Sunday, January 24, 2010

SEPIK RIVER/WEWAK PNG-AN ESSENTIAL TRAVEL GUIDE












"ADVENTURE TRAVEL-EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED"!THIS STATEMENT RINGS TRUE WHEN YOU TAKE ON THE ISLAND OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA,THE FOLLOWING GUIDE IS A STEPPING STONE THROUGH THE EAST SEPIK PROVINCE,FROM THE PRISTINE COASTAL BEACHES INTO THE WILD RAW ALONG THE SEPIK RIVER.LIKE ALL ADVENTURISTS YOUR ABILITY TO ACCEPT AND ADAPT WILL ENHANCE YOUR EXPERIENCE.THIS INFORMATION IS CURRENT AS OF JANUARY 2010,PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THE WORLD CHANGES EVERY DAY.........ALL PRICES ARE IN KINA,(1USD=2.70 KINA)(1 AUD=2.50KINA)
AFTER 20 YEARS OF TRAVEL TO THE SEPIK REGION,I HOPE THE FOLLOWING WILL HELP YOU PLAN AND ENJOY THIS TOTALLY AMAZING PART OF PNG.I HAVE INCLUDED SOME PLACES THAT "TOURISTS" NEVER GET TO READ ABOUT IN ESTABLISHED PUBLICATIONS.WITH THIS EXPERIENCE THE PLACES MENTIONED ARE MY "BEST PICKS"AND THEY RANGE FROM UPMARKET TO BASIC.
THIS IS DIVIDED UP INTO 3 SEPARATE AREAS...1/WEWAK....2/THE ISLANDS.....3/SEPIK RIVER,DEPENDING ON YOUR OWN TRAVEL SPEED AND POINTS OF INTEREST,ALL 3 AREAS CAN BE EASILY COMBINED INTO A 10 DAY ADVENTURE.THE BIGGEST CHANGE INTO PNG LIFE IS THE AVAILABILITY OF MOBILE PHONES,THIS HAS MADE CONTACT WITH REMOTE LODGES/GUEST HOUSE OWNERS VERY POSSIBLE,THE COUNTRY CODE FOR PNG IS 675..INCLUDED ARE MANY DIRECT PHONE NUMBERS TO MAKE YOUR PLANNING EASIER.


1/WEWAK,GATEWAY TO THE SEPIK...DAILY FLIGHTS FROM PORT MORESBY ON AIR NEW GUINEA(AIRPORT CODE FOR WEWAK IS WWK)YOU CAN VIEW SCHEDULE ON WWW.AIRNIUGINI.COM.PG
CAPITAL OF THE EAST SEPIK PROVINCE IT IS A LARGE SPRAWLING TOWN,THE AIRPORT AT BORAM IS 6KMS FROM THE TOWN CENTRE.ALL ESSENTIAL SERVICES ARE FOUND HERE,3 BANKS(WESTPAC,ANZ,BANK SOUTH PACIFIC)SUPERMARKETS,HOSPITAL,POST OFFICE,PHARMACY.THE STANDOUT ACCOMODATION VENUE IS LOCATED ON TOP OF WEWAK HILL OVERLOOKING THE BISMARCK SEA,"IN WEWAK BOUTIQUE HOTEL"IS AN ABSOLUTE JEWEL AND I RATE IT THE NUMBER 1 HOTEL IN ALL OF PNG,OPERATED BY LONG TERM LOCALS WHO TAKE PRIDE IN MAKING GUESTS FEEL TOTALLY RELAXED AND COMFORTABLE,IT OFFERS THE IDEAL SURROUNDINGS TO PREPARE YOUR TRIP OUT TO THE SEPIK AND TO RECOVER AFTER THE BIG RIVER TRIP.I HAVE WITNESSED MANY SUNBURT FATIGUED SEPIK ADVENTURERS STUMBLE BACK INTO THE FOYER WITH A SENSE OF RELIEF AT BEING BACK AT THE WEWAK BOUTIQUE,THAT INCLUDES YOURS TRULY!NOTHING LIKE A REFRESHING SWIM IN THE POOL TO REVIVE THE SENSES.ROOM CHOICES RUN FROM THE BUDGET WITH PRIVATE BATHROOM AT 200KINA TO STANDARD ROOMS WITH A/C 330KINA,DELUXE ROOMS WITH PRIVATE BALCONY AND QUEEN SIZE BEDS 430KINA.ALL ROOMS INCLUDE FRIDGE,PHONE AND SATELLITE TV. BREAKFAST/LUNCH/DINNER ARE PROVIDED IN THE COOLING SURROUNDS OF THE COCOA CAFE OR VANILLA ROOM RESTAURANT..SURROUNDED BY THE OWNERS INCREDIBLE COLLECTION OF LOCAL ARTEFACTS YOU CAN ENJOY A COLD DRINK WHILE ORDERING THE LOCAL MURIK MUD CRABS,CROCODILE CUTS,OR THE STEAK FLOWN IN FROM AUSTRALIA.AS WORD OF MOUTH SPREADS ABOUT THE HOTEL,IT IS RARE TO FIND A ROOM AVAILABLE,MY SUGGESTION TO AVOID DISSAPOINTMENT IS PRE BOOK,PHONE 8562100 OR E.MAIL inwewak@global.net.pg MORE INFO ON WEB SITE www.inwewak.com
GUEST SERVICES INCLUDE DAILY LAUNDRY AND AIRPORT TRANSFERS,THE GUEST BOOK COMMENTS SAY IT ALL,STAY HERE AND ENJOY THE BEST!(SEE PHOTOS)



2/THE ISLANDS..A 45 MINUTE BOAT RIDE FROM WEWAK WILL LAND YOU ON MUSCHU ISLAND,FOR THOSE WANTING TO EXPERIENCE THE RELAXED AND LAID BACK LIFESTYLE OF SMALL VILLAGE HOSPITALITY THIS IS A TOP SPOT FOR ONE OR TWO NIGHTS.A NEW ADDITION IS"CLEMENTS GUEST HOUSE"(PHOTO) RIGHT ON THE BEACH IN A BAY WITH GREAT VIEWS ACROSS TO THE MAINLAND.IT HAS 3 ROOMS WITH BEDDING AND MOSQUITO NETS PROVIDED,TRANSFER BY BOAT IS AVAILABLE FOR 20KINA PER PERSON,PRICES ARE 45 KINA PER NIGHT WHICH INCLUDES BREAKFAST.IF YOU DECIDE TO INCLUDE THIS GREAT STOPOVER TAKE PLENTY OF SUPPLIES/FOOD/WATER FOR YOUR STAY,A BBQ OF FRESHLY CAUGHT FISH ON THE BEACH IN THE EVENING IS A GREAT WAY TO WRAP UP A DAY OF SWIMMING,SNORKELLING AND FISHING.CLEMENTS MOBILE PHONE IS 72793107.



3/SEPIK RIVER..THIS IS WHERE YOUR TRAVEL GETS SERIOUS,PREPARATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING,ONCE YOU LEAVE WEWAK THERE ARE NO BANKS,NO CREDIT CARD FACILITYS AND NO TIMETABLES.TAKE WITH YOU PROVISIONS FOR YOUR LENGTH OF STAY,RICE,NOODLES,TIN FISH,BISCUITS,COFFEE,SUGAR ETC.THE RIVER RUNS AT 1200 KMS IN LENGTH WITH 3 ROAD ACCESS POINTS,ANGORAM(LOWER SEPIK),TIMBUNKE(MIDDLE SEPIK) AND PAGWI(UPPER SEPIK).MOST TOURISTS HEAD TO THE LOWER AND MIDDLE AREAS,SO LET'S GO TO THE INCREDIBLE REMOTE REGION OF THE UPPER SEPIK WHICH REACHES THE INDONESIAN BORDER OF WEST PAPUA!THERE ARE 2 WAYS TO REACH AMBUNTI,OVERNIGHT RIDE FROM WEWAK TO PAGWI(6HOURS)IN A TRUCK(40KINA) THEN BY DUGOUT CANOE TO AMBUNTI (2HOURS=30KINA)OR FLY ON MAF AIRLINES(380KINA)TUESDAY AND THURSDAY FLIGHTS FROM WEWAK(8562500)MY CHOICE IS ONE OF EACH...ROAD IN/FLY OUT,KEEPS YOU A LITTLE LESS FATIGUED.THE AMBUNTI LODGE IS A GREAT SPOT TO BASE YOUR TRAVELS AROUND,IT HAS SEEN BETTER DAYS BUT NOW ALL ROOMS HAVE SELF CONTAINED BATHROOMS WITH BEDDING AND MOSSIE NETS PROVIDED,MANAGER VALENTINE AND HIS WIFE COOK MEALS FROM THE FOOD YOU BRING AND WITH THE GENERATOR PROVIDING POWER IN THE EVENINGS,THE POSSIBILITY OF A COLD BEER AFTER DINNER AND THE A/C UNIT COOLING YOUR ROOM IS VERY WELCOME,AS A LOCAL MAN HE PROVIDES GREAT INSIGHT INTO THE UPPER SEPIK REGION AND HIS SON GEORGE CAN BE HIRED TO GUIDE YOU ON JOURNEYS OF INTEREST,ALSO ASK FOR CHRIS BARAS TO TAKE YOU ALONG THE RIVER,HIS SKILLS ARE SECOND TO NONE FOR THIS AREA,HE COMES HIGHLY RECOMMENDED(71420214),THE NIGHTLY RATE FOR THE AMBUNTI LODGE IS 200 KINA..CONTACT VALENTINE 76368508 OR LANDLINE 8585151.YOUR GUIDE WILL ADVISE OF BEST DESTINATIONS AND COSTS..PETROL ON THE RIVER RUNS AT 25KINA PER LITRE,MY "BEST PICK"IS AN OVERNIGHT STAY AT "WAGU LODGE"RECENTLY OPENED WITH 4 LARGE ROOMS ON THE SHORE OF THE WAGU LAGOON WETLANDS AND NESTLED AT THE BASE OF THE HUNSTEIN RANGES,SPECTACULAR SCENERY AS YOU RIDE IN THROUGH THIS AMAZING WETLANDS OFF THE SEPIK RIVER,CONSTUCTED WITH BUSH MATERIAL IT HAS A GAS STOVE FOR COOKING ALONG WITH FLUSHING TOILET,SHOWER FACILITYS AND MOSQUITO NETS ,IT IS POSSIBLE TO BUY FROM LOCAL WOMEN SMOKED FISH,SAGO AND YAM SOUP TO MAKE YOUR DIETRY INTAKE MORE INTERESTING.25 KINA PER PERSON PER NIGHT ,MATTHEW IS THE MANAGER OF THIS EXCITING NEW LODGE,ADDED TRIPS ONCE HERE INCLUDE CROCODILE WATCHING,BIRD OF PARADISE VIEWING(EARLY MORNING)AND FISHING.THIS IS THE REAL PNG THAT PEOPLE REFER TO IN TRAVEL STORIES,OTHER GREAT DAY TRIPS INCLUDE WASHKUK HILLS,CHAMBRI LAKES,SWAGUP(HOME OF THE INSECT CULT)FOR LONGER TRIPS TRY FREIDA RIVER THE SITE OF A NEW GOLD MINING OPERATION,MAY RIVER OR YELLOW RIVER.ESSENTIALS FOR THIS TERRITORY INCLUDE LARGE SUNHAT AND SUNBLOCK,LOTS OF BOTTLED WATER,TORCH AND BATTERYS,HIGH TROPICAL STRENGTH MOSQUITO SPRAY, PLENTY OF PATIENCE AND CASH!!!A TIP TO SAVE MONEY ON MOTOR/BOAT/PETROL PRICES IS TO TRAVEL WITH AT LEAST ONE OTHER TRAVELLER,THIS WILL HALVE YOUR EXPENSES.
AS A LONG TERM VISITOR TO THE SEPIK/WEWAK AREA,I TRUST MY COMMENTS AND CONTACTS WILL ENHANCE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN THIS WONDERFUL INDIVIDUAL PART OF THE GLOBE,LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG.



DON FOSTER/JANUARY 2010

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

very useful stuff but now having trouble contacting Ambunti Lodge by E-mail & now phone also. Don do you hace a way of contacting Matthew at Wagu Logoon Lodge?

don trenery said...

phone lines can be difficult to access in remote areas of png/trying to get mobile contact for matthew for you/if you have trouble reaching ambunti lodge..try alois on mobile 76897781 or email/adventurespng@datec.net.pg

stewart said...

Don - I have had no luck reaching Alois, to arrange a Sepik tour The emails bounce back, and there is no answer at the land line on his web site, or the cell you give above. is he still in business? Any suggestions for reaching him?

Thanks

don trenery said...

try chris baras who is experianced local guide at ambunti,his mobile is in blog story...mention me to him.

don trenery said...

have got hold of matthews mobile phone..he runs the lodge at wagu lagoon/76227658/hope this helps/don

Jetset Vagabond said...

Hi Don Trenery,

Are u off the grid at the moment?

Looking at heading up the Sepic River out of Wewak in mid-July 2010 and was hoping for a couple pointers...

hope to hear from ya,

Aaron

don trenery said...

aaron,happy to help mate,shoot me any qs to my e.mail
nambawanman_migo@yahoo.com.au
don

Anonymous said...

hey mate how is you. heading to wewak soon. will my mobile from australia work over there with global roaming on? or no reception. do you have a email address to personally message you a few questions about the island. mine is gavin_notts@hotmail.com. thanks mate

monalisa said...

Don,

Bula. Interested to talk to you re: using some of your stories in Paradise.
I am on email - ltaga@ibi.com.fj
Look forward to hearing from you.

regards
Laisa

luxury apartments buenos aires said...

What a great blog, thanks so much for sharing!

Kylie Bales said...

Hi don, thanks for this great blog. I want to take my dad to wewak where his dad was killed during WWII. We are well travelled but not to remote areas like this. Do you know of any reputable tour companies that may offer war tours in the area? Any other tips?l

donbrisbane said...

kylie,sounds like a great trip,there is heaps of ww2 history around wewak/sepik north coast,when do you plan the journey,?
a lot of it is starting to get taken by the jungle!!!!are you australian,drop me an e.mail soon,nambawanman_migo@yahoo.com.au

don trenery said...

kylie,please drop me a note for more:
e.mail nambawanman_migo@yahoo.com.au
don