Koroway Adventure & Baliem Valley

rickardI traveled with Jefalgi Papua Tours to the Koroway people and to Baliem valley in July 2015.

I wanted to go somewhere off the beaten track and found out about the Koroway people after some research. Further googling revealed that it was difficult to get there with very few tour operators – with Jefalgi the only one I found that was recommended online. The e-mail conversations with Athan was easy and he provided good and timely answers to all and any requests.

I arrived in Sentani the day before the trip was due to start and had an extra day to adjust to the time difference. Athan and his driver picked me up at the hotel on the following morning for the short drive to the airport. We left the excess luggage in Sentani before we jumped on the plane to Dekai.

We were met by our tour guide, Olfied, upon arrival in Dekai. I guess it was easy for him to spot us as we were a head taller than everyone else on the plane…One night on a simple hotel in Dekai before we jumped on a speed boat to take us into the Koroway territory. After 8 hours/180 kilometers on the meandring rivers we arrived at Mabul where we spent one night in a local villagers house.

We spent in total 5 nights in the jungle with the Koroway people. The hikes between the villages where on swampy trails walking on logs – hence proper high rubber boots are strongly recommended unless you walk barefoot as the locals. In order to preserve the Koroway way of life it is recommended to not bring too many Western conveniences as gifts, but in stead bring tobacco and cigarettes that are consumed instantly. After our trek through the jungle we took the same way out through Mabul and Dekai before jumping on a plane to Baliem Valley.

Baliem Valley:
We spent three nights in Baliem Valley region where the highlight was the culture festival where all the local tribes get together for a massive role play and performance. On our second day we were supposed to do a hike to some villages but unfortunately our tour guide got sick and we had to cut it short. In stead we went to see the mummy in the afternoon, which basically is a tourist trap intended to make money for the local family.

I strongly recommend Jefalgi papua Tours as the trip they arranged was very professional and convenient. The professionalism also made me feel safe and secure in my dealings with Athan beforehand. Rickard, Sweden (July 2015)