No Papua New Guinea Tour would be complete without visiting Ambua Lodge located at 7000 feet in the Papua New Guinea Southern Highlands. It is a great mix of local architecture, with spectacular views and modest luxury, well off the beaten track.
This area overlooks the Tari valley and is the home of the Huli clan with their human hair wigs.
Ambua Lodge has a formidable award winning reputation for ecological responsible tourism, so if you are an avid supporter of eco lodges, and what they stand for, then this Papua New Guinea vacation will be for you. Situated at the edge of the rainforest at the beginning of the valley grasslands which means an incredible number of birds can be spotted here.
Not only birds because this is one of the few places left anywhere that men and women can be seen wearing their traditional dress as part of their daily lives, and a man’s wealth is determined by the number of wives he has, and the number of pigs he possesses!!
This is a great place for botanists, orchids and bird spotting.
With an altitude of the 7000 feet the surroundings of Ambua Lodge do allow the visitor to discover high altitude rhododendrons and orchids alongside nature trails, vine bridges, and crashing waterfalls.
Ambua Lodge itself is very impressive and it has a main building which is like a large room containing the lounge area, bar, dining area, a central open fireplace which is very necessary as it gets quite cool at this height. There is a separate video room, heated spa and sauna., and outside there is garden furniture where you can sit and enjoy the wonderful views of the valley below.
The forty individual round cottages all have 180 degree picture windows, and include electric blankets and continental quilts, again for the cool evenings. The accommodation units are simply furnished without being luxurious by international standards.
You will get there either by chartered aircraft landing at the lodge airstrip or by scheduled flight followed by a ninety minute drive.
The meals are very acceptable, and the menu is sufficiently international to cover most tastes. You will find everything from spaghetti, through roast beef, to chicken curry with the normal vegetables. Brekfasts will include the normal cereals, fruit juices, toast, eggs bacon etc. Lunch is either packed picnic style or a small meal, and dinner is the standard three courses. Afternoon tea is also served.
The main reason for taking a Papua New Guinea tour and particularly the Ambua Lodge Hotel is for the tours. This can be bird watching, people watching, orchid searching. It is normal to go out early at 6am on a bird watching trip, but the main tour of the day will involve Huli village visits, and see ‘performances’, but perhaps also be able to try your hand with traditional bow and arrows. These trips are quite phenomenal, a chance to see a way of life that is fast disappearing.
All in all Ambua Lodge is a must visit for at least three nights on your Papua New Guinea package tour. It is rarely full to capacity, and you will meet nice like minded people.