Papua - Special expedition Korowai intensive: Crossing the Korowai Sector (2022)
16.01. - 01.02.2022
This expedition will bring you to the Korowai tree house nomads. The Korowai live far away from any civilization, deep in the forest of the Papua lowland until this day. During our tour we will cross the Korowai sector, from Mabul in the West to Yanirumah in the East. We will spend some days in the forest of the Korowai and visit mainly the settlements in the area around Avium River. The deeper we walk inside the sector, the more traditional the people are. We will leave the sector from Yanirumah with a missionary charter flight to Wamena. After that, we will spend some varied days with the Dani tribe in the highlands of Papua where we will take part in an amazing traditional pig festival. To complete our trip, we visit a bird park on the north coast with guided tours to the birds of paradise.
Individual arrival in Denpasar, Bali latest until 16.01.2022. Gladly we organise your arrival and departure additionally for you.
Arrival in Denpasar, Bali. Either individual arrival or organised additionally by MEET THE GLOBE against extra charge. Transfer to the Hotel Ida in Kuta. The rest of the day is to relax. This stay only includes breakfast.
The complete day is to relax. Shortly before midnight there will be the transfer to the airport.
Around 01:50 am flight with Garuda Indonesia to Jayapura, Papua. Arrival in the morning and after a short transit we take another 35 minutes scheduled flight with Trigana Air to Yahokimo (Dekai), located at the upper reaches of Brazza River. We visit the local market for the last shopping before the tour. After lunch at a local restaurant we drive to the harbour. For the 28 km we need about 1 hour. We meet our motor longboat and our crew awaits us. Today we plan to go downstream for 2 hours until we reach the village of Patipi Dibawa. Here we raise our first tented camp right next to the river. This short stage today gives us an impression of what awaits us during the next days: jungle landscapes in the essence!
We have an early breakfast in the morning before we continue to go downstream with our longboat. Along Brazza River we are passing amazing prime forest landscapes. Hornbills, flying foxes and other birds often startle when our boat appears. We will reach the mouth of the mighty Siret River around noon. After our lunch break in a common settlement we go upstream along Siret River to the Korowai settlement Mabul. Driving upstream Siret River changes its face; the current gets stronger, sand banks appear, big tree trunks often block parts of the way, less and less local boats appear. Depending on the water level, our today’s boat trip takes around 8 hours. Under best circumstances, we will reach Mabul in the afternoon. Mabul is a small settlement of Korowai people who were attracted by the Indonesian government to leave behind their nomadic lifestyle in the forest and to settle down. We will use this settlement as the starting point of our trekking into the Korowai corridor. After we set up our tents and kitchen we will start recruiting our porters for the next days. With a little bit of luck we can set up our tents inside an empty stilt house.
We meet our escort team after breakfast. Our entire luggage and our food for the next days will be carried by our porters. We leave Mabul in easterly direction. Only some 50 metres and we are standing in thick forest which we will not leave for the next days. Today we need approximately 5 hours until we reach our first destination. Maybe we reach Manopteropo, a fantastic jungle settlement with 6 tree houses or we visit another small village. In this area we have plenty of possibilities and our expedition programme is very flexible. In any case the traditionally dressed Korowai give us a friendly welcome. We will build our tented camp next to the tree houses. In some settlements sometimes there is a possibility to set up your tent inside a tree house if you wish - in 6 or 25 metres height!
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. The gained sago pulp is further processed by women who wash it in primitive washing installments – build only from leaves, branches, and rotan. The pure sago is the staple food for all jungle dwellers. Camera enthusiasts will probably never forget this day! In the afternoon we return to the tree houses where our cook starts preparing our next real jungle dinner: maybe we will have papaya vegetables, sago larvae, and plantains! The kitchen will surprise us every day with new exotic viands.
22.01. - 25.01.2022
We leave our first settlement and start our trekking to Avium River. The deeper you get into the Korowai sector, the more traditional it becomes. The next days we plan a daily trekking duration of 4-6 hours. After two days we should reach Avium River where several Korowai settlements can be found. We will set up our tents in one of such small settlements. There maybe they show us how to repair a tree house in crazy heights, or how to make and use bow and arrow – the most important weapon. Or we join the Korowai on a journey into the forest to seek food. They are true hunters and gatherers and within a few hours their nets are filled with spiders, larvae, locusts and other exotic animals. They even shoot flying dogs from the trees. And again, we can look forward to another first-class exotic dinner!
During the day we arrive in Yanirumah. This former missionary outpost was the first modern settlement in the Korowai area. Today it is more a sleepy village with a small airstrip. We will set up our tents near the river where we will have some time for a bath for sure.
Today we say goodbye to our porters who are walking back to Mabul. After breakfast, we will go to a small airfield and wait for our charter flight to Wamena. For this 45-minute flight we usually use a Pilatus Porter. We will visit the local market in Wamena and later on reach The Baliem Valley Resort, where we will enjoy a great view, dinner, and the first hot shower since the beginning of this trip.
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 each 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 is 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! We return to the resort in the late afternoon.
We will visit a salt spring, the Kurulu mummy and traditional Dani hamlets today. The morning starts with a one-hour drive to Jiwikia, in the middle of the Baliem Valley. From there we will hike uphill (approximately 1.000 feet altitude difference) through a stunning mountain rainforest to the traditional salt spring of the Dani tribe. Indigenous women dressed in their tribal garbs will accompany us and show us the ancestral techniques of salt production. After the descent we will take our picnic lunch at the foot of the mountain. Together we will walk to the nearby Kurulu village where you can admire the ancient mummy of the famous Dugum clan. Afterwards, the women will show us how they process the brine they extracted from the spring. We will see more quaint and picturesque Dani homesteads in the neighbourhood. Wherever we go, friendly Papuans offer their arts and crafts, weapons, and all kinds of curiosities for sale. The return to the resort is in the afternoon.
In the morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Jayapura. After arrival in Jayapura direct transfer to Lake Sentani, with visit of the well-known artist island Asei and Ayapo, lunch on the way right next to the lake. In the afternoon we check in at Horex in Sentani. Later dinner at the hotel.
The morning starts with a transfer to the Japura airport for a scheduled flight with Garuda Indonesia to Denpasar, Bali. The arrival is in the afternoon. Transfer to Hotel Ida. Rest of the day for leisure.
End of services. We provide transfer to airport.
- Inner-Indonesian flights with Garuda Indonesia (Denpasar - Jayapura / Jayapura - Denpasar)
- Inner-Papuan flights with Air Trigana (Jayapura - Yahokimo (Dekai) / Wamena - Jayapura)
- Charter flight for the whole crew (Yanirumah – Wamena)
- English speaking guide. German and spanish may be available on request.
- Crew from Wamena (cook etc.)
- Porters for the private luggage of the expedition members
- Full board, unless stated otherwise (Hotel Ida)
- Programme according to the itinerary above
- Travel permit (Surat Jalan)
- Equipment (tents, cooking dishes) but NO sleeping bags and mattresses
- All transfers
- All entrance fees
- 1-2 nights (depending on tour length) Hotel Ida, Kuta/Bali with breakfast
- 4 nights The Baliem Valley Resort, full board
- 1 night Hotel Horex, Sentani, full board
- International flights to/from Denpasar, Bali (may be booked on request)
- Airport tax on the international flights arriving at and departing from Denpasar
- Sleeping bags and sleeping mattresses for the nights in the tent
- Meals in Bali (Hotel Ida)
- Additional beverages
- Private expenses during the tour
- Medical precautions and advices
- Travel insurances
- The luggage limitation for checked luggage is 15 kg per person because of valid restrictions on the charter flight and on the national flights.
- The passport has to be valid at least 6 more months on the day when entering Indonesia.
- EU citizens will receive a free visa upon arrival.
- Other citizens please check with the respective embassy if a visa is required for Indonesia and about the procedure. We gladly support you when dealing with this issue.
- When entering Papua every visitor has to bring 1 passport copy and 2 passport pictures for the travel permit.
- A checklist on what equipment to bring will be send after booking confirmation.
- After receiving the booking confirmation a deposit of 15% of the total price has to be paid. The remaining payment has to be completed latest 6 weeks before the trip.
- A cancellation up to 32 days
before the trip attracts a cancellation fee of 15% of the total travel
price. This non-refundable part may be higher if we already had expenses
with hotels and airlines or other service providers which will not, or
not completely refund us.
- Between 31 and 17 days before the trip the cancellation fee is 35%.
- Between 16 and 11 days before the trip the cancellation fee is 50%.
- Between 10 days and 1 day before the trip 80% of the total costs have to be paid.
- Any no show or an early departure will result in a 100% payment of the total price and there will be no refund.
- The price for the 17 days from/to Denpasar, Bali, is 3.390 € in a double room respectively in a double tent.
- The single room/tent surcharge is 350 € in total.
- The minimum number of expedition members is 4.
- The level of difficulty on a scale up to 10 is indicated with 8.
- A certain degree of fitness is assumed. But you definitely do not have to be a top athlete to be an expedition member.
- It is self-evident that we travel as a group and respect the weakest link in the chain.