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Special cultural tour

Highlands Tribes Escorted Tour. 7 nights. 10 - 17 September 2018. Culminates at the Goroka Festival. $2170. click here

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910-night Tawali resort - Spirit of Niugini cruise - Tufi resort: The best of Milne Bay and Oro provinces, 31st August to 10th September. Free photo coaching and yoga from $4160  click here

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12 - 15 January 2018: Paris Dive Show 

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Sepik Spirit Lodge – Sepik River, Middle Sepik region

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Luxury in the deepest Sepik...

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The MV Sepik Spirit is a luxurious "floating Lodge" commissioned in 1989 to facilitate exploration into some of the remotest reaches of the Sepik Region, too far to travel from Karawari Lodge in smaller boats and inaccessible to aircraft and larger vessels. The MV Sepik Spirit is now permanently berthed at Kaminimbit village, located in the Middle Sepik where most of the population lives.

The Sepik Spirit is a fully air-conditioned shallow draft vessel accommodating up to 18 guests in 9 spacious rooms, each with en-suite bathroom, large windows and river views. In short, a perfect retreat after a day exploring in the Sepik heat. On board facilities include a comfortable lounge, well stocked bar, dining area and a covered, insect-proofed upper observatory deck.

Sepik River map

This is one of the richest areas for art and culture in the Sepik region. It isaccessible by light aircraft from Mount Hagen, Karawari or Ambua Lodges. From Kaminimbit the lodge offers offer daily cultural touring programs into many of the remote villages once visited by the MV Sepik Spirit on her cruises - such as the Chambri Lakes, Mindimbit, Yentchen, Palembei, Kanganaman, Timbunke and Tambunum.

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Daily explorations into the smaller tributaries and their remote and isolated villages are done using 18-seat jet-boats with guests returning to the MV Sepik Spirit before sundown. Private touring and transfers are not available on the MV Sepik Spirit.

The Sepik Spirit allows access to remote villages and provides the traveller with the opportunity to mingle with local people and experience traditions, cultures and lifestyles that are witnessed by very few outsiders each year. The river banks are dotted with villages, each with their own 'Haus Tambaran' or 'Spirit House' decorated with ancestral figures, carvings, massive garamut drums and secretive ritual flutes. The Sepik Region is a gallery of tribal art. Each village boasts its own unique style and every village ris an artisan.

Sepik Culture

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The people of this ecologically diverse region speak more than 250 languages and are knitted together in systems of trade and cultural interaction. Ritual, genealogical and historical knowledge defines one group from another and maintains the distinctions that facilitate trade.

Life in the Sepik area revolves around the river, with men paddling narrow dugout canoes full of goods for trade, women fishing or making sago and children joyfully swinging from trees to splash down in the river. The Sepik is a gallery of tribal art, each village boasts a unique style and every villager is an artisan.

 

Head hunting was a river culture practice in the Sepik area. The fact that young men could only come of age in these regions by taking a head, suggests how incessant warfare must have been. The Iatmul people of the Sepik would take the heads in battle, boil away the flesh and hang the painted and decorated skulls as trophies in the men's houses. The head hunters were not necessarily cannibals, but many were. Human flesh was eaten until fairly recently and some of the older men from villages remember tasting it as  children, they will tell you that it tasted a little bit like chicken.

The men's house is the place where important decisions regarding the village are made, where boys are initiated and become men and ceremonies to please the spirits are performed. Here the crocodile is worshiped as the water spirit. In excruciatingly painful ceremonies young men have their backs cut to resemble the markings of the crocodile, which is a symbol of strength and power.

Access

The Sepik Spirit is only accessible by light aircraft with flights departing from either Mount Hagen or Ambua Lodge on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Flights are $523 each way between the lodge and either Ambua Lodge or Rondon Ridge near Mount Hagen. Flights to Mt Hagen on Air Niugini start at $200 one way. Charter flights from other departure points can be arranged.

       

Rates

Rooms

Rates

Single

$ 920.00 per person per night

Double/Twin Room

$ 795.00 per person per night

Triple

$ 743.00 per person per night

Note: Inclusive rate includes accommodation, tours, transfers and all meals from lunch first day to breakfast last day

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