Experience one of the largest tribal gatherings in the world with more than 100 tribes participating in the event which attracts thousands of local participants in traditional dress delivering an insight into hidden customs.
Performing extraordinary displays of traditional song, rituals and dance whilst decked out in unique costumes, glorious colours and stunning face paintings, the tribes show off their distinct cultures with an undeniable passion.
Join us as we experience the Goroka Festival – Papua New Guinea’s biggest sing-sing.
Welcome to Papua New Guinea. Upon arrival in Goroka, you will be met at the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel.
Following lunch at the hotel, head to Keiya village. Here you will witness some incredible cultural performances including the ‘Cane Swallowing’ ceremony of boys initiation where a cane rope is pushed into their stomach through their mouth to cleanse themselves as an initiation ceremony. Often referred to as Dring Kol Wara (Drink Cold Water) by the Bena people of Eastern Highlands, the initiation is practised only by men. In previous times, women were never allowed to know about it, much less see it.
The cane is carefully carved to achieve a smooth surface to allow easy ingestion. With careful preparations, final touches are made to bend the cane into a U-shape before hanging it to dry in kitchen huts. It is dried for about one month before being used. Every now and then the dried cane is taken out and left in water to regain moisture to maintain its outer covering. Its length may vary from two to three metres.
The initiation period may last for two to three months, depending on the amount of pork available for meals in the ‘haus man’. Mothers of young boys cry for their sons as they are taken away to learn their custom and embrace manhood.
During the course of this initiation, initiates are required to lie on their back, face-up, to sleep as it is believed that that will straighten and elongate the intestines in preparation for the Neheya. Meals provided for the initiates comprise of only pork fat and boiled kaukau (sweet potato), believing that this dish, also known as hosamaya, ensures the smooth passing of the cane along the digestive tract. It is prepared only by elderly women who have gone past menopause. To witness this ancient practice, is a rare experience.
Return to your hotel for dinner. (L,D)
3 nights at the Emanuel Lodge or similar
Enjoy an early breakfast as you depart at 7:30am to get your bearing at the festival. The sing-sing groups start to arrive from 9am. You will be in awe at their body decorations, colourful traditional costumes and vibrant face painting. Learn about the different types of costumes and their significance in the cultures of these people.
Colours, kundu drums and chanting explore your senses as thousands of warriors, all dressed in their very finest traditional regalia, performing and dancing and in sing-sing. Each group, with their own cultures and languages vow to outclass the other groups. Walk among the dancers, shake their hands and meet them.
Following the festival, you will be transferred to the Tumbuna market for the opportunity to purchase locally made handicrafts before returning to your hotel late in the afternoon. (B,L,D)
This morning you will enjoy another festival day at the arena with your guide. A picnic lunch will be provided so you do not miss any of the action.
After the festival at approx. 3.00pm, you will visit the McCarthy Museum just near the showground.
The museum’s main collections are artifacts and specimens from the Highlands region including wooden dishes, stone mortars, stone blades, magic stones and sandstones for making stone blades. There are also some WWII relics on display including a P-39 Airacobra. (B,L,D)
After breakfast at 7:00am, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Port Moresby. (B)
Download this tour’s PDF brochure and start your planning offline!
**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 domestic airfares 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.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.