Often described as the last frontier of adventure travel, this incredible country is about as wild and untamed as it gets. With a plethora of culture, scenery and wildlife to offer, Papua New Guinea provides a truly unique adventure.
Our Papua New Guinea holidays explore a land that is home to some of the most vibrant and unusual cultures to be found. Our trips take you to meet the yellow painted Huli of the highlands around Tari and the crocodile venerating tribes of the Sepik River – a river surrounded by a thicket of jungle, home to villages rich in artistic tradition and authenticity.
Papua New Guinea is home to around eight hundred and fifty different ethnic groups, many living intensely traditional lives hidden away in the forests and mountains. The wildlife here is just as enchanting, with stunning birds of paradise, unusual marsupials and new species being regularly discovered. For many of the ethnic groups living here, ‘first contact’ with the outside world is still a recent thing. While the modern world has of course made encroachments, it is a marginal force.
Top highlights of Papua New Guinea holidays and tours
Meet the Huli ‘wigmen’ in the highlands
Travel along the mighty Sepik River
Check out the incredible craftsmanship of local artists
Look out for unusual wildlife
Witness vibrant local ceremonies and rituals
Few places come closer to being a journey back in time. If anywhere could be described as a lost world, Papua New Guinea fits the bill, and for anyone interested in anthropology or nature, there’s nowhere else quite like it.
Papua New Guinea is indisputably the most culturally diverse and linguistically complex place on earth, with a huge assortment of ethnic groups and over 800 languages spoken. English is an official language, although in more remote areas – much of PNG – it won’t be spoken. Tok Pisin – a ‘pidgin’ form of English – is widely spoken but don’t expect it to be too close to the English that you know.
Missionaries have made great inroads into PNG and Christianity is widespread. However, traditional beliefs prevail. PNG is home to a complex set of spiritual beliefs based on animism, ancestor worship, totems and the idea that certain animals such as sharks and crocodiles have spiritual power. First contact with the western world was made only very recently – within the twentieth century for many groups – and so is well within their living memory. As a result, their beliefs are still strong within most of the population, especially outside of urban areas.
The most densely populated part of the region is the highlands, where humans are estimated to have settled for around 30,000 years. About 95% of the population are Melanesians. Their culture revolves around three importance areas – prestige, pigs and gardening. Land ownership is an essential component of Papua New Guinean culture, often causing disputes, as are pigs, who are often regarded as family members.
When to go on holiday to Papua New Guinea
The months of May to October are the drier season in Papua New Guinea, although it can rain at any time. Lower rainfall and lower river levels, can make boat navigation a little difficult but it’s nothing that can’t be handled with a little push!
Start planning your Papua New Guinea tour
Check out our small group tours to Papua New Guinea: Land of the Crocodile Men and Western Papua – The Last Frontier. Although many of our trips are small group adventures with set departures, as a bespoke operator, we can design and create trips to suit any traveller, from solos to larger groups. If you would like to find out more about tailor-made holidays to Albania or our group tours, call us on 01473 328546 or email us via our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.
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