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  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

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    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

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.


What do you really love doing? We’ll tailor your itinerary to suit you.

Traditional PNG Festivals

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

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Board a Luxury Cruise

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

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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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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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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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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Amy Waters

After my degree in Fine Art I didn’t really know what career I wanted or what path I would take. The only thing I knew is that having spent a summer in America it had given me the desire to explore and see as many places as possible before becoming a grown up and entering the real world.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Deborah Brock-Doyle

My first journey for Steppes was in 1999 when I set off to explore Thailand to gather those little details that constitute Steppes Travel’s trademark knowledge. I have since been lucky enough to travel extensively in Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and India. A few special memories include being joined at dinner by an otter in Laos, proudly being shown an illicit picture of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and diving with manta rays on Christmas day in Indonesia. I’m pretty sure I always leave a country wishing I had done more, seen more, learned more ….. but I also always hope to return …

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  • 01285 880 980

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 880 980

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Deborah was simply fantastic in terms of helping out, putting together a first rate itinerary, finding solutions and giving advice. Thank you.

Papua New Guinea

What a brilliant boat and crew. The accommodation was excellent and the ship's crew handled all trips superbly.  An excellent holiday only made better by the knowledge of the experts and the overall organisation of the trip.

Papua New Guinea - True North

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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