"Through the Lens: Exploring the Tribal Treasures of the Sepik River"
Iatmul Tribe: The Iatmul people reside along the Sepik River and are known for their distinct artistry, including intricately carved wooden masks and sculptures. Chambri Tribe: The Chambri tribe is renowned for their unique face painting traditions, often using vibrant colors and geometric patterns. Abelam Tribe: The Abelam people are skilled artisans known for their intricate yam cult masks, which play a significant role in their cultural and spiritual practices. Kwoma Tribe: The Kwoma tribe is recognized for their vibrant and elaborate body painting designs, which they showcase during important ceremonies and rituals. Yatmam Tribe: The Yatmam tribe is known for their skillful pottery making and distinctive pottery designs, reflecting their rich cultural heritage. Maprik Tribe: The Maprik tribe is celebrated for their ceremonial dancing and vibrant costumes adorned with feathers, shells, and traditional ornaments.
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Embark on an extraordinary photographic journey through the vibrant cultural tapestry of Papua New Guinea’s Sepik River region. This immersive expedition offers a unique opportunity to document the lives, traditions, and mesmerizing beauty of the local tribes residing along the banks of the mighty Sepik River.
With a focus on capturing the essence of these indigenous communities, this adventure is tailored for passionate photographers seeking to tell compelling visual stories. Over the course of twelve exhilarating days, you will have the privilege to photograph the diverse tribes and their ancient rituals, both in natural settings and within the controlled environment of studio background photo shoots.
David Van Driessche
David Van Driessche, also known as David Dennis, is a travel photographer with a flair for capturing eye-catching photographs of places and people. Originally from Belgium, David studied photography and film in Europe and worked as a tourism product manager in the 1990s, where he traveled the world photographing some of the finest hotels and resorts around the globe. Eventually, he settled in Thailand and has since explored much of Asia over the past 20 years, photographing destinations and leading hotels in countries such as Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia, and China.
Welcome to Wewak, the gateway to an extraordinary photographic adventure! Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted and transferred to your hotel. Take this time to rest and prepare for the incredible journey ahead. Get your camera gear ready, as we’ll be embarking on a remarkable expedition to capture the vibrant cultures of Papua New Guinea.
Start the day by exploring the colorful markets of Wewak, capturing the bustling atmosphere and vibrant displays of local produce. Engage with the friendly locals and document their daily activities as they go about their routines. Find intriguing compositions that showcase the unique essence of Wewak’s cultural heritage
Embark on a scenic journey to the Sepik River, where we’ll encounter fascinating tribes and breathtaking landscapes. Along the way, keep an eye out for picturesque scenes that serve as perfect backdrops for your subjects. Capture the verdant forests, meandering river, and the serenity of the surrounding environment.
Arriving in Kaminabit, it’s time to photograph the local tribes against the stunning backdrop of the Sepik River. Set up your portable studio and collaborate with the tribespeople to create captivating portraits that showcase their unique beauty and cultural expressions. Experiment with different lighting techniques and capture their stories through the lens.
As we journey through the Blackwaters, seize the opportunity to photograph the riverside communities and their way of life. Capture candid moments of villagers fishing, engaging in daily chores, or sharing stories by the riverbanks. The reflective and tranquil nature of the Blackwaters offers a captivating backdrop for your images.
Today marks the beginning of the Sepik River Crocodile and Arts Festival. Capture the vibrant festivities, documenting the intricate body paintings, elaborate costumes, and captivating dances performed by the tribes. Immerse yourself in this celebration of culture and photograph the rich tapestry of traditions coming to life.
Utilize this day to delve deeper into the festival’s photographic opportunities. Seek out tribal members who are willing to participate in intimate portrait sessions, allowing you to capture their individuality and unique stories. Engage with the locals, gain their trust, and let their authentic expressions shine through your photographs.
Today, we’ll venture to Ambunti Village, known for its breathtaking landscapes and diverse tribal communities. Capture the ethereal beauty of this region, framed by the Sepik River and lush surroundings. Engage with the tribes, photographing their daily activities, traditional practices, and rituals against the backdrop of this awe-inspiring setting.
Today, we’ll dedicate our time to capturing the cultural expressions of the tribes through studio background photo shoots. Create a controlled environment where the focus is solely on the individuals and their traditional attire. Experiment with different props and backdrops to enhance the visual narrative, allowing their stories to unfold in a captivating manner.
As our time in the Sepik River region comes to an end, spend this day bidding farewell to the tribes and capturing their final moments. Document the preparations, ceremonies, and heartfelt goodbyes, encapsulating the emotions that arise from the connection you’ve forged with the communities. Preserve these memories through your photographs, creating lasting impressions of this extraordinary experience.
Return to Wewak, reflecting on the incredible journey you’ve undertaken to photograph the local tribes along the Sepik River. Take this day to review and organize your photographs, reliving the encounters and stories you’ve documented. Engage in discussions with fellow photographers, sharing insights and inspirations that have emerged from this extraordinary cultural immersion.
On the final day, depart from Wewak with a sense of fulfillment and a treasure trove of captivating images. Your photographs serve as a visual testament to the rich cultural heritage of Papua New Guinea’s tribes. As you say goodbye to this enchanting land, carry the memories of the tribes, their stories, and the beauty you’ve captured through your lens, knowing that your photographs will preserve their legacy for generations to come.
Note: This itinerary is designed to emphasize photography opportunities with the local tribes and includes dedicated time for studio background photo shoots. However, please ensure to respect and honor the cultural sensitivities and practices of the communities while capturing their images.
OPTIONS & BENEFITS
Accommodation: Comfortable accommodation throughout the trip, including hotels in Wewak and guesthouses along the Sepik River.
Transportation: Airport transfers and transportation between locations as mentioned in the itinerary.
Meals: Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner, providing a taste of local cuisine and ensuring you are well-nourished throughout the journey.
English-Speaking Guide: An experienced English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the trip, providing valuable insights and assistance.
Photographic Guidance: Expert guidance and tips from professional photographers to enhance your photography skills and help you capture the best shots of the tribes and landscapes.
Cultural Interactions: Opportunities to interact with the local tribes, participate in cultural activities, and gain a deeper understanding of their traditions and way of life.
Festival Access: Entry to the Sepik River Crocodile and Arts Festival, allowing you to witness and photograph the vibrant celebrations and cultural performances.
Studio Background Photo Shoots: Dedicated time for studio background photo shoots, allowing you to capture the cultural expressions of the tribes in a controlled environment.
Photography Discussions: Engage in discussions with fellow photographers, sharing insights, inspirations, and reviewing your photographs to enhance your skills.
Airport Transfers: Transfers between the airport and the hotel at the beginning and end of the trip.
International Flights: The cost of international flights to and from Papua New Guinea is not included in the trip package. Travelers are responsible for arranging their own international airfare.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance, including medical, trip cancellation/interruption, and baggage insurance, is not included. It is recommended to have appropriate travel insurance coverage for the duration of the trip.
Visa Fees: Any visa fees or travel permits required for entry into Papua New Guinea are not included in the trip package. Travelers are responsible for obtaining the necessary visas and permits.
Personal Expenses: Any personal expenses such as souvenirs, additional meals or snacks, alcoholic beverages, laundry services, and telephone calls are not included in the trip package.
Optional Activities: Any optional activities, excursions, or tours not specifically mentioned in the itinerary are not included. These may include additional cultural experiences, adventure activities, or visits to specific sites.
Tips and Gratuities: Tips or gratuities for guides, drivers, hotel staff, and other service providers are not included. Tipping is at the discretion of the traveler and based on their satisfaction with the service.
Vaccinations and Medications: The cost of vaccinations, medications, or any other medical requirements or consultations before or during the trip are not included. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional regarding necessary vaccinations and medications for travel to Papua New Guinea.
EXTRA: PRIVATE GUIDE SERVICE DURING THE WHOLE TRIP: 350 USD
Accommodation along the Sepik River: As we venture into the Sepik River region, the accommodation shifts to guesthouses and lodges that offer a more authentic experience. Please note that in some guesthouses along the Sepik River, there may be limited or no access to electricity. It’s advisable to bring portable power banks or spare batteries to ensure you can charge your camera equipment. However, some guesthouses may have limited generator-powered electricity available during specific hours of the day.
Shower Facilities: While most guesthouses along the Sepik River have shower facilities, it’s important to note that the availability of hot water can vary. In some cases, due to the remote nature of the locations, hot water may not be consistently available. However, guesthouses usually provide alternative bathing options, such as bucket showers, where you can manually heat water for bathing., also you will have internet access. (For Phone access you need to pay extra SIM card at the airport)
Due to unforeseen events the organizers can change the program during the execution of the trip. We will do our best to follow the program and include all events mentioned. We make plans to cover most problems should they arise, which is very seldom, but the visitor must be aware of the small possibility of plans not working out as per schedule and accept this warning.
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We ask for a deposit of 50% to be paid. As soon as we have the deposit your booking reservation is confirmed. The deposit is non-refundable but valid for next year’s trip to join.
We ask for the final balance of payment 2 months before the expedition commences.
Cancellation within 3 weeks of the commencement of the expedition incurs a penalty of 100% of monies paid to date. Payments can be done by international bank transfers in EU, USA or Thailand (Asia).
PNG companies can make a deposit to a local bank directly to the Resorts.
Instructions will be given at the time of booking.
– Please bring warm clothing for the evenings.
– Mosquito spray and nets are recommended
– Extra money can be changed at the airport upon arrival
– Sim card possible to buy at POM airport the company to choose is DIGICELL
– You need a passport valid for 6 months + VISA application and approved VISA
– At the airports you need a printed version of all your vaccinations (this might change in 2023)