Updated: Jul 4, 2021
It’s long been referred to as “the last Province”, but Enga’s isolation and its position at the end of the Highlands Highway has largely kept it off the travel radar, and that’s what makes it so special.
Whether its culture, nature or history, there’s plenty to do in Enga. Here are just 5.
1. BIRDING & KUMUL LODGE
Birdwatching is one of Enga’s biggest attractions and Kumul Lodge is a well-established stop on the global birdwatching trail.
Nestled on slopes of the Mount Hagen Ranges amongst ancient highland altitude forests, this lodge is one of the few places in the world where you can see magnificent Bird of Paradise species in their natural habitat in comfort.
The lodge is built using traditional architectural styles and building materials combined with modern fixtures, blending the old and the new perfectly making your stay here an experience of comfort, relaxation, and tranquillity.
Kumul Lodge offers half and full day bird watching through the forests surrounding it and further afield. Rare species of orchids also abound in these forests, and orchid tours can also be arranged.
Kumul Lodge is an hour's drive from Wabag Town and 30 mins drive from Wapenamanda Airport and promises to be one of the highlights of your visit to Enga.
TRAVEL TIP: It gets very cold up here at night so bring warm clothes and good book to enjoy by the fire in the lodge lounge.
2. TRADITIONAL SALT PONDS
Walk in the footsteps of the ancient Highlands salt trade at the Mulisos Yokonda Salt Ponds and see the ingenuity of Enga's traditional salt making, which was practised for generations before the arrival of people from the outside world.
It’s an hour and a half by road west of Wabag Town or 45 mins from Yaskom Resort-Hotel to Yokonada Village, followed a 30 min walk past lovely traditional gardens and through a small forest with creek to the salt ponds.
The tour includes a demonstration of salt extraction methods and concludes with a feast of a traditional highlands mumu lunch of local foods slow cooked in an earth oven, when you can taste this unique and flavoursome salt, produced more than 2,000 meters above sea level.
The salt ponds tours take place at specific times throughout the year and can be booked through Yaskom Resort-Hotel.
TRAVEL TIP: Book in for the night at the nearby Yaskom Resort-Hotel and take some time to explore the rich agricultural area of Sirunki.
3. SIRUNKI & LAKE IVAE
Take in the view of PNG's highest lakes at Yaskom Resort-Hotel.
Lake Ivae on the Sirunki Plateau, is a 40 minute drive west from Wabag Town, through rolling mountains and valleys lined with rows and patches of local food gardens and agricultural projects.
Lake Ivae has been created by a large patchment basin that is part of the Lai Valley. It's the source of one of Enga's major rivers, the Lai, which is the major tributary of the Sepik River. Lake Ivae is the habitat for a host of birds, fish and insects.
The best place to appreciate the lake is from the Lake Ivae Balcony Bar at Yaskom Resort Hotel, particularly at sunset.
Yaskom Resort-Hotel is a 45minute drive from Wabag. Yaskom Resort serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as accommodation if you choose to stay the night and visit the salt ponds.
TRAVEL TIP: Get there early if you want to settle in at the balcony bar to catch the sunset over the lake. If you want to avoid a late-night drive back to Wabag you can book a room and stay over, perfect if you also want to take in a tour to the nearby traditional salt ponds.
4. CULTURAL FESTIVALS
Enga is home to among the most unbroken indigenous cultures on Earth and throughout the province’s 6 districts communities are opening up to share their culture with visitors.
The jewel in the crown is annual Enga Cultural Show, an annual gathering of cultures that reflect the extraordinary diversity within Enga, which takes place in the modern town of Wabag.
While thousands attend the Enga Cultural show, visitors can also choose a more intimate experience at one of the mini-festivals that have been set up by communities in villages, offering a deeper connection with the people in the true place of origin of these cultures.
The Lagaip Sangai Agriculture and Cultural Festival, usually takes place the week before the Enga Cultural Show. And celebrates traditional customs as well as the rich agriculture of area. Visitors can stay in a local village for a truly Engan experience. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Ph. 79232698
The main event, the Enga Cultural Show takes place on the second weekend in August each year. You can find more information at www.engashow.com
TRAVEL TIP: Come a few days earlier for the Enga Cultural Show and see both the mini-festival and the show.
5. TAKE ANDA MUSEUM & GALLERY
To truly enhance your understanding and appreciation of the people and lifestyles of Enga Province a visit the Take Anda Museum is a must.
Also known as 'Ende Take' it translates to House of Wisdom and it houses a rare, thorough and beautifully presented collection of the history, traditions and values of the people of Enga before the time of first contact from the outside world in the 1930’s.
The collection comes from first-hand accounts gathered through 10 years of scientific research, quite literally, the voices of the ancestors.
The Take Anda Art Gallery is the birthplace of Engan sandpainting, a contemporary art form that was created by the museum’s director Akii Tumu in the late 1970s, as a means to provide an activity for school leavers in the province.
With a lack of access to medium such as oil colours, acrylics, canvas and materials, he turned to the natural environment and different coloured grains of sand, earth and rock of Enga.
The new art form caught on and has evolved into a distinctly Enga style. Artist's paint images depicting Enga's traditional stories and way of life. On most days visitors to the gallery will also be able to see the artists at work in the workshop.
TRAVEL TIP: Engage our local tour company, Miok Tropical Tours to arrange your itinerary and look after all your needs when you visit Enga.