Get smokin’ hot on a volcano safariPapua New Guinea
Smouldering volcanos and mummies sound more like what you’d find on the set of an Indiana Jones film rather than an island holiday, but a trip to remote Papua New Guinea offers more than snorkelling and beautiful beaches – although it has plenty of those, too. Head to Rabaul, on the island of New Britain, for a two-week volcano-viewing adventure with filmmaker and photojournalist Ulla Lohmann and climbing instructor Basti Hofmann. This once bustling city was destroyed by violent eruptions more than 20 years ago, and while soot-covered ruins remain, so does a resilient community.
Learn about the region’s seismic activity with a volcanologist, meet local foragers who gather megapode eggs buried two metres under volcanic ash, and spend your nights in simple guesthouses and tents pitched within view of the chugging cone. For one night you’ll sleep on a deserted island surrounded by an incredible reef, where you’ll practise your sunset photography and capture shots of the Milky Way. Jet back to Lae on the mainland for the second week and travel into the jungle to see the mummies of the Anga clan. In remote villages the bodies of the deceased are smoked for up to 30 days to preserve their flesh and are then cared for to ensure their spirits don’t misbehave. Toward the end of your trip you’ll bid sunlight goodbye and enter a vast limestone cave full of stalagmites, rock paintings and a burial ledge scattered with remains. It’s an experience unlike any you’ve ever imagined, and one you’ll never forget.
- There’s nothing quite like delving deep into the history of a city – especially one with a past as incredible and resilient as this
- Feeling the immense power of the earth spewing forth from an active volcano
- Snapping awesome shots of a destination few have ever been – you know they’re going to want proof – using your newly learned techniques
- If you are looking for a little bit of R&R, this is not the trip for you
- You’ll always need to expect the unexpected, which might not suit those who don’t like to be kept on their toes
This two-week trip costs about US$4620 and includes scientific lectures and photo workshops, meals, domestic flights and accommodation.