Experience the Remotest Tribes of Papua
15 Days / 14 Nights
West Papua (made up of the two provinces of Papua and West Papua) is the western half of the island of New Guinea and is distinct from the independent country of Papua New Guinea. It is home to around 312 different tribes, including some uncontacted peoples. The central mountainous region of Papua is home to the highland peoples, who practice pig husbandry and sweet potato cultivation.
The lowland peoples live in swampy and malarial coastal regions, and live by hunting the abundant game, and gathering.
Some of the many Papuan tribal languages are related to others, but some are unique. The people are ethnically distinct from the Indonesians who control their country.
Visit this unique part of the world, where most people live in the jungle and have no idea about the outside world.
On this tour we will visit the Asmat and Korowai tribes.
Asmat region is considered the largest occupied swampy land in Indonesia. At high tide, the sea water can penetrate up to two kilometres inland. One new thing is the access to Agats. In the past, we used the chartered wooden boat to the Agats from the Pumako sea port of Timika. This long boat could take us to the Agats in about 10 - 11 hrs in good weather. But in bad weather, the trip would have been much longer. In some cases, we had to stay overnight on the small
islands on the way. Now the local government have a small airline which can take us there in about 45 minutes by plane.
This plane is a Twin Otter, 17 people capacity. This flight is only available every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday subject to change with or without prior notice in the future by Musamus Airline. There is no exact time of departure here, because all is depending on the weather. The passengers have to be at the airport early morning and fly immediately once the weather is bright. Sometimes we fly at 06:00, or 08:00 or 10:00 or later. There is no exact departure time.
Difference from their brothers in the highlands (Like Dani, Lani and Yali) who make a living from sweet potato planting and eat the sweet potato as a staple food, the Asmat of the south coast make a living from sago starch. Sago plants are thriving well in Asmat. Dring our trip there, we can look into their daily life. Cutting the old sago plant, taking the bark out and pounding the inner part of the tree to get it's starch. Sometime they also do fishing.
From Asmat, we will take a boat to the region of Korowai. As you will notice the Korowai peoples are still loyal to their tree houses, while in Asmat, the village is a bit more modern than before. The Korowai tribe is also called as the tree house tribesman because of their very unique and strange houses. Korowai people build their houses high up on the tree, sometimes can be as high as 30 - 40m from ground level, or more. The house is built on the top of a tree where the branches are used to support the whole structure. The house is made from leaves and wood plus some bark. The Korowai is the remotest tribe that has been found in Irian jaya so far. They live in cleared land deep in the rainforest. They live in a very traditional way, some of them still holding the old beliefs and used to practice cannibalism until the missionary arrived and built new settlements to get the Korowai tribe more developed. The missionary arrived in the 1970’s, and brought christian religion to the Korowai people.
We will stay (if they allow us) in their tree houses when we are there to give you more idea of how our ancestors lived in the forests thousands of years ago. It is not easy to deal with them, but we will try to spend time in their tree houses, which will be a once in a lifetime experience. The tree houses are only being used for a maximum of 3 years then the tribe will seek for another tree to stay on.
We will experience the old way of living of the Korowai tribesman.
Food gathering, fauna hunting, fish catching, sago processing and many more.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Indonesia with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Arrive Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia (-/-/D)
On arrival at Jayapura airport your guide will meet you and transfer you to your accommodation.
The rest of the day is free to relax.
Day 2. Jayapura - Dekai (B/L/D)
Depart on an early morning flight to Dekai. It is about a 30 minutes' flight. Dekai is a new developed village in Papua. Roads, government offices, etc. are starting to be established. Arrive in Dekai, and check in to the small hotel in Dekai. Dekai is the home of the Manimo tribe, a tribe which is quite modern now.
Day 3. Dekai - Lokbon - Mabu (B/L/D)
Transfer by motorcycle to the small traditional harbour in Lokbon village, about 1 hour of rough ride along the unpaved road. From Lokbon, we will sail down south on the Braza river, one of the largest rivers flowing to the south joining other rivers to Asmat area. All the way you will see dense forest, peaceful surroundings, sometimes encounter others passing by boats. On the way we may stop at small villages which belong to the Citak Mitak tribe. This tribe built their houses on the riverside with grass roof. In the 1980’s these tribes were still naked, however, the opening of the access to their village has changed their way of clothing. Now they wear short pants, but mostly no tops. There are 2 or 3 such small villages on the way. Most of them still get their food by fishing and hunting animals. We will sail down to the south to a mid sized village called Mabu. 8 - 9 hours required for this boat ride.
Day 4. Mabu - Jungle Trekking - Haligatung (B/L/D)
Breakfast at a local house, then together with our local Papua porter, trek to the village of Haligatung, a
small village with 4 tree houses. We will be trekking along the muddy and partly wet trail from Mabul to Haligatung for about 8-9 hours. The trail today is the main access for the local Korowai to the outside world. The trail is covered by the thick canopy of the rainforest, which the locals use as the place to hunt and make semi nomadic farming. Haligatung is the 1st Stone Koroway village we reach on this adventure trip. Stay either at a local house or our own tent. Haligatung lies near a small river, Apium River.
Day 5-6. With the Korowai at Haligatung (B/L/D)
Today experience the local daily activities done by the Korowai, a good moment to comprehend the locals' daily
habits. The activity will be fishing together with the locals. We will go to the nearby river with them. The Korowai use a kind of root that is crushed an dip it into the water. It is poisonous for the fish and other river life. Sometimes they block two sections of the small river and dry it up. Fish and other water creatures will be a great prize of today's team work. We will get all muddy and dirty, catching the fish or frogs by bare hands. Children and elderly people will come to the river to work. After such great work, the locals will cook the catch of the day, fish, frogs, or worms, in the open fire. Together with sago ball, the catch are eaten with great happiness. Korowai cook without spices, if they have some salt, it will be the only ingredient to add some taste to the food.
Day 7. Haligatung - Mabu (B/L/D)
We do the same long trek, the same way back from Haligatung to Mabu. Arrival in Mabu in the afternoon. Overnight at a local house.
Day 8. Mabu - Suator (B/L/D)
Today we will continue by boat to Suator, which will take around 7 hours. Overnight at a local house.
Day 9. Suator - Jinak (B/L/D)
After breakfast we will continue by boat to Jinak for around 6 hours.
Overnight at a local house at the village of Jinak.
Day 10. Jinak - Atsy - Asmat Village (B/L/D)
After an early breakfast, you will get on the boat again for another long ride to Atsy, the second largest sub district in the Asmat region. Passing the rivers of Wildemann and Sirets, the most well known rivers for the Asmat people, enjoy the view of the busy villages on both sides until you arrive in Atsy in the afternoon. Lunch served on the boat by your cook. Dinner at a simple house in Atsy.
Day 11. Asmat Mbis Pole Ceremony (B/L/D)
Enjoy the Mbis Pole Ceremony in front of a long-stilted and thatched man’s house. Painted and adorned with feathers, men coming from all directions, singing rhythmic chants accompanied by drumming. The group undulated back and forth, shaking a bamboo platform where men raise two lime-encrusted mbis poles. This is an intense and beautiful performance that will imprint tribal images in our minds. Both male and female guests will then be invited into the man’s house. In the dimly lit, smoky, and well-used structure, one could feel a sense of ageless superstition and spirituality permeating the very fabric of the walls.
Day 12. Asmat Village - Agats (B/L/D)
After breakfast you will have another boat ride to Agats, a sub district of the Asmat region. Lunch served en route. In the afternoon you may walk around the town of Agats, and also visit the Art Museum in Agats which is worth to do. Overnight and dinner at Asmat Inn in Agats.
Day 13. Agats - Ewer (B/L/D)
Full day sail back on a motorized canoe to Ewer for rest and overnight.
Day 14. Ewer - Timika (B/-/-)
Transfer to Ewer airstrip, then fly to Timika. From Timika, fly to Bali. Transfer to your hotel.
Day 15. Bali - Departure (B/-/-)
According to your flight schedule transfer to the airport for departure back to the UK.
The itinerary may be subject to change depending on circumstances.
15 DAYS / 14 NIGHTS FROM £8,990 per person
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Domestic flights, boats according to the itinerary.
Accommodation at local houses and tents.
Basic camping gear and cooking / dining equipment during trekking.
Porter and cook during the trekking in Koroway.
Experienced English-speaking local guides throughout the tour.
Meals as stated in the itinerary.
Permits and donations.
Chartered wooden boat Asmat – Koroway – Asmat.
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to Indonesia.
Anything not specifically mentioned above
Visa fee for Indonesia
Tips to the guide and driver
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
All expenses incurred due to flight cancellations or due to other causes beyond our control.
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