Traveling 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 tribesmen dance still dressed to mimic the fabulous birds-of-paradise and adorned with elaborate head plumes of parrots and birds-of-paradise.
Tour Dates: 15 Aug 2016 - 01 Sep 2016 (18 days)
Tour Price (Per Person): PGK25,750
Single Supplement: PGK3,200
Flights (Approx. cost): PGK3,900
Day 1: Arrival in Port Moresby, birding at Pacific Adventist University
Day 2: Day trip to Varirata National Park
Day 3: Flight from Port Moresby to Mount Hagen
Days 4 - 5: Mount Hagen area
Day 6: Flight from Mt Hagen to Kiunga, drive to Tabubil
Days 7 - 8: Tabubil area
Day 9: Drive from Tabubil to Kiunga
Day 10: Kiunga area
Day 11: Boat from Kiunga down the Elevala River
Day 12: Elevala River and afternoon boat ride to Kiunga
Day 13: Flight from Kiunga to Port Moresby
Day 14: Flight from Port Moresby to Tari Valley
Days 15 - 16: Tari area
Day 17: Flight from Tari to Port Moresby
Day 18: Port Moresby and departure.
Top Birds: Papuan Eagle, 25 Bird-of-paradise species!, Vulturine Parrot, Southern Crowned, Zoe’s Imperial and Pheasant Pigeon, Flame Bowerbird, Shovel-billed Kookaburra, Wattled Ploughbill, Crested Satinbird, Red-bellied Pitta, Torrent-lark, Painted Quail-thrush, five species of Owlet-nightjar, Salvadori’s Teal, Papuan Lorikeet, Palm Cockatoo, Blue Jewel Babbler, Lesser Melampitta, Emperor Fairywren, Golden Cuckooshrike, Garnet Robin, Blue-capped Ifrita, Crested Berrypecker and Mountain Firetail
Habitats Covered: lowland and montane rainforest, Eucalyptus savanna, mangroves, grasslands, wetlands, islets
Expected Climate: hot and humid with tropical showers, cooler in the highlands
Max Group Size: 10 - 2 leaders
Tour Pace and Walking: moderate pace with some longer hikes
Accommodation: comfortable to luxurious hotels and lodges with one basic lodge
Ease of Birding: moderate, can be challenging at times
Number of Species Expected: 330 - 360
Other Attractions: Huli Wigmen, Tari Valley, traditional carvings, spectacular forest vistas and mountain scenery, coral reef snorkeling
Photographic Opportunities: very good
The single supplement cost for this tour will be charged if you wish to have single accommodation. If RBT cannot provide you with a rooming partner for these nights 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.
a) Due to constantly fluctuating exchange rates, the tour price is fixed in PGK (Papua New Guinea Kina) only, and the actual cost in the other currencies listed will be adjusted according to prevailing exchange rates at the time of final invoicing (usually 4 months before the tour.) The same applies to approximate flight 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 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 and / or the designated leader/s 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.
As noted above, gratuities (drivers, hotel staff, restaurants etc.) are included on this tour. However, this does NOT include your leader/s. If, therefore, you feel that he/they have given you excellent service, it is entirely appropriate to tip them.
- 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 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 3 000m (9 000ft) above sea level, meaning that cooler evenings should be expected.
- This tour DOES require a very good level of fitness and stamina. Participants should also be in good general health. 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 booking. Furthermore, the trails around the Elevala River, in the Tari area and in Varirata National Park can be excessively muddy depending on weather conditions. We will be away from modern medical facilities for much of this tour – if you have any medical conditions please advise the Head Office in advance of the tour.
- Accommodation varies 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 has only the most basic facilities (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 do our utmost to make this tour run as smoothly 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 might cause delays that are out of our control.
- Birding in Papua New Guinea is very challenging. Many species are incredibly shy and difficult to observe along trails. The Lesser Bird-of-paradise lek may be inaccessible due to poor road conditions. Such inconveniences remain an ever-present possibility.
- Although International flights to Port Moresby may have baggage restrictions of up to 30kg, the domestic flights within Papua New Guinea are limited to 16kg per person for checked luggage and 5kg for hand luggage. (Airlines in PNG have however become more tolerant towards travellers carrying heavy / expensive camera and other optical equipment and often waive overweight hand luggage fees.) To ensure your comfort and that of your companions, please limit yourself to one medium-sized suitcase / duffel bag and one carry-on bag as space in the vehicles is limited.
- Malaria is prevalent in New Guinea, as such we advise you to consult your physician or local travel clinic for further advice on the matter.
- Rubber boots are particularly useful along the many muddy trails and are highly recommended.
Arrival and Departure Details:
This tour does not include ANY international or domestic airfares. Day 1 of the tour is allocated as an arrival day, and you should have arrived in Port Moresby by midday, as the afternoon will be spent birding at the very productive Pacific Adventist University area near to Port Moresby. The main tour will conclude by mid to late morning on Day 18 at 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 afternoon or 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 Head Office.
Port Moresby International Airport (IATA: POM) is the main port of entry for international flights into Papua New Guinea and is serviced most reliably by Air Niugini from Brisbane, Singapore or Cairns. Your local travel agent will be able to book these flights for you. We will book all domestic flights of this tour on your behalf.
Important: please DO NOT book your international flights until you have consulted the Head Office for confirmation on the status of the tour.
Please note: these prices are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations.
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Australia and Oceania Papua New Guinea Nature & Wildlife Birdwatching Wildlife Viewing