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Special cultural tour

Coastal and Highlands Tribes Escorted Tour. 11 nights. 7- 18 September 2017. Culminates at the Goroka Festival. $3195. click here

PNG Festival packages

PNG liveaboards

9-night Spirit of Niugini cruise: Milne Bay, and southern islands, 18th to 27th September 2017 from $2640 click here

Meet us

7 to 10 January 2017: Paris Dive Show 

4 and 5 March 2017: Madrid Dive Travel Show

24 - 26 March 2017: Beneath the Sea, New Jersey

6 - 7 May 2017: Long Beach Scuba Show, California

November 2017 : DEMA Orlando (trade only)


Rondon Ridge, Western Highlands Province

7100 feet above sea level, on the outer fringes of the Kubor Range, lies Rondon Ridge. The newest addition to the Wilderness Lodge portfolio, boasting panoramic views of the Wahgi Valley below, Rondon Ridge is the pinnacle of luxury in a remote and rural setting.

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Mount Hagen City is the business heart of the Papua New Guinea highlands supporting a number of important industries such as tea, coffee, mining and transportation. It is a city where stone meets steel and where tradition and history is juxtaposed against modern ways. A comprehensive touring program takes you on a journey through the traditions and customs of the Melpa People. First contact with the Melpa was made in the mid-1930s when the Leahy brothers were prospecting for gold. The Melpa are said by anthropologists, to be 'predisposed to capitalism' because of their complex traditional society in which 'big men' earn status by accruing wealth and then giving it all away in a ceremonial exchange called "Moka". The lodge has a variety of new touring vehicles and all excursions are accompanied by experienced local guides from the area.

Raggiana Bird of PAradiseOver 180 species of birds have been recorded in the rainforests around Rondon Ridge including ten species of Bird of Paradise. The surrounding area is pristine rainforest and home to numerous orchid species. The lodge has hours of walking trails providing ample opportunity to explore the unique ecology of this area. All nature and birding walks are accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable nature guides. Comprehensive bird and orchid lists are available for Rondon Ridge are available on request via e-mail.

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Guests are accommodated in twelve tastefully appointed rooms with warmed king beds for those fresh highlands nights, with modern en-suite bathrooms. Rondon Ridge has 24-hour, eco-friendly electricity, provided by its own hydroelectric power plant that generates clean, natural energy from a nearby mountain stream.

Rondon Ridge is a 40-minute drive from the town of Mount Hagen and just under an hour from the airport. There are several daily flights between Mount Hagen and the capital, Port Moresby, tickets start at $200 each way.

Western Highland culture

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The highlanders of Papua New Guinea were one of the last large groups to be brought into the world community. Mount Hagen and the Wahgi Valley area is the home of the Melpa people and this area was not discovered by the outside world until 1934, when Australian gold prospectors (the Leahy brothers) entered the Wahgi Valley.

In many ways the lifestyle in this area of Papua New Guinea remains relatively unchanged today. These people were among the world’s first horticulturists and even today sweet potato gardening is the basis for many things in the area, such as trade. Pigs are a sign of wealth among the Melpa people and it is not uncommon to see women looking after the family pigs and tending to their sweet potato gardens.

The Melpa people are referred to as pre-adapted to capitalism, demonstrating a form of ebullient materialism. Their leaders are mankind's quintessential entrepreneurs, amassing wealth in extended systems of ceremonial exchange, called moka or tee. Ceremonial exchanges became the measure of a man and men begged and borrowed from their clansmen to sponsor a great moka or tee ceremony. The bigger the presentation, the bigger the man. Trade partners accepted gifts, only to become obliged to reciprocate in the future. However the trick with moka or tee is the need to return an equal amount plus more. It is a system of incremental exchange, not of balance. People are locked into escalating relations of generosity and debt.

The greatest change within the Melpa people has been the suppression of inter-group warfare. The traditional cultural values which placed importance on battle skills, sorcery and ritual cult knowledge have given way to more material prestige. Wealth, land and leadership are more easily inherited by the people within the Melpa community than ever before.

Rondon Ridge, with its breath-taking views over the Wahgi Valley, is the ideal place to stay to experience the Melpa culture. Day trips into local villages to experience the culture and see tribes such as the famous Papua New Guinea Mud Men. The experienced and knowledgeable local guides will safely escort you on your adventure.

Rates

Rooms

Rates (All inclusive per person)

Single

$ 853.00 per person per night.  

Double/Twin Room

$ 633.00 per person per night

Triple

$ 599.00 per person per night

The inclusive rate includes accommodation, tours, transfers and all meals from lunch first day to breakfast last day.

Access

Flights to Mt Hagen on Air Niugini start at $200 one way.

Charter flights from other departure points can be arranged.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays there are flights to Ambua Lodge, Karawari Lodge, and Sepik Spirit Lodge for $523 each way.

Charter flights from other departure points can be arranged.

 

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