Included in your tour cost is the assistance of a personal porter to carry your main kit. Please note that there is a weight limit of 10Kilograms for personal belongings carried by the porters as they will also carry your food packs. Any additional items will need to be carried by the trekkers themselves in day-packs – each day you will be asked to carry your own water and one day’s food pack as well as personal items such as your camera, guidebook etc.
We include a 1:1 trekker to Porter ration to promote relationship building between porters and trekkers. Our aim is to provide greater employment opportunities for porters as well as ensuring that all SSH-BHMT trekkers complete the trek from start to finish. Our intention is that relationship building between the trekkers and the porters becomes one of the most important experiences of the trip, reflecting the wartime bonds between Australian troops and the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.
You should try to travel as lightly as possible. Your total belongings should weigh no more then 12 kilograms (backpack and day pack combined). We use charter flights to Kokoda and weight is restricted to the small aircraft used. When you start training you should commence with less weight than you plan to carry on the trek and slowly build up.
WHAT DOES THE TREK SET OUT TO ACHIEVE?
We start our trek walking from Kokoda to Ower’s Corner. There is, however, much more to this trek than just the historical war ruins. There is the fascinating cultural experience of interacting with the indigenous people known as “Koairi” and “Oro Kaivans.” There is the challenge and adventure created by rugged mountain terrain and fast flowing streams. Papua New Guinea is famous for its spectacular scenery and unusual wildlife. In addition to all this there is the reward of interaction in a small group of people working together for a common purpose and the individual satisfaction of mastering the physical difficulties of the track.
DO YOU HAVE TO BE VERY FIT AND EXPERIENCED TO DO THE TRACK?
No. Most can achieve the track with adequate training, guidance and willpower. It is important that a certain level of health and fitness be attained prior to the trip. Each person should undertake some form of regular physical exercise for a period of time prior to departure. Please see detailed notes in the Pre-Departure info provided by South Sea Horizons.
WHAT IS THE BEST TRAINING TO DO?
General Cardio-vascular fitness can be built up by any form of exercise that raises the heart rate for a period of time; some form of specific exercise should also be done to build up the leg muscles. The best exercise for this walking up and down steep hills using the boots that you will be using to walk the track. After a while you should add your backpack with some weight in it. Slowly build the weight up to no more than 12 kilos. This is the maximum weight that can be carried with ease on the steep hills of the track.
SHOULD I HAVE A THOROUGH MEDICAL EXAMINATION?
Yes. You need to be in prime form physical condition to have a chance of completing this trek. In fact it is mandatory that you see a local GP before booking this trip and get a medical certificate to walk this challenging trek.
WILL WE SEE WAR RUINS?
Yes. On previous crossing we have always found items that have been hidden in the jungle. The local people often find them while they are clearing new garden areas and bring them out for us to see. Around the fire at night some of the older people along the track quite often tell stories from the war.
IS THE KOKODA TRACK ISOLATED AND WHAT HAPPENS IF AN ACCIDENT OCCURS?
Yes, the track is isolated and backup medical and rescue services are not easily available. We have drawn up a contingency plan for evacuation from along the track in the unlikely event of a serious problem occurring. The focal point of any communication with the outside is our satellite telephone and two way radio.
IS THE KOKODA TRACK A TROPICAL NIGHTMARE?
It can be. It often depends on unpredictable seasonal conditions. Most of out crossings have only had one or two days of rain in the total crossing time. Our trips are scheduled at the time of the year to catch the most stable weather conditions but it can still be very wet every now and then. This can make the trip very difficult. It is possible for the streams to flood and we carry suitable equipment for safe crossing once they drop to levels that are not dangerous. Malaria is present and all walkers will be required to take suitable medication by medical prescription to prevent contracting the illness.
HOW BAD IS THE SECURITY SITUATION IN PNG?
The urban centers do have a bad security problem. For this reason we do not stay in them for long. Your guides are familiar with the main urban centers and are expected at avoiding trouble for the short time that we are there. The Kokoda Track itself is the safest walking trail in PNG. Its inhabitants are devout Christians who are famous for their hospitality and kindness.
WHERE DO WE STAY?
In Port Moresby we stay in a quality hotel called the Lamana Hotel. It is well fenced, with security guards on patrol day and night. While trekking we stay in local village guesthouses where possible. They are simple buildings made from local material. We use our sleeping mats to make the floor a comfortable spot to sleep. Showers are had in the mountain streams and the toilets are pit type with surrounding walls. Some of the guesthouses do provide mattresses and sheets to sleep in.
WHAT WILL WE EAT?
We provide food packs for each trekker, which are, distributed daily. All the food that is provided is from Port Moresby’s finest supermarket “Boroko Food World.” Most goods are imported from countries such as Australia and transported to PNG. Meals are also occasionally supplemented using fruit and vegetables from the villages that we pass through. You will be asked to pay for your own hotel meals (excluding breakfast) in Port Moresby and Rabaul. All other meals are included in the cost of the expedition. Local food consists of various combinations of the following: rice, pasta, sweet potato, potato, yams, corn, taro, oranges, mandarins, cabbage, bananas, pineapples, paw paws, sago, and coconut. Clients who have special dietary requirements should discuss with us their specific needs well in advance of departure so that we can plan food that is suitable for you.
Cost of local produce: Bowls of fruit and vegetables range between PGK5.00 to PGK10.00
IS THE TRIP ALL HARD WALKING?
No! Doing the trek over 9 days is designed to allow our trekkers to walk on average about 6 hours per day. This way trekkers will be able to enjoy the culture and the people from village to village. The first few days are hard going mainly due to the fact that your body must acclimatize to the humidity and also the toughness of the terrain. This tour program allows for our our trekkers to enjoy exploring, sleeping, reading, trout fishing, bird watching o viewing war ruins.
WHAT ARE THE NATURAL FEATURES THAT ARE FASCINATING?
Papua New Guinea is a fascinating country because of its cultural, geological and biological diversity. During our trip we will see tribal dancing, stunning volcanic features, and a range of plant, animal and bird life that will inspire you to learn more about the natural history of Papua New Guinea.
WHAT ARE THE REWARDS OF DOING THE KOKODA TRACK?
Please ensure that you have a current passport, with an accurate photo, that is valid for at least six months after your scheduled return home. Also check your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport. Some countries may require that you have a return air ticket, or have sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket.
On all our holidays you must have comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalization, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. Please take your insurance policy with you when you travel. Dive Adventures is able to recommend a policy to you. You may take other cover, of course, but we require you to be adequately insured before we can allow you to participate in our programs. Your SSH leader will need to see and record your policy details at the pre-tour briefing, so please bring a copy along to the meeting. If you arrive without travel insurance your tour leader will require you to purchase a policy before you continue your journey with us.
If you are covered by a policy arranged through your credit card company you will be asked to provide evidence of this cover, as well as a 24-hour emergency contact number. Many credit card companies do not provide an insurance policy number. In this instance, the tour leader will need to record your credit card number, as this is required to activate any request for emergency assistance. You should also bring along the travel insurance information booklet provided by your credit card company. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the requirements set out by your credit card company in order to be effectively covered and that the cover offered is of a suitable standard.
All nationalities currently require a visa for Papua New Guinea – this is obtainable upon arrival at the airport. Please confirm
Please consult your doctor or nearest vaccination centre to see if any of the listed vaccinations are required: This list by no means complete and only your doctor or vaccination center can provide you with the latest up-to-date information:
Typhoid, Polio, Tetanus, Smallpox, Gamma Globulin or Harvix (against Hepatitis A), Hep B, Yellow Fever and Meningitus.
Malaria is prevalent in many tropical areas of Asia and pacific. Please advise your doctor which regions you will be visiting and discuss the necessary medication with them. All Anti-malarial tablets are taken for a period before possible exposure and continued for a period after such exposure ceases, and should be taken carefully according to instructions. It is possible that the people in your group may be taking different anti-malarial tablets. Be aware that some anti-malarial medication may increase skin sensitivity to sunlight, and take extra care to ensure good use of sunscreens. A good insect repellent is advisable if visiting these religions, preferably one containing a high percentage of Deet.
Things you should know
Papua New Guinea is a developing country whose infrastructure, values, customs, and standards may differ from what you expect in your homeland. Expect poor road conditions and be prepared for some inconvenience. Sometimes the transport may be altered or the itinerary may be changed due to circumstances beyond our control.
This is an ‘adventure trip’ and we hope to expose you to all aspects of the local culture. Please be open-minded. It is important that you get comprehensive travel insurance, relevant vaccinations and prescription drugs to prevent infection from malaria.
Trekking the Kokoda Track is physically demanding. The 96km track is a narrow, uneven, muddy path with numerous steep inclines and declines. The climate is hot and himid. A high level of fitness is required and training is essential. Any training programme should consist of aerobic exercise, strength building and hiking up and down hills with a backpack. Although most people can complete the track with adequate training and willpower, we recommend that all trekkers consult their medical practitioner to undergo an exercise stress test prior to joining this trek. Those with risk factors such as obesity, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or strong family history of cardiac disease should take extra precautions, or reconsider their decision to join this trek.
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region. We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.
Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.