: September 11 – 20, 2024 (sold out)Spots available on August 15 - 24
: 10 days / 9 nights Number of participants:
8 – 12 Cost per person
– 4 390 USD, subject to 12 participants, or
– 4 590 USD, subject to 10 – 11 participants, or
– 4 990 USD, subject to 8 – 9 participants. 10% early booking discount (in case you book before March 11, 2024)
Everything is included (including 2 charter flights and full board) except from:
- international flight to Port Moresby roundtrip,
- 2 domestic flights,
- medical insurance,
- Papua New Guinea visa (e-visa at USD 50 for Russians)
. Estimated cost of international flight Singapore – Port Moresby – Singapore: USD 800 – 1000 Estimated cost of international flight Moscow – Port Moresby – Moscow (via Singapore or Manila): USD 1400 – 1800 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you). Estimated cost of international flight Port Moresby – Mount Hagen and Goroka – Port Moresby: USD 250 – 500 Single supplement
: 1 030 USD (single accommodation is provided everywhere but in Simbai. Single accommodation in Simbai can be provided only subject to availability and to be always verified) TRAVEL PROGRAM: tour Papua New Guinea Day 1. September 11, 2024 (Wednesday). PORT MORESBY – MOUNT HAGEN – PANGA VILLAGE (HULI WIGMEN TRIBE) – MOUNT HAGEN
Departure from Port Moresby at 8:30 am for Mount Hagen, with the flight PX180 with Air Niugini.
Arrival in Mount Hagen at 09:30. Meet the guide and transfer to the hotel Highlander 4*. Check-in and briefing on afternoon's activities.
After lunch, at 13:00, depart hotel for a 30 minutes scenic Waghi valley drive to Panga village to see the Huli Wigmen tribe and the rest of the afternoon will be spent at the Wigmen village. The Wigmen are famous with their ceremonial wig made out of human hair. They do distinctive face paintings and body decorations for special occasions like marriage and compensation or other special rituals. Their dance is very unique and they imitate the Bird of Paradise mating dance.
After private photo session with the Wigmen, we drive back to the hotel.
Briefing on the next days' activities. Dinner. Overnight at Highlander Hotel 4*. Meals included: lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Highlander Hotel 4*
Recommended flights to Port Moresby:
– direct flight from Singapore with Air Niugini (flight PX393), departure from Singapore at 20:35 on September 10, arrival in Port Moresby at 5:15 am on September 11,
– or any other flight from Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila or any other city, arriving in Port Moresby no later than at 5 am on September 11.
Recommended flights from Port Moresby to Mt Hagen:
- direct flight PX180 with Air Niugini, departure from Port Moresby at 8:30 am on September 11, arrival in Mt Hagen at 09:30 am on September 11,
- or any other flight arriving in Mt Hagen no later than at 9:30 am on September 11. Day 2. September 12, 2024 (Thursday). MOUNT HAGEN – AVI ORCHID VILLAGE (OMO BUGAMO SKELETON TRIBE AND ENGA PEOPLE) – MELPA TRIBE VILLAGE – MOUNT HAGEN
Today after breakfast, at 09:00, depart from the hotel for a 30 minutes' drive to Avi Orchid village. At Avi Orchid village, we will spend the day with the Skeleton men. We will have the opportunity of photographing the Skeleton men from their decoration stage to end of the show.
Skeleton tribe (or Chimbu, or Omo Bugamo) have the tradition to paint their bodies with skeletons and other ghoulish designs to frighten their enemies. There is little known about this tribe due to their remoteness, but it is estimated that around 60 000 live in the highlands. They are recognizable by their distinct skeleton body paint, featuring fierce skeletal teeth. The stylized lines of a human skeleton drawn on their bodies conferred a truly sinister air to this tribe's hunters. They cover themselves with simple loincloths made of mesh and shells.
According to local legend, the people of this tribe were eaten by the evil forest spirit of Omo Masalai. Then they decided to pretend to be spirits themselves in order to expel the evil spirit. Until now, the ritual to expel an evil spirit is repeated during their dancing ceremonies. People repaint themselves in skeletons and chase after Omo Masalai (a person who is dressed in an evil spirit).
A group of painted villagers will perform skeleton dance routines for us then pose for group photographs and individual portraits. We can take pictures of Skeleton in the shade of the jungle and with a very photogenic bamboo background.
After spending enough time with Skeleton men, we will also see the very famous Silimuli dance of Enga People. This dance is a visit card of Goroka show, and we will witness this dance in a beautiful natural environment.
Today we will also visit traditional village of Melpa tribe, where we will know more about traditions of Papuan tribes of this region and will see the traditional Scary dance.
Drive back to the hotel. Dinner and briefing of next days' activities. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Highlander Hotel 4* Day 3. September 13, 2024 (Friday). MOUNT HAGEN – MINDIMA VILLAGE (CHIMBU SKELETON TRIBE) – VILLAGE OF ASARO MUDMEN TRIBE – GOROKA
Today, with packed breakfast well before sunrise, we depart hotel for a 4 hours drive on the Highlands Highway to Goroka via the home of the famous Asaro Mudmen and Chimbu Skeleton villages. The view along the Highway is very spectacular with unique landscape of the valley, rivers and mountains.
Our first stop is Mindima village, where we meet Chimbu Skeleton people and hike together to the mountains in order to attend the photo session in the dark limestone cave with very authentic environemnt. Hiking to the cave takes some 45 minutes.
Upon arrival from the cave back in Mindima village, we attend an amazing Omo Masalai performance of Skeleton people in natural environment.
Drive further to the Asaro Mudmen village, where we will be greeted with a welcome dance into the heart of the village. At the village, we will spend time with the Asaro Mudmen tribe photographing their rituals from preparation stage to the end.
According to Asaro Mudmen mythology, once upon a time 2 neighboring tribes live in the Asaro valley. One day the 2 tribes disputed over land boundary issue and eventually that resulted in tribal fight. The first tribesmen were more strong in the battle and chased the other tribesmen who were weaker up into nearby mountains. The stronger tribe then took their land and lived there.
One day, the weaker tribesmen who were living up in the mountains, came up with a plan to take revenge in getting their land back from stronger tribesmen, but not through tribal fight again. Early in the morning, the weaker tribesmen went down to the nearby creek, collecting white mud clay and making ugly looking masks. The following day, very early in the morning, they covered themselves with mud and wore the ugly masks that they made and went down to the village and hid in nearby woods, grasses and graveyards. At first day light, the wives of the stronger tribesmen when to collect firewood and suddenly they were confronted by the ugly looking Mudmen Spirits, and were chased back into the village. The wives quickly went and told the husbands and children that they were attacked by the Spirits, and they were still following them, so they must leave the village immediately, because the Spirits were coming in full force to attach the whole village. The stronger tribesmen eventually left the village and this was how the weaker tribesmen came back to their village down in the Asaro valley.
At 17:00 or 18:00, after private photo session, we depart the Asaro village and continue driving for another 20 minutes to Goroka.
Checking in at the Phoenix Hotel 3*. Dinner and briefing of next days' activities. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Phoenix Hotel 3* Days 4 – 5. September 14 – 15, 2024 (Saturday – Sunday). GOROKA FESTIVAL
We spend 2 days at Goroka festival. Each day, after breakfast, we depart hotel at 08:30 and depart show at 15:00 or so *(depending on the time the festival activities finish) back for the hotel. Proper packed lunches cooked by our hotel and bottled water will be provided at the show ground on both days.
The Goroka festival is a colorful event that happens annually in September over the country's independence weekend. The first ever show was staged back in the early 1960's by the Australian Colonial Administration. The intention was to gather all the warring tribes in the valley together in one cultural celebration to bring or make peace amongst each warring tribe in the valley.
They now compete not by fighting each other, but by using and displaying their indigenous traditional culture in competing with other Tribes. This event continued up till this present day.
In this modern day Goroka festival we will see about 100 indigenous tribes from the 7 Highlands Provinces with their ethnic traditional cultural ritual performances. There will also be other tribes from the 2 neighboring coast Provinces of Madang and Morobe, taking part in the festival as well. It will be the great 2 days full of rich and colorful cultural activities, we spectate at the incredible festival, with all kinds of performances and costumes
that we will experience and photograph.
After finishing the Festival activities, both days, in the afternoon, we will scout the ethnic group we like (one group each day), for the private photo session in the wild environment, without any visual pollution.
Dinners and overnights at Phoenix Hotel. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Phoenix Hotel 3* Day 6. September 16, 2024 (Monday). GOROKA – ASARO MUDMED AT TOP HILL – KEMASE VILLAGE (LUFA PEOPLE) – BENABENA CANE SWALLOWING RITUAL – GOROKA
Today, with packed breakfast well before sunrise, we depart hotel for an 1 hour drive to Asaro village, where we will have a beautiful photo session with Asaro Mudmen on a top hill with amazing view. In order to get there, it will take us some 45 minutes. And we must get there before sunrise in order to take our best pictures. If we are lucky, we will see the fog laying down in the valley in between mountains.
After early session, we will drive to the south west of Goroka, to the village of Kemase in the Lufa district (about 2 hours drive to the village). Upon arrival in the village, the local tribe (Kemase tribe of Lufa people) will welcome the team with a traditional war dance. They will then lead the group to discover their Scared limestone cave to see where the ancestors of the Kemase people performed Human Cannibalism ritual. While walking into the cave, we will undergo the ritual and really feel a scary atmosphere of spirits "watching" us while coming into their world. We will be lectured on the history and ancestral mythology of human cannibalism in area and told of when the last cannibalism was practiced in here.
Magnificent location for a spectacular photogenic tour with its natural surroundings is guaranteed.
Return to hotel for late hot lunch.
After lunch, visit the BenaBena tribe in order to see famous Cane swallowing ritual.
Cane Swallowing is a traditional initiation ceremony performed exclusively by men in this part of Eastern Highlands. The ceremony requires that a cane of about 2 to 3 meters in length be inserted into the throat. It is believed that upon initiation, young men will be good leaders in their community, attract beautiful women to marry and live a healthy and long life. The cane swallowing ritual is for boys at puberty and young men. There is the sacred understanding that this ritual clears the mind and enlightens the heart and body.
It is considered as a purification of the body after a man takes and eats food from a menstruating woman, or engages in coitus with a woman. Generally, the ritual is seen as a way to restore the inner strength of a man and inspire him to live a happy and successful life.
However, with the arrival of Christianity in the 1950s, many practices like this have been banned by churches and are now close to extinction. In recent years, the cane swallowing ceremony has been revived with the help of village elders who hope to pass on these traditions to future generations.
Return to our hotel. Dinner and overnight at Phoenix Hotel.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Phoenix Hotel 3* Day 7. September 17, 2024 (Tuesday). GOROKA – SIMBAI (KALAM TRIBE)
Today after early breakfast, we will depart hotel at 07:30 for the airport for our charter flight to Simbai.
Together with our guide and cook, we fly by small aircrafts with the capacity of 8 pax. Thus, we will take 2 flights, one by one. We are allowed to take only 20 kg of overall (together with hand luggage) baggage per person. The rest of the baggage we shall keep in Goroka, as we fly to Simbai for only 3 nights.
Flight takes 45 minutes, but soon we find ourselves in Simbai village, in the middle of mountainous ridges, among the jungle, to where there are no any roads. This is the innocent land of Kalam tribe.
Upon arrival in Simbai, we will be met by our local team on the ground. They will assist us to the Guest House and the Kalam festival.
We will be accommodated in the simple local guest house in the village, with 2 shared bathrooms and 2 shared pit toilets (however with comfortable toilet bowl). The local team does their best for our comfort, so the hot water in the buckets is always available, both in the evening and in the morning. Accommodation is basic, 2 people in each room. We are in the wild. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: village guest house (basic conditions) Days 8 – 9. September 18 – 19, 2024 (Wednesday – Thursday). KALAM FESTIVAL IN SIMBAI
Two days in the amazing village of Simbai witnessing main annual festival of this tribe dedicated to Kalam boys' initiation ceremony.
Kalam tribe is one of country's isolated tribes, still live an authentic traditional lifestyle with their natural environmental in the mountains of Simbai. Due to its isolation, the Kalam tribe is fortunate to maintain its original culture, tribal traditions and rituals that are incredibly unique to the Kalam people.
The Kalam tribe is famous for their biggest and the most sophisticated headwear made of cuscus fur, feathers and thousands of heads of emerald green beetles. They also wear necklaces made of kina shell and hornbill bills. Young boys get their nose pierced as a sign of becoming adult. Women cover their bodies with pig fats to give them more shine.
It is surely incredible to see and experience the Kalam culture. It will be a unique photogenic and photographic experience of a lifetime.
The festival program will be announced closer to the date but festival activities will include traditional dancing (sing sing), earth oven cooking demonstration and feasting, traditional courtship ceremony, exchange of gifts between the families, payment of bride price and compensation for wrongdoings, massive slaughtering of pigs, and, as a quintessence – initiation of boys into the Kalam tribe (rite of passage) by piercing their nose with septums.
Unlike the Goroka show which takes place in an urban setting with fences, crowds, umbrellas and Coca Cola signs in the background spoiling the photography, the Kalam Festival will take place in a village environment with nearby nature attractions including rivers, waterfalls, jungles and mountains to use as scenic backgrounds.
In the afternoon we will scout the Kalam people we like, for the private photo session in the nice environment that we choose on our own: especially at the waterfall and the top hill, as well as inside the dwellings for ideal portraying.
Hot breakfasts, lunches and dinners at the guesthouse including blend of local food, tinned and packaged foods carried from Goroka, variety of local fruits (passion fruit, pineapple, avocado etc.), soft drinks, bottled water and hot drinks (tea, coffee). Overnights in the village Guest house with basic conditions and always hot bucket shower.
Local people celebrate all nights long, so we are completely immersed into the atmosphere of fest and happiness. We listen to the lullabys or set off to the playground to participate in primeval dances. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: village guest house (basic conditions) Day 10. September 20, 2024 (Friday). SIMBAI – GOROKA – PORT MORESBY
Today, after breakfast, farewell with Kalam land. We will be assisted to the airstrip for charter 45 minutes flight back to Goroka.
Upon arrival in Goroka, transfer to Phoenix Hotel for lunch and picking-up our luggage if we store something in the clock room.
After lunch at the hotel, at 2 pm, we will be transferred to the airport to catch flight to Port Moresby. Depart from Goroka at 16:55 with Air Niugini flight PX165.
Arrive in Port Moresby at 18:00.
Catching your connection international flight from Port Moresby out of the country. Meals included: breakfast
Accommodation included: no Recommended flights from Goroka to Port Moresby:
- direct flight PX165 with Air Niugini, departure from Goroka at 16:55 on September 20, arrival in Port Moresby at 18:00 on September 20,
- or any other flight departing from Goroka no earlier than at 16:30 on September 20.
Recommended international flights back from Port Moresby:
– direct flight to Singapore with Air Niugini (flight PX392), departure from Port Moresby at 14:50 on September 21, arrival in Singapore at 19:20 on September 21 (extra night in the hotel in Port Moresby may be needed),
– or any other flight from Port Moresby to Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila or any other city, departing from Port Moresby no earlier than at 22:30 on September 20 (should be connected with your flight Goroka – Port Moresby).