Secret Valleys of New Guinea

14 days
from
£10,780
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Culture
Suitable for:
Age 17+
Activity level:
Moderate
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
ZAG
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Cultural Wonders
Group size:
7–14
Min age:
17

Unparalleled culture and wildlife encounters await you on the easternmost island of the Indonesian archipelago

We traverse “the land of the unexpected” from the spectacular lowland rainforests on the coastal plains to 15,000-foot-high peaks our tour of the world’s second largest island, New Guinea. The island is divided in half between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Explore the fascinating villages along the Karawari River; the spectacular flora, fauna, and unique culture of the highlands in Rondon Ridge; meet the diverse tribes from the highlands of Wamena, and the Baliem valley during the Baliem Valley Cultural festival.

We’ll do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

Highlights

  • Cruise along the Karawari River to view crocodiles basking on the banks and locals paddling their slender dugout canoes with long, curved oars.
  • Attend the Beliem Valley Culture Festival and meet the Dani people—known for their costumes using feathers, orchid-fibre fabrics, and boar tusks—and witness a mock battle and re-enactments of traditional ceremonies.
  • Take nature walks to search for unique flora and fauna, including parrots, birds of paradise, flightless cassowaries, and nearly 2,700 species of orchids.
  • Travel to remote areas where you will stay in comfortable lodges with fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness.

What's included

  • Flights within the itinerary
  • All excursions in the company of a world-class expedition leader and local guides
  • All gratuities
  • All accommodations
  • All group meals, including selected beverages with lunch and dinner
  • All entrance fees
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

What's not included

  • Round trip airfare from your city/Port Moresby Jayapura/Denpasar/home city
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages (other than listed above), and other incidentals
  • Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges
Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Itinerary

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
to
Denpasar, Bali
  • Day 1

    PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

    Arrive in Port Moresby on July 30, and transfer to the Airways Hotel for dinner and overnight.

    Accommodation: Airways Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    PORT MORESBY / MOUNT HAGEN / KARAWARI

    After breakfast, board our group flight to the Sepik River area, via Mount Hagen. Transfer to Karawari Lodge—named for the nearby river—your base for exploring the fascinating culture along the jungle-fringed waterways. The main lodge building, designed after the traditional haus tambaran—ancestral worship house—is decorated with artifacts and boldly carved furniture, and includes a dining room, library, lounge, and a long veranda overlooking the Karawari River. 

    Accommodation: Karawari Lodge

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 3-4

    KARAWARI

    Spend two days exploring ‘Arambak’ country, one of the most remote and unspoiled areas of Papua New Guinea. Board small boats to explore along the Karawari River, where crocodiles bask on the banks, and you may see locals paddling their dugout canoes with long, curved oars. You have several opportunities to observe village life and customs, participate in daily activities, and see reenactments of traditional ceremonies. Search for several species of birds of paradise and the beautiful Sepik blue orchid, found along the forest trails surrounding the lodge.

    Accommodation: Karawari Lodge

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    KARAWARI / MOUNT HAGEN / RONDON RIDGE

    Board our charter flight to Mount Hagen and, upon arrival, transfer to Rondon Ridge Lodge. Each room features a bird’s-eye view of paradise, overlooking the Wahgi Valley. Spend the afternoon exploring the lodge’s vast network of forest trails.

    Accommodation: Rondon Ridge Lodge

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 6-7

    RONDON RIDGE

    Located at 7,100 feet above sea level, Rondon offers pristine highlands rainforest. Over 180 species of birds have been recorded here, including 10 species of birds of paradise. A highlight of your time here is the chance to meet and interact with the Melpa people. Though first contact with the Melpa was made in 1934, in many ways, their lifestyle remains relatively unchanged. Among the world’s first horticulturists, learn about the important industries of gardening and sweet potato cultivation. 

    Accommodation: Rondon Ridge Lodge

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    RONDON RIDGE / MOUNT HAGEN / PORT MORESBY

    Bid farewell to Rondon, and transfer to Mount Hagen for our flight to Port Moresby. Check in to the Airways Hotel with the rest of the day a leisure. 

    Accommodation: Airways Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    PORT MORESBY / VANIMO / JAYAPURA, PAPUA, INDONESIA

    After breakfast, board our flight to Vanimo, then embark on a scenic drive, crossing the border of West Papua and Papua. Arrive in Jayapura and check in to the Swiss-Belhotel Papua for dinner and overnight.

    Accommodation: Swiss-Belhotel Papua

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    JAYAPURA / WAMENA (BALIEM VALLEY)

    After breakfast, board our short flight to Wamena, the largest town in Indonesia’s West Papua highlands. Enjoy lunch before visiting the colorful Wamena market. Check in to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

    Accommodation: Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 11-12

    WAMENA (BALIEM VALLEY)

    Spend two full days exploring in and around the stunning Jayawijaya Mountains and magical Baliem Valley. The lush terrain is punctuated with swift rivers, the colorful blooms of orchids, and the purple haze of cultivated sweet potato fields. This region is home to the indigenous Dani and Lani tribal people—isolated by 8,000 foot peaks, most of the 5,000-foot-high valley remains as untouched as it was on the day that American explorer Richard Archbold stumbled upon it in 1938. The people here live in palm-shaded, round hut village compounds that have changed little over the millennia. Known for their unique personal decoration, which sometimes includes boar tusks through their noses and headdresses made of bird feathers, the most famous of these adornments is the koteka, traditional penis gourds worn by the elder tribal men. The Dani tribe inhabits one of the most fertile areas in West Papua and constant war with neighboring tribes earned them a fearsome reputation as prolific headhunters. During the annual Baliem Valley Culture Festival, enjoy a traditional pig feast, watch a mock battle, energetic dance performances, and several competitions, such as archery and spear throwing. You’ll also have an opportunity to see the 250-year-old mummy at Jiwika, and visit traditional villages where you’ll have the opportunity to experience the daily lives of the Dani people, visit their straw-capped homes, and see their lush gardens.

    Accommodation: Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    WAMENA / JAYAPURA

    After breakfast, board our flight to Jayapura. Check in to the Swiss-Belhotel Papuafor an afternoon at leisure. This evening, attend a festive cocktail party followed by a farewell dinner. 

    Accommodation: Swiss-Belhotel Papua

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    JAYAPURA / DENPASAR, BALI

    Today, board your flight to Bali. Connect with your independent homeward flight. Tour ends here.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Papua New Guinea

All visitors to PNG including tourists are required to have a visa to enter. Currently a 30-day tourist visa is available upon arrival for UK nationals at Port Moresby's Jackson's International Airport. This visa is non-extendable and the fee is currently PGK25. To be granted a visa on arrival you will need a valid passport, proof of sufficient funds for your stay, an onward airline ticket with confirmed bookings and PGK25 in cash. Alternatively, you may arrange your visa prior to leaving your home country with the nearest PNG Embassy.

Indonesia

Many nationalities, including British, can now get a visa free of charge upon arrival at Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Batam, Bali and Yogyakarta. Where a free visa is not available the cost is generally US$35. The Indonesian government may change the visa policy on short notice and start charging for the visas so be prepared to pay for a visa in case this happens.

Vaccinations

Papua New Guinea

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for this trip. Recommended vaccinations for this trip are: Tetanus,
Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.
Malaria prophylaxis is essential on this trip, and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Indonesia

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis should be considered if your trip goes to Flores, Komodo, parts of Sumatra, Kalimatan or Sulawesi but not for Java, Bali or Lombok. 

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Is this trip for you?

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Zegrahm Expeditions. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Zegrham Expeditions, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you would expect. Zegrahm Expeditions operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel.

This expedition requires a moderate level of exertion. To best enjoy your experiences in New Guinea, you should be in good physical condition and be able to participate on nature hikes of one to five miles over rough or uneven trails. There will be opportunities for hikes of varied lengths. The weather in the highlands is notoriously changeable and can be quite cool in the evening. Be prepared for strong sun, and rain should be expected at any time. By packing clothing that can be layered you can ensure you will be prepared for the various conditions you may encounter on any given day.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Premium Lodges & Hotels

It is Zegrahm's policy to always use premium quality accommodations, when available, in the regions we visit. Since each destination is different, lodging can range from elegant hotels in cities to rustic inns in more remote areas. You will receive specific accommodation details closer to the time of departure.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]