Tause Tribe: Mamberamo/Waropen 12 Days Tour

Note: Please read our web page of the Tause tribe: Mamberamo/Waropen.
This tour is different from our other Tause tribe tour (which features a Base Camp
with daily treks). This tour is 12 Days and extensive jungle trekking.

The Tause tribe lives in the Mamberamo River/Waropen area, on the north side of the river along small feeder streams in the lowland Sagu forests. Due to modernization and the encroachment of civilization along their original territories, small groups of Tause have moved away from their original location. The Tause tribe we will visit lives near the edge of their original territory.
This is a tribe that hasn't been exposed to modern culture.

The Tause tribe lives in the area known as upper Mamberamo and Waropen.
Most of the tribes that live on the Mamberamo River are all now accustomed to western material goods. They have had contact with the missionaries and Indonesians for many years but there are still pockets; isolated groups of the Tause tribe that continue to move around. These are nomadic people who don't make permanent settlements. They deal with encroaching civilization by simply moving deeper into the forest.

The Tause that we are going to visit are one of those groups that has resisted outside influence. Our local guides happened upon this group when they were out searching for Gaharu wood. Gaharu wood is very expensive and getting harder to find, requiring them to search deeper and deeper into the forest to locate it. This is how we found this Tause tribe.

After a year in preparation, we visited these people. Our guides have regularly visited them with gifts of tobacco and salt. We have guarded this location carefully in anticipation of our return. These same men will be the ones who will escort us there.

In October of 2009 we were fortunate enough to meet the Chief of the Tause tribe. He lives part time in a small village downstream and part time in the forest with the nomadic tribe. He is the protector of these people. A generous gift is given to him each time we visit. He will use the gift to help his people buy machetes, salt and tobacco.

The Tause decorate and clothe themselves with tree bark, facial piercing, noken bags, and a headdress of Cassowary feathers as is typical of the Mamberamo River tribes. The chief told us that he was born in the upper Mamberamo River area and how their territory stretches from the Mamberamo River all the way into the Waropen area, where we will meet them.

Their daily life activities are very much like any lowland tribe in Papua. They cut down Sagu trees and process the pulp, although they have their own way of processing it, as you will see. They make noken bags with pig's tails and crowned pigeon feet hanging from them. They sleep under small bush shelters, and like to fish, much like the Asmat. They smoke tobacco rolled up in leaves rather than a pipe and their bows and arrows are much longer than other tribes in Papua. Their Chief will be our language interpreter.

In addition to meeting this beautiful Tause tribe, this tour is also perfect for are nature lovers. The forest is lowland rain forest and the boat trip up and down the river has stunning views. The northern part of Papua is full of exotic birds and other wildlife and the variety is spectacular. There are giant fruit bats and a huge variety of birds including parrots, cockatoos and crowned pigeons. You might see the occasional crocodile sunning on the riverbank.



Day 1
The tour will start in Biak, Papua. You will arrive via the Garuda airlines flight from Makassar.
Pick up our travel permit (surat jalan) from the police office.
Fly to Nabire, on the north coast.
Accommodations at a medium priced hotel in Nabire.

Day 2
Travel by chartered boat about 8 hours to the Waropen District. Travel time will depend on the conditions at sea but as we are never that far from land the sea is never really that rough.
Accommodations in a house in the Waropen District, as there are no guesthouses
or hotels in that area.

Day 3
Continue to travel up the main river on a chartered boat, then turn off into a side river and travel to our base camp by the side of the river. Travel time is one full day.

Day 4
Start our trek into the jungle to see the Tause tribe.
Make camp at a place close to a water source.

Day 5
Spend this day trekking and in the afternoon we should be close enough to the Tause tribe in one of their nomadic settlements. We will be accompanied with the Chief, so the Tause will feel at ease with us. We will bring them gifts of salt and tobacco and we will cook them rice from our supply. Rice is something not found where the Tause live. Slowly they have taken to it, but still they would prefer to eat sagu.

Day 6
Spend the day with the Tause tribe.

Day 7
Spend one more day with the Tause tribe. We will go with them into the jungle and learn how they make traps to catch food, choose a tree that is proper for making bark for clothing, and see how they cut it and pound it into a kind of fabric. You will have plenty of time to ask them questions about their lifestyle, culture and heritage. Their Chief will be our language interpreter.

Day 8
Trek back to our boat and make camp on the side of the river.

Day 9
Travel downstream and back to the village where we spent the first night. Travel time is much faster going downstream. But it will depend on the river conditions.

Day 10
Travel by motorized boat back to Nabire. Spend the night at medium priced hotel in Nabire.

Day 11
Fly on a domestic airline to Biak where we will check into the Hotel Arumbai,
which is the nicest hotel in the center of Biak.
Tour "Goa Japan", the caves where the Japanese army hid out in World War II.
Visit a beautiful beach in Biak for a swim.

Day 12
Fly on a domestic airline back to your destination within Indonesia to complete the tour.


All round trip airline tickets from Biak-Nabire including departure taxes
Hotels, ground transportation, all charter boats and village accommodations
All meals and beverages while we are in villages and camping with the Tause
Travel permits
English speaking guide and porters

Papua Adventures can help arrange your booking and payment of
domestic airline flights to and from Biak, Papua

Personal health insurance, travel insurance
meals and beverages in Biak and Nabire, alcoholic beverages
laundry, or tipping
Airfare to Biak, Papua