ESCORTED COASTAL AND HIGHLANDS TRIBES TOUR - 11 nights - $3195
September 7th to 18th
Rabaul, Kokopo and Duke of York Islands for three nights, Mt Hagen for 2 nights with its amazing birdlife and the Melpa people, Asaro Mudmen village stay and private Sing-Sings with three nights' accommodation in a rustic lodge, Goroka two-day festival with three nights' accommodation in air-conditioned guest house accommodation close to the show grounds. Includes meals except lunches in Rabaul, and lunches and dinners in Goroka, includes internal flights, show entry, activities, transfers, Sing Sings, guiding.
This is an escorted tour, escorted by Best of PNG’s owner and professional photographer Christopher Bartlett. We meet at Port Moresby airport (pre-tour accommodation can be arranged) and fly to Rabaul and check into air-conditioned accommodation at Rapopo Plantation Resort, our home for three nights. We will have a full day tour to Duke Of York island to dscover island life, meet the villager, visit the school, with snorkelling on beautiful coral reefs along the way, and maybe a dolphin encoiunter or two. We will also have a full day tour of Rabaul and Kokopo, with its rich World War 2 history, hot springs, and an optional visit to Mt Tarvurvur, an active volcano that dominates the bay.
On the 10th we fly to Port Moresby and then onto Mount Hagen to stay at Magic Mountain Lodge, in the foothills of the mountain. Here we will vivist Paiya village and the following day have a full day birdwatching looking for birds of paradise.
On the 12th we transfer in minibuses to the Asaro valley, where we will have two days of cultural activities with the Asaro Mudmen including a simulation of a bride price negotiation, the festivities at the hand over of the dowry, how to make a “mumu” (an earth pit hot stone oven), bow and arrow shooting, a mud mask making demonstration, swimming in the Asaro River, visiting the vegetable and coffee gardens, a sacrificial site, and a cave hide-out. We also see three different Sing-Sing performances. Accommodation for three nights is in a lodge built by the Asaro in their village. The Asaro village guest house has twin and double rooms, 24-hour electricity, male and female “long drop” toilets, and rainwater showers. Water can be heated for showers. If this is too basic, the Bird of Paradise Hotel in Goroka, 30 minutes away) has air-conditioned rooms with en suite bathrooms. On the Friday we are dropped off in the late afternoon at our accommodation in Goroka. This is an excellent opportunity to get an in depth insight into highlands living with the iconic Asaro Mudmen.
The climax of the trip is on the Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th with up to 150 tribes gathering in a large field for the Goroka Festival. In the adjacent field there is a very interesting agricultural fair showcasing cash crops that grow well locally to encourage the locals to farm on a greater scale. There is also a stage with a music concert and a number of food stalls. Large numbers of locals attend; this is still an event for the locals and tens of thousands turn out, compared to less than 400 tourist attendees. On Saturday and Sunday morning, from 9 AM, you can wander round the field freely, taking photos and video, talking as the tribes file into the field. Once all the tribes are in, the main gates are opened to the locals around midday. Here your meals are not included, but there are food stalls around the grounds, you can go to the supermarket and use the basic kitchen, there is a canteen on site if you pre-order meals, and we have use of a minibus with driver to take us into the centre (a 15-minute walk) to have dinner in one of the restaurants there.
On the Monday morning we are transferred to the airport for our flight back to Port Moresby.
$3195 S USD per person sharing. Includes meals except at Goroka, and includes internal flights, show entry, transfers, Sing Sings.
Single occupancy supplement : $350 USD
Interactive itinerary here