Sorry you missed the 2011 sold out tour! We’re now taking deposits for the 2012 Mt. Hagen and Goroka Show tours!
Mt. Hagen Show Cultural Tour to Papua New Guinea
15-day tour to Papua New Guinea (co-ed)
2011 Itinerary dates: August 5 – 19, 2011
This unique 15-day cultural journey to Papua New Guinea includes the extraordinary chance to experience the Mt. Hagen Festival held each year in August. 2011 is the 50th anniversary of this singsing that will certainly draw an increased number of tribes from all over Papua New Guinea.
The tour features a private pre-show event where a small number of tribes sing and dance in preparation for the Mt. Hagen Festival. You will have the rare chance to meander amongst the tribes while they are applying their makeup, getting dressed and adorning themselves with body art just prior to performing. Simply put, this can be described as a photographer’s dream.
Additionally, this unique tour features boating down the impressive Sepik River in the north, where you will experience a homestay. The group will also go to the seaside community of Madang for snorkeling, scuba diving (if you like), unwinding and cultural activities with the local people (such as demos of basket weaving and food preparation).
The adventure starts in Port Moresby on August 5, 2011. Nearly all flights arrive via Brisbane, Cairns or Tokyo.
August 5, 2011
On this day of the trip, you’ll be welcomed upon landing at the Port Moresby Airport and head to the hotel. Depending on arrival times, there may be time for the group to have a brief tour of Port Moresby including the National Parliament Haus the National Museum and the Botanical Gardens. Overnight in Port Moresby.
August 6, 2011
Following breakfast, the group will go to the airport for the flight to Wewak, where we will be met by the local guide and taken to the hotel. This is going to be the starting point for the tour of the Sepik region. Overnight in Wewak.
August 7, 2011 (Meals: L, D)
Today we will have an early breakfast and travel around 4 hours to Pagwi. We’ll then go by motorized canoe to the village of Korogu. We’ll have the opportunity to visit the village, examine artifacts on exhibit and connect with the local people. We’ll then continue to Kanganamun where we’ll stay overnight.
NOTE – This accommodation is quite basic and likely will consist of bedding on bare floors, an outside pit toilet and bucket baths. Meals will also be simple (taro, sago and chicken) and the accommodations may possibly only possess a hurricane lamp or power supplied by an electrical generator.
HIGHLIGHT! Arriving in the rural Sepik region will be a highlight in and of itself. This particular location is inhabited by numerous tribes. Boating along the Sepik River, we will see lots of tribes that maintain traditional lifestyles going back thousands of years.
August 8, 2011 (Meals: B, L, D)
On this day, we’ll have a half day together with the community at Kanganamun Village. Following lunch, we will proceed to Yajaim Village and on to Palimbe, while experiencing the peacefulness of the Sepik River. During the journey, we’ll witness an authentic singsing and also see how the locals cook sago, carve wood, paint with typical materials and weave baskets. Watching these kinds of activities will provide you with insight into exactly how the river people live. Be prepared to see a great deal of wildlife and birds as they capture fish in the water. Overnight at Kanganamun.
HIGHLIGHT! As well as seeing the typical arts and crafts produced today, the group will go to a traditional Sepik Spirit House known as a Haus Tamabaran.
August 9, 2011 (Meals: B, L)
On this day, we will have an early breakfast and next will set out to Terence, Urther Maringe and Aibom villages. As we head down the river, we might find locals doing some fishing in dugout canoes. We’ll also see more bird and wildlife (possibly crocodiles) alongside the river bank. We will continue on along the waterway passing Kambige Village, where we will stop for a brief time prior to continuing on to Cambri and Pagwi, and after that back to our vehicle to return to Wewak. Overnight in Wewak.
August 10, 2011
In the morning, the group will go to the airport for our flight to Port Moresby. (Returning to POM will be the only way to get to the next location, Hagen). Upon arrival at the airport, we will be greeted by a guide and transferred to our hotel. If we have time, the group might be able to do some more sightseeing in Port Moresby.
August 11, 2011 (B, D)
Following breakfast, we will return to the airport for the trip to Mt. Hagen. There, we’ll be met by another guide and taken to our lodge where, at night, we’ll see a courting ceremony with a young man and woman. Overnight at Mt. Hagen.
HIGHLIGHT! We’ll be situated outside the city of Hagen and in the verdant and tropical mountain range of PNG. You will be welcomed by fresh air, wild flowers and vast greenery.
August 12, 2011 (B, L, D)
The group will depart in the morning to a local village for an extraordinary pre-show, a private event which involves roughly 10 tribal groups. The performers will be donning typical (yet completely different) outfits that will include plumes of birds of paradise, pigs’ tusks, shells and spectacular body paintings. During the pre-show, you will see a courting ceremony, a demonstration of traditional fighting utilizing bows and arrows, plus a marriage ceremony.
The group will also visit a cultural center where ancient objects including skeletons and spirit stones are exhibited. These are maintained by the tribal chief and his 5 wives.
HIGHLIGHT! The pre-show is an extraordinary chance to observe the tribes getting ready for the singsing. You will see them painting their bodies and faces, donning their feathers and adding various adornments to their outfits. You’ll then watch the actual performance in the main grounds. The tribespeople are really friendly and encourage you to take photographs. You will have the opportunity to observe the show up close, mix with the performers and take plenty of photos.
August 13, 2011 (B, L, D)
Following breakfast, the group will leave for the Mt. Hagen Show. Weather depending, the group will depart early enough to see the singsing from the beginning (performers preparing for the show) to finish (final singing and dancing).
This day will be a full one as you watch performers from throughout the country. It will provide you with the opportunity to learn about the various practices and customs of PNG. Be prepared to see about 100 very different tribes. Late in the day, the group will return to our lodge where we will overnight.
HIGHLIGHT! This particular show is unlike anything you will ever experience. Ever. You’ll have the opportunity to wander among these 100 tribes while they are singing and dancing (all tribes simultaneously) and while each group tries to outshine the others.
August 14, 2011 (B, L, D)
Following breakfast, the group will go back to the Mt. Hagen singsing for an additional half-day of performances by the groups. There’ll still be lots of things to see on this day. During the early afternoon, the group returns to the lodge to take it easy and recover from a lively couple of festival days.
August 15, 2011 (B)
We’ll start the drive to Madang on the Highlands Highway in the morning. It’s a lovely drive (about 9 hours) and we will get the chance to view breathtaking and rich scenery, with many opportunities to stop for pictures.
We’ll have a short bus tour of Goroka town and will stop for photos at Daulo Pass (which overlooks the Asaro Valley) and Kasam Pass (overlooking Makahm Valley). Much of this land is occupied by cash crops including sugar and cocoa. Overnight in Madang.
HIGHLIGHT! The highlight today is the countryside along the route seldom utilized by visitors. The road will likely be rough and slow going, nonetheless it will be worthwhile.
August 16, 2011
After breakfast in Madang (located along PNG’s north coast), we will visit some nearby sights such as the Madang Cultural Center as well as some local villages. We’ll see the tribes taking part in common activities including basket weaving and cooking. Overnight in Madang.
August 17, 2011
Today, we will relax and relish the stunning coastline and take part in either river or sea activities, like snorkeling and/or diving. Overnight in Madang.
August 18, 2011
Following breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport for the trip back to Port Moresby where we will overnight.
August 19, 2011
Following breakfast, the group will transfer back to the airport to catch our international flights.
Price: Contact us for 2012 pricing: info (at) WanderTours (dot) com
Interested in sharing? We do our best to pair up same-sex travelers so as to avoid the single supplement. However, priority is given to the first deposits received. If you’re interested in sharing – PLEASE send in deposit as soon as possible in order to take advantage of this benefit. (Why a single supplement charge? See this FAQ page for an explanation.)
Final payment due no later than June 4, 2011.
Price includes: accommodation, meals as specified, air and land transportation in-country, entry into Mt. Hagen show and local guides.
Price does not include: Flights to and from Papua New Guinea, evacuation insurance (highly recommended), purchases of personal nature such as artifacts, souvenirs, tips and beverages.
We recommend MedEx Assist for travel and/or evacuation insurance.
NOTE: Roundtrip flights from the U.S. start at about $1,800. A search on the major travel search engines may be up to 4 times that cost. For best pricing, please contact us for the name of our travel agent.
This unique journey is restricted to 10 people because of the limited availability of lodging.
In Mt. Hagen, tour participants will have to share a room because there are just 5 rooms available. The tour requires a $1,000 deposit.
Registration Form: Please contact us for 2012 tours: Info (at) WanderTours (dot) com
For deposit and payments, please make payable and mail check to:
PO Box 16102
Seattle, WA 98116
For questions, please contact Beth at:
info (at) wandertours (dot) com
Deposits and full payment may also be made with a credit/debit card through PayPal. If paying through PayPal, simply send payment to: beth (at) wandertours (dot) com or by using the form below:
Papua New Guinea Packing List: Available to registered travelers.
Beth Whitman imagined visiting Papua New Guinea for 30 years. Soon after exploring the country herself, she was certain that others were eager to discover this amazing country but, like her, weren’t sure how to do it on their own. So, she organized this tour so that others could realize their desire to visit this fascinating island nation.
Beth is the author of the Wanderlust and Lipstick guides including The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo, For Women Traveling to India and is the publisher of Traveling with Kids. She is also the publisher and founder of Wanderlust and Lipstick and WanderTours.
Papua New Guinea Photo Gallery
Sepik Art by husky