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Expedition - Korowai intensive: Crossing the Korowai Sector / Papua

21.01.2019 - 07.02.2019


18 days from/to Denpasar, Bali (international flights can be booked on request)

EUR 3.990,-- in 1/2 double room/tent

EUR    350,-- single supplement


This is a classic expedition to meet the Korowai tree house nomads. Still, to this this day, the Korowai live far away from civilization, deep in the forest of the Papua lowlands. During our tour we will cross the Korowai sector, from Mabul in the West to Yanirumah in the East. We will have many days in the forest based in and around the  Avium river. The deeper we walk into the sector, the more removed from civilization the people who we encounter will be. We plan to visit several Korowai settlements and will spend more time inside the sector than most visitors typically do. We will leave the sector from Yanirumah with a missionary charter flight to Wamena. As we plan a daily trekking of a minimum of 5 hours, a certain level of fitness is necessary to participate in this tour. Later, in Wamena, we will spend some days in the area of the fascinating Dani tribe, in the highlands of Papua. 

Unbeatable value for money.





Planned itinerary:


Arrival Bali

Arrival in Denpasar, Bali (international flights can be booked on request). Our local agent will pick you up at airport and bring you to our partner hotel Ida in Kuta. This is a classical Balinese hotel only 5 minutes from Kuta Beach. Breakfast is included.



Full day in Bali. Around midnight, we pick you up in the hotel and transfer you to the airport for the Garuda Indonesia flight to Jayapura, Papua. Departure time is around 01:50am.



Denpasar – Jayapura – Dekai (Start Korowai)

In the morning, you arrive in Jayapura. Our local agent will welcome you and assist with the check-in for the flight to Dekai, located at the upper reaches of Brazza River (about 35 flight minutes). After arrival, you meet  with your guide, visit the local market, and do any last shopping for the tour. After lunch at a local restaurant, we drive to the harbour (about 28km/ ca. 1 hour). At the harbour our motor longboat and crew awaits us. Then, we plan to go downstream for 2 hours until we reach the village of Patipi Dibawa. Here we raise our first tent camp right down by the river. This short stage gives us an impression of what awaits us over the next few days: the purest jungle landscapes! (Any luggage which is not needed during the Korowai part, e.g. warm clothes for the highlands, can be packed separately and sent via airmail to Wamena - our local agent in Jayapura can take care of that).




In the morning, we have an early breakfast before we continue downstream in our longboat. As we continue down the Brazza river, we pass amazing old growth forest landscapes. Hornbills, flying foxes, and other birds emerge with the sound of the passing boat. Around noon we will reach the mouth of the mighty Siret River. After our lunch break, we go upstream on the Siret river to the Korowai settlement MABUL. As we go upstream, the Siret river changes its face; the current gets stronger, sand banks appear, big tree trunks often block parts of the way, fewer and fewer local boats can be spotted. Depending on the water level, today’s boat trip takes around 8 hours. Under best circumstances, we will reach Mabul in the afternoon. Mabul is a small settlement of Korowai people who were re-settled by the Indonesian government, asked to leave behind their nomadic lifestyle in the forest, and to settle down. We will use this settlement as the starting point of our trekking expedition into the Korowai corridor. After we set up our tents and kitchen, we will start recruiting our porters for the next days. With a little bit of luck, we can set up our tents inside an empty stilt house.



After breakfast we meet our escort team. All of our luggage and our food for the next days will be carried by our porters. We leave Mabul in the Eastern direction. Within only 50 meters, we are standing in thick forest, which we will not leave for the next few days. Today, we will approximately need 5 hours until we reach our first destination: a fantastic jungle settlement with several tree houses. The traditionally dressed Korowai give us a friendly welcome. We then do tent camping next to the tree houses.


Today, we will follow several Korowai families into the sago forest. Here, we will experience a spectacle from another world. The forest nomads chop a huge sago palm with their stone axes, open the trunk, and start smashing the sago pulp. The sago pulp is further processed by women who wash it in primitive washing installments – built only from leaves, branches and Rotan. The pure sago is the staple food for all jungle dwellers. Photography enthusiasts will never forget this day! In the afternoon, we are back at the tree houses, where our cook starts preparing our next real jungle dinner: maybe we will have papaya vegetables, sago larvas, and plantains! The kitchen will surprise us every day with new exotic cuisine. 





We leave our first settlement and start our trekking expedition to the Avium river. The deeper you get into the Korowai sector, the more traditional it becomes. The next days we plan to do a day-long trekking expedition with a  duration in the  4-6 hour range. After two days we should reach the Avium river. Here in the river region, many Korowai settlements can be found. Our tent camps will always be built in one of such small settlements. With some luck, the Korowai will show us elements of their daily lives - how to repair a tree house, or how to make and use bows and arrows. Or we join the Korowai on a journey into the forest to seek food. They are true hunters and gatherers: in a few hours their nets are filled with spiders, larvas, locusts, and other exotic animals. They even shoot flying fox from the trees. After five days in the forest, we will reach Yanirumah.



In the afternoon, we plan to arrive in Yanirumah. This former missionary outpost was the first modern settlement in the Korowai area. Today it is a sleepy village with a small airstrip. We will set up our tents near the river and take a well-deserved  bath.



Yanirumah - Wamena

In the morning, we go to the airfield and wait for our charter plane. Here, we say goodbye to our porters who will walk back to Mabul today. If the weather is good, our plane should arrive around 10am. Type of aircraft is usually Pilatus Porter (8 seats). The light time to Wamena is around 45 minutes. After arrival in Wamena, there is a short stop at the local market and later on, a transfer to The Baliem Valley Resort. During the rest of the day there is no program, and there is dinner at the Resort.



Tour: Trekking South Baliem Gorge

In the morning, we drive to the southern Baliem Valley past Wamena. By the village of Sogogmo, not quite 2 miles outside Kurima, the road ends. This is where our hike along the huge Baliem river starts. First we cross the roaring Baliem river on a traditional suspension bridge. We continue through romantic Dani settlements with their terraced fields and wild sugar cane groves. Throughout the hike we enjoy magnificent views of the river and the narrow valley. Around noon we get to the church square of Seinma, where we eat our picnic lunch surrounded by stunning scenery. Outside Kurima we cross the river again on a wild and romantic suspension bridge. To return to our vehicle we need to cross a few side valleys. There will be many unique photo opportunities today. We get back to the resort in late afternoon.



Tour: Pig Festival

Traditional one-day pig festival in a traditional Dani village, either in the resort grounds or in the Jiwika region. Many adorned people from the Dani tribe in traditional clothing will take part in the festival. Such food celebrations with hot stones and earth pits are probably the most interesting part of a trip to New Guinea. If you like taking photos and videos you will certainly get your money's worth today! It is difficult to describe what's so unique about these food celebrations; you will have to see and experience it for yourself. Lunch will be a picnic in the village. If you like you can taste the food from the traditional earth pit afterwards. The freshly cooked pork and sweet potatoes are delicious! We return back to the resort in the late afternoon.



Tour: Salt spring, Kurulu mummy, traditional Dani hamlet

In the morning, one-hour trip to Jiwikia, in the middle of the Baliem Valley. Start of a one-hour uphill hike (approx. 1,000 feet altitude difference) through stunning mountain rainforest to the traditional salt spring of the Dani tribe. Local women dressed in traditional tribal clothes will accompany us and show us their ancestral salt production techniques. After the walk down we will take a picnic lunch at the foot of the mountain. We will then walk to the nearby Kurulu village where you can admire the ancient mummy of the famous Dugum clan. Afterwards, the women show us how they process the brine they extracted from the spring. We will see more quaint and picturesque Dani homesteads. Wherever we go, friendly Papuans offers their arts and craft, weapons, and all kinds of curiosities for sale. Return to the resort in the afternoon.



In the morning, transfer to airport and take a flight to Jayapura. After arrival in Jayapura, with a direct tour to Lake Sentani, lunch on the way right next to the lake. In the afternoon, check in at Hotel Horex in Sentani. Dinner.



In the morning, transfer to Jayapura airport and flight back to Denpasar, Bali with Garuda Indonesia. Arrive in Bali in the early afternoon. Transfer to our hotel Ida. The rest of day has no program.



End of tour. Transfer to airport can be arranged, if needed.



Level of difficulty****


Minimum participants: 4 persons



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Price inclusions:  
- We guide this tour ourselves (German and English speaking)  
- Crew for the tour (cook etc)  
- Flight tickets Garuda Indonesia (Denpasar - Jayapura - Denpasar)  
- Flight tickets Trigana Air (Jayapura - Dekai / Wamena - Jayapura)  
- Charter flight (Yanirumah - Wamena)  
- Motor boat including crew for the whole group  
- Meals full board (on Bali only breakfast)  
- Tour as itinerary  
- Travel permit (Surat Jalan)  
- Equipment (tents, cooking equipment/ NO sleeping bag/mattress)  
- Transfers  
- 2x Overnight in Hotel Ida, Kuta, Bali  
- 4x Overnight in The Baliem Valley Resort, Wamena  
- 1x Overnight in Hotel Horex, Sentani/Jayapura  
Not included:  
- Sleeping bag/sleeping mattress  
- Private expenses and beverages in restaurants  
- Meals on Bali  
- International flights to/from Denpasar, Bali (can be booked on request)  
- Airport tax  
Important information:  
- Maximum luggage of 15kg should not be exceeded (charter flight!).  
- Passport has to be valid minimum 6 months at date of entry Indonesia  
- Please check with your embassy if you need a visa for Indonesia and about the procedure  
- When entering Papua, every visitor needs to bring a passport copy and two passport pictures for the travel permit  
- A checklist on what equipment to bring will be send after booking confirmation  

Contact Information

Dr. Weiglein Expeditions GmbH
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63571 Gelnhausen

Tel.: +49 6051-61388
Fax: +49 6051-69115

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