Experience

Mountain Treks and Tribal Encounters in Papua New Guinea

If you’re craving a challenging adventure from your next travel experience, the chance to venture into the true unknown and to truly get yourself off the grid – then our unique 23 night trip to Papua New Guinea is sure to satisfy your needs. Let Black Tomato take you on a once in a lifetime bespoke journey into the depth of the Southern Highlands province, a region that’s seldom been visited by westerners. Here under the shadow of Mount Bosavi you’ll immersed in a new and unchartered part of the country where they can become fully engaged camping with the local communities and villagers of the Kosua Tribe. With our Black Tomato guides at hand you’ll harness your inner-adventurer and fine tune your hunter-gatherer skills, push yourself with daring cave descents and an expedition to summit the Mount Bosavi Crater.  The risk element makes Papua New Guinea thrilling, inspiring and all-round exhilarating; but don’t worry, our Black Tomato guides have experienced this region and know it well; so you’re in safe and capable hands.

FOGOMAIY’U VILLAGE & WAINE CAVE CAMP

You’ll start this epic adventure in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea’s largest city and capital. After a night to relax and unwind after your flight you’ll be whisked off into the unknown for the start of your thrilling trip. From here you’ll be flown over the pristine rainforest to Fogomaiy’u where you can rest in a traditional Kosua tribe house surrounded by chants and rhythmic drumming – you’ll soon feel truly immersed in tribal lifestyle.

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Visit the Obote Cave where locals claim the cave sinkhole is so deep that no one has ever discovered its depths. However, we can take you to an accessible cave nearby that’s dotted with limestone stalagmites, where you can explore the depths following a small creek into the cave. After walking around this unique natural formation, you will hunt crayfish and iguanas that you’ll later combine with sweet potato, banana and leaf greens to create an authentic evening meal.

Spend the next few days on a challenging six hour hike to Waine Cave Camp. You’ll have the opportunity to fully participate in the catching of Flying Fox Bats which can then be served at your wild rainforest dinner. Accessing Waine Cave is not for the feint hearted and requires meticulous navigation of 3 sets of hanging ladders that are 40ft long and made from tough forest vines. You will be rewarded with beautiful scenery as you pass beneath a waterfall and meander through to the main cave.

ININUAMO CAMP, LAKE KORABO CAMP & SEANE FALLS VILLAGE

After a 5 hour trek to Ininuamo camp, you can chose how to spend the evening; learn the artistic techniques of basket weaving, or swim in the plunge pools beneath a nearby waterfall. During your stay at these two camps, you’ll hear tales of tribal cannibalism, told in great detail by men who still hold memories of human flesh. These are riveting, magnificent and spine-tingling stories told to outsiders for the first time – a truly rare and unique experience.

The next few days will be spent at Seane Falls Village. Use your time here to bird-watch, explore remote waterfalls and embark on daily activities such as hunting, fishing, gardening, sago making and gathering.

EXPEDITION to BOSAVI CRATER

Perhaps the highlight of the trip, this five day excursion to The Bosavi Crater is one of the most incredibly stunning natural landscapes we’ve ever come across. The trail is strenuous and is likely be drenched in rain. Temperatures at this altitude drop dramatically, so it’s important to prepare for this part of the journey both physically and mentally as this environment is among the most intimidating you’re likely to experience. The epic 1km vertical descent into the crater is truly expedition style—the Crater bottom is almost 3,000 feet deep and the upper 1,500 feet drop is incredibly steep. Your Kosua Guides understand the risk and are very concerned with your safety, so with their reliable assistance, you’ll be entirely safe. Once settled in the rainforest camp, the weather will determine your activity inside the Crater. Gentle streams can soon turn into raging surges in a matter of hours, hindering your descent as the Crater bottom is a labyrinth of creeks and rivers. When the weather is good, travelers can explore, gather wild foods, look for indigenous species found only in PNG and generally take in the atmosphere of what may be the most pristine, untouched setting on earth.

As your stay in Seane Falls concludes, you’ll participate in a moving farewell ceremony. You can model traditional tribal costumes and beat a lizard-skin drum in a spirit house lit with flames from bamboo torches. Help butcher a pig with bamboo knives or take home a permanent souvenir and get a hand-tapped tattoo crafted by a Kosua tribe woman.

WASANA CAMP & KIKORI RIVER

Towards the end of your trip, you will embark on a 5 hour hike to Wasana Hunting Camp, located in the Libano Wildlife Management Area; a protected forest region. Rules prohibit certain hunting, gathering and agricultural techniques and as a result, the environment in this area is primeval and dramatically beautiful. Here, you can join an overnight hunt for giant crocodiles using bow and arrows and other traditional weapons. Only traditional hunting methods may be used in the WMA, making this the ultimate opportunity to test your tribal skills at the end of your 3-week intensive experience.

Set off down the rapid and powerful Kikori River. A river that runs through South Papua New Guinea and offers the chance for guests to tame the challenging rapids. Your boat captains are specialists, having grown up on the bank of the Kikori with over 1000 hours navigating these waters with people and cargo in traditional canoes, so you’ll be in the safest hands. The boat journey takes you back to Fogomaiy’u to catch a flight to Port Moresby, where your tribal experience will be rewarded with a comfortable stay in a local hotel before your flight home the next day.

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