Kumbarumba village, Sepik River flower sellers, Papua New Guinea

The Sepik

The Sepik is revered for its art.

The tribes living along the river produce magnificent wood carvings and artful clay pottery. Many tribes use garamut drums in rituals; the drums are formed from long, hollowed-out tree trunks carved into the shape of various totem animals.

As part of an elaborate coming of age ceremony, young men are scarified with the image of a crocodile on the river bank.

Kumbarumba, Sepik River village girl with shells, Papua New Guinea
Sepik River, Papua New Guinea

A little more about the Sepik

The Sepik River runs over for well over a 1000 kilometres from its source deep in the central mountains through to the Bismarck Sea. This remote region made up of vast river systems, beautiful coastlines and mountain ranges take you well beyond the beaten track to villages with one foot still in the stone age. The timeless mystery of Sepik folklore is still proudly displayed right throughout the region with insights into the origin of the country’s greatest tribal adornments, traditions and artefacts.

The four-day Crocodile festival held along the banks of the Sepik pays tribute to the most revered (and feared) of the river’s creatures, the crocodile. Expect spirited dancing and wild costume.


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Tufi sing sing, Papua New Guinea

Traditional PNG Festivals

Witness a “sing-sing” and colourful traditional festivals.

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True North, Sepik Soiree, Vitu Island, Papua New Guinea

Board a Luxury Cruise

Access secluded and remote parts of the country on the luxurious True North boat.

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Kumbarumba village, Sepik River (3), Papua New Guinea

Local River Life

Visit a stilted village on the Sepik River to experience local life and culture and learn about sago, an edible starch and a food staple.

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Insect Tribe Sawgup, Sepik River, Papua New Guinea

Sepik River by Dugout Canoe

Explore the spirit houses and backwaters of the mythical Sepik River by dugout canoe – the traditional mode of transport for this part of the world.

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Scarification, Sepik River, Papua New Guinea

Crocodile Initiation

Witness and learn about the famous crocodile initiation ceremony, an ancient coming of age ritual when young men are cut, leaving scars resembling the scales of a crocodile.

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True North, The Sepik River Tribes, Papua New Guinea
Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea – Sepik River Adventure Cruise

This 11-day expedition cruise around PNG offers the chance to access secluded islands for world-class snorkelling and diving, as well as experiencing ancient tribal cultures and spectacular scenery. All from the comfort of the exceptional True North Boat.

12 days

from £13,600 pp

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