Asmat/Korowai: 15 Days

This 15-day itinerary takes you to some of our favorite locations within the Korowai area,
and will include visits with the Asmat and Korowai tribes. We've visited the Korowai many times and learn more about this fascinating stone-age culture every time. We will take you to tribes who have only recently been made aware of westerners. In these lesser-known areas, they still carve their arrows with shells, or cuscus teeth.

The Asmat tribe was once the most feared tribes in Papua.
Today they are known for their extraordinary wood carvings but it wasn't that long ago that their headhunting raids made them infamous. Their long boat ceremonies, ceremonial face painting and adornment and shield carvings are truly spectacular.

The Korowai people live in tree houses ranging in height from 6 to 12 meters; some even higher. Sometimes the houses are built from a single tree but frequently the base of the house consists of several living trees with additional support from wooden poles to add stability. The Korowai living in the jungle don't live in small settlements, but prefer to live within 1-2 tree houses that several families share. And some are even higher. The Korowai have many daily activities to observe. Their lives revolve around the gathering of food; gardening nearby or hunting wild prey.

The main staple of their diet is Sagu; from the Sagu palm tree. They process the raw pulp of the Sagu palm, turning it into an edible food by cutting the tree to the splitting of the bark to expose the fibrous inner material that contains the nutrients. A western machete might be used to cut the tree down but the process relies on tools like branches, water and materials from the jungle.

The Korowai men set an assortment of traps to catch a variety of animals, among them the wild pig and the Cassowary bird. They like to fish for another protein source and have 3 kinds of fishing techniques. They might dam a small stream and scoop the fish out with the rounded part of a Sagu palm branch, or use a tightly woven basket with leaves and bits of a small anthill inside as bait. The smaller fish will enter a basket placed in the stream by a pole and get trapped inside. They have another ingenious way of fishing that utilizes a local plant that releases a milky substance into the water paralyzing the fish momentarily, depriving them of oxygen. The fish can then be caught by hand or, if they are too big, shot with a bow and arrow.



Day 1
Flight originates in Denpasar, Bali to Timika, Papua on Garuda Airlines.
Accommodations in Timika in a medium priced hotel.
Pick up required travel permits (surat jalan) at the police station.

Day 2
Flight on a Twin Otter airplane from Timika to Agats.
Accommodation in Agats at a medium priced hotel.

Day 3
Leave from Agats up river to Senggo in a chartered longboat with motor.
Accommodation in Senggo.

Day 4
Travel from Senggo to the Korowai area via chartered long boat with motor.
We have a special place in the Korowai to visit.
Spend the night in a village house on the side of the river.
Note: Not in Yanirumah, where all the other companies go, but a much better place
to see real Korowai people living in amazing tree houses.

Day 5
Trekking in the Korowai area; at the border of the Citak and Korowai tribes.
Camp close to a Korowai Tree house.

Days 6-10
Trekking in the Korowai area. Each night we will make camp near a Korowai Tree house.

Day 11
Trek back to the village on the river and spend the night.

Day 12
Charter a long boat with motor and travel back downstream toward Agats.
Spend the night in an Asmat village on the side of the river.

Day 13
Continue with the chartered long boat back to Agats. If we reach Agats with time to spare we can do a tour around the area or visit Suruh village, which is close by.
Accommodations in Agats at a medium priced hotel.

Day 14
Travel back to Timika by Twin Otter airplane.
Accommodations in Timika at a medium priced hotel.

Day 15
Fly back to Denpasar,Bali on Garuda airlines and the tour is complete.


Round trip airfare from Timika-Ewer (Asmat)
Chartered long boat with motor from Agats to the Korowai area and return to Agats
All hotels in Timika and Agats
Chartered taxi transportation to and from the hotels in Papua
All food and beverages on the boat ride to and from Agats
from Agats to the Korowai area and return  
and on the trek in the Korowai area  
English speaking guide
Porters who carry food and equipment in the Korowai area
All travel permits from the police in Timika
Airport departure taxes

Round trip airfare to Timika, Papua
Personal health insurance and travel insurance
Alcoholic beverages
Meals and beverages in Timika and Agats
Overweight luggage fees, tipping, and laundry