Papuan Highlands

An Adventure Over the Remote Papuan Mountain Jungles Into the Rarely Visited Villages of the Last Penis Gourded Tribes-Dani, Lani and Yali

Papuan Highland Travel Itinerary May 2009


Day 1

Arrive jayapura early morning from Jakarta and arrange permit to visit Papua highlands-surat jalan at local police station in Jayapura (4 photos, copies of passport and form stating exact locations to be travelled to. Depart Jakarta to Jayapura. 
via Trigana Air. Arrive Wamena and register at Wamena Police Registration, Organize trek, find guides, porters, hotel in Wamena.

Day 2

Motor taxi  to Sogokmo village, about 40 minutes drive to the south. Arrival in Sogokmo, then cross Mugi river, follow the trail of the Dani from the riverside up to Hitugi and Yuarima. Both Hutigi and Yuarima lie on the higher altitude than Wamena. (Wamena is about 1,600 m above sea level).Pass through the hilly terrain of Dani home, on the left and the right side are the Dani gardens with sweet potatoes and taro plants. Visit a Dani festival along the way.  Walk today is about 10 hours. Arrival late in the afternoon in Yuarima and sleep in local village hut with family.

Day 3

Cross Mugi river and then climb to the higher altitude. Proceed to the border between the Dani and the Yali area. Yogosem and Kiroma are the closest Dani village to Yali area. Pass through the Dani gardens as well as some small forest where the Dani peoples took their wood for the house and for fire. Stay at the local house in Kiroma. Dani house called honai, round in shape, with a place for fire on the center. Pass through the highland forest dominated by trees and ferns. Meet the Yali peoples with their penis gourd and rattan hoop along the waist. Cross some rivers, walk along the riverside and climb the hilly terrain. Most of the walk is heading uphill. We are at the altitude of about 3,000 today. In the evening, the temperature can be ice cool and the wind blows very hard.  Difficult walk, heading to Swele camp / some local call this Swele hut. There is a small destination where the local hunter usually stay overnight in their hunting. Pass a highland swamp where some water birds usually seen. Difficult  muddy and wet trail. There are also soma small rivers to cross. The temperature is very cool up there. Stay at the hunter camp site. Approx. 12 hours of walk today. 

Day 4

Difficult trail from the mountain down to Yali home. Passing through some dense forest with tress and giant Pandanus tress which are used by the locals as food and building material. It is a 10 hour walk along the steep trail down to Solinggul, a village with about 30 – 40 traditional houses. There is a small school house here. Peoples at Solinggul (most of them) still wear grass skirt and penis gourd. Stay at the local school house in Solinggul.  

Day 5

Solinggul village perches on a small hill, overlooking another Yali village name Waniyok. We descend about 2 housr from Solinggol to Waniyok, (many kids usually come with us till the end of the village). Along the way is the Yali garden with taro and sweet potato plants.  Arrival at Waniyok, stay in old school house

Day 6-9

Stay in Waniyok, wait for Kent’s inured leg to heal, stay in old school house, teach local kids how to play baseball, visit locals. We tried to radio an emergency bush flight and every day we were told it might come if able.

Day 10

Proceed to Pronggoli. Pronggoli lies about 6 – 7 hours from Waniyok passing some small rivers, Yali garden, and forest till Pronggoli. About 30 minutes before Pronggoli, the trail will ascend after crossing Sule river. All the villages of Yali (Solinggol, Waniyok, and Pronggoli) lie on the western side of Yali. Sleep in schoolhouse

Day 11

After a night in Pronggoli, walk back to Wamena through the different trail. The locals in Pronggoli built some ladders (there were 6 ladders made of wood about 5 – 8 me length) on Mt. Elit wall to climb this mountain. The wall is very slippery and steep. crossing Mt. Elit slope in about 3 – 4 hours climb. . Proceed to Matik, another 3 hours walk, some muddy and wet trail. Stay overnight in cave on the side of the mountain.

Day 12-13

Another walk along the highland forest, but the walk is much easier, descend from Matik to Wonggol camp and Kali Mulik. The walk will be about 6 hours, still muddy and wet trail. There are also some rivers about 3 m width to cross. Wonggol is a meeting point of 2 trails. The one to the lefty will take peoples to Pronggoli and the one on the right will take peoples to Solinggul. Camp in the high mountains the first night and camp in the lower jungle forest on the 2nd night. 

Day 14

Walk back to road 12 hours and hitchhike until a vehicle is found to Wamena. In Wamena purchase air tickets for Trigana Air for the following day. Hotel in Wamena

Day 15

Trigana Air flight in morning to Jayapura. Getting to the land border from Jayapura, visit base of McArthur from WWII, Jayapura hotel

Day 16-17

Depart to Jakarta for one night, Sultan Hotel, depart to LAX