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Kenu & Kundu Festival
Adventure Land & Yacht Travel Photography Tour
29 October - 17 November 2022

Milne Bay
Papua New Guinea

circa 18 days
(includes a trip to Fiji, too!)

The Kenu & Kundu Festival is a celebration of the traditional sailing canoes (Kenu) and Kundu drums
that are an integral part of life in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. - Tourism PNG

After the Festival we take the yacht to several outlying islands for further adventures.

NOTE: This trip is dependent on the continuing impact of the Covid-19 situation both here, in the West, and in PNG. If the trip does not happen because of Covid-19 all participant payments will be returned in Full. IMPORTANT: if you paid by credit card and we asked you for the additional processing percentage (3.6%) - and it was paid, you will receive a full refund LESS that 3.6%.


Skill & Physical Level: EASY. Physical activities include festival photography, museum visits, fairly easy walking terrain, vehicle drives, and similar general tourist activity. Still, our days tend to be long with (on land) lots of walking (and, maybe, standing) on each side of lunch. Most of this trip will occur at sea level up to about 100 meters / 330 feet.


The Details

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The Spiel

damnce leader of the Asaro Mudmen A trip to witness The Kenu & Kundu Festival on the Papua New Guinea peninsula of Milne Bay with side excursions to a few nearby islands (there are more than 600!) to the east: Normanby Island, Ferguson Island and Goodenough Island. Near Hastings we will hopefully visit a local cave where ancestor's skulls are housed (this is, after all, Papua New Guinea!)

Along with the deep interior of the Amazon rainforest, New Guinea and surrounding islands have the last peoples on earth to have little or no contact with outsiders. While this festival is not such a place, with our ability to navigate by yacht afterward we will visit island communities where outsiders, including those from PNG, are uncommon. Join Lesley Martin and Wilbur Norman for this journey of a lifetime as we fly first to Fiji (one night on this front end and 4 on the back) then to our connecting flight in Brisbane, Australia and, finally, onto Papua New Guinea's capital city for a couple days. We next fly onward, southward, to the peninsula province of Milne Bay for the fantastic Kenu & Kundu Festival where locals display and promote their unique water and masking culture. The incredible extravaganza of canoe racing, dancing, ritual performance, story-telling and exchange sports a display area where visitors can browse – and buy - a variety of traditional arts and crafts directly from the artisans and crafts people.

We stay in Port Moresby for only two days but will visit the fantastic National Art Museum. Its holdings contain some of the most treasured artifacts from New Guinea's recent and ancient past.

We will take the national carrier, Air Niugini, from Port Moresby to Alotau, Milne Bay Province and head to the rendezvous with the yacht that will be our floating home for the next ten days. As the war canoe races take place in the bay we will be positioned in the best possible situation to watch and photograph them!

After our splendid time in Milne Bay we will leave PNG and return to Fiji for four days to decompress at a luxury resort, take a long drive to Suva, the capital and see the great national Fiji Museum and do a bit of shopping or take some quality beach time.

Our September 2019 trip to the Goroka Show Sing-Sing in the central Highlands of PNG (with side visits to Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands and Fiji) was a sold-out success. At the Sing-Sing we photographed over 200 of the country’s 800 tribal groups perform age-old native dances. As well, we were able to gain private access to groups readying themselves for the competitions. After a three year Covid hiatus we are ready to enter the cultural fray once again!





A Huli Province Wigman Preping for the Sing-Sing   Tour Cost

     Papua New Guinea may be the most exotic and incredible place you have visited - or will ever visit. Alas, it will also likely be the most expensive unless you regularly fly First Class and lodge in 5-star, several hundred dollars-per-night hotels. Total cost for the tour is about US$10,000 per person, double occupancy, all flights included. We write "about" because PNG has either none/very little or disorganized tourist infrastructure in many of the provinces where we travel and we have sometimes encountered price adjustments (both up and down) upon arrival.

All our lodgings are in luxury and/or resort hotels while the cottages at our birding lodge (not part of this trip) are simple but adequate. Our breakfasts are usually taken in these establishments, too, with dinners often out and about. Alas, our lodgings are very expensive (lodging prices are increased during festivals that bring tourists, just like everywhere in the world) but are the only safe recourse available to Westerners. Half of this trip will be spent onboard our water accommodation, a motor yacht which will have been recently re-outfitted. We will have our breakfasts and dinners onboard with lunches possible at land restaurants.

Camera Treks requires an Initial Payment check of US$2000 within a week of you making your reservation. Your balance must be paid at least 90 days before the start of the Tour.

A transaction fee of 3.6% will apply if you pay your balance by credit card.

Our groups are always on the small side, often just 6 participants. This trip can take 12 or 13.

All prices on this site and in any promotional and informational material are listed in US dollars.  Prices while we are on the Tour may be in US dollars, Fiji dollars, Australian dollars or Papua New Guinea kina.

     Your tour price includes and pays for:

     Airfare Los Angeles - Fiji - Brisbane - Port Moresby & Return.
            Other gateway departures or using you own mileage? please inquire

     Double rooms with en suite toilets/showers for every night
            Same for our yacht cabins except one, when 3 people will share facilities.)

     All breakfasts, dinners & snacks on the yacht.

     Our buses & vans with drivers. In Fiji Lesley and I will drive a van.

     Airfare Port Moresby - Alotau - Port Moresby

     Group vehicle transport for Tour activities that need it

     A festival Pass, if applicable.

     Festival permit for Still Photography, if required

     Most sight/activity entrance fees

     Pre-Tour instructions to prepare you for Papua New Guinea

     Essentially, we include all accommodations, all yacht meals, flights from Los Angeles to Fiji and PNG, flights inside PNG, vehicle transport, and guides (except community and birding guides).


NOT included in your tour cost is:

   your airfare to Los Angeles (or wherever you depart your home country) from your home base.

   Fiji, PNG country visas

   airport-related taxes

   baggage charges as well as excess weight fees

   meals in Los Angeles (or your European/Asian departure city) before & after the tour

   soft drinks and alcohol

   scuba gear and instruction

   personal outings and entertainment and incidentals (music/dance, gifts, etc.)

   some museum/exhibit admissions

   medical expenses incurred before, on, or after the Tour*

   expenses arising from situations beyond our control.
      (flight cancellations, road closures, landslides, mechanical breakdowns, weather events, etc.)

   money exchanging fees

   travel, medical, & evacuation insurance
      (we require you have med-evac insurance)

   any optional activites not required by the Tour

   a single room with en suite bath
      may be available for (large!) extra cost in some locations

   tips for meals and guide services

   a possible 10% increased trip cost if we have only 6 people or less.

   Do ask about any other items if you have questions.


* Your regular U.S. medical insurance policy may cover you in Fiji and Papua New Guinea if the policy is a global policy. Do check to find out whether this is the case with your medical policy. If you are not covered we have a good option for our participants.





canoes on Egum Island
  Tour Dates

     The Kenu & Kundu Festival takes place the first weekend in November. Our tours are generally scheduled near or during the week of a full moon to provide night illumination that can be used to great advantage by photographers. As we are bound by the dates of the Kenu & Kundu Festival, however, this is not always possible. The 2022 dates of the Festival itself are November 4, 5, 6 with the trip extending either side of these dates. We are fortunate that the fukk moon is November 8th this year!


      Please confer with us before making reservations and paying for any flights or hotels!






Typical Thatched Hut

In Papua New Guinea we stay in better hotels than on any of our other trips! Most are resorts in every way - with prices to match! A great thing about Alotau is that it is not fraught with the dangers we might encounter on the mainland in Port Moresby or in The Highlands! As a consequence, we have some choices on this trip.

Hotel rooms/prices are based upon double occupancy - as are the cabins on the yacht. If you require a single room - AND if one is available - you will have to pay an additional supplement for the cost of the room. The price add-on may be substantial and we will let you know as soon as we know. Call or email us for more info.

     Participants coming alone will be teamed (for accommodation purposes) with another traveler as a roommate. A single room may, or may not, be available.




Coral      Physical Requirements & Dietary Info

      Skill & Physical Level: This is a physically easy trip with no technical difficulties as half of it is on a boat and the other days are mostly at, or near, sea level. But an ability to walk around in the jungle for those who might want to visit some island sites will be beneficial. Talk to us if you have ANY questions about your ability to do this trip or if you have vertigo, heart, blood pressure or other conditions that might compromise your ability to successfully complete this journey.

     Even though we will have our bus/van at our disposal in some land locations, the ability to walk an hour or so in the mornings and in the afternoons will be required if you wish to shop any of the local artisans. Anyone who can get around any large city at street level with ease should have no problem with this.

     NOTE: most of the streets and trails we walk are in good condition and are not much different than urban walking or hiking and scrambling in any wild, natural terrain. However, you must understand that common sense and caution are factors that cannot be 100% built into our tours but must be supplied by you, our participants!

     Mainland PNG has year-round Standard Time (PGT) which is GMT +11:00. For example: New York City noon is 5:00a.m. PGT.

     PNG is one of the world's poorest countries economically but the places we stay have access to the best of foods in the country. The restaurant scene in Port Moresby and the larger cities is fine and we will eat our meals in a variety of excellent, mostly hotel, restaurants. Vegetarians have no fear, there is selection aplenty.

     If you have any dietary issues or requirements please let us know before you sign up for this Tour. For those with gluten-free and other dietary needs the country may be a bit of a challenge, not in eating elementary meals but in getting much diversity during your trip. Vegetarians ought to be okay; vegans?

     IMPORTANT NOTE: COVID-19: Camera Treks REQUIRES ALL participants and tour leaders to have had a full course of Covid vaccinations. We will require participants to email us a JPEG image of their Covid vaccination certificates and we will require participants to show them at the first opportunity when we meet at our departure airports or when we first meet you in-country. If you do not have your vaccinations you cannot go with us on our trips! Period! If you show up at our trip location and do not have your certificate you will not be able to join us and YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A REFUND FOR YOUR MONEY PAID.

     Finally, do not expect to buy any medications while in PNG! Bring whatever you need with you, in its original, labeled container. Port Moresby and Suva, Fiji have pharmacies but we will not be spending much time in the cities and pharmacies are not always well-stocked as in the West.


Photography "has little to do with the things you see
and everything to do with the way you see them." – Elliott Erwitt


Cowrie shells on the prow of a canoe      Insurance

We REQUIRE tour participants to have both evacuation and medical insurance. Your regular U.S. medical insurance policy may cover you in PNG if the policy is a global policy. Do check with your carrier to find out whether this is the case. If your medical policy will not cover you in PNG we can provide information on a carrier whose coverage is very good and whose cost is reasonable.

Medical evacuation is a valuable tool in the kit of the traveler who heads to remote places. Some insurers provide this or it can be purchased as an add-on. In all cases READ THE FINE PRINT. Some evacuation insurance only evacuates you from a hospital, NOT off the mountains or from jungles! Med-e-vac from the region we are traveling to can cost as much as US$25,000.00 and the heli will not take you until you provide proof of insurance OR let them charge the full cost to your credit card(s). We will ask to see your medical and evacuation policies BEFORE we depart so bring your paperwork proof of insurance (which you will need in the event of an illness or accident.)

Prudence dictates that you investigate other insurances, too. We do not require travel insurance but, depending on your circumstances and location (a snow belt where airport closures are possible, for example), it may be wise to purchase it. We will not provide refunds to you if you call us in PNG and say you are stuck in a snowstorm in Boise and cannot get to Port Moresby for at least three days! There are many providers of travel insurance so you may wish to consult a travel agent as to one that meets your needs. Before you purchase, read the whole policy; the big print giveth, the fine print taketh away!

If you are coming on our trip with lots of expensive gear it ought to be insured. If it is stacked as a Rider under your Homeowners policy be certain you are covered abroad. Note that if you - or your site provider, offer to sell your prints on your photography web site you are categorized as a "professional" and your insurance company will probably not pay out a settlement on your loss even if you have been paying premiums under a Homeowner's Policy Rider. A savvy underwriter's agent will look for this after you make a claim and it applies even if you have never sold a single print!

Here are some carriers issuing insurance in the areas discussed above. Note we have no affiliation to them nor do we get any kickbacks from them for listing them here. Obviously, we also do not endorse them in a formal way, either. We have used them but never made a claim – the real test of any coverage.




A drummer      What to Bring

Comfortable footwear is more important than a fancy camera!

Comfortable clothes that you can get dirty and that are easy to wash in a sink or shower are a must! Quick-drying (a relative term) fabrics are best. While there are no laundromats in the bush, you can often get clothes washed, dried and pressed at the hotels where we spend more than one night.

Details on what to bring – and what not to bring HERE. This list is for our Highlands trip so needs updating for the warmer islands and sea level!






     Who Should Come

The ability to get on well with a group is of crucial importance. This is your tour but you are also a member of a group; a group where everyone has a strong personality and an urge to do certain, specific things. Some may want to get more comfortable approaching potential photo subjects on the street or at the Festival while others may want to refine their photographic technique and vision. Tour leaders will address your concerns and questions in areas you wish to explore and provide practice tips for you.

No basic instruction on cameras, photography, image processing or computer use is included in this tour.

With only 8 participants max in the tour we will stay together as a group but can roam the Festival grounds individually, at will, with our Passes. If there are places or activities you want to do let us know and we will discuss it as a group if it seems a feasible undertaking.




Street photography is 99.9% failure. – Alex Webb




cave with ancestor's skulls      Staying in Touch With Home

The internet and mobile usage is fairly easy in PNG's big cities. You can even buy a SIM for use in the country if you wish (I try to for my own use). Our resort hotels generally have okay service. Solomon Islands is another story altogether. The country is in the bottom 10% of the world's nations in term of internet access. Even service in our hotel in the capital, one of the country's best hotels, is poor-to-non-existent. Do not expect to have internet service when we are out on the water heading to the out islands, nor on the islands themselves.






     Payments & Refunds, Cancellations

Within 7 days after you make your reservation (by telephone, email, facsimile or other means) we require an Initial Payment of $3000 per person to hold your place for the Tour. We will send you an invoice for this Initial Payment and then one afterward that includes the payment and your balance due, with the sequence of due dates for your other payments. The final payment for your place in the Tour will be due in full 60 days before the start of the Tour.

Your place in the Tour may be cancelled without notice if you have not paid any fees upon their due date.

If you find you cannot go on the Tour after you have made a reservation/payments to us, you can cancel your participation. To do this you must notify us in writing. An email and/or a telephone call concerning your intent to cancel will also be helpful as this is a small group endeavor and your cancellation will affect the whole Tour.

Please read this page carefully as it describes our Cancellation Refund policy in full.




Tour Leaders

Below is a list of those who will be leading this trip. Both have many years of experience as photographers and adventure travelers in Himalayan Mustang, Africa, Papua New Guinea, Australia, northern Canada and other remote areas of the world.

Go to this page to see their work.



Wilbur Norman is a Santa Fe writer and photographer who studied social anthropology and has owned rare book and tribal art galleries. His first camera was his father's bakelite 120/220 Ansco Panda. He has ‘upgraded’ many times to where he now feels somewhat competent to handle his current image-making tools: various Leica M cameras and the Sony A1; kit chosen for the beautiful rendering produced by their companion lenses. He is quite partial to black and white whether on film or on digital, except in the tropics, and in commerce, where color is (usually!) king. He has previously traveled to PNG.




Born in Papua New Guinea, Lesley Martin's father was an engineer and she grew up learning Tok Pisin (the creole-English spoken as a lingua franca) and learning to fly light aircraft (hundreds of hours) and scuba dive the many reefs and sunken WWII craft fringing the country. Knowing the country intimately, she has led many trips to many places and festivals in PNG.






Our yacht captain, Craig, was born on one of the islands in Milne Bay and intimately knows the seas over a wide area of southeast PNG to Australia.








Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. – Theodore Isaac Rubin



Tour Schedule

Please confer with us BEFORE making any flight reservations!

Itinerary particulars?  Details here.

NOTE: This is a tentative schedule. More to come!


Saturday, October 29                          Flight: Los Angeles – Fiji

(we lose a day out-bound)


Monday, October 31                           Arrive Fiji for an overnight.


Tuesday, Nov 1                                   Flight: Fiji - Brisbane - Port Moresby

                                    Spend 2 nights in the capital city


Nov. 1-3                                              Activities: PNG National Art Museum, others


Thursday, Nov. 3                                 Flight: Port Moresby –  Alotau, PNG

                                    Board: our boat, Alotau, 10 days


Thursday, Nov. 4                                 Day Sail: Alotau to Wagawaga

                                    Where: sail south across Milne Bay 6 nautical miles to a community. A great place to relax, swim and visit the people. From here we are in good position for tomorrow's early arrival of the canoes.


Saturday, Nov. 5                                 Kenu & Kundu Festival!

Where: from shipboard & in the town of Alotau

Sunday, Nov. 6                                   Kenu & Kundu Festival!

Where: from shipboard & in the town of Alotau

Monday, Nov. 7                                  Kenu & Kundu Festival!

Where: from shipboard & in the town of Alotau

Tuesday to Sunday, Nov. 8-13            Yacht Motoring
                                                             Milne Bay and northward to neighboring seas, 5 nights


Tuesday, Nov. 8                                   Boat

                                                             eastward out of Milne Bay, rounding East Cape with Nuakata Island to starboard, north through Goshen Strait to the skull cave near Tawali. Thence, on to Bogaboga town/Tara Kwaruru tidal river on Cape Vogel


Wednesday, Nov. 9                              Boat

                                                             eastward from the Missions to the narrow strait between Goodenough and Fergusson Islands


Thursday, Nov. 10                               Boat

                                                             eastward thru the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, thru the Amphlett Group, skirt the southern tip of the Trobriands, to the Marshall Bennett Islands


Friday, Nov. 11                                    Boat
                                                             a short hop south to Egum Atoll


Saturday, Nov. 12                                Boat

                                                             west thru the narrow strait between Fergusson & Normanby Islands thence south and east thru the Goshen Strait back toward Milne Bay & Alotau


Sunday, Nov. 13                                  Disembark Boat

                                                            Flight: Alotau to Port Moresby


Monday, Nov. 14                                Flight: Port Moresby - Brisbane - Fiji
(leave POM ??am Arrive NAN ??pm)


Thursay, Nov. 17                                Flight: Fiji - Los Angeles
(leave NAN ??am Arrive LAX ??pm, Nov. 17)

(we regain the day lost on the out-bound legs)

                              This is the schedule we will attempt to adhere to,
barring the unforeseen issues that accompany travel to remote places!


undersea WWII plane wreakage      Events Subject to Change

Much in Papua New Guinea is, at all times, in flux. While we make every effort to stick to the schedule of the day, things can happen to make improvisations with comparable alternatives necessary. Come prepared for the delightfully unexpected and serendipitous. The flexible – and prepared – photog takes such events in stride and makes the most of any opportunity. As we will be a small group, activities may be amended with the consensus of participants.




     Photo Release / Tour Review

Camera Treks may ask you to submit a few of your photographs from the Tour to use on its web site or in promotional/publicity materials. We will always give attribution for your photographs if and when we use them!

We will ask you to submit a brief blurb on your opinion of the Tour to use on our web site or in promotional/publicity materials. Also, after your return home, we will ask you to fill out a brief questionnaire rating us on the trip – both the good and the bad.




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