Southern Highlands Province
Nestled amongst the Doma Peaks near Tari, almost 7000 feet above sea level, is Ambua Lodge. An award-winning, eco-friendly lodge boasting magnificent views of the Tari Valley below.
Tari is home to one of the most immediately recognizable cultures in Papua New Guinea - the "Huli Wigmen". A proud, flamboyant tribe known for their ornate ceremonial "wigs" with dances and songs fashioned on that of the mating rituals of the Birds of Paradise - an encounter with the Huli's is bound to be memorable.
Life for the majority of villagers around Tari remained mostly unchanged until the turn of this century. Discoveries of natural gas and mineral reserves over the last few years have brought about a sudden and unexpected increase in wealth and led to a hive of economic and commercial activity, thrusting Tari into the 21st century in a matter of a few short years. Social, tribal and ancestral beliefs and dynamics, once embedded so deeply, are being rapidly forgotten and replaced by more "rewarding" and modern pursuits. Tari today, however, is one of the few remaining areas where men and women still adhere to many of their traditional beliefs and where a man's wealth and importance is still measured by his amassing of pigs, wives and land.
Ambua arranges culturally based excursions to nearby Huli villages where one learns about and observes everyday life of the Huli's, as well as the peculiarities of their traditions and beliefs. Guests tour in comfortable Toyota Hiace and Coaster buses and are accompanied at all times by experienced and knowledgeable Huli guides from the local area, so as to make the experience all the more educational and rewarding. Private touring is not possible at Ambua.
A favored destination amongst birders, Ambua's rain forests have been the star of many a wildlife documentary. An incredible 217 species have been recorded here and Ambua is home to 13 different species of Bird of Paradise. Ambua employs knowledgeable local birding guides and caters for all interest levels, from early morning birding excursions for guests on more culturally orientated tours, keen to catch a glimpse of these spectacular birds; to fully specialized birding tours tailored to the seasoned enthusiast.
Ambua is surrounded by pristine, mid-montane jungle, a mass of interlocking tree tops, shades of green spattered with occasional splashes of color from high altitude orchids and rhododendrons. Well kept nature trails venture out into this wilderness, crossing traditional vine bridges, tracing clear mountain streams to secluded waterfalls.
Guests are accommodated in forty round houses, set amongst landscaped gardens and built almost exclusively from natural materials. Each unit features 180 degree picture windows to soak in the view, en-suite bathrooms. Electric blankets and continental quilts for the cool highland evenings.
Ambua has 24 hour, eco-friendly electricity, provided by its own hydroelectric power plant that generates clean, natural energy from a nearby mountain stream. The main lodge building houses the bar, dining and lounge areas and a cozy central fireplace.
Ambua is accessible with our own air service from either Mount Hagen or Karawari Lodge on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; or with Air Niugini on their scheduled services between Port Moresby and Tari.