Why Travel to PNG?
This is a
brilliantly colourful, diverse and fascinating country with over
700 languages (including the hilarious lingua franca, Pidgin), totally
wacky traditional outfits (especially wigmen in the Highlands),
bizarre customs, amazing bird life, great diving and a pretty rainforest/
mountain/ coastal environment.
- Rascals, the PNG term for gang members, are unsophisticated
but violent and pervasive.
- Papua New Guinea is expensive, usually wet and humid, and has
a malaria problem.
-You have to fly just about everywhere.
- It is not easy for individual travellers and especially difficult
for single women. Tours are advised for this difficult but absorbing
country.This is a fantastically interesting country but NOT a safe destination for individual backpackers, however tough you think you are; real bows, arrows, axes and spears in use daily, against other people!
Papua New Guinea Weather:
the main sights of the Highlands or Sepik River
Best: May-October, but still wet!
Worst: December-April (wetter!)
Min. worthwhile stay, not incl. flights: 9 days, e.g. Port Moresby-
Tari, Mt Hagen and/or Goroka
Recommended : 3 weeks+ for Highlands and Sepik River
***Tari (Highlands) to see primitive, bizarre Huli wigmen,
their peculiar customs and living conditions and beautiful countryside.
or Mt Hagen (Highlands) for walking, people watching and the fantastic,
out-of-this-world annual shows (Goroka - mid Sept, Hagen - late
River cruising on this long Amazonish river dotted with interesting stilt
villages, crocodile cults and a fair bit of wildlife, see below.
a pretty coastal town with superb diving, snorkelling and windsurfing.
cruising the yam cults, growing money on trees, free love and many
more strange but true customs. The annual yam festival in June (ish).
Moresby? No thank you! Razor
barb and rascals! Fly in, fly out, lookim you behin! (as they would
Hiking: there's a range of walks, from
strolls around the Highlands to 7 tough days on the Kokoda trail.
Diving, snorkelling & windsurfing: Clear water, good coral and lots of WW II wrecks. Madang
Bird watching: 38 species of birds
of paradise, and loads of parrots, kingfishers, pigeons, cassowarys,
cockatoos and hornbills amongst others.
Sepik River cruising, in small
motorised canoes from Ambunti, Pagwi and Angoram, or luxury cruises
like the excellent Melanesian Discoverer if you can afford them.
Paddle-your-own-canoe is tough but possible in PNG.
Late August, 3 days Mt Hagen Sing-Sing
Mid September, 3 days Goroka Sing-Sing.
A Sing-Sing is a gathering of PNG's clans, touristy but with sensational
outfits, many of them for real. Well worth it.
some precise dates, more suggestions and information see: Exotic
Pictures | Papua
New Guinea Map | PNG
'Hair' | PNG