Join Viktor Wynd on his dream journey
Duration : 14 days / 13 nights
Arrival : Jayapura
Departure : Timika
$5950 per person
– please email [email protected]
– one of the last tribes in the world to be contacted by the West in 1974, with the first Christian converts only in the early noughties. Famously they live protectively in treehouses and may be, or may have been, the last cannibals. A people of around 3,000 with their own language, customs, beliefs and religions. Traveling by canoe and trekking through the rainforest we will visit remote villages and experience village life with one of the last stone age people’s before embarking on an epic journey down to the coastal swamps and mangroves of The Asmat People.
– perhaps the most famed woodcarvers and artists of The Pacific with their work held in museums worldwide – most notably in The Michael Rockefeller Collection in New York’s Metropolitan Museum (where I first encountered it and have been obsessed ever since). The 70,000 or so Asmat are made up of at least twelce different groups with at least five different languages or dialects, traditionally a fierce headhunting, cannibalistic warrior people (they chased Captain Cook back to his ship in 1770 and probably ate Michael Rockefeller in 1961), they have a rich cultural tradition and we very much hope to see some of their ceremonies such at the Spirit Masks, the mBis Pole Ceremony and canoe warriors. The hope is to find spectacular carvings to buy.
Arrive in Jayapura, welcome dinner, overnight in local hotel
DAY 02 : JAYAPURA – DEKAI ( L,D )
50 minute flight to Dekai, home of The Manimo People in the Highlands. Dekai is a newly developed village becoming a small town, following the recent self autonomy policy in Papua, roads, government offices, etc are started to built. Arrival in Dekai, check in to the small hotel in Dekai.
DAY 03 : DEKAI – LOKBON – SEPANA(B,L,D)
Transfer by motorcycle to the small traditional harbour on Lopon village, about 1 hour of rough ride along the unpaved road. From Lopon, we will sail down to the south to Braza river, one of the largest river flowing south to the Asmat. Travelling through dense forest, possibly encountering other passing boats. On the way we hope to stop at the small villages and meet the Citak Mitak people who build traditional wooden houses on the river banks and are primarily still hunter gatherers. We will sail 6-7 hours south to Sepana village and overnight .
DAY 04 : SEPANAP – MABUL – MARKUS VILLAGE (B,L,D)
After breakfast, together with local porters we prepare our bags then take the boat for an hour or so to Mabul village, from Mabul we walk for 2 – 3 hours to Markus village in with the local porter team. Our walk will pass through swampy land, crossing streams through thick forest, and sago plantations. Markus Village is lived in by the Korowai who may still be using stone tools, with two families living in a spectacular house. Lunch will served in the village.
After lunch we will spend time with the Korowai and try to experience their way of life. Overnight at Markus Village
DAY 05 : MARKUS – HALIGATUN (B,L,D)
After breakfast , we will walk for maybe two hours to the Haligatun where there is a tree house with perhaps three families. If we are lucky, we may meet the Korowai hunting and gathering in the forest. We will also visit their small gardens next to their house where they plant banana, bean, and sugar cane . Overnight at Haligatun
DAY 06 : STAY AT HALIGATUN (B,L,D)
Today we will spend the day with the villagers, in the morning we will join them on a fishing expedition, they may block a section pf the river and make a poison out of a local root so the fish float to the surface, our guide says “We will get all muddy and dirty, catch the fishes or frogs by bare hand. Children and elderly peoples will come to the river to work. After such great work, the locals will cook the catch of today, fishes, frogs, or worm, will be cooked on the open fire. Together with sago ball, those catch are eaten with big happiness.”
In the afternoon, we will see how the Korowai mend their house.
The Korowai live in both land and tree houses. The land house is built directly on the land, while the tree house is built on the tree top. Both needs regular “maintenance” to make sure that they are in good shape. Among the crucial item to maintain is the ladder of the tree house. Today, they will show us how the villages maintain the ladder. Sometimes, they will work not only on the ladder, but on other parts of the tree house as well.
In time of peace, the tree house is 8-10 meters high, but in time of war, the tree house is normally over 10 m from the ground. The higher tree house allows them to have better surveillance on any incoming foe, and better protection too.
DAY 07 : HALIGATUN – MABUL – JINAK ( B,L,D)
After breakfast, together with our team we will return to to Mabul village (2 – 3 hours) then continue by motor boat down to Asmat territory, on the way we stop in Suator Village for lunch and continue to JInak Village for the night . 5-6 hours by boat.
DAY 08 : JINAK – YASAKOR (B,L,D)
After breakfast in the local stilt house we take the boat to 2- 3 hours to Yasakor Village – mainly under the shade of overhanging trees which is great opportunity to experience the extraordinary flora . We may also meet Asmat paddling their boats up or down river. The river we are sailing through is the main “highway” in the hinterland. Arrival in the afternoon at Asmat village, and stay at their long house.
Overnight at Asmat Village (Long House)
DAY 09 : YASAKOR / ASMAT CEREMONIES (B,L,D)
The day will be spent experiencing local ceremonies and customs – including ritual songs, drumming and canoe racing. Hopefully we will find a good selection of artefacts for sale here.
overnight at Asmat Village (Long House)
DAY 10 : YASAKOR – OMANDESEP (B,L,D )
We will take a motorised canoe through breathtaking scenery to the legendary Omadesep
Lunch served en route. Stay over night at long house in Omandesep village, famous for it’s carvings and traditional way of life. The journey will take 5-8 hours depending on the local weather/tide/current conditions
DAY 11: OMANDESEP – AGATS (B,L,D)
We will spend the morning with the Asmat at Omandesep then we sail back to Agats by motorized canoe. In Agats we will have mobile phone signal again and be able to find out if the outside world still exists..
Dinner & overnight at Local Inn.
DAY 12 : AGATS – EWER – TIMIKA (B)
Visit to Agats Museum and Artefacts dealers, packing bags
DAY 13 : TIMIKA – JAKARTA (B)
then by boat to Timika by regular flight, stay overnight at hotel Komorotame Resort in Timika.
Transfer to the airport, then fly to Jakarta or Sorong if continuing to Raja Ampat
There is no tourist accommodation where we are going, tents and thin mattresses will be provided, or we will sleep in village house on our mattresses beneath mosquito nets.
Food – we will take a good Indonesian cook with us, but the options will be understandably limited eg fried & steamed rice, fresh vegetables, canned fish/meat / noodles /fresh fruit/ tea / coffee
Porters will carry our bags so please back appropriately.
– All land transportation
– Accommodations based on twin/double share in Dekai, Agats, and Timika
– English Speaking Guide
– Meals as per program (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)
– fishing and tree house mending in Koroway
– Drumming and canoe racing in Asmat
– Permits and donations
– All activities mentioned on the above program
– Porter team during the walk in Koroway
– Chartered wooden long boat to accomplish the tour
– Travel Insurance
– Air fares, airport tax, airport porter
– Overweight on the flight
– Airport taxes and extra baggage charges
– Airports and hotels porters
– Personal Expenses such as phone calls, laundry, beverages etc.
– All expenses incurred due to the flight cancellations or due other causes beyond our control.
Current local airfare / way / person:
London – Jakarta – £600
Jakarta – Jayapura : USD 382
Jayapura – Dekai : USD 89
Ewer – Timika : USD 105
Timika – Jakarta : USD 355
** Subject to change in the future
Tobias Schneebaum’s Where the Spirits Dwell
Savage Harvest – Carl Hoffman
Society of Others – Rupert Stasch
Michael Rockefeller – Asmat
Among The Cannibals – Paul Raffaele
First contact Mark Anstice
Communication with The Asmat and Korowai is difficult, mobile phone reception and the internet largely do not exist where we are going. We hope that ceremonies and feast can be organized when we are there, the cost for this can be anything between free because it is already happening or because we are very welcome to $30 – $50 to $2000 – $3000 with every possible combination. Depending on the size of the group, and the group’s interests there may be voluntary contributions to offer the community.
Tips are entirely optional – but a trip such as this asks a lot of the local guides and porters who always appreciate, even if they don’t expect, a tip. Entirely optional but $50 – $100 should be plenty
Much of the traveling will be canoe, there will be some trekking in the jungle, but nothing that a moderately fit and healthy person can’t manage. From personal experience the locals and our porters will be extremely helpful
Lake Sentani & Jayapura
I will arrive a few days early and intend to spend a day or two exploring lake Sentani – one the most beautiful places I have ever been to, and visiting the Jayapura Museum and tracking down artefacts for sale (some of the best things I have ever bought in New Guinea I got in Jayapura. You would be most welcome to join and the cost would probably be US $150- $300