• Dore Atri
  • Triton Bay divers
  • Baliem
  • Baliem
  • Baliem
  • Korowai
  • Korowai
  • Manta

Tour module round trip 8 days Adventurous Papua - the Korowai

The Korowai tour module is our most adventurous round trip. In a mixture of short flights, boat trips and sometimes tough walks you cross the jungle to the Korowai tribes that live high above the ground in tree houses.

You sleep in small tents and sometimes in local primitive accommodations. Besides a guide you will also be accompanied by porters and a cook during your trip.
You need to be in good physical condition and have a great deal of adaptability as you will get into not everyday situations.

The round trip starts and ends in Jayapura. If you wish you can add the Baliem valley tour module to (before or after) your Korowai round trip.

Target prices

€ 2,060 p.p. based on 2 participants
€ 1,970 p.p. based on 4 participants
• All transport over land by car including transfers from and to the airports
• All meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
• 2 hotel overnight stays in Dekai
• 5 overnight stays in tents
• English speaking guide
• Porters and cook
• Motorboat Korowai
• Ceremonies at the Korowai
• Travel permit (bring copies of your passport and passport photos)
• Entrance fees and donations
• All activities in program
. Flights Jayapura-Dekai-Jayapura

Not included:
•Tips and personal expenses
•Travel and cancellation insurance
•Booking fee and contribution Calamiteitenfonds €30 per booking

Day 1 Arrival Jayapura and transit to Dekai

Vanaf Jayapura airport vliegt u met Trigana airlines naar Dekai, een vlucht van iets minder dan een uur. Bij aankomst in Dekai. Dekai is na de grotere autonomie van de provincie Papua aan het moderniseren en de Manimo stam is inmiddels redelijk geciviliseerd. Terwijl de gids de laatste voorbereidingen treft heeft u de middag vrij te besteden. Overnachting in simpel hotel.

Filght Jayapura-Wamena-Dekai-Wamena-Jayapura

Flight with Trigana Air 5 Daily departures in the morning from Jayapura: Max weight: 10 kg. Extra weight ca € 5 per kg to be paid on the spot NB: Trigana Air figures on the list of flight companies that are not allowed to fly in European airspace.

Day 2 A day on the Brazza river

After breakfast, on the back of a motorcycle over a bad road you’ll be driven to the ‘port’ of Lopon. Here starts the trip of around 7 hours over the Brazza river. On our way we stop at some villages of the Citak Mitak tribes. They live along the river on fish and what the jungle behind their huts has to offer. Since there is more 'traffic' on the Brazza river these tribes have been westernising too and they often wear normal clothes. In the afternoon we arrive in Muara Siretz. We overnight in the village in tents.

Day 3 Trekking to the Korowai

The last boat trip takes four hours and then we reach the village Mabul. This is the first village of the Korowai that we visit. While the guide is announcing our visit to the chief of the tribe and arranges some porters we’ve got time to have a look around the village. The Korowai in Mabul work as farmers or hunters. Together with the porters we walk at a quiet pace in about three hours to the Korowai villages in the jungle. In every village we have to negotiate with the chief. If he accepts our presents we are allowed to enter the domain and you will sit amid the local people, as if you had travelled centuries back in time. Overnight stay in a tent (if you wish in a tent in a treehouse).

Day 4 Living with the Korowai

We spend two full days experiencing daily life with the Korowai. You can join them when they go hunting or for the sago harvest. The jungle is here warm and swampy. Sago is the primary food resource and is complemented with fish and meat, from the hunting. And of course fruit and vegetables from the jungle.

Day 5 Living with the Korowai

Another day among this primitive tribe. You’ll be invited to the sago harvest or catch fish. Of course you’ll also witness their traditional dances and music. The people here enjoy themselves as much as you do.

Day 6 Back to Mabul

We say goodbye to the Korowai in the jungle and walk and sail back to Mabul

Day 7 Brazza river to Dekai

In reversed order we now sail a full day against the current. In the late afternoon we arrive in Lopon, where you get on the back of the motorcycle again and will be driven to Dekai.

Day 8 Flight back to Wamena or Jayapura

Around midday we fly from Dekai back to Wamena or Jayapura. The end of a very special round trip.

Korowai region


The Korowai, also called Kolufo, are the people who live in southeast Papua, the southeastern part of West New Guinea. They number about 3000. It is possible that the Korowai were unaware of the existence of any people besides themselves, before outsiders made contact with them in 1970.
Some sources say this group belongs to one of the few peoples that until today have practised cannibalism. Other sources contradict this and say cannibalism hasn’t been practised anymore for 20 years now.

The term Korowai is a Malaysian derivation of the name Kolufo, refers more to commonality in language, than to tribe unity. The patriarch is for the Korowai themselves the relevant unity if it’s about self-identification. These Papua people, from subdistrict Kouh in the southern district Merauke of the Indonesian province Papua, live between the islands and the upperstream of the Beckingrivier.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Living on the rhythm of the Sago palm

Without the sago palm the Korowai would be lost. This palm tree is not only used for the construction of their houses, it’s also their main food. Sago is a sort of flour made from the pulp of the sago palm. It’s a very laborious process. One family uses one tree per week! So, when there are no sago palms left the tribe has to move. The sago palm that provided food and construction material is finally used as fuel. The Korowai hunt (e.g. wild pig and Kasuaris) and fish, with arrows they make themselves.

Korowai customs


The treehouses can reach heights up from 12 to 50 meters. The bark of the sago palm is used for the wooden floor and walls, and its leaves for the roof. The frame of the house is made of branches which are tied together with straw. To climb to the house they suspend a ladder made of a dry trunk in which notches are cut. This ladder trembles by each step and warns the occupants that a visitor is coming. Because of their small and muscular body the Korowai easily climb trees.

A marriage is often an occasion to build a new house. Even the families from neighbouring tribes come over to help.
Hostility towards strangers

Some Korowai-tribes refuse receiving white people and are hostile towards strangers. Arrows sometimes fly over the heads. Other tribes, living closer to the city, gave up their traditional equipment and receive tourists. But it is almost impossible to go there unannounced.

Entirely in accordance with their tradition the Korowai wear strange jewels. Their nose is pierced with the bone of a kasuaris-wing. Some also have special marks on their face and braids from sago palm fibres.
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