Birding Tour Papua New Guinea: Attenborough's Paradise 2017

Duration: 19 days

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.

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