Nature Travel Specialists

Papua New Guinea nature tours & travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Australia, Southeast Asia, South America and Alaska

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea - if there is anywhere on Earth worthy of the title "The Land That Time Forgot", Papua New Guinea is it. Only recently pulled from its Stone Age roots, tribal living is still the norm, and practices dating back thousands of years are still pursued. Dowries are necessary for marriage, and the price is in pigs. Insults lead to clan wars, using bows and arrows and spears. Intricate, often spectacular, face paint, headwear and other adornments can be seen in highland marketplaces, and all of the 600 separate languages are still spoken.

But Papua New Guinea is not just colorful highland clans. Some of the world's best diving occurs just offshore, and there is more marine variety in Kimbe Bay alone than in all the Caribbean. Papua New Guinea is home to the Trobriand Islands, a string of island gems made famous by Margaret Mead, who is still remembered by the oldest residents.

Papua New Guinea remains steeped in its history, but change is occurring. More people are moving to the cities, and mining continues to change the landscape. These changes will continue, and increase, and so we strongly suggest visiting this island nation sooner, rather than later.

The most famous events in Papua New Guinea are the Mt Hagen Show & sing-sing, and the Goroka Show, also a sing-sing occasion. At each event hundreds to thousands of villagers don their best finery and enter into competitive dancing for the honors of the best. Few events in the world rival the color and spectacle of these sing-sings. Even fewer allow visitors to be so intimately involved with the event itself, mingling with the performers in their traditional costumes as they await their turn to prove their worth. As accommodation is limited, and sells out early, we strongly recommend booking now for travel in 2007 -much of the hotel space is already gone. Call or email for more information.

There are also less-known traditional events, such as the Rabaul mask festival, held mid-July on New Britain. The Mask Festival presents a stunning array of ceremonial rites and rituals from a variety of unique tribal cultures indigenous to the islands of the Bismarck and North Solomon Seas, including the Trobriands and New Ireland. The festival was introduced nine years ago to promote the unique mask cultures of Papua New Guinea. Masks of the Melanesian islands, called Tumbuan, represent sacred symbols and are connected to ancestral spirits. Each culture displays its own mask symbolism, thus making this a spectacular event to witness. The opening ceremony takes place at dawn where Tolai in full body masks sail ashore in traditional canoes. This show can be included in a cruise through the Bismarck Archipelago, giving access to some of the best dive sites in the world, as well as the opportunity to explore remote and rarely visited islands.

Much of Papua new Guinea, from the Sepik River to the far reaches of remote island archipelagos can be visited in luxury aboard the Orion. This 100-passenger 5 star expeditionary ship has a crew 0f 75, and sets the standard for cruising in Papua New Guinea. and surrounding areas. Every room offers you ocean views, room to relax during the day and a choice of either queen or twin bed sleeping arrangements. All of the Staterooms and Suites have the same high standard of amenity. The marble bathrooms are well appointed, with Grohe tapware, Lanvin toiletries, fluffy towels and robes. All rooms (with two, twin port-holed exceptions) have large windows, and offer conveniences such as ample storage space, complementary 24-hour room service, a flat screen TV, DVD/CD player, internet connectivity, a personal safe, hairdryer and a mini-refrigerator continuously stocked with complimentary bottled water.
Orion is one of our Select Escapes, providing an exceptional combination of destination, comfort and service.

Trish, a project volunteer, with matschie's tree kangaroo PNGNature Travel Specialists has been supporting the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, a collaborative effort by several zoos in the US, including Woodland Park in Seattle, Utah's Hogle Zoo, St Louis Zoo, and the National Zoo. The Program aims at working with local indigenous people in PNG to include them in wanting to conserve tree kangaroos, and also to establish and manage a Conservation Area. You can read more about the project at the Tree Kangaroo Conservation website.