Baliem Valley Festival
Baliem Valley Festival and trek in Papua
A fascinating trek through the remote Baliem Valley in Papua's central highlands. We stay in local tribal villages and culminating in a visit to the annual Tribal Festival, when all the various highland tribes come together for a mock war and big party in Wamena – a photographers dream!
On the trek we will stay in traditional Dani tribal villages en route. Often the trails will be no more than very muddy pig and hunting trails and we travel with local people who can explain the culture and environments around us.
We finish with a wonderful feast in our guide's family house back in Wamena before we get immersed in the intense and other-worldly events of the tribal festival. After the festival we return to the capital, Jayapura, for onward travel.
This is an interesting and varied trek in an area that is not well frequented by foreign visitors. It is therefore a superb opportunity to see an ancient way of life that is deeply in tune with the local environment. It is also the type of isolated wilderness in which communities only survive by working together and establishing a cohesive social structure. You will feel the close, open and friendly social environment in the villages we visit.
A short film of the highlights of previous years' festivals is below
Trekking in Papua New Guinea
This is not one of our most strenuous treks in terms of the distances that you walk or the altitude that you travel to. However, it does require a number of days of trekking one after another and the terrain and environment can make it fairly tiring. You do need to have good general cardio-vascluar fitness and be happy walking for 4-6 hours or more each day with a small (~5kg) rucksack. Obviously some leg strength and also injury-free ankles, knees and hips are also important as the terrain is quite rugged.
On the trip we will travel slowly but continuously and will only carry our small day-packs containing extra layers, snacks and water. Porters will carry our larger packs and the group equipment and food.
As well as fitness, another thing to consider is general health. We will spend a number of days in difficult and remote terrain with more restricted egress to medical facilities. You do therefore need to ensure that any background issues of medical conditions, musculo-sketetal problems, dental conditions etc are discussed with your medical professional and any necessary steps taken to address any issues. In addition, any potential issues must be fully disclosed to ourselves and to your travel insurance provider.
We move through mixed terrain, some of it on well established paths and tracks but also sometimes on smaller trails. We will move through forest, grassland and sections of more rocky terrain. The environmental conditions mean that there is often a lot of moisture, lichens and moss around so that in some places it could be quite slippery and we will have to take our time.
Papua tribal festival trek itinerary
|1||Arrive in Jayapura [itinerary starts]||(1 day)|
|2||Internal Flight to Wamena & Final Preperations||(1 day)|
|3-8||Trek through Baliem Valley||(6 days)|
|9||Return to Wamena||(1 day)|
|10-11||Baliem Valley Tribal Festival||(2 days)|
|12||Internal flight from Wamena to Jayapura||(1 day)|
|13||Depart Jayapura [itinerary ends]||(1 day)|
The exact dates will be confirmed when the Tribal Festival dates have been set and confirmed. The festival normally takes place around the 8th of August, lasting for 4 to 5 days.
Papua tribal festival trek cost £1895.00
- Night in Jayapura Hotel on days 1 and 12
- All accommodation and food on trek
- All transfers and internal transport from Jayapura Airport to all locations on itinerary and back to Jayapura Airport
- Trip Leader
- Local Guides, Cooks Porters and Staff
- All group camping and cooking equipment
- Papua internal travel permit
- UK company back-up and logistics
Note this price does include internal Flights from Jayapura to Wamena but this is to be paid locally.
- International air fare from/to Jayapura; DJJ (~£800)**
- Indonesia Visa (UK-$25)
- Personal Travel Insurance (~£50-100)
- Vaccinations & Medications (£varies)
- Meals in Jayapura & Wamena
- Additional drinks & Personal Snacks
**Please speak to us to confirm that we have the minimum required group size before you book any flights.
A deposit of £250 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 4 weeks prior to your departure. When you book with us you're given your own secure online account which you can access 24/7. Through this account you can edit your booking, add flight, health, insurance and dietary details and also make interim payments. We make payments as flexible as possible and you can choose, if you wish, to pay a bit off your trip fee whenever it suits you.
NOT ALL ABOUT MONEY
Given the apparent lack of resources in the mountain villages, Indonesian Papua is actually a surprisingly expensive destination in which to travel. The remoteness of the Baliem Valley is such that anything that cannot be obtained in the valley its self has to be transported by air and then 4x4 to the valley, this includes the 4x4's themselves!
We ensure that we pay fair wages to our local staff and that we also pay appropriate prices for services and goods. We have a good working relationship with local communities and are happy to be able to support them through the money that tourism can bring to them. We do not drive down costs, engage in competitive bidding or force the staff to rely on tips.
- BAGS - Large durable Rucksack ~65-75L (carried by porters) + Medium Daypack ~30L (carried by you) + Waterproof liner and waterproof cover for both bags.
- SHELL - Top and bottoms to keep off wind/rain if it is cold
- INSULATION - Layered system to keep you warm- body hands & Head
- BASELAYER - Thin layers to wick away sweat and to strip down to when it gets hot
- FEET - Waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support, more lightweight footwear for evenings in camp
- SLEEPING - Warm sleeping bag to get a good nights sleep at camps
- EATING/DRINKING - Water bottles & favorite snacks for during the day
- WASHING & MEDICAL - To allow you to wash and maybe stave off a headache or blister
Choose a scheduled date or ask about private dates and itineraries.
The minimum deposit is £100 with the balance in instalments and final payment six weeks before travel.
- Duration 10 days
- Numbers 4 minimum
- Challenge Moderate