Exotic Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival - Papua New Guinea: Sept 2015

The Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival was initiated by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) with the aim to revive some of the lost cultures, and to highlight the significance of the natural and cultural heritage of the area. The festival helps to promote the significance of Kutubu's rich biodiversity; preserve Kutubu's cultural heritage, and promote partnerships in sustainable resource development and biodiversity conservation.

From time to time, corporate companies like Oil Search Limited (OSL), Bank South Pacific Limited (BSP) and Exxon-Mobil Corporation (Esso Highlands Limited) become major sponsors of the festival event with donations of cash and kind. The event promotes Papua New Guinea's cultural diversity, sustainable livelihoods, tourism and other important areas that contribute to a better community. 

The Kutubu region is one of the most important rainforest areas on the planet as seen by WWF. Lowland moist tropical rainforest, such as that around Lake Kutubu and the Kutubu region, contains more species of plant, animal and insect than any other habitat on earth. Local villagers rely on this resource for water, medicine and food. The lake itself is one of the most important freshwater sites in Papua New Guinea, bar none.

For this year 2015, the festival will be bigger and better with so many cultural groups coming from the Kikori basin. WWF is facilitating the festival again in mid September 2015.
Accommodation is at Tubo Lodge located on an island in the middle of Lake Kutubu, one of the most spectacular locations in the Southern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea.
Lake Kutubu is a special lake in a special part of the world. The Kikori Basin is home to the world’s longest lizard, largest egg-laying mammal (the echidna), largest pigeon, largest moth, and second-largest butterfly. Lake Kutubu plays such a big role in maintaining the Earth’s natural diversity that in 1998 it was declared a Wetland of International Importance.

How to get there?
Arrive in Port Moresby at the Jackson’s International Airport and overnight in one of the many lodges/hotels in the city.

The next day takes you to the domestic terminal at the Jackson’s International and you get on the plane heading for Kagamuga Airport, Mt. Hagen, Western Highlands Province. Upon arrival at Kagamuga airport, our tour guides will take you to the Poroman Lodge within Mt. Hagen city.

After breakfast, gearing up to get on a van to enroute for Kutubu, Southern Highlands Province. Exotic places and scenes along the part of the Okuk highlands highway that takes you to Mendi, Southern Highlands Province. The drive from Mt. Hagen City to Mendi Town is approximately four (4) hours. Have dinner and overnight in Mendi at Kiburu Lodge.

 DAY 3  
After breakfast, heading to Kutubu from Mendi. The drive takes about six (6) hours. You check in at Tubo Lodge located right in the middle of Lake Kutubu.

After breakfast, you choose one of the following activities of the day.
Bird watching
Surrounded by dense tropical Rainforest Lake Kutubu provides an opportunity for guests to see the local birds in their natural habitat. Local tour guides will lead treks around the lake to see the abundant wildlife.
Bebere and Kosama Skull Caves
For those interested there is an opportunity to visit the famous Bebere and Kosama Skull Caves. These skull caves are traditional burial grounds and where traditional burial rites are still observed.
Tugiri Orchid Gardens & Butterfly Farm
Papua New Guinea is well known for its orchids. Tugiri Orchid garden has a wide range of orchids, some of which are endemic to Papua New Guinea. You can also visit the local Butterfly Farm and see, amongst many other species, the second largest butterfly in the world.
Experience the traditional way of living
Guests can also experience the traditional way of life by observing and participating in the traditional Sago making process, building canoes or just learning how to fish using traditional methods.
Trekking to Wasi (Beaver) Falls
Trek to one of the country’s largest waterfalls that plunges over a 100m into a basin where ancient burial caves are found. You will camp at a village in Kantobo and follow a route that weaves through pristine rainforest with a rich variety of birds and wildlife such as Tree Kangaroos, and many species of birds of paradise.

After breakfast, it takes one hour drive to Pimaga District station from the lodge for the festival. Feasting your eyes with the native cultural festival, the day ends and back to the lodge.  
After breakfast, the festival continues and it makes your busy day. Back to the lodge for dinner and rest.

After breakfast, out of Moro, Kutubu a directly flight to Port Moresby.

Wafi (Beafer) Fall, Lake Kutubu, Southern Highlands Province. Photograph - Niugini Exotic Tours, 2013.
A side view from the road leading to Moro of the Lake Kutubu, Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea. Photo - Niugini Exotic Tours, 2013.

Mt. Hagen Cultural Show in Papua New Guinea - August 2015

THE 2015 Mt. Hagen Cultural Show is scheduled to come alive in the third week of August on the weekend from 15th to 16th. The annual event will bring alive some of the dying cultures such as the Kurware Cultural dance by Gaim Engawal tribe from Lower Kaguel in the Tambul Nebilyer District, Western Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.
The Mt. Hagen City at a prime elevation of 1,677m above seen level, it is linked by both land and air transport. 

By airplane from Port Moresby, you have three (3) different choices to choose from three (3) different airline companies when making a booking – Air Niugini Ltd, Airlines PNG Ltd and Mangi Long Ples. Depending on the flight each airline company has, you have a chance to compare their prices and seek if they offer special flights which mostly they do. Depending on the class of air travel services and the type and size of aircraft, you will have a quote from the most cheapest to the next cheapest airfare. It is easy for making an online booking for your travel.       

The fight from Port Moresby to Mt. Hagen takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Upon arrival at Kagamuga Airport in Mt. Hagen, you have three (3) choices of land transport to take you to your destination – public transport (PMV) a bus service from operates from 7am to 6pm every day, private hired vehicles/Hire Cars as troopers/station wagons and Hotel/Lodge pick-up mini-buses available at the airport. The cheapest is the PMV transport, similar to Taxi Services elsewhere.
Mt. Hagen city is connected by road, the Highlands Highway (the longest highway in the country), with Madang, Lae, Goroka, Chimbu, Jiwaka, Wabag, Mendi , Tari and Kikori.

For your accommodation in Mt. Hagen, you have three (3) classes (types) of accommodation to choose from – modern furnished Hotel Rooms, semi-modern with local architectural design Lodge Rooms and a typical highlands village Homes with friends and wantoks. Costing for each class of accommodation varies from one to next. The cheapest is spending your days with local villagers in their homes. You receive a friendly Melanesian Welcome and meet exciting highlanders who proudly welcome first-time visitors as their friends and immediately call them their wantoks.      
In each class of accommodation you choose, cost of the meals ranging to the class of accommodation.  Your stay with villagers at their homes is coupled with a highlands traditional dish and you are part of them for dinner and breakfast at a minimum cost.

Gaim Engwal's Kuru-ware cultural dance performed at Mt. Hagen Cultural Show in 2014  and this year 2015, they will be performing again at the Kagamuga Show ground come August. Photo courtesy of Gabriel Kuntina, Western Highlands Division of Commerce, Culture and Tourism.

Photo Gallery: Randam exotic photos of Papua New Guinea Highlands

The third city in Papua New Guinea, Mount Hagen City!

Photos Credit: Howarig Traders/2015.

Photo Gallery: Random photos from Anji Village - Enga Province

A typical highlands house. Max Mal's home at Anji village - Enga Province

Part of Max Mal's orchid garden at Anji village - Enga Province.

A man trying to catch bees.
Photographs courtesy of Max Mal from Anji village, Enga Province.

Photo Gallery: Random photos from the Highlands of Papua New Guinea

Young highlands girls in traditional attire.

Tourists at Bird of Paradise hotel in Goroka, Papua New Guinea.

Photos: Usano creek at Kutubu - Southern Highlands

Usano creek at Kutubu - Southern Highlands Province.

Photo: Papua New Guinea higlands costumes are rare and colourful

Eye feasting PNG Highlands Costumes are very distinct and unique. They are preserve and displayed at cultural festivals annually. 

Bird of Paradise feathers and its traditional uses

The Bird of Paradise is the National Symbol of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and its the National Flag of the Country. The Regianna Bird of Paradise is only found in Papua New Guinea.