7 recommended wildlife locations. The species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.

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 in the Sepik area 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, Birdwatching

Mount Hagen

The Mount Hagen area is the home of the Melpa people, a people with a strong culture, who in the face of westernisation, still live largely traditional subsistence lifestyles. From the lowland rainforest, to alpine grasslands, and the shrouded misty peaks, Western Highlands Province is a land of colour and vibrancy.

  • 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

Baptised ‘The Papuan Wonderland’ by explorers who discovered these hidden mountain valleys only in 1935, so that it was among the last areas in Papua New Guinea to be explored. This spectacular region is characterised by lush, high valleys sandwiched between towering limestone peaks and the roaring headwaters of several rivers.

  • 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 south-western corner of 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 line 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 on land and underwater.

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

Western Highlands

This province covers a surface area of 4,300 square kilometres, and despite having a population of only just over one quarter of a million inhabitants is the most densely populated province in the country. From its mist-shrouded peaks and alpine grasslands to its lowland rainforests, Western Highlands is a land of colour and vibrancy.

  • 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

1 recommended location for extending your wildlife trip.

Port Moresby

At some time during your visit to Papau New Guinea you will either need, or want, to stay over in Port Moresby. We can 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.

2 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you, but our strength is in tailoring your itinerary.

Life in the Forest

Introducing Papua New Guinea’s rainforests, staying on the Karawari River in East Sepik Province and in the Western Highlands provides good opportunities to explore these contrasting habitats.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 10 days

Birding in Paradise

An ideal location for birders, Papua New Guinea’s forests are home to a remarkable range of 700 species that includes 38 of the world’s 43 birds of paradise.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 13 days

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


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