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Mount Hagen is the capital city, and a bustling commercial centre where wealth from coffee and tea plantations has brought rapid change to traditional life style.

Set in the large Wahgi Valley, with its neat villages, gardens, coffee plantations and groves of casuarinas, this busy town has a feel of the wild west about it.

The market, located at the corner of Wahgi Parade and Kum Road, is the place to see colourfully attired locals, particularly on Saturdays. Walks and treks can be taken from the town through forest, or to visit villages and planatations, or you can take longer and more demanding hikes, for instance, to Mount Hagen or Mount Kubor. The Baiyer River Wildlife Sanctuary, north of Mount Hagen, is one of the best places to see Papua New Guinea’s colourful birds of paradise.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

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

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

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 £8,845 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

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 £7,095 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Reefs & Highlands of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea resonates as a land of amazing birdlife and unparalleled natural beauty. This introduction to its highlights combines the richness of the underwater world with the biodiversity of the highlands and rainforest, and the fantastic plumage of birds of paradise with colourful local tribes.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,995 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Kumul Lodge

Kumul Lodge is one of Papua New Guinea's best-known eco-tourism lodges. Constructed entirely from local materials, it is owned and managed by local people, and your stay here directly contributes to the preservation of the surrounding forest for some of the most beautiful and unusual birds in the world.

Rondon Ridge Lodge

Located a short drive from Mount Hagen, this hotel offers magnificent mountain views, and all 12 rooms have 180 degree views. The surrounding area is home to ten species of birds of paradise and numerous orchids, and walking trails from the lodge make it easy to get out and see the area’s unique ecology.