Asmat Headhunters

Visit the former headhunters of Asmat

9 days/8 nights ● from/to Timika, Papua ● Private Tour ● 4 nights in tent ● Level of difficulty: 2**

This 9 days/8 nights private tour from/to Timika, brings you to the famous Asmat tribe in the southern lowlands of Papua. The former headhunters and cannibals of the Asmat were once very feared and have only been safe to visit for a few decades. Until today many Asmat villages are wild and culturally intact. The territory of the Asmat is traveled in boats. You will be accompanied by a guide, cook and boat crew. You will visit several Asmat villages and experience the daily life of the people up close. Of course, Asmat ceremonies are also planned, where the ancient spirit of the Asmat comes to life. A real adventure in one of the most remote and wild areas in Papua.

Price per person
from/to Timika, Papua

for minimum 2 guests
USD 4.790 Price in EUR / IDR on request
  • PRIVATE TOUR

Day 1: Timika (must be on a Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday)
Arrival in Timika

When arriving at Timika airport, your guide is here to welcome you. You drive to the hotel for check-in. Today last preparations of the tour must be made. The rest of day is at leisure but if time permits, you might visit the town of Timika together with your guide.

Transportation: 30 minutes of drive. Guide included. Accommodation: Hotel Horison. Meals: full board.

Day 2: Timika – Ewer
Arrival in Agats, the capital of Asmat

After breakfast you are transferred to Timika airport. From here you take a regular flight to Agats, the capital town of Asmat regency. Once you arrived at the airport, you will be met by your boat crew. Agats airport can only be reached by boat and it is about a 30-minute drive into town. In Agats itself there are hardly any roads, instead a maze of boardwalks. Almost all houses and other buildings are built on stilts. Have you ever seen a schoolyard on stilts? Here you can. After check-in in our simple hotel we will go for a walk around town and visit the small Asmat museum.

Transportation: Flight time to Agats: 45 minutes. 30 minutes by boat. Guide included. Accommodation: Hotel Asmat Permai. Meals: fullboard.

people in boat on river with forest background
On the Siret river
two wood carving poles standing up
Ancestor poles

Day 3.: Asmat
Visiting first Asmat village

After breakfast, you will board the motorized canoe with your guide and cook for a three-hour trip to your first Asmat village. The Asmat live in wooden houses with their extended family. In addition, there is at least one large men’s house, called a jeu, in each village. The Asmat men spend much of their time in the jeu organizing ceremonies, telling stories, planning hunting and fishing expeditions, and carving the incredible artwork for which they are known worldwide. Lunch will be served in a traditional longhouse of the village. In the afternoon, row up the river with some members of the Asmat tribe to observe the many species of birds, plants and animals in the surrounding jungle. In the late afternoon, paddle back to the village for dinner and overnight in a longhouse.

Transportation: 3 hours by boat. Guide included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: fullboard.

Day 4: Asmat
Visiting another Asmat village

Half day boat trip in the Asmat area. We will drive through a maze of narrow river channels right through the coastal mangrove forest. On this fantastic drive, the lush tropical plant life, which can be admired from very close, will delight you. In our village today we are planning a big drum ceremony in the afternoon. These ceremonies used to be held after successful headhunts. There is dancing in the house to the sound of the drums, and the house is walked from end to end several times to pay respect to each of the fireplaces of the important families. Those who have not been present so far join in now at the latest. The floor of the house shakes from the dancing, the air vibrates with energy. We can watch the spectacle from the sidelines or get right in the middle of it. After the ceremony we gather with the village elders around the sacred fire in the middle of the house. The rest of the men disperse throughout the house, depending on their affiliation. After the drums are placed next to the fire so that the monitor skin does not cool down, we are welcomed again by singing. Now tobacco is distributed and there is time for a chat, or to take pictures. In between, the drums are taken out of the fire, and songs are sung. The atmosphere gives an idea of how the old, head-hunting, cannibalistic Asmat must have been in the past. Overnight in tent.

Transportation: 3 hours by boat. Guide included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: fullboard.

Through the mangrove forests of Asmat territory
During a drum ceremony

Day 5: Asmat
Asmat village

Today we will spend in the village. Once notorious for cannibalism and headhunting, today they are willing to share their home and hospitality with you. After lunch, we paddle or hike through the swampy jungle in the company of some Asmat. We watch as they process sago, their most important staple food. The sago balls are then cooked on coals in their kitchen. Some of the locals even eat the sago worm as a source of protein. In the late afternoon, we hike or paddle back to the village for dinner and overnight. Overnight in tent.

Guide included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: fullboard.

Day 6: Asmat
Visiting another Asmat village

After breakfast we get back in our boat and head for another Asmat settlement. After our arrival, the inhabitants quickly bring all their art treasures to the men’s house and a lively bazaar is created. On such occasions, we often find unusual and inexpensive art objects like carved wooden statues, traditional drums, shields, weapons, jewelry or bags. Maybe we accompany the Asmat fishing or watch them doing their daily activities. There is always something being carved somewhere, a boat being made, or a crocodile being skinned.  In the afternoon we will again have the chance to listen to the Asmat drum as the men are gathering in the men’s house.

Transportation: 3 hours by boat. Guide included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: fullboard.

Portrait of an Asmat warrior

Day 7: Asmat
Return to Agats

Depending on our position, we spend half a day to a full day returning to Agats. After breakfast we say goodbye to our hosts and set off. Depending on the distance, we will stop for a short lunch on the way. During the afternoon we plan to be back in Agats for the first real shower since the beginning of the trip. In the evening we will end the tour in a typical fish restaurant. Incredible.

Transportation: 3 hours by boat. Guide included. Accommodation: Hotel Asmat Permai. Meals: fullboard.

Day 8: Ewer – Timika
Arrival in Timika

After breakfast you are transferred to the airfield of Ewer where you wait for the flight back to Timika. In Timika you are transferred to Hotel Komoro Tame where the rest of day is at leisure.

Transportation: Flight time to Timika: 45 minutes. 30 minutes by boat. Guide included. Accommodation: Hotel Horison. Meals: fullboard.

Day 9: Timika – airport
End of tour

In time for the departure of your next flight, your guide will take you to the airport. Your guide accompanies you to ensure a smooth check-in and a pleasant onward journey. End of tour.

Transportation: 30 minutes of drive. Guide included. Meals: breakfast.

PRICE & CONDITIONS

Asmat Headhunters ● 9 days/8 nights ● Private Tour
Price per person from/to Timika, Papua
for minimum 2 guests
USD 4.790 Price in EUR / IDR on request
  • +USD 250 for single room/tent
for 3-6 guests
USD 4.320 Price in EUR / IDR on request
  • +USD 250 for single room/tent
for 1 single guest
on request
  •  
INCLUDES
DOES NOT INCLUDE

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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