Travel to eastern Papua New Guinea at the start of August, and you can be part of a festival that pays tribute to the crocodiles of the Sepik River, one of the largest unpolluted rivers in the Asia-Pacific region.
The WWF-supported crocodile festival in East Sepik highlights the importance of crocodile conservation and the species’ habitat along the Sepik River and is home to some of the world’s largest freshwater and saltwater crocodile populations. However, both species are threatened by ongoing mining, logging and agricultural activities, as well as the dangers of commercial exploitation of crocodile skin and eggs.
Traveller amenities in this region are basic but the chance to be amongst highland forest rich in fauna as well as uncontaminated freshwater wetland systems more than makes up for luxury facilities. Participate in ancient cultures and explore beautiful wilderness areas is a chance that you won’t be offered every day.
Animal life that calls this area home consists of much more than just crocodiles there are a variety of other reptiles including gigantic pythons, tiny lizards and a variety of snakes. Look out for marsupials as well as amazing birdlife including Birds of Paradise, Herons, eagles, Parrots and Cockatoos. There are also an extensive number of butterflies.
Whilst this region is a beautiful place to live, it can be described as challenging from a local perspective. The income that the communities make from visitors goes directly to pay for schooling, medicine, local infrastructure and everyday needs of the community. Visiting a region like this means you are helping to improve peoples lives and to protect their environment whilst also gaining valuable and memorable experience in a region that not many people can say they have visited.
The Sepik River is some 1,100 kilometres long and is geologically a relatively new feature in the landscape, perhaps only 6000 years old. Its catchment and tributaries cover 80,000 square kilometres. Like many other large rivers through coastal plains, there are many wide swaying bends, and cut-off bends resulting in oxbow lakes every season. In the Asia-Pacific region, the Sepik River’s region is thought to be the largest freshwater wetlands that still remain uncontaminated by humans. There are no large cities or industry along the Sepik River, which contributes to its pristine state. Despite the lack of development and industry in the Sepik River region, threats do exist. Proposed mining, invasive species, and industrial logging threaten the area.
If you like the sound of learning and discovering more about this fascinating festival and unique destination then why not join our small group tour, Ambunti Crocodile Festival. This is your opportunity to witness this region of Papua New Guinea, where humanity has frozen in time.
Make this experience yours, let us help you secure your spot on this amazing adventure of a lifetime – Ambunti Crocodile Festival. Contact us today!
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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.