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New Guinea is one of the wildest,most unexplored regions on Earth,with some 90% of the country stillcovered in forest. It has the richestavifauna of any island with nearly 400endemic species, including many of thebirds-of-paradise, perhaps the mostextraordinary family of all the world's birds.Although their incredible displays are oftenshown on television, to watch them in thefield is a priceless experience of a lifetime.In addition, the island holds a wonderfulassembly of pigeons, doves, parrots andkingfishers, not to mention gorgeousjewel-babblers, fairy-wrens and stunningspecies such as Flame Bowerbird andGarnet Robin. Raptors are not numerous,but we have the chance of observing oneof the most magnificent, the New GuineaHarpy Eagle. This tour focuses on three of the mostrewarding locations in Papua New Guinea(PNG), the eastern half of this huge island,where we will encounter a wide range ofexotic vegetation, magnificent trees andcolourful butterflies and insects. From themodern city of Port Moresby we travel ashort distance to Varirata National Park,then fly west to Kiunga on the mighty FlyRiver bordering Irian Jaya, the western halfof New Guinea. We will explore this regionby boat and drive into the foothills of theStar Mountains at Tabubil. Finally, we visitthe central highlands at Tari Gap, one ofthe best birding localities on the planet.We begin our holiday in Port Moresby andproceed to the eucalypt and evergreenforests of Varirata National Park in thenearby hills. This park provides anexcellent introduction to birding in NewGuinea, with good trails and open forestallowing us to see such specialities asBrown-headed Kingfisher and RaggianaBird-of-paradise, along with a plethora offruit-doves and honeyeaters. Next we flywest to the small frontier town of Kiunga,situated in a remote wilderness wherespecies such as the huge SouthernCrowned-pigeon, extirpated elsewhere byhunting, can still be seen in the vastexpanse of lowland tropical rainforest. Wehave three full days to explore by boat theFly and Elevara Rivers, searching forspecialities such as King Bird-of-paradise,Little Paradise and Hook-billed Kingfishers, Blue Jewel-babbler, VulturineParrot, Flame Bowerbird and Greater Bird-of-paradise. After three nights in Kiunga, we next driveto Tabubil, lying in the Ok Tedi Valleyamongst the Star Mountain foothills. Thisis the home of mid-altitude species suchas Magnificent Bird-of-paradise, Carola'sParotia (yet another B.o.P!), the localisedGolden-backed Whistler and the rare Greater Melampitta.After a short flight to Tari, we reach the grand finale of the tour, our two full days at the incomparable Ambua Lodge. Here we canfeast our eyes on Astrapias, Sicklebills,King of Saxony Bird-of-paradise and othermembers of this wonderful family, as wellas a host of other interesting species suchas Mountain Firetail, Orange-crownedFairy-wren, Blue-capped Ifrata, WattledPloughbill, and possibly even the elusiveNew Guinea Harpy Eagle. The lodge ispositioned at Tari Gap in the centralhighlands, the home of the Huli tribe or'wigmen' who paint their faces and wearexotic wigs made from their own hair,decorated with plumes from, yes, birds-of-paradise! All too soon we must fly back to PortMoresby, where any spare time can bespent sightseeing and shopping or visiting Pacific Adventists' College wherethe grounds hold a good variety ofwaterbirds and open country species suchas Fawn-breasted Bowerbird. We thentransfer to the airport for our return flightto London, via Singapore, after whatpromises to be an exciting andmemorable adventure.Papua New GuineaA 17-day birdwatching holiday to the magnificent forests of New Guinea insearch of the remarkable birds-of-paradise and other exotic species, togetherwith a glimpse of the unique culture of the indigenous Huli 'wigmen'.Sunday 25th August - Tuesday 10th September Cost: £7,995Sunday 8th September - Tuesday 24th September Cost: £7,995Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationPAPUANEW GUINEAVANIMOWEWAKADELBERTMOUNTAINSSTARMOUNTAINSMADANGTARIDARUPORTMORESBYMOUNTALBERTEDWARDFLY RIVERTABUBILKIUNGASEPIK RIVEROutline itineraryDay 1/2Depart London/in flight.Day 3Arrive Port Moresby.Transfer to VarirataNational Park.Day 4/5Varirata National Park. Day 6Kiunga Forest.Day 7/9Fly and Elevara Rivers.Day 10/12Tabubil Forest.Day 13/15Tari Gap, Star Mountains.Day 16Depart Port Moresby.Day 17Arrive London.AccommodationGenerally comfortable lodges andhotels, all with private facilities butEkame Lodge at Kiunga is verybasic.FoodAll included in the price. GradingA/B. The walking on this tour ismoderate rather than strenuous, buttravelling in PNG can bedemanding.FocusBirds and elements of local culture.LeaderTony Clarke, plus local guides.Single room supplement£800.Web quick search: PNG01 265Huli wigmenRaggiana Bird-of-paradiseAmbua Lodge

WILDLIFE CRUISESNot only do our oceans offer one of the last great wilderness areas left on our planet, but theygive us access to others such as the Arctic, Antarctic and Kamchatka, and the wonderfulwildlife that they support. Indeed, travelling by sea, on an expedition voyage, allows us to get wellaway from people, roads and cities, and hence access some of the very best of the world's wildlifespectacles. But, if your image of cruising is sun-loungers, swimming pools and bingo, think again! Thegoal of a Naturetrek cruise is to take you to enjoy wildlife in the wilderness, in the company ofadventurous like-minded companions, guided by our expert naturalists and expedition leaders.We have been running wildlife cruises for over 25 years now, and offer a range of wildlife cruisingexperiences across five continents, from exclusively chartered 50 to 80-berth ships to smaller motoryachts and schooners. Spectacular scenery, magnificent icebergs and glaciers, vast seabird colonies andthe icy realm of the penguin or Polar Bear await us in Antarctica and Spitsbergen. In the Galápagoswe offer a magical 2-week cruise, ideal for photographing the confiding birds, marine mammals andreptiles of this unique archipelago, whilst devotees of whale-watching will find our cruises around BajaCalifornia and the Maldives the realisation of their dreams. We also travel to the heart of rural Indiato voyage down the mighty Brahmaputra River, whilst other Naturetrek cruises offer you the chanceto enjoy the spectacular landscapes of Kamchatka, and some of the greatest seabird colonies on Earthamongst the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia."We had a wonderful holiday which far exceeded our expectations, especially seeing so many Polar Bears soclose in such beautiful surroundings."L.K., Leicestershire - Spitsbergen."The boat was immaculately clean, had a friendly and helpful crew, and the food was beyond all expectations.The itinerary was brilliant and the whales also beyond our expectations. It was a privilege to be able to touchGrey Whales and swim with Sea Lions, to name but two of the highlights."R.D., Cumbria - Baja, California."One of the most amazing experiences of my life."P.H., Yorkshire - The Galápagos Islands.266