and experiencing tribal life as it has existed for centuries. You’ll also have beach time in Kimbe, with the option of exploring the island’s teeming coral reefs. 

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

• Sepik Canoeing Adventure: A highlight of any visit to the Sepik River, visitors travel down the country’s longest river to admire the river culture and wildlife of this unique ecosystem.

• Huli Wigmen: First known to Westerners in 1934, the Huli Wigmen of Hela Province are known for their distinctive face makeup and ornate headdresses, decorating themselves with the colorful plumage of the birds of paradise.

• Birdwatching: The endemic birds of Papua New Guinea helped Alfred Russel Wallace found the theory of evolution alongside Charles Darwin. Travelers will find rare — and strange — specimens in the Sepik and Mount Hagen regions.

• Asaro Mudmen: Legend has it that the Asaro mudmen were chased from their village and fled to the banks of a river. When they came out, they looked like spirits in the gray mud, causing the enemy to flee. Today, travelers can visit with the Asaro mudmen and learn more about their masks and culture.

Day-by-Day

Day 1 Tari

You'll start your Papua New Guinea Highlands Safari by transferring to Tari. You'll begin your trek in Tari Valley, the home of the Huli people for more than 1,000 years. The Huli are famous for their wigmen, who wear elaborate headdresses decorated with flowers and feathers. Over this three-day trek, you'll be completely immersed in Huli culture, part of which is staying overnight in a village guesthouse to eat, sleep and live like the locals.

Day 2 Sepik Region

Today, you'll experience more of Huli tribal life and continue your trek through the lush rainforests of the Sepik region. Visit a cultural museum and skull cave, witness a spirit dance by village elders, and learn the traditional way of roasting vegetables in an underground oven. On your trek, you'll pass beautiful waterfalls and spot native birdlife. Papua New Guinea is home to a vast array of birdlife, with more than 70 native species, including the brightly-plumed Bird of Paradise and the blue-eyed cockatoo. Stay overnight in a village guesthouse.

Sepik Region

Day 3 Sepik Region

The Sepik River is more than 700 miles long, and today you'll continue your trek through the Sepik highlands, coming into contact with more villages and enjoying a "Sing-Sing" by Huli tribespeople. A Sing-Sing is a celebratory performance, complete with vivid costumes, drumming and dancing – a fantastic spectacle not to be missed. Tonight you'll spend the final night of your trek in a village guesthouse.

Day 4 Mount Hagen

Today, you'll transfer to Mt Hagen. You'll be greeted at the airport by your driver and taken to your Mt Hagen hotel. In the afternoon, you'll be taken on a guided tour of Mt Hagen's sights, which includes a cultural village tour where you can learn more about the region’s rich heritage. Spend the night in the Quality Hotel Highlander.

Day 5 Mount Hagen

Your destination today is Wahgi Valley in the Western Highlands, which supports both urban development and traditional villages. Here, you'll visit Pogla Village, where you can meet the Asaro mudmen, famous for their menacing clay masks. You'll also visit the bustling Mt Hagen markets, where you can pick up fresh local produce, including pineapple, strawberries and watermelon. Spend tonight at Quality Hotel Highlander.

Mount Hagen

Day 6 Mount Hagen

Today, take a full-day scenic drive to Enga, with a visit to a local cultural centre. Enga Province is the highest area of Papua New Guinea and home to some half a million ethnic Engans. Here, you can enjoy some of the country's most stunning mountain panoramas and gain insight into local culture and tradition. Tonight, you return to your hotel in Mt Hagen.

Day 7 Ambunti

You'll transfer to Kagamuga airport today for an onward flight to Ambunti. After a short briefing session, you will embark upon your three-day Middle Sepik Art Canoeing Adventure. On this tour, you’ll be exploring the waterways of this complex lakes system, visiting small villages and staying overnight in village guest houses for a truly authentic experience. The villages of the Sepik are home to some of the best examples of tribal art, with most members of the community skilled artisans.

Day 8 Sepik Region

Continue canoeing along the Sepik, enjoying your passage through tranquil marshland and rainforest. Some of the highlights of the Sepik area are the village spirit houses, where ancient ceremonies still take place. Enjoy another homestay tonight, experiencing rural life as a guest of the community. Some of the villages along the Sepik River have been settled for millennia, giving you a first-hand glimpse into Papua New Guinea’s fascinating indigenous history.

Sepik Region

Day 9 Sepik Region

Push further into the remote hinterland of Sepik, stopping in villages and interacting with locals along the way. Traveling by canoe, you can access shallow waterways unable to accommodate larger boats, giving you access to areas not as frequently visited by tourists. Among the millennia-old rituals you might witness on this journey is the coming of age ceremony where young men receive full-body “crocodile” tribal scars as a rite of passage.

Day 10 Port Moresby

Today you will fly to the city of Wewak, then transfer to Port Moresby, where you’ll be taken to your hotel. We recommend the Gateway Hotel, positioned in tropical gardens only a short distance from the airport. The Gateway Hotel is equipped with all modern amenities, and offers a choice of restaurants serving up international favorites. This modern property also has a pool, where you can cool down after a long day of traveling.

Day 11 New Britain

You’ll head to the island of New Britain today, and stay in the port town of Kimbe. Here, you’ll be transferred to Walindi Plantation Resort, where you can spend the remainder of the day at your leisure. Kimbe Bay offers beautiful tropical forest with wallabies and other wild marsupials, and clear blue seas full of coral reefs. Walindi Plantation Resort is the area’s main dive center, and here you are well-positioned to explore the waters and the bush.

New Britain

Day 12 New Britain

Today, you have a free day to enjoy the tranquil surrounds of Walindi Plantation Resort. You can hire snorkeling gear from the dive center, or go Scuba diving around Kimbe Reef. The beach and the jetty are both suitable for swimming, or you can go for a bush walk and enjoy some bird watching. Alternatively, you may choose to just idle by the pool with a book. In the evening, enjoy your final night at Walindi, perhaps with sunset cocktails at Planter's Bar.

Day 13 Departure

Today you conclude your trip with an air transfer to Port Moresby in time for your connecting international flight.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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