Papua New Guinea, situated north of Australia, is the second largest island in the world, and ranks as one of the most exotic and fascinating places on Earth. Discovered by Europeans in the 16th century, the island still remains one of the wildest, most sparsely populated regions in the world, with almost 90% covered in forest.
The island has the richest avifauna of any island in the world, with over 770 species of birds recorded, of which 59% are found nowhere else. The most famous of them all are the birds-of-paradise, represented by 38 species (out of 43 known). These birds need little introduction as they are famous for the voluptuous forms, flamboyant colorations and the most astonishing and complex courtship displays. Whether, the displaying King of Saxony Bird-of-paradise waving its head-plumes like some weird antennae, the shivering mixture of yellow and orange-pink flaming mass of a dancing Raggiana Bird-of-paradise, the Ribbon-tailed Astrapia with its ribbon-like white tail streamers extending over three times the length of its body or a swaying back and forth Blue Bird-of-paradise, with violet chest and blue plumes spreading like a fan, they all fascinate and intrigue. No doubt, to witness the courtship display of any of them must rank as one of the most fascinating wildlife encounters on Earth!
However, the island is also home to seven other endemic bird families (satinbirds, berrypeckers, painted berrypeckers, berry hunters, ploughbills, ifrits, and melampittas) and a mesmerising array of birds that equally attract and fascinate, including a varied assembly of doves, pigeons, parrot and kingfishers, not to mention sinister-looking frogmouths, attractive jewel-babblers, delicate fairy-wrens, colourful flycatchers, mystifying honeyeaters and captivating bowerbirds, to mention just a few. The gorgeous New Guinea Harpy Eagle compensates perhaps for a low diversity of raptors on the island.
Our tour is designed to give you the best introduction to the island’s avifauna, culture and people. We will explore the southern and central parts of the island, where we will travel from a modern town in the southeast coast to the southern and western highlands, untouched by civilisation and inhabited by tribes whose warriors still use bird-of-paradise plumes to decorate their wigs. We will visit one of the villages to watch the vibrant performance of the warriors. The only way to reach these remote areas is by plane and we will undertake two internal flights to reach our destinations. Despite the remoteness of the area, our accommodation ranges from good to excellent.
To enhance our birding experience on the island, we will have several local guides with their up-to-date knowledge of whereabouts of the birds and, so within a 10-day main tour we should be able to see about 15 species of birds-of-paradise. The optional 6-day extension to the western part of the island, could yield an additional two species and some other most sought after rarities.Detailed Itinerary Booking Info
20-29 July 2017
Arrival to Port Moresby
Varirata National Park
Flight to Mt. Hagen
Transfer to Tari Valley
Flight to Port Moresby
Extension tour to Kiunga, western PNG, is also available. Details on the next page
The Price Includes
- all accommodation on a shared basis
- all meals
- all excursions and transfers by vehicle and boats
- park and tour guides’ fees
The Price Does Not Include
- all items of a personal nature
- flight cancellation, baggage and medical insurance alcoholic drinks
- any extra morning excursions on Day 10
- international return flight from Britain to Port Moresby and return internal flight from Port Moresby to Mt. Hagen. A group booking, however, will be made, but you will deal with a travel agent directly. Alternatively, you can make your own arrangements.
- all passengers must cover themselves against flight cancellation, luggage loss and medical costs for the duration of their trip
- a deposit of £500 is requested with a booking form. The final payment is required by 15 April