Drums of Papua New Guinea: Featuring the Kenu and Kundu Festival | Mountain Travel Sobek

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Drums of Papua New Guinea: Featuring the Kenu and Kundu Festival

Trip Length 11 days

From $6,495

  • Join our one special departure to the Kenu and Kundu Festival in November 2018—the perfect alternative to our sold out Goroka Show experience!
  • Explore the deep volcanic fjords and tropical waters of Tufi as you swim and snorkel in the Coral Triangle
  • Learn about sorcery and witchcraft while exploring the wonders of the Western Highlands, home to Mudmen, witch doctors, and beautiful birds of paradise
  • Feel the bustle of Port Moresby and find out about the country's history and fascinating culture

Experience the energy of Papua New Guinea on this spectacular 11-day trip that includes the vibrant Kenu and Kundu Festival—one of the country's top cultural highlights! Once a year in November over 40 tribes paddle from their remote island homes to Alotau, where they gather to celebrate the region’s drums and canoes. Hear the traditional beats of PNG as you settle into your front row seats to witness canoe races, sing-sings, ritual exchanges, and vivid performances that combine ritual and revelry. This is the icing on an adventure that also includes exploring the tropical fjords of Tufi, encountering Asaro Mudmen in the scenic Western Highlands, and seeing the sights of Port Moresby, the country’s diverse capital. This special one-time-only departure will leave you with a powerful impression of Papua New Guinea.

Day 1: Arrive in Papua New Guinea

Meet your expedition leader at Brisbane Airport for an early morning flight to Port Moresby. From here we'll take an afternoon flight to the remote Tufi Resort, perched on the edge of a spectacular tropical fjord. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tufi Resort

Days 2-3: Explore the Wonders of Tufi

Over the next two days, we'll cruise up fjords to be met by traditional warriors in outrigger canoes to visit ancestral villages still living as they did thousands of years ago. We'll see amazing wood carving traditions and learn how the villagers survive living off the land and sea. We'll also experience waterfalls plunging directly into the sea, and kayak, snorkel and swim in the Coral Triangle—known as the "Amazon of the seas" for its incredible bio-diversity. Enjoy beach BBQs and the freshest seafood and tropical fruits, which grow in abundance in this tropical paradise. If time permits we'll also head out to McLaren Harbour Village, where locals will guide us through their sacred spirit-filled land.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tufi Resort

Day 4: Fly to the Western Highlands

After breakfast we'll take a flight to the Western Highlands and check in at the Highlander Hotel, our base for exploring the scenic landscape over the next two days.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Highlander Hotel

Days 5-6: Explore the Western Highlands

Step back in time as you unravel the mysteries of the Western Highlands, from Mount Hagen tp remote highland villages. Encounter the Asaro Mudmen known for their eerie clay masks, hear tales of  black magic from real witchdoctors, dine on muu muu feasts cooked in underground oven pits, and learn about traditional tool making from men who actually grew up in the Stone Age! See birds of paradise in the wild and marvel at the amazing color of the abundant birdlife. We'll also visit the bustling Mount Hagen Markets and taste an amazing array of produce grown in this tropical paradise.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Highlander Hotel

Day 7: Journey to Port Moresby

Today we'll fly to Port Moresby, the nation’s capital. On arrival we’ll meet up with local guides for a half day tour of this bustling city, beginning at the National Museum and Art Gallery. Here we'll learn more about the intriguing history and culture of PNG and its place as one of only three independent cradles of agriculture in the world. Next we’re off to Port Moresby Nature Park, PNG's leading botanical and native zoological park, to see birds of paradise, tree kangaroos, and other rainforest wildlife. Tonight we'll stay at the Gateway Hotel.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Gateway Hotel

Days 8-10: Festival Experience in Alotau

On Day 8 we'll make our way to Milne Bay's 15th Annual Kenu and Kundu Festival. Fast becoming a highlight for locals across the country, this is a top pick of the calendar in Papua New Guinea! Tribes from the region’s 600-plus islands descend on the provincial capital of Alotau for canoe races, sing-sings, ritual exchanges and performances—all to the sounds of traditional drums (kundu) and conch shell horns. The festival attracts Kula trading canoes from the Trobriand Islands, Sailua sailing canoes from as far afield as the Louisiade Archipelago, and Lopo war canoes from Milne Bay. Some crews paddle days or weeks to reach the festival and we'll have front row seats for traditional and contemporary performances that continue long into the night. Enjoy all the food, color and energy of a big celebration!

We'll also have time to tour Alotau town and explore local highlights away from the festival. It's a fantastic final few days before we head back to Port Moresby.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Alotau International Hotel

Day 11: Depart from Port Moresby

Today we'll head back to Port Moresby for our international departures.

  • Breakfast

Oct 26, 2018 - Nov 05, 2018

pricing

2018 Prices
$6,495 (6-16 members)
$1,200 internal air
$700 single supplement

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Alotau International Hotel — Alotau

Located in the unspoiled Milne Bay, the Alotau International Hotel is settled amidst mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, and extinct volcanoes. Milne Bay blends cultures from the mainland and island, making for a unique experience. Explore the local town with its quaint markets and shops, or stay in and enjoy a dip in the beachside pool or a drink in the bar located in the well-tended garden area. The By the Bay Restaurant overlooks the bay and offers local and international cuisine with food with Mediterranean to Indian influences, prepared by international chefs.

Gateway Hotel — Port Moresby

Conveniently located near the Jacksons International & Domestic Airport, the Gateway Hotel makes the perfect stopover before a long flight. The hotel's 130 well-appointed rooms are roomy with a contemporary feel, and its lovely pool provides a relaxing atmosphere adding to the Gateway's overall comfort. The food options are plentiful and scrumptious with three different casual restaurants and bars.

Highlander Hotel — Mount Hagen

The Highlander Hotel is located at the top end of Mount Hagen town and set amongst beautifully manicured tropical gardens. Its comfortable rooms offer all the conveniences of home, and its contemporary Palmuri Restaurant offers a range of exciting dishes from around the globe.

Tufi Resort — Oro Province

Tufi Resort is a hidden oasis nestled atop a breath-taking fjord and the perfect place to unwind and explore the beauty of Papua New Guinea. In-room creature comforts include air-conditioning, hot water, en suite bathrooms, bar fridge, coffee and tea making facilities. Resort amenities include BBQ and dining settings, in-ground pool with views of the fjord below, and local activities include diving, snorkeling, nature walks and much more. You'll leave feeling totally invigorated.

  • Join our one special departure to the Kenu and Kundu Festival in November 2018—the perfect alternative to our sold out Goroka Show experience!
  • Explore the deep volcanic fjords and tropical waters of Tufi as you swim and snorkel in the Coral Triangle
  • Learn about sorcery and witchcraft while exploring the wonders of the Western Highlands, home to Mudmen, witch doctors, and beautiful birds of paradise
  • Feel the bustle of Port Moresby and find out about the country's history and fascinating culture

Experience the energy of Papua New Guinea on this spectacular 11-day trip that includes the vibrant Kenu and Kundu Festival—one of the country's top cultural highlights! Once a year in November over 40 tribes paddle from their remote island homes to Alotau, where they gather to celebrate the region’s drums and canoes. Hear the traditional beats of PNG as you settle into your front row seats to witness canoe races, sing-sings, ritual exchanges, and vivid performances that combine ritual and revelry. This is the icing on an adventure that also includes exploring the tropical fjords of Tufi, encountering Asaro Mudmen in the scenic Western Highlands, and seeing the sights of Port Moresby, the country’s diverse capital. This special one-time-only departure will leave you with a powerful impression of Papua New Guinea.

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Papua New Guinea

Meet your expedition leader at Brisbane Airport for an early morning flight to Port Moresby. From here we'll take an afternoon flight to the remote Tufi Resort, perched on the edge of a spectacular tropical fjord. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tufi Resort

Days 2-3: Explore the Wonders of Tufi

Over the next two days, we'll cruise up fjords to be met by traditional warriors in outrigger canoes to visit ancestral villages still living as they did thousands of years ago. We'll see amazing wood carving traditions and learn how the villagers survive living off the land and sea. We'll also experience waterfalls plunging directly into the sea, and kayak, snorkel and swim in the Coral Triangle—known as the "Amazon of the seas" for its incredible bio-diversity. Enjoy beach BBQs and the freshest seafood and tropical fruits, which grow in abundance in this tropical paradise. If time permits we'll also head out to McLaren Harbour Village, where locals will guide us through their sacred spirit-filled land.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Tufi Resort

Day 4: Fly to the Western Highlands

After breakfast we'll take a flight to the Western Highlands and check in at the Highlander Hotel, our base for exploring the scenic landscape over the next two days.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Highlander Hotel

Days 5-6: Explore the Western Highlands

Step back in time as you unravel the mysteries of the Western Highlands, from Mount Hagen tp remote highland villages. Encounter the Asaro Mudmen known for their eerie clay masks, hear tales of  black magic from real witchdoctors, dine on muu muu feasts cooked in underground oven pits, and learn about traditional tool making from men who actually grew up in the Stone Age! See birds of paradise in the wild and marvel at the amazing color of the abundant birdlife. We'll also visit the bustling Mount Hagen Markets and taste an amazing array of produce grown in this tropical paradise.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Highlander Hotel

Day 7: Journey to Port Moresby

Today we'll fly to Port Moresby, the nation’s capital. On arrival we’ll meet up with local guides for a half day tour of this bustling city, beginning at the National Museum and Art Gallery. Here we'll learn more about the intriguing history and culture of PNG and its place as one of only three independent cradles of agriculture in the world. Next we’re off to Port Moresby Nature Park, PNG's leading botanical and native zoological park, to see birds of paradise, tree kangaroos, and other rainforest wildlife. Tonight we'll stay at the Gateway Hotel.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Gateway Hotel

Days 8-10: Festival Experience in Alotau

On Day 8 we'll make our way to Milne Bay's 15th Annual Kenu and Kundu Festival. Fast becoming a highlight for locals across the country, this is a top pick of the calendar in Papua New Guinea! Tribes from the region’s 600-plus islands descend on the provincial capital of Alotau for canoe races, sing-sings, ritual exchanges and performances—all to the sounds of traditional drums (kundu) and conch shell horns. The festival attracts Kula trading canoes from the Trobriand Islands, Sailua sailing canoes from as far afield as the Louisiade Archipelago, and Lopo war canoes from Milne Bay. Some crews paddle days or weeks to reach the festival and we'll have front row seats for traditional and contemporary performances that continue long into the night. Enjoy all the food, color and energy of a big celebration!

We'll also have time to tour Alotau town and explore local highlights away from the festival. It's a fantastic final few days before we head back to Port Moresby.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Alotau International Hotel

Day 11: Depart from Port Moresby

Today we'll head back to Port Moresby for our international departures.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Alotau International Hotel — Alotau

Located in the unspoiled Milne Bay, the Alotau International Hotel is settled amidst mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, and extinct volcanoes. Milne Bay blends cultures from the mainland and island, making for a unique experience. Explore the local town with its quaint markets and shops, or stay in and enjoy a dip in the beachside pool or a drink in the bar located in the well-tended garden area. The By the Bay Restaurant overlooks the bay and offers local and international cuisine with food with Mediterranean to Indian influences, prepared by international chefs.

Gateway Hotel — Port Moresby

Conveniently located near the Jacksons International & Domestic Airport, the Gateway Hotel makes the perfect stopover before a long flight. The hotel's 130 well-appointed rooms are roomy with a contemporary feel, and its lovely pool provides a relaxing atmosphere adding to the Gateway's overall comfort. The food options are plentiful and scrumptious with three different casual restaurants and bars.

Highlander Hotel — Mount Hagen

The Highlander Hotel is located at the top end of Mount Hagen town and set amongst beautifully manicured tropical gardens. Its comfortable rooms offer all the conveniences of home, and its contemporary Palmuri Restaurant offers a range of exciting dishes from around the globe.

Tufi Resort — Oro Province

Tufi Resort is a hidden oasis nestled atop a breath-taking fjord and the perfect place to unwind and explore the beauty of Papua New Guinea. In-room creature comforts include air-conditioning, hot water, en suite bathrooms, bar fridge, coffee and tea making facilities. Resort amenities include BBQ and dining settings, in-ground pool with views of the fjord below, and local activities include diving, snorkeling, nature walks and much more. You'll leave feeling totally invigorated.

Dates and Pricing

Oct 26, 2018 - Nov 05, 2018

pricing

2018 Prices
$6,495 (6-16 members)
$1,200 internal air
$700 single supplement

Activity Level Moderate
Trip Length 11 days

From $6,495

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