"Middle Sepik and Blackwater Regions" Yentchan by jadedmuse

Yentchan Travel Guide: 11 reviews and 14 photos

I read somewhere that the Sepik area inspires the same reverence as the Congo to Africans, the Amazon to South Americans, and the Nile to Egyptians.

When we were offered the option of living aboard a "floating Lodge" for a few days on the sacred Sepik River, we jumped at the opportunity. It seemed a perfect way to explore the many Sepik tribal villages along the famous river that snakes through the central lowlands of PNG.

It's difficult to put into words just how strange and unique this part of our trip was....the silent moments at dawn as we drifted along a placid, shimmering river awakening to the first rays of the morning sun; the eerie shriek of a waterfowl flying overhead in search of food; the occasional dugout canoe floating by with its native occupants; the villages themselves, with their oddly shaped, imposing "Haus Tambaran" (Spirit House) looming proudly from the shore.....

...It was a lot to digest the first time around. I met a woman from California who had spent every summer for the past decade, working in the Sepik River area and more recently, on the Sepik Spirit (the "floating Lodge"). She loved the quiet mystery of the area and said that every time she returned here, she felt a kind of rebirth and rejuvenation.

Since I've already mentioned the malaria and spotty nutrition endemic to this area (in my "Timbunke" pages), I'll spare you the details here.

Suffice it to say that there is something mystical and very primeval about this part of Papua New Guinea, and ten plus years later, I can still hear the gentle lapping of the water against the boat as we drifted along under the pale rays of the morning sun, exploring the villages and experiencing just a taste of what life on the Sepik means to anyone bold enough to embrace it.

We were not so bold as to embrace it....seems we merely grazed our cheeks against its rough exterior...

There really is a strange Garden of Eden awaiting us around every corner.


For more info/photos on Yentchan (Sepik Region), please see this section's Travel Tips


And if you haven't seen it yet, please visit my intro page under Papua New Guinea

  • Intro Updated Jul 19, 2004
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Reviews (11)

Comments (7)

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2007 at 9:54 PM

    I am glad I am not a male living here ;-)

  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2006 at 6:38 PM

    Fascinating page, especially the tip on cannabalism. Do you know that humans tend to prefer animals that eat plants (cows, pigs, sheep) over those that eat meat? Be careful next time you go to PNG!

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2006 at 1:26 AM

    Wonderful page on Yentchan. I want to go there - now! Happy birthday from Finland, Sini

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Nov 3, 2004 at 7:03 PM

    sound like Yentchan pushes us out of our comfort zone, believes and food habits, the ultimate expirience I think your writing is very animating, shall I say invigorating....great pics, love the tree carvings

  • catalysta's Profile Photo
    Nov 3, 2004 at 5:40 PM

    Haunting memoirs of a mystical & unique region...hardly seems real, how amazing that you were there...cat

  • dvideira's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2004 at 9:10 PM

    Hi... continuing my tour by your PNG and getting more and more involved with everything. You have a way of describing things which makes us almost feel the places. Sepik Spirit gives the perfect "room IN the view". Just perfect. Thanks ! ! !

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2004 at 10:09 PM

    The mess on the bed is okay, but all the stuff on the FLOOR.......and it looks like you brought back lots of memories that did and will stay with you....


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