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The Tari Valley is the home of the Huli people, a proud tribal group who still live largely as their ancestors once did. The Huli Wigmen, so called on account of their ornate ceremonial wigs, are one of Papua New Guinea's most recognisable cultures, whose song and dance is based on the mating ritual of birds of paradise.

For the majority of villagers around Tari, life remained largely unchanged until the start of the 21st century. However the discovery of natural gas and mineral reserves brought a sudden and unexpected increase in wealth, and the resulting economic and commercial activity has thrust Tari abruptly into the 21st century.

Some deeply-embedded social and tribal structures are being rapidly forgotten, however this is one of the few remaining areas where people adhere fiercely to their ancestral beliefs, and where a man’s wealth and importance is still measured by the quantity of pigs, wives and land that he is able to amass. Any encounter with the flamboyant Huli is bound to be memorable!

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Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: crested bird of paradise, short-tailed paradigalia, ribbon-tailed astrapia, Lawe’s parotia, King of Saxony bird of paradise
  • Where: Central Highlands, Papua New Guinea

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Culture & Birds of Paradise Photography

Join award-winning wildlife photographer Bret Charman in Papua New Guinea, and visit three of the country’s finest bird and wildlife locations. Take in lowland and montane rainforests, with enchanting cultural exchanges and festivals that offer compelling, colourful insights and photographic potential.

  • When to go: Jun-Jul
  • Duration inc. flights: 19 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £11,695 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

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 £8,945 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Ambua Lodge

Ambua is an award-winning, eco-friendly lodge set in a spectacular mountain landscape, with magnificent views of the Tari Valley. The lodge is a world-renowned birding destination, with over 200 species having been identified in the area, and knowledgeable local birding guides cater for all levels of interest.