Arrive in Wewak Airport and pickup by our ground staff to transfer to Wewak Seaside Lodge. Welcome Dinner and relax with a view over the river mouth to the Pacific and the edge of PNG. Inside and downstream lies your odyssey into the last frontier of humanity, the most untouched reach of the earth by modernity, and the cradle of hundreds of different languages.
A 1,146 km long, the Sepik is one of the planet’s greatest and most epic river journeys. Vivified in the minds and museums of the world, this prism of fantastic stratified culture up and down an enormous geographic area ranges through hundreds of different and distinct languages and cultures, many still a mystery as to how they got there and why they became so unique. This is where your cultural buffet begins.
Today you leave Wewak, formerly one of the largest Japanese airbases in the Pacific, and set out towards the Middle Sepik, across countless tribes, cultures, villages, mountains, jungles, and lowlands wildlife and birds circling in the trees alongside and above you. Stop for lunch at a traditional Kai Bar, and meet the locals.
Arrive at Pagwi boat launch on the middle Sepik, and set off downstream on the beginning of your journey. Today we travel 2 hours to Kemenabit village and guesthouse, floating frozen in time and tens of thousands of years in the past, down the river. Relax, meet the local boatmen and riverside villagers, and prepare for your voyage ahead. Dinner and overnight at Kemenabit guest house.
On the way to the Great Lake in the Middle Sepik after breakfast, cruise past Ibomb village where clay artisans have been at their craft for hundreds of years and had their artifacts make their way to museums in the west for at least a hundred years. Drift past riverlife frozen in time from the stone age. Lunch at a riverside village.
Arrive at Chabri Lake where the full grandeur of PNG unfolds. Countless birds and fish and wildlife, and â€œSpirit Housesâ€ (Tambaran), with a backdrop of deep green rainforest and misty cloud drenched mountains. See real village life in the last place touched by modernity in history, the last first contacts. Overnight and dinner at Kemenabit in the evening on the return loop.
Today after breakfast we set off further down the Sepik to Gavamas Village and Blackwater Lake, along a side tributary of the main Sepik, and far-and-away the most photogenic reach of the river, reputedly the most beautiful. Cruise past 6 or more villages decked with decoration and natural forest-dye paint, held up on stilts, straight out of a fantasy or a painting. All have totally different, and largely mutually-unintelligible languages.
Divergent cultures. Hear drums, dancing, and witness some of the most colorful and intricate clothing in the world, in what is undoubtedly one of the earth’s most colorful last reserves of culture. This area is full of attractions and activities, including a lost Japanese Outpost from World War II, fresh waterfalls where you can bathe and drink, and tonight we will accompany crocodile hunters along the blackwater lake. Dinner and overnight in Gavamas Haus (Gavamas Guest House).
Set off further down the river to see more spirit houses as well as, at last, one of the world-famous tsing-tsings, a small gathering for you of Kaningara warriors in their traditional dress, and dancing their traditional rites. In this part of PNG, ritualistic skin-cutting of young male warriors often takes place still, and you may run across the practice around here.
Please note to retain your opinions on this to yourself, as it is a very proud part of young adolescence for PNG male youth. Lunch at Kaningara Village. Return to our boats for departure back upstream to Gavamas for dinner and overnight.