Papua New Guinea: A Scuba Divers Adventure
A First Class Resort In Tari Valley
In a location so remote, you will be surprised to find luxury accommodations awaiting you at Ambua Lodge, high on the mountain overlooking the valley of Tari. Authentic local woodwork, spacious views and an attention to detail are among your first impressions of this magical place.
The surrounding jungle woods are full of trails and waterfalls, complete with Tarzan-style foot bridges woven from nothing more than vines and small branches. If crossing the first deep crevasse over a rushing white-water stream hundreds of feet below doesn't give you a heart attack, you'll soon be thinking nothing of putting one foot in front of the other as you step carefully over these wonders of natural engineering.
The birds of paradise are everywhere -- our guide shows us several display areas where the males of the species perform intricately choreographed mating rituals featuring a plethora of ornate plumage and special songs to attract the ladies. The variety of exotic orchids and butterflies are equally overwhelming. It's no wonder the Huli Wigmen emulate these colorfully extroverted natural beauties in their special ceremonies.
The Resort is also home to many species of orchids, butterflies and moths, insects and tropical plants. You are surrounded and overwhelmed by nature in this primitive environment. The sounds of birds singing and waterfalls rushing are never far away. The cool breezes and sunshine are often interrupted by brief rain showers which drench the forest and provide the many streams, rivers and waterfalls with abundant supply.
Food at the is good, considering the difficulty of finding western ingredients and those who are skilled in preparing food for Americans (the locals eat mostly sweet potatoes and greens, and occasionally pork). The bar is stocked with good Australian wine and gin, of course. The satellite phone allows you to call back and check on your pets and your portfolio -- if you must.
The staff is very attentive and friendly -- don't be afraid to ask for anything. The round bungalow rooms are nicely appointed with large twin beds, private bath and shower and closet, and each has spectacular views of the valley below.
Your tourist dollars (kina is the local monetary unit) insure that the local villagers can retain their cultural identity and preserve their customs in perpetuity. Without tourists to appreciate and support these unique cultural aspects of Niugini, these old ways would soon fade as the younger generations turn their interest towards western values -- baseball caps, coca-cola and the like.
Even the most dedicated scuba divers should not miss the opportunity to visit Ambua lodge and meet the incredible Huli Wigmen when visiting Papua New Guinea.
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Photos on this page by Rob and Robin Burr
No reproduction without written permission