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Papua New Guinea: Birds in Paradise IV
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Papua New Guinea: Birds in Paradise IV

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 18 day(s)
Group Size: 8 - 10 people
Destination(s): Papua New Guinea  
Specialty Categories: Birdwatching   Wildlife Viewing  
Season: June - July
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 9900 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 9900 US Dollar (USD)

Of all the world’s birding destinations, Papua New Guinea must certainly rank amongst the most fascinating and exotic. The second largest island on Earth, New Guinea was the last inhabited island to be explored by Europeans, and even today many areas have little or no exposure to Western influence. The virtually untouched forests come alive with incredible fruit doves, fig parrots, fairywrens, jewel-babblers, pittas, honeyeaters and berrypeckers, while over twenty species of dazzling birds-of-paradise present sometimes unbelievably iridescent colours and wild tail plumes in one of the most astonishing exhibits of the natural world!
Travelling by air, road, and boat we will explore the diverse habitats of the country, from winding lowland rivers and sprawling grasslands, to rich highland ecosystems and forested valleys where native tribes still dance dressed to mimic the island’s fabulous birds while adorned with elaborate head plumes made from the feathers of parrots and birds-of-paradise. Our eighteen-day tour covers the highlights of this enchanted and under-travelled country in depth, and we can expect a phenomenal variety of remarkable birds and vast regions of immaculate forests that have been experienced by few people on earth!

DETAILS
Tour Dates- 15th June to 2nd July (18 days)
Tour Price- US$9,900 * £6,520 * €7,500 * PGK22,750 per person sharing (see below) PGK2080 approximate cost of domestic flights
(Tour price fixed in PGK, other rates subject to exchange rate fluctuations)

Tour Size- A maximum of 10 participants and 2 leaders

THE ITINERARY
15th June- Arrival in Port Moresby
16th June- Day excursion to Varirata National Park
17th June- Port Moresby area
18th June- Port Moresby flight to Tari Valley
19th & 20th June - Tari area
21st June- Tari Valley to Mt Hagen (flight) via Port Moresby
22nd & 23rd June- Mount Hagen area
24th June- Mount Hagen flight to Kiunga drive to Tabubil
25th & 26th June- Tabubil area
27th June- Tabubil drive to Kiunga
28th June- Kiunga area
29th June- Kiunga to Elevala River by boat
30th June- Elevala River and afternoon boat to Kiunga
1st July- Kiunga flight to Port Moresby
2nd July- Varirata and departure

Financial Arrangements
The fee for the Papua New Guinea – Birding in Paradise IV tour is US$9,900 * £6,520 * €7,500 * PGK22,750 per person sharing. (Please note: The price does NOT include the domestic flights as mentioned in the itinerary. As a general guideline, we suggest you budget +/- PGK2,080 per person. We can book these flights on your behalf at no extra charge.)

The single supplement cost for the tour is PGK3,575, and will be charged if you wish to have single accommodation. If RBT cannot provide you with a rooming partner although you choose to share, the single supplement will become applicable. We will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a rooming partner is found if you do wish to share.

This includes:
•All meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 18;
•Bottled drinking water, tea and coffee at meals;
•All lodgings as per the itinerary;
•Ground and water transportation;
•Park entrance fees;
•Tips for lodge staff, porters, drivers, local communities and local guides; and
•Guiding services provided by tour leaders and local guides.

The tour fee does not include:
•Any flights (see above);
•Visa fees;
•Any additional beverages;
•Special gratuities; and
•Phone calls, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
a) Due to constantly fluctuating exchange rates, we now quote our tours in 4 currencies. The tour price is however fixed only in the currency printed in bold (KINA), and the actual cost in the other currencies listed will be adjusted according to prevailing exchange rates at the time of final invoicing (usually 3 months before the tour.) The same applies to approximate domestic flight (where applicable) and single supplement rates, which are also quoted in the respective fixed currency.
b) Rates are based upon group tariffs; if the tour does not have sufficient registration (a minimum of 6 paying participants) a small party supplement will have to be charged.
c) Furthermore, these costs are subject to unforeseen increases in tour related costs and may have to be adjusted as a result.
d) Lastly, we may be forced to change or alter the itinerary at short or no notice due to unforeseen circumstances; please be aware that we will attempt to adhere as close to the original program as possible.

Tipping:
As noted above, gratuities (drivers, hotel staff, restaurants etc) are included on this tour. However, this does NOT include your leaders. Therefore, if you feel that they have given you excellent service, it is entirely appropriate to tip them.

Arrival and departure details:
This tour does not include ANY airfares. Day 1 of the tour is allocated as an arrival day and you should arrive by midday, as the afternoon will be spent birding at the very productive Pacific Adventist University. The main tour will conclude in the mid to late afternoon on day 18 at the Port Moresby International Airport. Further meeting details in this regard will be forwarded to you in due course. Please note: Due to the unreliable nature of the internal flights in Papua New Guinea, it is highly recommended to take an evening departure flight on the final day of the tour or a morning flight the day after. If you wish to arrive early and/or depart late and would like assistance in this regard kindly contact the office.

Flights:
Port Moresby is the main port of entry for international flights in Papua New Guinea and is serviced most reliably by Air Niugini from Brisbane, Singapore, or Cairns. Your local travel agent will best be able to book these flights for you. We can, however, book the domestic flights on your behalf.
IMPORTANT: please DO NOT book your international flights until you have consulted the office for confirmation on the status of the tour.

PLEASE NOTE:
•This Papua New Guinea tour is designed to be an intensive birding experience and we will attempt to obtain good views of as many bird species as possible. At times we will experience physical difficulty when walking along very muddy and sometimes fairly steep trails (our pace will always be slow) or on a few bumpy drives over poor road conditions.
•In some areas it can get very hot and humid, especially in the lowlands. We will thus make good use of the early mornings and will have a lot of early starts to avoid, as far as possible, birding in the heat during the middle of the day. Furthermore, the rainforest areas often have high humidity so it can be potentially uncomfortable. It should also be noted that we spend several nights in the highlands of New Guinea at about 9,000 feet (3,000 meters) above sea level, meaning that cooler evenings should be expected.
•This tour does require a good level of fitness and participants should be in good general health, as much of the forest birding will be done on foot and may require walking for several hours at a time. Should you have any physical limitations, please notify us in advance of departure. Furthermore, the trails around the Elevala River, in the Tari area and in Varirata National Park can be excessively muddy depending on weather conditions. Also, we will be away from modern medical facilities for much of this tour – if you have any medical conditions please do advise the office in advance of the tour.
•Accommodations vary greatly in Papua New Guinea, ranging from very good in the primary cities such as Port Moresby to very basic along the Elevala River. We will do our utmost to make your stay as comfortable as possible, but at times we may experience maintenance problems that are beyond our control. In the smaller towns we always opt for the best available accommodation; for the most part this is good to comfortable, but may still be below the standard of what you have come to expect from the developed world. We will stay either in hotels or guesthouses with the exception of our accommodation along the Elevala River, where the small elevated bunkhouse is very basic with a mattress, bedding and mosquito net, plus a forest clearing where washing facilities include cold water and an outhouse.
•New Guinea is always a challenging place to visit, and it is not unusual for logistics to go awry, so please do expect some hassles along the way - we will, however, do our utmost to make this tour run as smooth as possible. Delays, sometimes significant, should be expected when taking the several internal flights that are necessary to access these remote locations; weather or airline problems, for example, might cause delays that are out of our control.
•It is often impossible to land at Tabubil due to cloudy weather being abundant in that area and we may therefore have to land at Kiunga and then take a four hour bus ride to Tabubil.
•In line with the above, please be aware that birding in New Guinea can, at times, be very challenging, especially along forest trails as many species are incredibly shy and difficult to observe. Furthermore, the Lesser Bird-of-paradise display lek was inaccessible during two of our three 2011 tours due to poor road conditions, and such inconveniences remain an ever-present possibility. There will, however, be many occasions when birding will be relatively easy and extremely rewarding.
•Although the International flights have a baggage restriction of 20kg, the domestic flights within Papua New Guinea have a baggage restriction of 16kg per person. This is generally sufficient for most people’s needs and we encourage you not to carry excessive weight. Although you may be willing to pay for excess weight, your luggage will be listed as standby and may only arrive on a later flight. Your carry-on luggage is restricted to 5kg per person but due to many travellers carrying heavy and expensive camera and other optical equipment, the airlines in PNG have become more tolerant towards overweight hand luggage. To ensure your comfort and that of your companions, please limit yourself to one medium-sized suitcase or duffel bag and one carry-on bag, as space in the vehicles is limited.
•Malaria is prevalent in New Guinea and taking the necessary medication in this regard is essential. It is advisable that you consult your physician or local travel clinic for further advice on this matter.
•Telescopes can be very useful in open-area conditions – there were several opportunities in the past where participants were very pleased to have use of their own scope (RBT leaders will also have a telescope each).
•Rubber boots have also proven very popular among participants for the often extremely muddy situations discussed previously and are highly recommended.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Tour Price US$9,900 * £6,520 * €7,500 * PGK22,750 per person sharing (see below)
PGK2080 approximate cost of domestic flights
(Tour price fixed in PGK, other rates subject to exchange rate fluctuations)

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