Papua New Guinea Travel Guide
Country-specific safety information
The crime rate in Papua New Guinea is very high. Particular caution is recommended when staying in the capital Port Moresby, in Lae, in the highlands, in Mount Hagen and on the island of Bougainville (see below). In the highlands in particular, violent clashes between rival clans can occur. In the mining provinces of Southern Highlands, Enga and Hela, disputes among the local population sometimes led to the imposition of an indefinite state of emergency, as most recently in and around Lae on the northeast coast. Demonstrations and gatherings of larger groups of people should be avoided as a matter of principle, as there is the possibility of violent excesses. It must be expected that in an emergency the security forces will only have limited availability.
The number of armed robberies, break-ins and assaults on cars in traffic (“carjacking”) has increased significantly. Offenders show a high propensity for violence, up to and including homicide. Particular care is required at ATMs.
The number of reports of targeted rape is increasing; Assaults usually take place without warning, women traveling alone are particularly at risk.
Due to the risk of contracting HIV / AIDS, victims of violent crimes, especially rape, should consult a doctor immediately – see also section “Medical information”.
After dark one should not move on foot outside of guarded facilities (e.g. hotels, restaurants) and should refrain from driving overland. It is strongly recommended that you only use the means of transport provided by the hotels or tour operators and that you refrain from using public transport and taxis because of the risk of robberies. The windows of a vehicle should be closed because of the risk of robbery and the doors should be locked.
In the autonomous province of Bougainville, an even higher crime rate can be expected than in other parts of the country. The south of the island, which is controlled by several rebel groups, is particularly hard hit. The hill country in central Bougainville around the Panguna Mine is a forbidden zone. It is strongly advised not to enter this area without an official permit. Travelers to Bougainville must contact the provincial administration of Bougainville (phone: +675 973 9798) and contact the provincial administration again upon arrival.
Land travel – road and sea traffic, trekking tours
Particular caution should be exercised when traveling individually. They should be planned particularly carefully. There is no infrastructure for individual tourists in Papua New Guinea, a country located in Oceania listed on cheeroutdoor. Public transport is only available to a very limited extent in the form of small vehicles (see additional note) and due to the geographic conditions, not even in all areas. Travelers are often victims of robbery in public places as well as in accommodation. Simple accommodations are far below international standards and often do not have security personnel. Organized group trips with a local guide are always preferable.
The condition of roads and bridges when driving overland, which is in need of improvement anyway, has deteriorated significantly again after a long period of drought and subsequent monsoon rains. Floods and landslides are not uncommon. Before starting an overland journey, travelers should inquire about the passability of roads and bridges at local offices and be particularly careful in the event of obstacles (e.g. landslide, damaged bridge) due to the risk of robbery by highwaymen.
Ferry and coastal ships should be avoided if possible. As a rule, their security standards do not correspond to international standards.
Particular care is also recommended on hiking tours. Violent incidents caused by rival tribal groups during the Kokoda Trek cannot be ruled out. A whole trekking group was attacked on the Black Cat Track in Morobe Province in 2013.
Mumu (traditional dish with roast pork, sweet potatoes, rice and green leafy vegetables)
Sometimes dishes that are unusual for the European palate, such as ants, bats or snakes, are on the traditional menu. Since some of the animals are under nature protection, you should refrain from tasting them.
Tips are not common and are not welcomed.
The range of alcoholic beverages includes various well-known types of beer. South Pacific Lager is the most famous domestic type of beer. The coffee grown in Papua New Guinea is delicious and widely drunk.
Minimum age for consuming alcoholic beverages
In Papua New Guinea you can drink alcohol from the age of 18.
Best travel time
There is a hot, tropical climate on the coasts. Cooler in the highlands with different climatic conditions in the various areas due to the influence of trade winds in the southeast and the monsoons in the northwest. Highest rainfall during the monsoons in the northwest between December and March. Port Moresby is also the dry season. Occasionally frost and snowfall at high altitudes.
Area code +675 Area (square km) 462 840 Population 6672429 Population density (per square km) 14 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 111