Korowai Dairam Expedition

Papua extreme: A pioneering expedition for the truly adventurous

20 days/19 nights ● from/to Jayapura, Papua ● approx. 15 nights in tent ● min 6 pax/max 10 pax ● Level of difficulty: 5***** EXTREME

For the first time ever, we are organizing an expedition group that will attempt to follow the Dairam River from its source southward into the endless jungle at the foot of the central mountains, a region where isolated forest nomadic tribes live. The most famous, but not the only tribe in this area are the Korowai.

The expedition is led by Dr. Werner Weiglein, a world-renowned expert on Papua. He has guided more than 200 expeditions on the island of New Guinea since 1979, is the founder of The Baliem Valley Resort in Wamena, and with 35 overland expeditions to the Carstensz Pyramid (one of the Seven Summits) holds a true record for this peak.

A mission charter flight will take the group from Wamena to Okbape, a remote mountain village at an altitude of approximately 1,800 meters. Small tributaries of the Dairam begin here and will lead us down into the remote jungle of the Stone Korowai territory for the next 2 weeks. No foreigner has ever done this trail before! We are on a true pioneer expedition!

To avoid problems with local porters, we will bring a small number of reliable porters from our hometown of Wamena to carry our tents, kitchen equipment and food. Personal luggage, which must not exceed 10 kg, can be carried by each participant if we do not find additional helpers. At least for the first few days in the mountains, it should be possible to find enough porters, and then the personal luggage will be carried as long as possible. In the more remote and inaccessible lowland jungles, porters may be a problem and we must be prepared to carry our luggage ourselves.

Participants who are too unfit for the trek and have to turn back or be evacuated must bear the costs for this themselves. In the worst case, a turn back can only be done by helicopter. In order to avoid that unsuitable participants take part in this expedition, every seriously interested person will be interviewed in advance and checked for their suitability. In addition, each participant must sign a health declaration. 

Price per person
from/to Jayapura, Papua

USD 6.990 Price in EUR / IDR on request
  • 06.10.-25.10.2024

Day 1: Jayapura – Baliem Valley
Arrival in Jayapura, flight to Wamena, and transfer to The Baliem Valley Resort

When arriving at Jayapura airport, our manager Siprianus is here to welcome you and assist with the check-in for your direct onward flight to Wamena. At the airport in Wamena you meet Werner and travel together to The Baliem Valley Resort. Once at the resort, you settle into your bungalow and enjoy lunch or afternoon coffee, depending on the time of day. Later, dinner is served in the restaurant and last questions about the tour are discussed.

Transportation: Flight time to Wamena: 30 minutes. 45 minutes of drive. Guide included. Accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. Meals: full board.

Day 2: Baliem Valley
Traditional pig festival, an unforgettable experience

Today is dedicated to final preparations for the upcoming tour. While our team takes care of this, we enjoy a traditional pig festival as an introduction to Papuan culture. Many decorated people from the Dani tribe take part in the festival. Such pig feasts with hot stones and earth pits are probably the most interesting part of a trip to New Guinea. It is difficult to describe what exactly is so unique about these festivals because there is just too much happening at once. You have to see and experience it yourself.  For lunch, there is a picnic but you can also eat the food from the traditional earth pit if you like. The freshly cooked pork and sweet potatoes are delicious! In the late afternoon, we return to the Resort.

The pig festival takes place in changing villages. Precise information on travel times cannot be provided. 1 hour walking. Guide included. Accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. Meals: full board.

A Korowai man standing in front of tree house
Korowai tree houses are up to 40 metres high

Day 3: Wamena – Okbape
Charter flight to Okbape airfield

Early morning transfer to Wamena airport for our mission charter flight to Okbape airfield. We will fly either with a Pilatus Porter (max. 6 passengers) or with a Cessna Caravan (max. 9 passengers), depending on the condition of the runway in Okbape! Depending on the number of participants and porters, it will be necessary to fly several times. For this operation we calculate a whole day. Once we arrive in Okbape, we will first need to locate a place to sleep and cook. Then additional porters will be recruited for the next days and a first route will be discussed with the locals.

Guide and cook included, maybe porters. Accommodation: tent. Meals: full board.

Day 4 to day 16 (total 13 days): Expedition 
From Okbape to Yanirumah

The trekking conditions are completely unknown and therefore it is impossible to know in advance a correct and concrete itinerary for each day. What we do know: The distance between Okbape and our final destination Yanirumah is about 120 km. We also know that at least the last 30 km to Yanirumah can be done by small boats on the Dairam River. Everything else we will have to find out on the spot! Of course, the focus is not only on trekking and reaching our final destination, but we also expect to see and experience a lot during these days. We want to spend a significant amount of time with the isolated tribes, learn about their living conditions, and for sure sleep in tree houses!

Guide and cook included, maybe porters. All nights in tent. Meals: full board.

Day 17: Yanirumah
Today at the latest: Arrival in Yanirumah

After twelve days in the forest, we finally reach the village of Yanirumah. This former mission outpost was the first modern settlement in the Korowai area. Nowadays, it is a sleepy village with a small airfield. We continue to the priest’s house where we can set up camp. Then we take a well-deserved bath in the river!

Guide and cook included, maybe porters. All nights in tent. Meals: full board.

Collecting sago grubs
Following a group of Korowai

Day 18: Yanirumah village – Baliem Valley
Charter flight to the Baliem Valley

In the morning we head to the airstrip and wait for the charter plane. If the weather is good, our plane should arrive around 10 am at the latest. The aircraft type is usually a Pilatus Porter with 8 seats. The flight over the mountains into the Baliem valley is certainly another highlight! After arrival in Wamena, we are picked up by our driver and brought to The Baliem Valley Resort. As soon as we arrive at the Resort we have lunch or an afternoon coffee, and then the first real shower since the beginning of the trip in Papua!

Transportation: Flight time to Wamena: 45 minutes. 45 minutes of drive. Guide included. Accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. Meals: full board.

Day 19: Baliem Valley – Jayapura
Last day in the Baliem Valley and transfer to Jayapura

After breakfast, we are transferred to Wamena airport for our flight back to Jayapura. Once at Jayapura airport, we first check-in at the hotel and then drive to the nearby Sentani Lake. After lunch in a restaurant on the lake shore, we start our boat tour to visit the famous artist villages of Asei and Ayapo. They are known for their traditional paintings called Maro – simple animal depictions on pressed tree bark in red, white and black. Originally worn as skirts, today they are mostly used as wall decoration. Later return to the hotel and dinner.

Transportation: 2 hours of drive. Flight time to Jayapura: 30 minutes. Guide included. Accommodation: Hotel Horison. Meals: full board.

Day 20: Jayapura – Jayapura airport
Last day in Papua

You enjoy your breakfast at the hotel before your transfer to Jayapura airport. Siprianus accompanies you to ensure a smooth check-in and a pleasant onward journey. 

Transportation: 20 minutes of drive. English speaking guide included. Meals: breakfast.


Korowai Dairam Expedition ● 20 days/19 nights ● Group Tour
Price per person from/to Jayapura, Papua
USD 6.990 Price in EUR / IDR on request
  • 06.10.-25.10.2024

Travelling to remote areas of Papua is difficult, the conditions are harsh, there is no comfort at all. If you can handle such conditions, you will enjoy this trip. If you have any doubts, ask us before you book it. We are happy to help!

For payment we accept USD, EUR, and IDR. Please let us know your preferred currency. We ask for a deposit of 15% of the tour price at the time of booking. The balance is due no later than 4 weeks before the start of the tour. Prices are subject to change. The final price will be quoted upon confirmation of the tour. Foreigners need a travel permit for Papua (“surat jalan”). We will take care of this permit before your arrival. For the permit we need a copy of your passports and passport photos. A list of equipment will be sent with the booking confirmation.

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