Papua New Guinea & the Mount Hagen Sing Sing Festival - A Marco Polo Journey (2020)

Witness cultural traditions rarely seen by Western eyes as you cruise the Karawari River in search of remote tribal villages, spot a dazzling array of exotic birdlife and marvel at the brilliant spectacle of the Mount Hagen Cultural Show.

Journey Overview

Witness cultural traditions rarely seen by Western eyes as you cruise the Karawari River in search of remote tribal villages, spot a dazzling array of exotic birdlife and marvel at the brilliant spectacle of the Mount Hagen Cultural Show.

Journey Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in vibrant tribal cultures that have remained unchanged for centuries, while cruising rivers and exploring some of the most remote corners of the globe
  • Experience the world-renowned Mount Hagen Cultural Show, a dazzling spectacle of tribal song, dance, pageantry and tradition
  • Take a three-night cruise on the Karawari River, winding past unspoiled villages and pristine rainforests of the Sepik Region
  • Relish intimate interactions with distinctive cultures spanning the remote river villages along the Sepik, Lake Murray and Mount Hagen region

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Cairns, Australia

Upon arrival in Cairns, you are met and transferred to your hotel. Refresh from your travels and prepare for the exciting journey to come. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner served at the hotel.
Shangri-La Cairns | Meals: D  

Day 2: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea | Island Gateway

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Papua New Guinea, an island chain of undisturbed indigenous tribes and sweeping natural beauty. Arrive in Port Moresby and connect to Mount Hagen. Upon arrival, travel overland through the upper Wahgi Valley, a rich, fertile farmland that witnessed some of the world’s earliest agriculture. Continue on to Rondon Ridge for spectacular panoramas of the verdant valley.
Rondon Ridge | Meals: BD  

Day 3: Lake Murray | Lush Canopy of the Western Province

This morning, board your charter flight to Lake Murray in the Western Province. The countryside here is unlike anywhere else in Papua New Guinea and offers an ideal destination for photographers and lovers of flora and fauna. This afternoon, set out on a guided nature walk. Lake Murray is one of the best birdwatching areas in the province. Visit a local village and market before returning to your lodge.
Lake Murray Lodge | Meals: BLD  

Day 4: Lake Murray | The Pari Tribe

This morning, embark on the first of two days of cultural touring among the tribes that inhabit the Lake Murray region. Begin with a full day visit to the Pari tribe. After breakfast, board a riverboat for a scenic cruise to the village. On arrival, you are greeted by members of the Pari tribe and have an opportunity to witness and participate in several traditional activities including sing sing, arts and crafts, face and body painting, tribal warrior demonstrations, and a chance to share stories with the villagers.
Lake Murray Lodge | Meals: BLD  

Day 5: Lake Murray | The Kuni Tribe

Enjoy another full-day cultural excursion revealing the culture of the Kuni tribe. Begin with a scenic riverboat cruise to the village. During your visit, try your hand at traditional archery, weaving, warrior displays, face painting, fishing or canoeing.
Lake Murray Lodge | Meals: BLD  

Day 6: Sepik Region | Secluded Riverine Wilderness

This morning, board your charter flight to a private airstrip secluded deep within the riverine wilderness of the Sepik region. A small boat ferries you on to your lodge, where you are greeted with lunch. After settling in, embark on a river safari exploring the Karawari, a remote tributary of the mighty Sepik.  
Karawari Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 7: Sepik Region | Cast Off for Adventure

Today, board ‘Sepik Spirit,’ your floating home for the next three nights. Settle into life aboard this three-level, 98-foot river cruiser. Onboard amenities include a lounge, dining room, bar, screened-in observation deck, air conditioning and nine comfortable cabins with en suite bathrooms. Your riverboat home is an oasis in this remote jungle, affording an exceptional vantage of the riverine wilderness that surrounds you. After lunch on board, embark on your voyage of discovery along the Karawari River.  
‘Sepik Spirit’ | Meals: BLD  

Day 8: Sepik Region | Villages of Black Water Lake

After breakfast aboard, disembark for a full-day excursion to the remote villages of Black Water Lake. Bask in your warm island welcome as you observe a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for centuries. Learn about the local rituals, warfare, ceremonies and ancestral beliefs, visiting the various houses of the village. Browse tribal handicrafts such as masks, flutes and spirit figures in the villages’ low-pressure markets. Relax with a picnic by the densely forested banks of the Karawari River, watching as local men gather on their clan’s bench, children paddle canoes to school and women fish with hand lines.
‘Sepik Spirit’ | Meals: BLD  

Day 9: Sepik Region | Tribes of the Mumeri & Mindimbit

Disembark onto the banks of Mumeri, a remote village whose people have preserved their ancestral traditions for centuries. Take in the same warm village welcome enjoyed here by pioneering anthropologist Margaret Meade over 80 years ago. Next, cruise to the confluence of the Krosmeri and Karawari rivers, where you rendezvous with ‘Sepik Spirit’ for lunch. Continue on to visit the villages of Mindimbit, taking in the spectacular carvings and elaborate coming-of-age rituals of the locals. Re-join ‘Sepik Spirit’ for your final night on board, cruising back toward Karawari.
‘Sepik Spirit’ | Meals: BLD

Day 10: Mount Hagen | Voices of teh Sing Sing Festival

This morning, fly by private charter to Mount Hagen. On approach, watch the mountains rise and then fall away as you descend into the verdant flatlands of the Wahgi Valley. Upon arrival, enjoy the first of two days at the Mount Hagen Cultural Show, a festive gathering of more than 50 coastal, lowland and highland tribal groups. Gain insider access to a privileged experience few travellers can claim as you immerse yourself in a festival of the locals, for the locals — a bold, joyful proclamation of tribal pride.
Rondon Ridge | Meals: BLD  

Day 11: Mount Hagen | Spectacular Cultural Show

Enjoy another day experiencing the sing sing festival. Marvel as the participants engage in sing sings, lively ancestral songs and dances displaying their diverse and distinctive cultural heritages. Witness an unmatched spectacle of colour, music and motion as heirloom feathered headdresses, brilliantly painted faces and dyed grass skirts weave to the driving beat of traditional drums and the rousing voices of the tribesmen. Lose yourself in the sights and sounds of the rollicking festival, gaining a deeper insight into the enduring traditions that help to define this unique corner of the world. This afternoon, fly to Port Moresby, a capital of sprawling suburbs scattered throughout the hills, and transfer to your accommodations nestled in a lush botanical garden.
Airways Hotel | Meals: BLD  

Day 12: Cairns, Australia | A Parting Glimpse

Today, fly to Cairns. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner and recap your amazing experience with your fellow travellers.
Shangri-La Cairns | Meals: BD

Day 13: Depart Cairns

After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your departure.
Meals: B  

Journey Details

This journey contains some active elements.
Minimum age is 10 years.
First group event: welcome dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Day 1.
Last group event: farewell dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Day 12.
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 8 guests.

Program Note
Travel in this remote region entails lodging in basic accommodations and active elements such as walking over steep, uneven jungle terrain.

Show Full Itinerary
Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Aug 6, 2020 - Aug 18, 2020
Price AU$21,720pp Single Supplement AU$6,515 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.