Birding Tour Papua New Guinea: Attenborough's Paradise 2018
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is indeed a birder’s paradise. Thirty-four birds-of-paradise live on the island of New Guinea, of which thirty-one can be found in Papua New Guinea. The island of New Guinea is home to an incredible 399 endemics! Together with awe-inspiring scenery, endless rainforests, and fascinating highland societies that only made contact with the outside world in 1930, this makes Papua New Guinea a definite must-do destination for any avid birder.
We start our adventure in the tropical savanna near Port Moresby. This area holds species restricted to northern Australia and PNG, such as the remarkable Papuan Frogmouth, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, and the really rather spotty Spotted Whistling Duck.
We then fly to the Mount Hagen Highlands, where we base ourselves at Kumul Lodge, the holy grail of PNG highlands birding. At Kumul’s legendary feeding table Papua New Guinea spectaculars await us in the form of Ribbon-tailed Astrapia, Rufous-naped Whistler, Brehm’s Tiger Parrot, Archbold’s Bowerbird, Crested Satinbird, and many more. The area around Mount Hagen also holds a host of other birding gems, Brown Sicklebill, King of Saxony Bird-of-paradise, and Lesser Bird-of-paradise among them.
Our next destination is the western lowlands around Kiunga, a port town on the Fly River in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. In this remote part of the country we will search for a host of breathtaking specials including Southern Crowned Pigeon and Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise as well as King Bird-of-paradise.
Our next stop is the little-visited Star Mountains, where we search for some hard-to-find species such as Queen Carola’s Parotia, Greater Melampitta, and Shovel-billed Kookaburra.
We fly back east to PNG’s western highlands around Tari, the capital of the Tari-Pori district. More dazzling birds await us here. Blue Bird-of-paradise, Lawes’s Parotia, Princess Stephanie’s Astrapia, Papuan Eagle, and many, many more. The Tari region is also home to the legendary Huli Wigmen, and our tour includes the opportunity to experience this unique cultural attraction.
Finally, we return to Port Moresby and spend our last day birding the nearby Varirata National Park. Varirata is home to Raggiana’s Bird-of-paradise, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooded Pitohui, an array of spectacular fruit doves, and much more.
Duration: 19 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 9
Date Start: August 31, 2018
Date End: September 18, 2018
Tour Start: Port Moresby
Tour End: Port Moresby
SAFETY and SECURITY
PNG is a mind-boggling destination for birds, wildlife, and culture, because it is one of the world’s last great unexplored frontiers. However, frontiers can be risky places, and PNG is no exception. The Australian government’s travel advice provides a good outline of the types of risks in PNG (http://www.smarttraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Papua_New_Guinea). Birding Ecotours exercises extreme care in planning and coordinating its tours, and we stay alert to and avoid areas of trouble. Birding Ecotours does require, however, that all birders on our PNG tours have a comprehensive travel insurance policy that covers PNG. We consider it a less safe destination than most, and we need potential participants on our tours to this country to be aware of this.
Please also consider our Birding Tour West Papua: Arfak and Waigeo Birding Expedition 2018 (16 – 27 November 2018) – the northwestern side of the island of New Guinea, being a province of Indonesia, is considered safer and arguably has an even better suite of spectacular birds (if you can believe that!).
Price: US$9,666 per person sharing, assuming 8 – 9 participants US$12,023 per person sharing, assuming 6 – 7 participants US$14,659 per person sharing, assuming 4 – 5 participants
Single Supplement: US$1,275
Please note that prices do not include domestic flights in PNG, which are estimated at between US$1000 and US$1800, depending of fare availability. Where to book these flights at a discount and the exact flight numbers will be provided somewhat closer to the time.
Twin share accommodation
All meals: dinner on day 1 to breakfast on the last day
Guides including international tour leader
Site entry fees
International departure taxes
Any meals other than those specified
Other services of a personal nature
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What our clients say
We spent three weeks with Andy in Thailand and enjoyed the trip thoroughly. Andy worked so hard to find the birds, and get us on them. He was very patient and took the time we needed. He knew all the best places to go, knew what birds would be expected, identified them in an instant and still managed to find some pretty good rarities along with the “known birds”, Himalayan Cutia anyone? And we spent literally hours getting great looks at Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Andy got us very close without disturbing the birds or any other birders. It was a highlight of the trip. We are hoping to see Andy in York later this year for a days birding on his home patch! Bob and Terrie, Idaho USA