Korowai + Asmat
(& Baliem Valley)
15 days/ 14 nights from Jayapura/ to Timika
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.
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.
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.
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 – Dekai
In the morning, there is a transfer to airport. Then, you take the regular flight to Yahokimo (Dekai), located at the upper reaches of Brazza River (about a 35minute flight). After arrival, there is a visit to the local market and the opportunity for the last shopping for the tour. After lunch at a local restaurant, we drive to the harbor (about 28km/ ca. 1 hour). At the harbor our motor log boat including crew awaits us. Today we plan to go downstream for 2 hours until we reach the village of Patipi Dibawa. Here we will raise our first tent camp right down by the river. This short stage gives us an impression of what awaits us during the next few days: jungle landscapes in their most pristine form!
In the morning we have an early breakfast before we continue to go downstream in our longboat. Down the Brazza River, we pass amazing, untouched forest landscapes. Hornbills, flying foxes and other birds often startle when our boat appears. Around noon we will reach the mouth of the mighty Siret River. Then the journey upstream begins, which leads us in the afternoon through wildly romantic open river landscapes. The Siret is getting wilder and wilder, with pebble banks and rapids. Trees lie scattered in the water and in some places large driftwood dams block almost the entire course of the river. To get through here without any problems you need enough daylight and an experienced boatman. Around 18 o’clock local time, with break of the short twilight, we must have arrived at our goal in MABUL. Many young Kuruwai families live here, who hope that the river will improve their supply with the most necessary goods and food. Some families already have small motor canoes, with which they sometimes get downstream to the shops. We spend the night in an empty stilt house. Here we can use the cooking place and put up our tents sheltered. In the evening our guide negotiates with the locals and the porters for the next days are arranged.
After breakfast we meet our escort. All luggage and food for the next days will be divided among the porters. Then we leave Mabul, and after only about 50 meters we are already standing in the dense forest, which we will not leave for the next days. Today we need about 5 hours to reach our destination: a grandiose jungle settlement with various tree houses, MANOPTEROPO. The traditionally dressed Kuruwai are excited about our visit and do not leave our side anymore. Tent camp at the tree houses. If you like, you can set up your tent in one of the tree houses.
Today, we will follow several Korowai families into the sago forest. Here, we will experience a spectacle from another world. The forest nomads chop a huge sago palm with their stone axes, open the trunk, and start smashing the sago pulp. This sago pulp is further processed by women who wash it in washing installments that date back to ancient times – built only from leaves, branches and rotan. The pure sago is the staple food for all jungle dwellers. Photography enthusiasts will never forget this day! In the afternoon we are back at the tree houses, where our cook starts preparing our next real jungle dinner: maybe we will have papaya vegetables, sago larvas, and plantains! The kitchen will surprise us every day with new exotic dishes.
We will spend a second day with the friendly forest nomads. Maybe today they will show us how to repair a tree house in extreme heights, or how to make and use bows and arrows – the most important weapons here. Or we will join the Korowai on a journey into the forest to seek food. They are true hunters and gatherers: in a few hours their nets are filled with spiders, larvas, locusts and other exotic animals. They even shoot flying foxes from the trees. And again, we can look forward to another exotic dinner!
Today, we say goodbye to our friendly hosts. Back in Mabul we still have time to take a look at the local craftsmanship and perhaps, to bring some of these artefacts back home with us. For example a fantastic bone knife is a perfect souvenir for every visitor, and the truest proof that somebody has really been to the stone ages!
KOROWAI – ASMAT
In the morning, we leave Mabul and follow the river downstream. After some 2 hours we again pass the mouth of Brazza River, but this time we continue along the Siret towards Asmat. Downstream the strong current makes our journey much quicker. Shortly after we pass Brazza, we reach Binam/Suator, the first bigger settlement with a small kiosk. Here we need to fill up our petrol, and it is also time for lunch in a small warung or locally operated food stall. After lunch, we continue to Wowi, a typical Citak settlement, right across the mouth of the powerful Wildemann River. Wowi is also the home of our boatman. We will build our tents next to his house and will use his kitchen place for our dinner. A small tour through the settlement gives a very good insight into the lives of the people here.
Today, we spend to whole day in our boat until we reach Yaosokor, the first typical Asmat settlement. Our tents and kitchen will be set up inside the traditional men’s house (Jeu). Spending the night in this impressive house with its traditional and iconic ancestor poles and fireplaces is a unique experience in and of itself.
We continue by boat until we reach Beriten, a larger Asmat settlement with a traditional men’s house and a settlement known for its Asmat craftsmanship. After our arrival the residents bring all of their art treasures to the men’s house, opening an ad-hoc bazaar. Visitors often have a good chance to find interesting objects for low prices that cannot be found in the official stores in bigger towns. After our stop in Beriten we continue to Uwus (about 1-2 hours). Here, we plan to attend a big Asmat ceremony where hundreds of villagers will attend. Later we will set up our tents in one of the men’s houses. There should be time for a short walk to the other men’s houses where further craftsmanship can be found.
In the morning we go through a narrow river channel, right through the mangrove forest. This is a spectacular journey, as our boat goes past the thick jungle. Around 10am we will reach Agats, the “capital city” of Asmat. Here we will stay in Hotel Anggrek, a small, clean, and quiet hotel. As all the other buildings in Agats, also Hotel Anggrek is built on wooden stilts. In the afternoon we will visit the very interesting Asmat museum, which collected a large amount of unique Asmat artifacts. The collection gives a very good overview on the different Asmat cultures and styles of craftsmanship. Agats is a town without cars and during our short tour through the center; we will be surprised how many people are nonetheless living here.
Agats – Timika
In the early morning we leave Agats Harbor for a quick boat ride to the airfield of Ewer. Here, our flight charter awaits us. The type of aircraft will most likely be a Cessna Caravan. Flight time to Timika is approximately 45 minutes. For small groups, or if no charter plane is available, we go to Timika by speedboat (6 hours). After arrival in Timika, we provide the direct transfer to Hotel Komoro Tame. Dinner will be served in the hotel.
Departure from Timika
Transfer to the airport, departure to your next destination.
Prices in EUR per person sharing a double room
Price per Person2 persons
5.950 Single supplement +€ 400
Price per person3-6 persons
4.950 single supplement +€ 400
Price per personSingle traveller
on request single room included