What to Expect – Day to Day Experiences
You are embarking on an adventure in a place and amongst people whose lives are very different from your own. Many aspects of life in PNG will seem unusual. Remember that these are often the same aspects that make an area an exotic and attractive destination. While boat expeditions are considered easy, no trek is easy, even those rated “easy or moderate”. In addition to the personal physical challenges you may face, travel conditions can present unexpected obstacles, such as rough and bumpy roads and changeable weather. To prepare for this “pack” a flexible and relaxed attitude. Bring a spirit of adventure and inquiry, a healthy sense of humor and a willingness to encounter the unexpected and you will find your trip to PNG the adventure of a lifetime!
All visitors to PNG require a Tourist Visa, which is valid for 60 days. You will need a valid passport, proof of sufficient funds for your stay and an onward airline ticket with confirmed bookings. This can be done directly with the PNG Consulate or through your travel agent. A visa should be obtained prior to arriving in PNG. Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date. Departure tax is included in your international air ticket.
Kayaking Fitness and Pre-Expedition Training
All kayakers must make special efforts to get in top physical condition for the trip they have signed for. Every participant should consult a physician well before the expedition date and make sure that they do not suffer from any chronic heart, lungs, cerebral, physical or any other serious illness. We can take no legal responsiblAs their service provider and hosts we will take all necessary steps needed to evacuate injured or ill clients on the understanding that all costs involved will be paid to us before leaving the country (see Insurance).
PRE-EXPEDITION TRAINING We advise all participants that they should kayak as much as possible before the expedition. If you are a novice at sea kayaking, do not worry. We suggest you find a local kayak outfitter that can rent craft on a daily basis, or purchase a simple craft so that you can build the appropriate muscles for the expedition.
Health & Vaccinations
No vaccinations are required for entry to PNG. However you should consider cholera, typhoid and hepatitis vaccinations and make sure your tetanus cover is up to date. Please consult your doctor on these matters. Plan ahead for getting your vaccinations. Some of them require an initial shot followed by a booster, while some vaccinations should not be given together. This also applies to some malaria prophylactics, which have to be begun at least a week before you leave home.
Adequate travel insurance is mandatory for everyone who participates in a Pioneer expedition. Please bring a copy of your insurance policy and contact numbers to give to your expedition leader in case of illness or accident. Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance is mandatory for all kayakers. Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you for any non-recoverable air or land expenses should you have to cancel your trip due to personal or family illness or leave the expedition early due to other reasons. It will also cover any emergency medical evacuation expenses should you become ill during the expedition. We strongly recommend that you take out baggage loss and accident insurance.
MONEY The currency in PNG is the Kina (K). Exchange rates vary depending on the strength of the US dollar. Cash and travelers’ checks are readily accepted and can be exchanged for Kina at the airport, hotels or banks in any major city. Credit cards such as American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted in many hotels, shops and restaurants in major towns and cities. Bankcard is not accepted in PNG. For spending money while on expedition it is best to have money in local currency (K). The best place to exchange is at the Port Moresby airport. You do not need to buy Kina before you depart.
If you would like to show your appreciation to the local team you may show it by providing a tip. A usual tip is approximately 80 Kina or $35 though this is at your discretion. Please mention particular team members for good or bad performance to the Australian Guide if present. The local team also appreciates gifts. If you like you can give them shoes and clothing at the end of the expedition.
We have a social, cultural and environmental conscience! It is vitally important that travel has a positive impact on the social, cultural and environmental aspects of the places we visit. We ensure that when you visit places with us, your presence will help those that live there, that their culture will be respected and that the environment at the very least will not be harmed.
Social Policy – We believe in fair pay for fair work. That is why our local teams are not only paid above market wages (usually these market wages are below standard), but are fed well and equipped well for your expedition. You will see the difference as our teams remain highly motivated and ready to serve you on expedition.
Cultural Policy – All societies have their own rules, borne out of generations of cultural development. We are not here to change these directly, but to witness them and appreciate them as another form of human existence. While on expedition, we will respect local cultures, those developed out of religion or social norms. We ask you to respect these to, as they are no better or worse than our own.
Environmental Policy – There are many aspects to the issue of the environmental impact of travel. Flying to the destination, accommodation, food preparation and human waste control. Each of these is covered either directly by our own environmental policy or we ask you to assist by for example, offsetting your carbon emissions to get to your destination. While on expedition we will offset all your carbon emissions. We try to use eco friendly accommodation where possible. Food is bought and prepared locally. We try to use fresh produce as much as possible. All non biodegradable material is packed and brought back to main metropolitan centres for correct disposal.
Human waste is a major problem when travelling. It can impact on the environment directly. We attempt to dispose of this waste as effectively and sensitively as possible. We will inform you on how you can help with this goal. We are currently looking to install eco toilets where appropriate in PNG.
Services of a local guide – All our local guides have been carefully selected for their ability and temperament. Each guide has training and proven abilities in ecofriendly methods, safety and, careful trek operations, keeping the health and happiness of the paddlers as well his crew, uppermost. Your guide will be a friend and companion, who takes pleasure in showing you his/her country’s specialties and, perhaps, meet his/her home and family too.
Accommodation -While many of our expeditions use tents to accommodate clients, ourother forms of accommodation – hotels and guest houses are always clean and comfortable. On this expedition we use tents and the best eco-friendly hotel in Kavieng. The process of eco-friendly lodgings is a slow one in PNG, however we encourages those establishments that recycle and obtain power through wind or the sun. We try to use these places as much as possible and continually reinforce this to all our local contacts.
Papua New Guinea Weather
PNG has a very variable climate. The wet season is generally December – March, dry season May – October. June to September are cooler and drier so are probably the best times of year to visit. It is generally hot and humid all year.