Papua New Guinea Culture
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Papua New Guinea Culture

Boasting over 850 indigenous languages, Papua New Guinea’s topography ranges from the extreme rugged mountain highlands to the orchid laden rainforests and swamps of the lowland; such terrain has rendered PNG as one of the world's least explored countries, both culturally and geographically.

Papua New Guinea Culture
Best Months All year round
Epic Suggests 7 Days
  • Mount Hagen

    Mount Hagen is located at the western end of the Wahgi Valley, bounded by mountains whose peaks exceed 13,000 feet. The valley floor is covered in a lush green carpet of subsistence crops of sweet potato, coffee, tea and vegetables. Enjoy the picturesque landscape and take nature walks with your knowledgeable guide.

    Mount Hagen Papua New GuineaThis stunningly beautiful countryside is home to many ethnic groups. Visit their villages and learn of their complex beliefs in the ancestor spirits. Each year, Mount Hagen hosts the Mount Hagen Cultural Show, one of the largest cultural events in Papua New Guinea. Various regional, provincial, even national tribal dance groups gather to celebrate their cultural heritage in the form of a Sing Sing.
  • Middle Sepik Region

    It is a time-warped mixture of pre-technological and technological architecture and is the perfect base for some old-fashioned jungle, river and village exploration. You are in the middle of Arambak country – drums throb, wild birds call and traditional village life continues largely unchanged. No roads, thick jungle, crocodiles and locals poling dugout canoes.

    Middle Sepik Region Papua New GuineaThe Sepik River is the longest river on the island of New Guinea and has a large catchment area including swamplands, tropical rainforests and mountains. Local villagers have lived along the riverbanks for many millennia as it continues to be their transport and lifeline. Visit the Kundiman village to witness how the locals harvest their staple food and pay a visit to the Yimas Lakes, which provide consistent supplies of fresh fish.
  • Central Highlands

    This location promises eternal spring weather and magnificent views of the lush countryside. The forest canopy, a dense mass of interlocking tree tops of all shades of green and the occasional bright splash of colour, provides a natural setting and an exhilarating climate for venturing along the nature trails; featuring traditional vine bridges, a secluded waterfall, high altitude orchids and rhododendrons, they rarely disappoint. The Tari Gap area has many viewing areas in which to observe up to 13 species of the birds of paradise.

    Central Highlands Papua New GuineaThe flamboyant Huli Wigmen of the Tari Valley have formed a strong bond between themselves and these beautiful birds. Men revere the birds by imitating them in both daily and ceremonial life, decorating their human hair wigs with the plumage of only the most beautiful birds.

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  • Festivals

    Papua New Guinea is renowned for its immense diversity of cultures, languages and tribal traditions. The world renowned Mount Hagen Cultural Festival takes place over three days in August. Tribes arrive in full traditional costumes with stunning face tattoos, body paint, elaborate headdresses and shell breastplates. You will find yourself captivated by the rhythm and colour as dancers whirl to the sound of the beating drums. The Highlanders are very proud and competitive people and the show is therefore a vibrant and energetic display.

    Festivals in Papua New GuineaIn September, more than 40,000 painted warriors descend on the Highlands town of Garoka to dance to the rhythmic thud of the Kundu drums. The cultural displays over this weekend are astounding as over 80 tribes descend on the town.  For two days and two nights the sound of drums resounds throughout the hills as tribesmen dance in their colourful traditional dress, with face and body paint, feathers, shells and masks.

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  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 1: Port Moresby / Mount Hagen

    Upon arrival in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea you connect with your onward flight to Mount Hagen – this flight is 75 minutes.

    On arrival at Mount Hagen you are met and transferred to your accommodation in the Western Highlands Province. Your comfortable resort is located 7,100 feet above sea level, on the outer fringes of the Kubor Range and boasts panoramic views of the Wahgi Valley below.

    Port Moresby / Mount Hagen
  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 2: Mount Hagen

    Today is spent exploring this picturesque landscape. Your private guide will allow you to discover the different cultural and ethnic groups with their complex beliefs in the ancestor spirits, intricate moka exchanges and inter-tribal marriage rules.

    You learn how the people in towns and cities have adapted their beliefs to integrate the west's consumerism, pop culture and dress. Your day will also include short nature walks around the lodge area.

    Mount Hagen Papua New Guinea

  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 3: Mount Hagen / Sepik Province

    Today you are transferred from your lodge to marry up with your charter flight to Karawari – a flight of approximately 60 minutes. Upon arrival you are transferred to a waiting jet boat and travel up river to your lodge, set on a ridge overlooking the Karawari River, in the Middle Sepik region.

    The afternoon is spent visiting the nearby Kundiman village to witness how the locals harvest and make their staple food from sago palm trees.

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  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 4: Sepik Province

    Today you travel along the jungle-fringed waterways of the Sepik River where boatmen, standing upright, paddle their slender dugout canoes. As you travel you will see bountiful birdlife along the rivers and nearby lakes.

    You have the opportunity today to enhance your understanding of traditional village culture as well as visiting the Yimas Lakes, an expansive system of lakes which provide locals with consistent supplies of fresh fish.

    Sepik Province Papua New Guinea
  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 5: Sepik Province / Tari Valley

    Today you fly to the Tari Valley, a small regional centre in the Central Highlands. Your scenic flight takes approximately 1 hour and provides views of myriad waterfalls. On arrival you are met and transferred to your accommodation high on the slopes of the Tari Valley.

    Tari is one of the few places left where men and women can be seen wearing traditional dress as part of daily living and men's wealth is still counted by the number of pigs and wives they possess. The afternoon is spent exploring your surrounds where high mountain forests with roaring waterfalls beckon the intrepid traveller.

    Sepik Province / Tari Valley Papua New Guinea
  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 6: Tari Valley

    In contrast to the Sepik and Tari people, whose areas are manifested in ceremonial and decorative carvings, these Highland people employ body decoration as their art. Their faces are vividly painted and human hair wigs are decorated with feathers, flowers and moss. The Huli culture is the most vibrant, intact and colourful to be experienced anywhere.

    Take guided walks through the tropical jungle to spot the elusive Bird of Paradise and view the multitude of orchids found in the area.

    Tari Valley Papua New Guinea
  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 7: Tari Valley / Port Moresby

    Today you are transferred to the Tari airport to connect with your flight to Port Moresby – flying time is approximately 90 minutes. Upon arrival you connect with your international flight and depart Papua New Guinea.

    Tari Valley / Port Moresby Papua New Guinea
  • Sample Itinerary

    Indicative Cost

    From US$ 500 per person per day, based on 2 people travelling.

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    png-culture-indicative-cost
  • 1/8 | Day 1: Port Moresby / Mount Hagen
  • 2/8 | Day 2: Mount Hagen
  • 3/8 | Day 3: Mount Hagen / Sepik Province
  • 4/8 | Day 4: Sepik Province
  • 5/8 | Day 5: Sepik Province / Tari Valley
  • 6/8 | Day 6: Tari Valley
  • 7/8 | Day 7: Tari Valley / Port Moresby
  • 8/8 | Indicative Cost
Epic are the experts for trips to Papua New Guinea. Their innovative handcrafted itineraries, personal service and over the top attention to detail make them my first choice for PNG.

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