A cultural and environmental celebration, the Sepik River Crocodile Festival takes place over three days in August, highlighting the importance of the crocodile and its cultural significance amongst Sepik River communities.
In the Sepik culture, man and crocodile share a special bond, as the crocodile symbolises strength, power and manhood. This festival features live crocodile encounters, traditional dancing, colourful costumes and visits the sacred spirit houses where men undergo intensive initiation rituals.
The Sepik River hosts some of the world’s largest saltwater and freshwater crocodile population’s and the richness of life in this area is celebrated during the WWF supported festival. This is your opportunity to witness this region of Papua New Guinea, where humanity has frozen in time.
Day 1 - Arrive Wewak
Welcome to Papua New Guinea and the town of Wewak. Feel free to arrive anytime today. A welcome dinner is included this evening which will give you a chance to meet your fellow travellers. (D)
Overnight Wewak Hotel or similar.
Day 2 - Ambunti
This morning you will depart Wewak and make your way to Ambunti. The main Sepik River can become monotonous meandering through floating logs and floating islands until you reach Ambunti. In the evening, it will rupture into a vast environment of herons, cormorants, wild ducks, egrets, kites and +1000 species of water birds.
Check into your lodge before enjoying a half day tour to Meno, Tongijamp Yesan and Mayo which are remote communities within the Eastern Sepik. They had not had interaction with man until only recently and have an extremely fascinating lifestyle and culture which you will learn about.
This evening, there is an option to go crocodile spotting on the river. (B,L,D)
4 nights local village huts or similar.
Day 3 - Sepik River Crocodile Festival
Today you will have a full day to experience the Crocodile Festival. Starting off with an early morning trip to Wagu Lake where you will have the oppotunity to witness the bird of paradise. The bird watching in Papua New Guinea is unlike anywhere else in the world, and the best time to see and hear this spectacle is between 5.30 – 6.30am. From here, it is time to return to Ambunti where you will witness the locals display their unique cultures of the mighty Sepik River in competition with each other to show their superiority among their tribal clans. Learn about the ancient traditions as your guide explains the days activities and get up close with with the locals, singsing groups and crocodile Spirit dancers. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Sepik River Crocodile Festival
Following breakfast before being transferred to the Crocodile Festival. Enjoy the festival until noon when you depart to visit the traditional villages – Malu and Avative both known for the fishing and unique burial grounds. In the evening, return to your hut. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - Sepik River Crocodile Festival
Enjoy a full day at the festival where you may witness a series of fun dugout canoe races, sing-sing groups from different villages trying to outdo one another in decorative display, using the power of the dance and in sheer good-natured exuberance.
You may have the opportunity to visit the haus tambaran or ‘spirit house’ is – as the name implies it is the home of the spirits; of ancestors, progenitors, crocodiles and other animals. Upstairs in these houses, carvers and other artisans sit quietly next to their creations – an astonishing array of figurines half-bird, half-mammal; or half-human, part-animal and so forth. (Women require permission to enter the spirit houses).
Return to your hut this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - Middle Sepik
Today following breakfast, it is a full day to the Middle Sepik. You will visit Palimbe, Yenchan and Kanganamun. These villages have stood firm against the invasion of Christianity. They still have their Haus Tamarans and practice their customs including the initiation and scarification on young boys that depict the crocodile as a symbol of power and strength. The villages are also famous artists and they make carvings with the heads of birds.
Return to Pagwi this afternoon where you will meet your vehicle and transfer back to Wewak. (B,L,D)
Overnight Wewak Hotel or similar.
Day 7 - Departure
The day is yours until it is time to transfer to the airport for your flight back to Port Moresby. (B)
- Meet and greet service on arrival in Wewak
- 6 nights accommodation
- 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
- English speaking local guide
- All activities as per itinerary
- Private transportation
- Entrance fees, sightseeing and permits
- International and domestic flights
- Travel and medical insurance
- All services, meals other than those indicated above
- Personal porters
- Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
- All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc
**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person plus any internal flights is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.