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 witness canoe races, sing-sings, ritual exchanges, and vivid performances that combine ritual and revelry. This special departure also explores tropical Tufi and the scenic Western Highlands - home to the famous Asaro Mudmen.
Join our special Kenu and Kundu Festival departure - the perfect alternative to our Goroka Show experience
Explore the deep volcanic fjords and tropical waters of Tufi's Coral Triangle
Spot beautiful birds of paradise as you travel back in time in the Western Highlands
Meet your guide at Brisbane Airport for an early morning flight to Port Moresby. From here, catch your transfer flight to Oro Province and Tufi. Often described as "Scandinavia of the Tropics," you'll be amazed by Tufi's soaring tropical fjords as you settle in at Tufi Resort. Gather for a cocktail and a full briefing, then savor a welcome dinner surrounded by masks, sculptures, and carvings depicting village life in Papua New Guinea.
Over the next two days, cruise the stunning fjords and enjoy opportunities for kayaking, snorkeling and swimming in the Coral Triangle - known as the "Amazon of the Seas" for its incredible bio-diversity. Savor beach BBQs and the freshest seafood and tropical fruits, which grow in abundance in this paradise.
Go deep into Tufi's fjords, where you will be met by traditional warriors in outrigger canoes and taken to visit ancestral villages. See amazing wood-carving traditions and learn how the villagers survive living off the land and sea. There is also an opportunity to head out to McLaren Harbour Village and follow locals through their sacred spirit-filled land.
After breakfast, 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. This afternoon either relax by the pool at the hotel or take an optional visit to the local market. The market is the main place where all the locals in colorful traditional attire go to shop and trade.
Step back in time as you unravel the mysteries of the Western Highlands, from Mount Hagen to 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. Be amazed by Papua New Guinea's history and traditions.
See birds of paradise in the wild and marvel at the amazing color of the abundant birdlife. Also visit the bustling Mount Hagen Markets and taste an amazing array of produce grown in this tropical paradise.
Fly back to Port Moresby and transfer to the Gateway Hotel, our base for exploring the city. First, take a guided walk in Port Moresby Nature Park, the nation's leading botanical and native zoological park and garden, and then explore the National Museum & Art Gallery - showcasing the history and national heritage of New Guinea. Visit PNG's Parliament House, built in the distinctive Sepik-style, and learn about Melanesian politics.
Head to Milne Bay's 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. Observe and explore this authentic experience, and become immersed in the festivities!
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!
The final day opens with morning Worship and then right into the last of the festivities, with the dramatic canoe races, and more traditional dancing and singing.
There will be opportunities after the races for guests to have a ride on the canoes around the bay. Or take a breather by wandering through the local market stalls where arts & craft are on display. Get your face painted, listen to local legend story-telling, and watch and learn how to weave palm fronds into exquisite mats, fans and baskets. Finally the festival winds down one last time with song and dance, music and a spectacular firework show to bring to an end to the National Kenu & Kundu Festival.
Enjoy a farewell breakfast before flying to the airport in Port Moresby, where you will catch your connecting flights to Brisbane, Australia.
MT Sobek has been offering unique and immersive adventures in Papua New Guinea for 3 years - with every departure a sell-out success.
Our itinerary has been crafted in consultation with expert local guides who understand the complexities of traveling in Papua New Guinea.
This itinerary is one of the few to include access to the amazing Kenu and Kundu festival, an annual event with over 600 tribes.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Immersive cultural encounters, fjord cruising with opportunities for swimming and snorkeling, rainforest walks, and the incredible Kenu and Kundu Festival.
Enjoy stays in comfortable hotels, rated among Papua New Guinea's best, and spend three nights at the excellent Tufi Resort.
In the lowland and coastal areas it will be hot with high humidity. In the highlands regions it is cooler with less humidity.
If you're a photographer or photography enthusiast, great! Make sure you bring a spare camera battery, and always ask someone if you want to take their picture while they're out and about.
It is located around 100 miles north of the northeast coast of Australia. It also shares a border with Indonesia. It's just south of the equator in the Southern Hemisphere.
It was made illegal in the 1950's and the tribes stopped doing it once they learned the dangers of diseases. Every country has its own culture and ancient rituals -Papua New Guinea is no different.
Yes. Most crime happens in the urban area of Port Moresby. The areas we visit are not high crime areas, and we'll be with a local guide.
There is no health requirements to enter PNG. There is the risk of malaria, although the risk is small. The CDC currently recommends travelers be up to date on standard vaccinations.
All visitors to PNG are required to have a valid passport. A visa is required for all visitors to PNG, this can be obtained on arrival at Jackson's airport, Port Moresby.
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