Wildlife locations

11 recommended locations. Species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.

East New Britain

One of the few places in the world where you can get up close and personal with an active volcano; Rabaul is built on the crest of dormant Mount Tavurvur, and has one of the world’s deepest harbours. Rabaul is also known for its scuba diving and snorkeling sites and its diverse flora and fauna.

  • Where: East New Britain Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Orange-footed scrubfowl, Blue-eyed cockatoo, Southern cassowary, Papuan frogmouth , Emperor fairywren

Highlands & Sepik River

At 1,126 kilometres, the Sepik River is Papua New Guinea's equivalent to the Amazon and it is the people of the Sepik that makes this region an exciting and fascinating place to visit. Life revolves around the river, and locals are unique in their belief in the spirit world with its mythical stories and rituals.

  • Where: Central Highlands
  • Ideal for viewing: Dwarf cassowary, Gurney’s eagle, Twelve-wired bird of paradise, King bird of paradise, White-eared catbird
  • Excellent for: River safaris

Mount Hagen

The Mount Hagen area is the home of the Melpa people, a people with a strong culture, who still live largely traditional subsistence lifestyles. From the lowland rainforest to alpine grasslands, it is a land of colour and vibrancy and one of the best places to see Papua New Guinea’s birds of paradise.

  • Where: Western Highlands
  • Ideal for viewing: King of Saxony bird of paradise, Macgregor’s bowerbird, Stephanie’s astrapia, Loria’s bird of paradise, Huon tree kangaroo
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Southern Highlands

This spectacular region is characterised by lush, high valleys sandwiched between towering limestone peaks and several roaring rivers. Due to its isolation, the province is home to New Guinea’s most fascinating tribal culture, and you can also find a fascinating range of birds, including several species of birds-of-paradise.

  • Where: Southern Highlands
  • Ideal for viewing: Great woodswallow, Short-tailed paradigalia, Blue bird of paradise, Black sicklebill, Papuan king parrot
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Tari Valley

Also home to the flamboyant Huli people, the Tari Valley is a utopia of pristine, mid-montane jungle, a birdwatcher's paradise! An eiderdown of interlocking tree tops, with splashes of colour from high altitude orchids. Nature trails take you across traditional vine bridges, tracing clear mountain streams to secluded waterfalls.

  • Where: Central Highlands
  • Ideal for viewing: Crested bird of paradise, Short-tailed paradigalia, Ribbon-tailed astrapia, Lawe’s parotia, King of Saxony bird of paradise
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Tonda Wildlife Management Area

Located in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea, the Tonda Wildlife Management Area is a wetland of international importance and the largest protected area in the country. It has a diversity of birdlife, with 250 species of resident and migratory birds, including most of the world’s population of little curlew.

  • Where: Western Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Little curlew, Bronze quoll, Chestnut dunnart, False water rat, Spectacled hare-wallaby
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Tufi & Milne Bay

From Tufi, on the mainland, wonderful arrays of sponge and shelf corals cover the walls of the tropical rainforest fjord, and beautiful white sandy beaches line the coast. Milne Bay is situated between the Solomon and Coral Seas, and offers a profusion of marine growth. The entire region is littered with wrecks.

  • Where: Oro Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Eclectus parrot, New Guinea harpy eagle, Channel-billed cuckoo, Papuan harrier, Variable goshawk

West New Britain - Kimbe Bay

Kimbe, the capital of the West New Britain province, is situated on the north side of the island on the spectacular Kimbe Bay, which boasts over 60 percent of the coral species of the entire Indo-Pacific. Inland, plentiful endemic birds such as blue-eyed cockatoo, can be found.

  • Where: Bismarck Archipelago
  • Ideal for viewing: Melanesian scrubfowl , Bismarck kingfisher , Red-knobbed imperial pigeon, Blyth's hornbill, Eclectus parrot
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Western Highlands

This province covers a surface area of 4,300 square kilometres. Home to the world’s largest population of birds-of-paradise, the rainforest habitat houses an abundance of wildlife of all sorts. It is traversed by a number of well-maintained trails, making it one of the most pleasant locations for hiking in the highlands.

  • Where: Western Highlands
  • Ideal for viewing: Ribbon-tailed astrapia, Brown sicklebill, Crested satinbird, Crested berrypecker, Blue bird of paradise
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

New Ireland – Kavieng

Kavieng, the capital of Papua New Guinea's New Ireland province, is known for its ancient Malagan culture, breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches and prolific dive sites, which include both natural sites and also a number of wrecks dating back from the Second World War.

  • Excellent for: Beach stay, History & culture

Port Moresby

At some time during your visit to Papau New Guinea you will need or want to stay over in Port Moresby, the central hub of this very remote and fascinating country. We offer a choice of centrally located hotels or if you have a couple of days to spare, head out of the city to Loloata Island.

  • Excellent for: City stopover

Wildlife trips

Papua New Guinea is the world’s second largest island and a land of contrasts. From dense rainforests and mountain peaks, to huge river systems and pristine coral atolls. Home to an array of wildlife such as; tree kangaroos, bandicoots and spiny anteaters, and an unparalleled variety of bird species, including 38 of the world’s 43 birds of paradise.

2 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Life in the Forest

Visit Papua New Guinea’s huge expanse of rainforests, staying on the Karawari River in East Sepik Province and in the Western Highlands. Based in excellent wilderness lodges and flying between locations, explore the contrasting habitats and diverse indigenous populations of this fascinating country.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,995 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Birding in Paradise

An ideal location for birders, Papua New Guinea’s forests are home to a remarkable 700 species that includes 38 of the world’s 43 birds of paradise. Based in excellent remote wilderness lodges, knowledgeable local guides will introduce you to the country's extraordinary wealth of culture and wildlife.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 16 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,595 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

When to go

The dry season (May to October) is not well demarcated. Rainfall is generally heavy but varies widely – wet means that it’s simply more likely to rain, dry that it’s less likely.


  • Wet season

    Nov to Apr: Normally from from November to March, but can extend into November and April. Typhoons are a regular feature on the coast.
  • Dry season

    May to Oct: Although rarely too hot, humidity is high all year round. Cooler in the mountains, especially at night.

Wildlife events

  • Apr to Dec: Breeding season for Raggiana bird of paradise – Papua New Guinea’s national bird


Wildlife cruise vessels

1 recommended wildlife cruise vessel.

Sepik Spirit

Sepik Spirit is a tourist vessel which cruises the Karawari River – a tributary of the Sepik River - and the Krosmeri River, allowing entry to the Blackwater Lakes and its stilt villages. Explore the river and its tributaries looking for birdlife, and visit Spirit Houses for an insight into local culture.


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