Tailor-Made Holiday

Papua New Guinea Flying Safari

Private Charter Travel - Experience life in the highlands and Sepik River

16 days

from $7,500pp (excluding flights)

A true adventure into the heart of Papua New Guinea.  This flying safari gives intrepid travellers access to exotic wildlife, cultural tradition and epic landscapes that few other travellers have set eyes upon.

  • Travel by helicopter into Goroka and experience life in the Highlands
  • Walk through the Asaro Valley, renowned for it's mudmen
  • Experience a "singsing" or customary dance by the local tribal group
  • Learn about the complex traditional customs of the Melpa people
  • Arrive into the mythical Sepik River by private charter flight
  • Spot crocodiles and Bird of Paradise as you navigate the Karawari River
  • Dive in the fjords of Tufi, a virtually unexplored underwater world

This 16 day off the beaten track experience covers the three distinctive geographical regions of PNG.Witness and observe the contrasting scenery and people who live in these places.

In such a topographically torturous country even now the road infrastructure remains modest and the best way to get around is flying.

A helicopter can help penetrate the deepest jungle and make exploration of previously untamed regions a thrilling reality. Fly into Goroka and catch a glimpse of life in the rugged Highland mountains shrouded by the mystical traditions and cultures of the Melpa people with their colourful tribal dances and spectacular headdress.  Continue into the depths of the Sepik River by private charter flight in search of dazzling birds of paradise. Visit villages bursting with tribal art where men paddle narrow dugout canoes and the women go out fishing for supper.  Life in these villages continues much as it has for centuries.

Following this glimpse into authentic tribal life, there is the opportunity to explore dozens of ocean dive sites in the pristine blue waters of the Solomon Sea and the calm waters of the tropical fjords. Gems like Tufi Resort offer a paradise accessed only by boat or air. Explore the fjords by tradtional outrigger. Tufi is renowned for its diving and snorkelling. The perfect end to this PNG Flying Safari.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights $Flight cost from 
$ 10125 $ 1343.25
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Singapore overnight

Day 2

At Heathrow Terminal 3 please ask for your bags to be checked all the way through

At Singapore you will need to go to the transit desk to get your boarding pass for the onward flight

Fly Singapore to Port Moresby overnight

Day 3

On arrival at Port Moresby transfer to the Airport Hotel to take a leisurely breakfast.

Fly Port Moresby to Mount Hagen

Journey to Mt Hagen
This morning you are taken back to the airstrip for your charter flight to Mount Hagen City, considered the trading heart of the Papua New Guinea highlands supporting a number of important industries such as tea, coffee and mining and is very much city where tradition and history are found alongside the modern world. The region is mostly known for the Melpa people, an industrious community, first "discovered" in the mid-1930s when the Leahy brothers were prospecting for gold in the region. Anthropologists believe that the Melpa themselves are said to be 'predisposed to capitalism' because of their complex traditional society in which status is dictated by accruing huge wealth, which is then subsequently given away in a ceremonial exchange called "Moka".

Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands Province is a bustling city attracting workers from all over the country, who come to find employment in the mining and agriculture sectors. Known as the land of eternal Spring, this fertile area is blessed with a huge range of produce, which is sold in the local markets.

Full Day Tour
Full day tour featuring the unique culture and tradition of the melpa people who live near the Mount Hagen City which is the business heart of the Papua New Guinea highlands, supplying a number of important industries, such as tea, coffee and mining. It is a city where stone meets steel, where tradition and history is juxtaposed against modern ways.

A comprehensive touring program takes you on a journey through the traditions and customs of the Melpa People. First contact with the Melpa was made in the mid-1930s when the Leahy brothers were prospecting for gold. The Melpa are said by anthropologists, to be “predisposed to capitalism,” because of their complex traditional society in which “big men” earn status by accruing wealth and then giving it all away in ceremonial exchanges.

You will be staying at Highlander Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

A charter flight will be arranged to fly between Mt Hagen and Karawari Lodge

Please note the Air Charter allows 10kg checked in baggage and 5 kg hand luggage..

Fly Mount Hagen to Karawari

You will be staying at Karawari Lodge, Full board

Day 5

Full Day River Excursion
A day excursion along the jungle-fringed waterways of the Karawari River where boatmen, standing upright paddle their slender dugout canoes with sculpted silhouettes of crocodile masks. Village life, including carved totems, drums and wood carvings, offers the chance to understand traditional village culture. Birdlife is also abundant along the rivers and nearby lakes.

A remote and hard to access area of jungle fringed waterways, rich in culture and wildlife.

You will be staying at Karawari Lodge, Full board

Day 6

Karawari Lodge - Traditional Village Visit
Depart the lodge this morning for a boat ride across the river to a traditional village. Here see how Sago, the staple food of the area is prepared by village families.

Life in these villages continues much as it has for centuries.

Lectures at Karawari Lodge
During a stay at Karawari Lodge may include talks by staff on migration, cannibalism, or the importance of the kamanggabi, a carved figure unique to the area.

You will be staying at Karawari Lodge, Full board

Day 7

Fly Karawari to Mount Hagen

You will be staying at Rondon Ridge, Full board

Day 8

Private Gathering of Cultural Groups
Private gathering of several cultural groups from throughout the Highlands Province who will demonstrate their own style of ‘singsing’ or customary dance. The display of these deeply authentic rituals encapsulates the almost overwhelming diversity of culture found within the broader Melanesian context of ‘The Highlands’.

You will be staying at Rondon Ridge, Full board

Day 9

Fly by Charter Helicopter between Mt Hagen to Goroka

On arrival transfer to Pacific Gardens Hotel

You will be staying at Pacific Gardens Hotel, Half board

Day 10

Visit to the Asaro Valley
Today visit the Asaro Valley to see the legendary Asaro mud men. See a performance by the mud men and also other customary practices including food preparations, resolving tribal conflicts and gardening. Perhaps try a traditional Mumu lunch or visit the local highlights of Goroka which include a Coffee Factory and the JK McCarthy Museum.

Goroka is the main town in the Eastern Highlands and the centre of PNG's coffee industry as well as the Highlands' largest annual show (sing-sing), held in September. More relaxed than Mount Hagen, ringed in by mountains and with a pleasant climate it offers a good introduction to life in the Highlands.

Guided Excursions in and Around Goroka
Today visit the Chimnbu Culture Village Visit where some cultural activities , such as weapon making, bilum making, Dace painting and Courting ceremonies can be witnessed. Combine this morning with local exploration of Goroka Market and a local Coffee Factory.

You will be staying at Pacific Gardens Hotel, Half board

Day 11

Today fly Goroka to Port Moresby and onwards to Tufi Dive Resort today

Fly Goroka to Port Moresby

The country's largest city and the nation’s capital.

Fly Port Moresby to Tufi

The coast of Tufi's peninsula, or Cape Nelson as it was named by the British, is a place where sea and mountains meet. A paradise accessed only by boat or air. Gnarled green fingers stretch out into the sea creating fjords of hidden surprises - technically they are rais as they were created by volcano as opposed to ice. These rais give the region a very particular fingerprint of turquoise coral bays, surrounded by steep ridges covered in rainforest and kunai grasslands.

Time at leisure during your stay at Tufi

You will be staying at Tufi Dive Resort, Full board

Day 12

Explore Tufi
Exploring the tropical fjords by traditional outrigger with local village visits, exact programme to be arranged locally. Tufi is also renowned for its diving, otherwise the snorkelling is very good too.

You will be staying at Tufi Dive Resort, Full board

Day 13

Day at Leisure - Diving
Whilst the impressive fjords of Tufi are spectacular it is the underwater world that is really magical. The diving here is wonderful.

You will be staying at Tufi Dive Resort, Full board

Day 14

Fly Tufi to Port Moresby

You will be staying at The Gateway Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 15

Fly Port Moresby to Singapore

Fly Singapore to London


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Karawari Lodge

Karawari Lodge

Perched 300 metres above the Karawari River amidst dense lowland rainforest, this remote lodge occupies a privileged location in an isolated part of the world....

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Rondon Ridge

Rondon Ridge

Rondon Ridge is located at an altitude of 2,100 metres, overlooking vast areas of the Western Highlands....

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Tufi Dive Resort

Tufi Dive Resort

Tufi Dive Resort is perched on the slopes of Mount Trafalgar, overlooking the stunning fjords and mountains of Tufi and Cape Nelson....

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Pacific Gardens Hotel

Pacific Gardens Hotel

The oldest hotel in the centre of Goroka itself, Pacific Gardens offers the visitor home comforts, with a restaurant and well stocked bar on hand - complimented by their excellent staff....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Papua New Guinea

Amy Waters, Travel Expert

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Deborah Brock-Doyle, Travel Expert

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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