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Korowai tribe Photography Expedition

The Papua photo tour is an unique opportunity to feel like a real adventurer and discoverer in the 21th century. A 5-day trip on several airplanes, boats and on foot in rubber high boots across swamps of the Western part of the New Guinea island, which still remains the one of the last islands on Earth where people live in Stone Age. People from small tribe of Korowai build their houses high up in the canopy, hunt cassowaries, believe in spirits and in some remote parts of the jungle still practicing cannibalism. 

Photos Papua Photo Expedition

Itinerary Papua Photo Tour

Day 1Jayapura – Dekai

In the morning arrival by international flight to Sentani, meeting with the guide and catch up for the short meeting while breakfast/lunch in the airport of Sentani or in a local cafe.

While our guide drives to Police authorities in Jayapura city center for arranging travel permits (Surat Jalan) for everyone, we visit the local market, buy local cash and take rest. In the afternoon transit flight to the central part of the island – to Dekai. Flight to Dekai takes about 1 hour.

Arrival to Dekai by our car, head directly to the police station to report about the purpose of our journey and give them a copy of the document. While the crew goes to the local market for some last shopping, we can walk around Dekai to get first acquaintance with Papuans and local life, and also have dinner in a local cafe.

Accommodation: guesthouse
Meals included: no

Day 2Dekai – River bank of Siret

After having breakfast in our guesthouse by car we go to the Lotpon village – harbor (40 min) and make the last report to the police station at Lotpon harbor. By longboat we sail through Brazza river to Asmat village. You can enjoy the beauty of the wild (flora and fauna) and the tribes that live on the river bank.

Midway of our journey we stop for lunch for 40 min in Asmat village (Binamsen or another one) and our cook prepares everything. We have a chance to witness what is the lifestyle of the Asmat tribe.

We continue our challenging journey upstream of the Siret river and we stay overnight on the riverbank of Siret (on the river beach). You can swim in the river and have a rest in the wild. The journey from Lotpon to the riverbank bivouac takes about 8-10 hours.
We have dinner on the riverbank and overnight in a camp set up close to Befak – hut on the riverbank that local tribes use for resting after hunting.

Accommodation: tents on the riverbank
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3 River bank of Siret – Missionary village – Korowai traditional village

After breakfast we continue our journey to the first village of Korowai tribe – missionary village of Baigon (or another one, depending on the information about Korowai traditional villages at the moment). By motorboat through Siret River it takes around 3 – 5 hours, overcoming challenging stream and rapids, which is a big adventure in itself. The places here are wild with very old rainforest on the banks and remote tribes living deep in the jungle.

On the way we can see some locals searching for gold in the outskirts of Siret river and we can stop for a few minutes to see.
Upon arrival to the first village of Korowai (motorboat crew waits for us in this village or upper/lower of the stream until we return), while engaging our porters, getting information about the village in the jungle, our cook preparing lunch and we have lunch.

After lunch and getting all information about Korowai villages in the jungle*, together with porters we set off on foot into the jungle to Korowai traditional village deep in the rainforest. Walkabout 4 to 6 hours before reaching the traditional Korowai village with treehouses.

First getting into acquaintance with Korowai traditional village and its people. Dinner and overnight in tents.

Accommodation: tents
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

* Depending on the information about Korowai villages in the jungle (distance, direction, etc.), that we get in the Missionary village and depending on availability of local guides and porters, the team leader can make a decision to stay overnight in a local house in missionary village and set off on foot into the jungle early morning.

Days 4,5,6,7,8 & 9Korowai tribes in 3 – 4 different villages

Within these days we live in different Korowai villages (3 to 4 villages) deep in the jungle, engaging porters from each new village to find the further way. We walk approx. 5 to 10 hours a day when we are changing location, overcoming rivers and swamps – a very big adventure! We sleep in our tents on the earth or in the traditional tree houses together with Korowai people.

Tribal Korowai are commonly called treehouse people because they build houses high on the trees to avoid the threat from another tribe or black spirits. They used to practice cannibalism less than a decade ago, and people say that in some villages it is still the case. Korowai live in the Stone Age and do not have any appliances made of metal. In the jungle in one village, we can see one or two families. Each Korowai family has the territory to find food.

Korowai are nomadic people and they always move from one place to another looking for the food. Hunting animals in the wild, fish in the creek or the swamp is their lifestyle, which is considered the work for men. Korowai women are responsible for gathering such kinds of food like insects, sago (sago is one of the palm trees they process to get starch – Korowai’s staple food), etc. They eat everything that lives in the jungle and if they serve food on you, then you should eat it or do what they are asking you for, as saying “no” may offend Korowai people. In every village if Korowai want to make something special, they can invite their neighbors to join.

In one particular village, we can stay for 1 or 2 days and see what their activity is and join them. On different days we participate in following activities of Korowai tribe: experience how the whole village process sago from a sago palm tree and collect sago larvae, go with Korowais to hunt wild pigs or cassowary, traditional way of fishing with Korowai, traditional folklore and storytelling around the fireplace in the treehouse, traditional dances, having meals, etc. If we have a chance, we will witness tree house building or, otherwise, discuss with tribal men about the process.

Our purpose is to find remote Korowai villages as deep in the jungle as possible within this timeframe and to find traditional habitable tree houses built high up on the trees (up to 20-40 meters high). While we stay with the Korowai tribe we sleep in our tents on the earth or can stay in tree houses.

On Day 9 after breakfast together with the Korowai tribe, we start walking towards the first village or another place on the riverbank. Overnight in tents in the first village of Korowai (Baigon or Debol or another one) or at the riverbank camp.

Accommodation: tents or Korowai treehouses
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10First village of Korowai – Asmat tribe village called Binamsen

After breakfast we load everything to the boat and continue the journey by motorboat downstream Siret river and then upstream Brazza river until the village of Binamsen (it takes around 6 – 8 hours). This is the missionary village where the Asmat tribe lives.
En route we can swim in the Siret river.

After lunch in Binamsen we walk around Asmat village and see what are their activities. Asmat tribes, in the past, well known for traditional carving and also for being severe headhunters and cannibals, nowadays live close to rivers or swamps and practice fishing and hunting. To learn closer Asmat lifestyle we go for fish hunting at night time with the canoe.

Dinner and overnight in local missionary houses under our mosquito nets.

Accommodation: local missionary house
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11Binamsen (Asmat village) – Dekai

After having breakfast we continue the journey from Asmat tribe to Dekai. It takes about 5-7 hours, by boat to Lotpon and then by car. Lunch and swimming in the river en route.

Transfer to the hotel and having a rest. Dinner in a local cafe.

Accommodation: guesthouse
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch

Day 12Dekai – Sentani – Depapre ocean beach

After breakfast, by car, we go directly to the airport for flight back to Sentani (check-in time 10:00 – 11:00)
Upon arrival at Sentani, we buy some meals, fresh fish and fruits, and by our car head directly to Depapre harbor, take a boat to the ocean beach.

We set up our tents or just mosquito nets on the ocean shore and have dinner on the beach of the Pacific ocean.
Accommodation: overnight open air on the ocean shore.

Meals included: Breakfast, dinner

Day 13Depapre ocean beach

After breakfast, we swim in the pacific ocean and enjoy the wild place where you can also bath in the cold river falling from the mountains. This rest is well deserved after harsh Korowai jungles. If you still want to trek into the jungle, you have a chance to hike even here.

Accommodation: overnight open air on the ocean shore

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 14Depapre ocean beach – Sentani

Early morning after breakfast we directly go to the Sentani airport for return flight scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m. or later time.

Accommodation: no
Meals included: breakfast

Map Papua Photo Expedition

More info

Departure & Return Location

Sentani, Papua

Price Includes

  • Twin/double accommodation in hotels (in Dekai), in local houses and in tents
  • Internal flight Jayapura – Dekai – Jayapura
  • All transportation in destination location
  • 3 times a day meals in the jungles and on the beach
  • Special Permission fees & entrance fees to protected areas
  • Korowai local guides, cook and porters in the jungle
  • Hiking equipment (tents, dishware)
  • Experience guide(s)

Price Excludes

  • Flights to & from Jayapura
  • Meals not specified in the program
  • Any Private Expenses including meals
  • Excess baggage charge
  • Tips
  • Visa, check if you need it
  • International medical insurance
  • Anything not mention in "Price includes"


  • DSLR or mirrorless camera, tripod and remote shutter
  • Wide angle lens (14-24mm as example)
  • Standard lens (24-70mm as example)
  • Telephoto lens (70-200mm as example)
  • We will give a list of things to take after booking