Trans Papua Expedition

Trans Papua Map

At Papua Adventures we have built our reputation of excellence by guiding world class eco-friendly and culturally sensitive expeditions into the most remote areas of Papua, leading and assisting journalists and photographers in the production of television entertainment, news media and magazine publications such as the BBC, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Discovery Channel, The New Yorker and DestinAsia among others.

With the success of finding new tribes by opening up new areas in Papua, our "Exploratory Expedition Summary” expedition has piqued interest around the world and led up to the preparation for one of the most daring and most difficult expeditions to date:
the Trans-Papua Expedition.

Borneo has been traversed numerous times. And a group crossed Papua from Asmat to Jayapura back in 1959, but since the first explorers set foot in this land, no one yet has taken on an expedition from end to end, the full length of Papua. Papua is sometimes referred to as the Cenderawasih Bird of Paradise because of its great beauty and because the geographic shape of the island is somewhat similar to that of a bird of paradise. The Northwest part by Sorong resembles the bird’s head and the Southeastern corner of Merauke, the tail.

And that is what the Trans-Papua Expedition intends to cover.

We will begin our voyage at Merauke the bird’s tail, and use 3 modes of transportation to cross the island. Boats and 4 wheel drive vehicles will break up the trip into manageable intervals but sizable portions of the journey will be covered on foot. As the Cenderawasih bird flies, the distance from Merauke to Sorong is around 1500km. As our route is not in a straight line we will snake our way across the island and travel over 2000km along the way.

This will be a first!
And as the first to ever attempt this adventure we can expect
to receive media coverage and there will be those who will want to document the event through the participation of journalists from various media.

We will pass through a total of 37 different tribal groups with unique languages.
Starting in Merauke we will travel north into the territories of the Kombai and Korowai tribes, who still practice ritual cannibalism.

We will travel by motorized canoes through the Central Asmat people.
Once the most feared headhunters in Papua and are now appreciated as some of the best woodcarvers in Papua. Trekking up through the Yali tribal region we will see some of the most unique koteka (penis gourds) worn by any of the tribes in Papua.

We will also go through the famous Baliem Valley which was first discovered in 1938, pass through the Dani and into the Western Lani tribe, who make up the largest tribe in Papua. We will use motorized canoes to travel along the mysterious Mamberamo River, which still attracts the best crocodile hunters in Papua. And along the way pass through 11 more different tribes. We will finish our trek in one of the last spots where tribes without contact with the outside world still exist, the Waropen district. Then finally by boat we'll travel around the Cenderawasih Bay, passing Manokwari and end our trip in Sorong.

This is not an easy expedition. The logistics are great, but we’ve been preparing for this trip for 2 years now and have made the connections and worked out the details so that an expedition of this magnitude is possible. Our long time friendly relations with the police, governmental authorities, villagers and tribal chiefs is essential and we enjoy their full support.

Because of the huge distances covered it is not possible to say exactly how many days will be required to complete the crossing. But our estimates put it at around 70 days.
The expedition will begin in July 2011.

It’s an incredibly exciting adventure to look forward to, we’ve done our homework and we’re anxious to hit the trail… So get ready, get excited and come join us to be part of this historical event and have the trip of a lifetime!

click here for Trans Papua itinerary.

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