This program includes nights in a tent. Tents are provided by us, but each participant must bring their own sleeping bag and sleeping mat.
Jayapura – Wamena & Visit of Wamena market
In the morning arrival in Jayapura and short flight to Wamena. Lunch and visit of the local market in Wamena. Especially Dani women go to the market place every morning to sell fruit and vegetables. But the market is also the main trading place for the sought-after wild boars. Transfer to The Baliem Valley Resort, Dinner at the Resort.
Salt Spring, Kurulu Mummy, traditional Dani hamlet (day tour 2)
In the morning, one-hour trip to Jiwikia, in the middle of the Baliem Valley. Start of a one-hour uphill hike (approx. 1,000 feet altitude difference) through stunning mountain rainforest to the traditional salt spring of the Dani tribe. Local women dressed in traditional tribal clothes will accompany us and show us their ancestral salt production techniques. After the walk down we will take a picnic lunch at the foot of the mountain. We will then walk to the nearby Kurulu village where you can admire the ancient mummy of the famous Dugum clan. Afterwards, the women show us how they process the brine they extracted from the spring. We will see more quaint and picturesque Dani homesteads. Wherever we go, friendly Papuans offers their arts and craft, weapons, and all kinds of curiosities for sale. Return to the resort in the afternoon.
Trekking South Baliem Gorge (day tour 6)
In the morning, drive to the southern Baliem Valley past Wamena. By the village of Sogogmo, not quite 2 miles outside Kurima, the road ends. This is where our hike along the huge Baliem river starts. First we cross the roaring Baliem river on a traditional suspension bridge. We continue through romantic Dani settlements with their terraced fields and wild sugar cane groves. Throughout the hike we enjoy magnificent views of the river and the narrow valley. Around noon we get to the church square of Seinma, where we eat our picnic lunch surrounded by stunning scenery.
Outside Kurima we cross the river again on a wild and romantic suspension bridge. To return to our vehicle we need to cross a few side valleys. There will be many unique photo opportunities today. We get back to the resort in late afternoon.
Pass Valley, Kotilola Cave, Meagaima Mummy (day tour 8)
After breakfast we take a drive to the northern part of the Baliem Valley via Jiwika and Kurulu. A few miles beyond Kurulu we visit the famous Kotilola Cave with its gigantic stalactites and stalagmites. The huge cave has collapsed in places, promoting lush vegetation. We continue our drive northwards to the market town of Uwosilomo, where even more photo opportunities await us. We continue high up into the mountains to the Pass Valley. The road is lined with dense mountain rainforest with fantastic vegetation. We find a suitable place to have our picnic lunch. Excursions to see the spectacular flora are possible. On the way back we take a little detour to Meagaima, where we can see the mummy of a tribal chief in a little village directly by the Baliem River. To reach this tucked away village, we have to allow for a 30-minute walk. Drive back to the resort, where we will arrive in late afternoon.
Journey to the Habema Lake, start of trekking program (day tour 4)
This tour should start early in the morning. Depending on the weather (rain!) the drive through the tall rainforests can be problematic! A 3-hour drive (about 55 miles) from the resort to the lake at about 10,500 feet altitude. We will pass all the vegetation zones of Equatorial New Guinea. The often savannah-like landscape of the wide bottom of the Baliem Valley gives way to gigantic mountain cloud forests and rainforests with truly monstrous tree ferns and screw pines. The giant trees are overgrown with moss, lichen and climbing plants – a wonderfully unique flora. Lake Habbema is located in the middle of a large upland moor, surrounded by magical meadows full of dwarf cypresses, little tree ferns, rhododendron and many different types of orchid. If the weather is nice you will have spectacular views of the peak of nearby Mount Trikora (15,000 feet). Picnic lunch by the lake surrounded by the magnificent upland moor landscape. Excursions to the surrounding area are possible depending on the weather. If the sun does shine you can even bathe in the lake (sandy beach). You are accompanied by a guide and cook and porters. Overnight in tent.
Trekking Habema – Wamena
In the morning we still have some time to enjoy the unique landscape of lake Habema. From here starts our trek back to Wamena. The first part of the trek follows Ibele River on its way down to the valley. The mountain forest up here is untouched, and we have it all for ourselves most of the time as this path is only rarely used by a few locals. In the afternoon, we reach a clearing in the forest, which is a perfect place for our tent camp. Overnight in tent.
Trekking Habema – Wamena
We continue our trekking to Wamena. Around noon we will leave the forest and are now back to the populated Baliem Valley. We walk through first small settlements of the Lani tribe. Lunch break next to Ibele River which now already carries a lot of water and is very nice for a quick swim, too. Later tentcamp in a small settlement on the way.
Trekking Habema – Wamena – Resort
Half day trekking until we reach a small missionary station with airfield. This outpost served as the basecamp for the first explorers of the Baliem Valley. The famous Harvard expedition (which was also joint by Rockefeller) also camped here in those days. From here starts the road again and we are picked up by car for a 2 hour drive back to the Resort. Dinner in the Resort.
Traditional pig festival (day tour 3)
Traditional one-day pig festival in a traditional Dani village, either in the resort grounds or in the Jiwika region. Many adorned people from the Dani tribe in traditional clothing will take part in the festival. Such food celebrations with hot stones and earth pits are probably the most interesting part of a trip to New Guinea. If you like taking photos and videos you will certainly get your money’s worth today! It is difficult to describe what’s so unique about these food celebrations; you will have to see and experience it for yourself. Lunch will be a picnic in the village. If you like you can taste the food from the traditional earth pit afterwards. The freshly cooked pork and sweet potatoes are delicious! Back to the Resort in the late afternoon.
Wamena – Jayapura – Nimbokrang (Bird of Paradise)
In the morning, transfer to Wamena and flight to Jayapura. Directly after arrival, transfer to Nimbokrang (1,5 hour drive) to a small guesthouse with neighbouring bird sanctuary. The owner of the guesthouse, Mr. Alex, an ornithologist, is very well known for his guided tours to the birds of paradise. After a quick lunch, prepared by Mr. Alex’s family, we directly start with our first birding tour in the early afternoon. Walking in the forest is easy, more important is a little patience. In this forest several types of bird of paradise can be seen, among which are the Lesser Bird of Paradise, the King BoP, and the 12 Wire BoP. Almost daily, male bird of paradise come to their trees to impress and attract females with their singing and dancing. The chance to see one or more different types of bird of paradise on this guided tour is high. Only when there is rain the birds do not show up. In the evening, dinner and overnight at the guesthouse. The guesthouse has simple but clean bedrooms which are all equipped with private bathrooms, mosquito nets, and fan.
Nimbokrang – Jayapura
In the very early morning, with the break of dawn, we enter the forest once more. The very early morning hours are the best time to see the birds of paradise but during our walk through the forest we will realize that many other birds are also active at this time of day. We have time and there is no need to rush. Return to guesthouse in late morning and transfer back to Sentani where we directly continue with a boat tour on Lake Sentani. In afternoon, check in at Hotel Horex in Sentani.
After breakfast, transfer to Jayapura airport. Departure to your next destination.
Prices in EUR per person sharing a double room
Price per Person2 persons
2.500 Single supplement +€ 480
Price per person3-6 persons
2.290 single supplement +€ 480
Price per personSingle traveller
3.990 single room included