When you book a trip with Authentic Sepik Tours, your trip is totally customized based on your interests. Come to see the Birds of Paradise, fish, crocodile hunt at night, visit spirit houses, try washing and/or making sago, paddle a dugout canoe, or simply experience a culture seemingly locked in a time capsule.
The regions of the river and villages we visit will also depend on your desire. In the Upper Sepik region, the villages are more remote and located in a less populated area. The Upper Sepik villages tend to be smaller communities and are further apart in location to other villages, than in the Middle and Lower Sepik regions. Some can take a day of canoe travel to reach so travelling can require a lot of fuel. Also, water levels at various times of the year result in some villages being inaccessible. The beauty of venturing into the Upper Sepik is that you'll go to places where few tourists have been.
The Middle Sepik has many villages along the riverbanks. Rituals, ceremonies and customs are still very much part of the villagers’ daily lives today as they have been for thousands of years in this region of the Sepik. The Middle Sepik is particularly known for its Spirit Houses, (Haus Tambarans) and Crocodile Initiation Ceremonies. During this ceremony hundreds of fine cuts are made to the torso and tops of the arms. When the skin has healed, the scars give an appearance of crocodile skin markings. These marks represent the initiation from boyhood into adult warrior thus bringing status and great respect. Kanganamun is well known for its spirit house, as it is the oldest one on the river and is held up with enormous carved posts. Palimbei is a 20 minute minute walk from the river's edge but well worth the visit. It is one of the villages that has two impressive spirit houses, the men of this village are known to be very good carvers. Another interesting village is Aibom on Chambri Lake, it is referred to as the “pottery village”. The clay collected from the foot of Aibom Mountain is the only clay in the area suitable for making a special type of pottery. Chambri Lake is one of the biggest lake in PNG. It is a vast and beautiful lake, with lots of birds and wildlife.
In the Lower Sepik, the Keram River people of Chimondo, Kambot, Bobten and Yip villages are famous for their wooden carved story-boards which depict everyday village life or legends of the ancestors. Angoram is the oldest and largest station on the Sepik River and is a great place to visit if you haven’t got a lot of time but would like to experience the Sepik. It is accessible from Wewak by road, with villages and gorgeous views just a short canoe ride away.
Typically accommodations are arranged either in a village guest house or in a home with a family, giving the visitor a genuine insight into authentic life on the river.
There will be opportunities for buying carvings if you wish, and with permission, taking photos with and of the villagers. (You'll find usually, in many villagers, the people are just excited to see the photo of themselves as you are to take it.)
Your custom itenirary will include pricing for airport pick up, travel from the hotel to the river and back, bottle water, 3 meals per day, canoe hire and fuel, your guide and helpers, plus any additional fees based on your requests, such as: viewing a traditional singsing, entrance fee for the spirit house, or night entertainment inside the spirit house. We do not include hotel accomodations in Wewak, you can arrange that directy with the hotel of your choice.
Bedding and mosquito nets for sleeping are also provided.
Please send us an email if you have any questions or would like to begin building your custom itinerary.