"Dani tribes in Wamena" Papua Province by jorgejuansanchez

Papua Province Travel Guide: 191 reviews and 489 photos

First journey to Papua, 1997

If you arrive by air to the Indonesian part of New Guinea Island, the second largest in the world after Greenland, you will land in Sentani. From there you have to catch a bus to Jayapura, the main port and town in Papua province, which before was called Irian Jaya.
All the travellers who go to Jayapura board a plane to Wamena to observe the dani tribes with their characteristic clothes, or well, lack of clothes, because most of them wear only a kind of pumpkin tube in their body (see the picture).
I arrived there from Vanimo, in Papua New Guinea, the neighbour country sharing the island, and had no much money left to continue my long around the world journey until Spain. I was thinking whether buying the airplane ticket to Wamena when I noticed in the town hundreds of anxious Dutch tourists with their cameras and videos who had just arrived directly from Amsterdam and were there enthusiastically waiting for their flight to Wamena. Then, something happened inside of me that made me felt uncomfortable among them and decided instead to take a boat, called Dobonsolo, to Ambon, in the Maluku Islands, that same night.
I do not know, but I feared that the Wamena dani people (name given to the natives of several tribes in Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian province of Papua) were a sort of prepared show for the tourists. I had just been in Papua New Guinea and the Sepik River alone, without any tourists in hundreds of kilometres around, seeing dani people in their natural milieu, and I did not want tourist?s organized shows. Maybe I was wrong and missed something really unique; that is why I advise you to go to Wamena if you fly to Jayapura.

Second journey to Papua, 2014

My first journey was in 1997 and did not visit Wamena, in Baliem Valley, only Jayapura. It was a big mistake. Fortunately I flew back to Jayapura in 2014 and then spent a few days in Baliem Valley visiting Dani villages. Now I am proud to have been there.
I also spent a whole day in Biak Island in that same journey.

Wamena market

Apart from the Lorentz National Park (UNESCO Patrimony of the Humankind), plus the Dani tribes, this market in Wamena is the most exotic place that you can visit.

  • Last visit to Papua Province: Nov 2014
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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