TYPICAL EXPEDITION ITINERARY
Middle Sepik River Adventure (FA 02)
For those wanting to see as much of the river life as possible and are interested in varied styles of Sepik carvings and artefacts this expedition is for you.
Starting from Pagwi (Middle Sepik), you will travel by motorised dugout canoe down the flowing river stopping off at villages along the way.
This part of the Sepik River has villages dotted along the riverbanks, each with its own distinctive style of artefacts and variations of culture. The area is steeped in rituals, ceremonies and customs that are still very much part of the villagers’ daily lives today as they have been for thousands of years.
The Middle Sepik is particularly renowned for its ancestral ‘Men’s Spirit Houses’, (Haus Tambarans), where for centuries the amazing ‘Crocodile Initiation Ceremonies’ have taken place, together with many other rituals. This scarification of the skin is made through hundreds of fine cuts to the torso and tops of the arms. When the skin has healed, the scars give an appearance of crocodile skin markings. These marks represent the initiation from boyhood into adult warrior thus bringing status and great respect.
This is our area of specialisation – giving people a true taste of PNG adventure! The villagers we are the most welcoming hosts. Our experienced trained guides will explain the customs, answer your questions, and assist you with everything, including help with the purchasing of any artefacts you may be interested in purchasing.
We can also include visiting the Chambri Lakes and the Blackwater Lakes regions.
There will plenty of opportunity for trekking through the jungle, seeing wild orchids, beautiful birds, catching fish for the evening meal, going crocodile hunting with the young men, viewing, and buying carvings, and experiencing each village’s distinct idiosyncrasies. No two villages are alike.
5 Days / 4 Nights
Arrive in Wewak by air from Port Moresby. Met at airport by the “In Wewak Hotel” Courtesy bus – check-in. Chris Karis/PNG FA will meet you at 6.30 pm in the reception area to brief you on your Sepik River expedition.
Breakfast at 7 – 7 30 am. Depart Wewak with your guide by private hire car or bus to Pagwi Middle Sepik. Board your motorised dugout canoe heading downriver to Kanganaman, on the way, if time allows, stopping off at Korogu village (if not time, then on your way back upriver) and onto Kanganamun village. Kanganamun has the largest Haus Tambaran along the river. Sleep at Kanganamun village guesthouse.
Cross over the river from Kanganamun and visit the nearby beautiful village of Palembei with its two Haus Tambarans, both filled with artefacts. There will be plenty of opportunity to inspect and purchase many varied forms of artefacts in the village and inside the Haus Tambarans at Palembei. Return to Kanganamun and enjoy a traditional welcome into the Haus Tambaran and later to visit the initiated men in the Spirit House at night, a great experience when you can almost feel the ancestors in the shadows! It may be possible, as an alternative, to go crocodile hunting in the evening with young men from the village. Sleep at Kanganamun village guesthouse.
Depart Kanganamun to visit Kimindibit village to meet Master carver, Ronnie Bowie and view his and the villagers carving on the riverbank. Travel to Aibom in the Chambri Lakes. This village is known for its local clay pottery sago storage jars and fire pots for cooking which the Aibom villagers trade all along the river communities in exchange for food crops that they cannot grow on their clay soil location. Then travel on towards again towards the Blackwater lakes region stay overnight in family house at Mameri village.
Leave Mameri village onboard your canoe and go up a tributary river into the Black Water Lakes to travel around this beautiful lake area and visit the village of Govermas. Return to Mameri village to sleep.
In the afternoon return to Mameri village for the night.
The next morning you will back motor upriver, stopping off briefly at a village along the way to stretch your legs etc and onto Pagwi. Here your car/bus and driver will escort you and your guide back to Wewak to check into your Wewak hotel by late afternoon.
After breakfast the hotel bus will take you to the airport to check in for the chosen flight out of Wewak.
An Option to above Itinerary; –
Alternatively, on this Middle Sepik Expedition, for those who would enjoy a 2-hour trek in the rainforest, we offer visiting lovely Yumuk village, which is set off the river, behind Korogu. Yumuk consists of 6 Haus Tambarans and the people there follow the pig culture. Yumuk has vast supplies of sago palms from which they make sago of to sell and barter with other local villages.
Factors influencing costings include the fluctuation of the PNG currency “the Kina”, the spiralling rise in inflation within PNG as well as the fact that each “Adventure Expedition” is individually planned to suit the client’s wishes and requirements. It is very difficult, therefore, to give actual costings until we know exactly what your requirements are. We do not offer a standard ‘Package Tour’.
Other factors which influence costs greatly:
|Transportation transfers to and from Wewak to the river and back.
High cost of fuel for both the town and river transfers and the motorised canoes.
|On which part of the River you will be travelling – the further up the Sepik, the higher the cost due to logistics and fuel consumption.|
|How many miles along the river one travels, due to varied fuel costs. Lower Sepik has less costly motor fuel than the Middle Sepik and in the Upper Sepik fuel is scarce and at an even higher cost.|
|The size of the group to share the costs. For example, one person hiring a guide, canoe, paying for all the fuel etc is more expensive than if 4 people go on the expedition and share all the main costs between them.|
Bearing all these factors in mind, below are the approximate prices based on the Middle Sepik Adventure (FA 02) with 5 days & 4 nights: –
Based on 8 persons = US$2,000/person all-inclusive ex Wewak.
Based on 6 persons = US$2,200/person all-inclusive ex Wewak.
Based on 4 persons = US$2,450/person all-inclusive ex Wewak
Based on 2 persons = US$3,200/person all-inclusive ex Wewak
For a solo traveller wanting an individual solo expedition = US$5,000/person
Your Sepik Adventure can be longer or shorter depending on your time and wishes.
We offer 5% discounted rates for PNG residents and volunteers working in PNG.
Please contact us, without any obligation, for further information and more accurate costings.
Change of Plan
PNG Frontier Adventures puts great emphasis on experience and interaction with the village people. To fulfil this experience, you will stay in remote villages and be exposed to the same travel limitations and hazards as the villagers themselves.
PNG Frontier Adventures will do everything possible to organise your expedition itinerary as requested, however, due to the remote nature of the destination and possible sudden changes in the tropical weather conditions and lack of reliable communications, when on the Sepik, changes of plans are sometimes necessary. For example, transportation may be, in rare occasions, unreliable or disrupted.
We make plans to cover most problems should they arise, which is very seldom, but the visitor must be aware of the small possibility of plans not working out as per schedule and accept this warning.
Please be assured we will do everything in our powers to rearrange the expedition accordingly and find suitable solutions for you. However, PNG Frontier Adventures cannot be held responsible for sudden changes of plan when there is no alternative.
Please be aware that any additional costs incurred in rearranging a disrupted itinerary will be your responsibility and/or your travel insurers.
We strongly recommend that all visitors obtain their own travel insurance to cover forced cancellation of the tour due to unexpected circumstances, eg., bad weather conditions causing stoppage of flights, loss of baggage or personal items, medical emergency, and forced changes to your itinerary due to reasons beyond our control or planning.
Food & Water while on the River
Food while on the Sepik River will be very basic and simple due to the lack of any refrigeration & power supply along the river. Daily meals will consist of rice with either tinned fish or meat and/or fresh fish and chicken together with fruits. We also pack eggs for the first part of the expedition. There is not any bread or bakery outside of Wewak town. We provide good, bottled water throughout the expedition. It is important to understand the basic reality of this remote region and the limitations’ it makes on our provisions.
We also wish you to understand that due to the remoteness and lack of development at the location that the village guesthouses and home stays are of a very simple, basic village standard and in no way comparable to guesthouses in many other countries. For example, the toilets are pit toilets, the same as the villagers use, beds will be mattresses on the floor covered with mosquito nets, washing areas may consist of a bucket and scoop or a dip in the Sepik River.
Wewak Town Hotel Accommodation
PNG Frontier Adventures books all our visitors into the “In Wewak Boutique Hotel” – for the first and last night in Wewak.
This covers 2 nights total accommodation and 2 airport transfers ONLY – these costs are included in all our costings / invoice.
Any additional hotel nights and ALL food and beverages at the hotel to be paid by the guest to the hotel directly.
This hotel accepts most credit cards.
Lately, mobile telephone communication towers are gradually being constructed along the Sepik River giving some intermittent coverage mainly in the Middle Sepik River locations.
PNG Frontier Adventures advises visitors that transportation on our adventures will include dug-out timber motorised canoes and car hire from local rental firms. These forms of transport may not be carrying safety equipment such as life jackets, flares or emergency radios as the law in PNG does not require this standard as yet.
PNG Frontier Adventures informs the visitor that medical services are very limited here and rescue services even more limited. With that in mind we ask our visitors to visit your doctor before travelling to PNG and to ensure you start taking prophylactic medication against malaria before visiting PNG to be on the safe side. Please also check on your travel insurance and medical insurance.
Booking Information, Terms and Conditions
Upon receiving an enquiry, we design and plan your personal itinerary via email and provide a quotation for your perusal.
Once you are happy with the arrangements and wish to proceed with a booking, we ask for a deposit of 50% to be paid 8 weeks prior to the commencement date. As soon as we have the deposit your booking reservation is confirmed. The deposit is non-refundable.
We ask for the final balance of payment 4 weeks before the expedition commences. Cancellation within 2 weeks of the commencement of the expedition incurs a penalty of 100% of monies paid to date.
The reason for this pre-paid booking system is due to the limitations of banking facilities, credit card facilities and currency exchange facilities within Wewak, coupled with the need to purchase fuel and food prior to your intended arrival. In many cases we need to have purchased the fuel beforehand and have it on the river ready, ahead of your expedition. We organise everything needed for your adventure; all you need to bring is your own personal effects and any spending money for the purchasing of artefacts or for extra food and drinks when up the river.
Please also be aware that we reserve and pay for, in the overall cost of the expedition, for a standard air-conditioned room in the “In Wewak Boutique Hotel” in your name. We do not include the cost of food or drink in the hotel in our quotation. Guests pay the hotel direct for any consumed.
PNG Frontier Adventures does not accept liability for and indemnifies itself from any claims for loss, damages, personal injury or sickness from/to the client/visitor and medical insurance. PNG Frontier Adventures reserves the right to cancel wholly or part or revise the itinerary plans due to current tribal situations, bad weather conditions or detrimental acts of nature at the time of, or just prior to the commencement of, the expedition.
PNG Frontier Adventures offer these terms and conditions in accordance with the Law of Papua New Guinea.
Payment of the required deposit to PNG Frontier Adventures assumes automatic acceptance of the terms and conditions mentioned above.