A mysterious island with strong tribal customs. Discover the remarkable and sometimes fearsome cassowary lurking in the dense and misty forests.

"As I looked over the Suspension Bridge towards my next destination I could see three faces looking back at me. As I got closer I realised that they were tribal masks carved out of wood! This was a clear sign that I’d definitely moved on from the celebratory atmosphere of Panay and into the land of the unknown.

"It also told me that in the forests of Papua, it’s not just the wildlife that lives among the trees…when researching the island before my expedition, I found out that Papua is home to over 300 different tribes, living deep within the rainforests – all with their own language, traditions, beliefs, dances and songs. Like the wildlife that can be found here, most of the people are dependent on the forest to survive.

 

"I’d heard all about the Southern cassowary, so was looking forward to seeing this wonderful looking bird. And when I caught a glimpse of one walking through the bushes, I was thrilled! Spending time watching animals is extremely rewarding, especially unique and mysterious animals like this. Papua is one of the last places on earth that still has plenty of areas yet to be discovered."

 

See more photos from the island of Papua here.

 

Katie – budding wildlife conservationist

Checklist

  • Venture over the Lazy River across the creaky Suspension Bridge
  • Keep a look out for any evidence of the forest tribes
  • Make your way past the misty forest and towards one of the most dangerous birds in the world 
  • Pause for a moment and keep your eyes peeled for the elusive Southern cassowary in between the trees
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