Expedition: Korowai intensive - 15 days

Individual Private Tour - Tour Details & Information, Tour Code: SI-IRJ-08

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Begin of Tour Jayapura (Irian Jaya/West Papua) - Dekai - Patipi Dibawa (L/D)

In the morning, arrival 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, meeting with your guide, visit of local market and last shopping for the tour. After lunch at a local restaurant, drive to harbor (about 28km/ ca. 1 hour). At the harbor, our motor longboat including crew awaits us. Today, 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 during the next days: jungle landscapes in the essence! (any luggage which is not needed during the Korowai part, e.g. warm clothes for the highlands, can be packed separately and send via airmail to Wamena - our local agent in Jayapura can take care of that)

Day 2: Patipi Dibawa - Mabul/Korowai (B/L/D)

In the morning, we have an early breakfast before we continue to go downstream with our longboat. Down Brazza river, we are passing amazing prime forest landscapes. Hornbills, flying foxes and other birds often startle when our boat appears. Around noon, we will reach the mouth of the mighty Siret River. After our lunch break, we go upstream Siret river to the Korowai settlement MABUL. Going upstream, the Siret river changes its face; the current gets stronger, sandbanks appear, big tree trunks often block parts of the way, less and less local boats can be spotted. Depending on the water level, our 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 attracted by the Indonesian government 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 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.

Day 3: Mabul/Korowai - Manopteropo (B/L/D)

After breakfast, we meet our escort team. Our entire luggage and our food for the next days will be carried by our porters. We leave Mabul in an Eastern direction. Only some 50 meters, and we are standing in thick forest, which we will not leave for the next days. Today, we 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. Tent camp next to the tree houses.

Day 4: Manopteropo (B/L/D)

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 gained sago pulp is further processed by women who wash it in primitive washing installments – build only from leaves, branches and Rotan. The pure sago is the staple food for all jungle dwellers. Camera enthusiasts will probably 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 viands.

Day 5: Manopteropo (B/L/D)

We leave our first settlement and start our trekking to Avium river. The deeper you get into the Korowai sector, the more traditional it becomes. The next days we plan a daily trekking duration of 4-6 hours.

Day 6: Manopteropo (B/L/D)

Together with our experienced crew we cross the difficult terrain with many hills and rivers. It takes strength and confidence to walk over the simple wooden bridges.

Day 7: Manopteropo (B/L/D)

Today we should reach 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.

Day 8: Manopteropo (B/L/D)

The Korowai are true hunters and gatherers: in a few hours their nets are filled with spider, larvae, locusts, and other exotic animals. They even shoot flying dogs from the trees.

Day 9: Manopteropo - Yanirumah (B/L/D)

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 in the afternoon surely have some time for a bath.

Day 10: Yanirumah - Baliem Valley/Wamena (B/L/D)

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. The type of aircraft is usually Pilatus Porter (8 seats). Flight time to Wamena around 45 minutes. After arrival in Wamena, short stop at the local market and later on transfer to The Baliem Valley Resort. Rest of day no program, dinner at the Resort.

Day 11: Baliem Valley/Wamena (B/L/D)

Daytour 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 afterward. The freshly cooked pork and sweet potatoes are delicious! Back to the resort in the late afternoon.

Day 12: Baliem Valley/Wamena (B/L/D)

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. Afterward, 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.

Day 13: Baliem Valley/Wamena - Jayapura - Nimbokrang (B/L/D)

In the morning, transfer to Wamena and flight to Jayapura. Directly after arrival, transfer to Nimbokrang (1,5 hour drive) to a small guesthouse with neighboring bird sanctuary. The owner of the guesthouse, Mr. Alex, an ornithologist, is very well known for his guided tours to the birds of paradise. After a quick lunch, prepared by the hostess, we directly start with our first birding tour in the early afternoon. Walking in the forest is easy, more important is a little patience. In this forest several types of bird of paradise can be seen, among which are the Lesser Bird of Paradise, the King BoP, and the 12 Wire BoP. Almost daily, male bird of paradise come to their trees to impress and attract females with their singing and dancing. The chance to see one or more different types of bird of paradise on this guided tour is very high. Only when there is rain, the birds do not show up. In the evening, dinner and overnight at the guesthouse. The guesthouse has several simple but clean double rooms (twin beds) with private bathrooms.

Day 14: Nimbokrang - Jayapura (B/L/D)

In the very early morning, with the break of dawn, we enter the forest once more. The very early morning hours are the best time to see the birds of paradise but during our walk through the forest we will realize that many other birds are also active at this time of day. We have time and there is no need to rush. Return to guesthouse in late morning and transfer back to Jayapura/Sentani. In the early afternoon we make a boat trip on the beautiful Sentani lake, with visit of the well-known artist island Asei. Later dinner at the hotel.

Day 15: Jayapura - End of Tour Jayapura (Irian Jaya/West Papua) (B)

In the morning, transfer to Jayapura airport and flight to your next destination.

Hotels, Rates & Information

Hotels for this Tour
(Changing the hotels according to your wishes is no problem!)
LocationComfort Hotels
Patipi DibawaCamp
Baliem Valley/WamenaBaliem Valley Resort

Honay Villa
NimbokrangPak Jamil

Options Comfort
Rate per person On request
Based on individual private tour, min. 2 travellers in double/twin room
Changing or adapting this tour to match your personal needs, interests and wishes is, as always, possible. Please contact us! Group rates (closed groups only, min. 4 Pax) on request.
Single Supplement On Request

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Information, Services, Remarks

Jayapura (Irian Jaya/West Papua) / Jayapura (Irian Jaya/West Papua)

Hotel/Airport Transfers:

Transfers are inclusive from and to above mentioned airports and hotels of the immediate area.

Services (included):

Group tour (SIC)
English speaking guide
Crew from Wamena
Accomodation: as stated or similar
Transfers (car/boat), Entrance fees as per itinerary
Travel permit (surat jalan)
Domestic flights: Jayapura - Dekai // Yanirumah - Wamena // Wamena - Jayapura
Meal Plan as stated:
14x Breakfast 14x Lunch/Lunchbox 14x Dinner

Not included

Own expenses
Additional services (marked 'optional' above)
Programme not mentioned above
Season Surcharges
Sleepingbag, sleeping mat
Bevarages at hotels/restaurants

Important Remarks:

Min. 2 Persons. Single traveller rates on request.
Important information for traveler: Outside of highly touristic regions like Bali there is only a limited touristic infrastructure available. Regular flight connections, restaurants and hotels (all classes from simple to high end) are limited. Flight cancellations and delays are quite common. Please don't expect amenities like warm water, air-conditioning and even comfortable beds at all hotels and homestays during the round trip. This applies especially outside of bigger cities.

Important information: All programmes and transfers by boat are on seat-in-coach base (group). You may be in a small group with other people.
- High difficulty (4/5): Demanding tour with high physical stress and psychological strains. Trekking experience of advantage.
Please pay attention to the Travel Information provided.
When travelling islamic countries there can be interference during the month of Ramadan, other high holidays and fridays.
Volcanism: The Sunda Islands and the Sunda Archipelago are of volcanic orgin and show high volcanic activity. Accrodingly it may be possible that tours, routings and activities (especially those involving or near volcanoes) need to be altered in case of high activity or order by the government.
This tour is not soutable for people with reduced mobility. If you are unsure if you meet the requirements please contact us! We will try to find a solution for your individual needs.