Papua New Guinea’s First Indigenous Owned and Led 100% Authentic Trekking Experience on the Kokoda Track

27 November 2019

Indigenous Kokoda Adventures (IKA) is a registered tour operator that has been established to operate along the Kokoda Track and other destinations in Papua New Guinea. They are also the first Indigenous group to offer an authentic, sustainable trekking experience while directly supporting the people, villages and communities along the Track.

Owners and operators, the members of Indigenous Kokoda Adventures are the descendants of the original Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels who were instrumental in helping the Australian soldiers defend the Kokoda Track from the Japanese during the Second World War. As porters, guides and historians, IKA’s members have years of guiding experience gained while working for foreign tour operators. They have now decided to reclaim their heritage and legacy.

Indigenous Kokoda Adventures was created for two reasons. First, as a way to honour their forefathers, the original Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, and secondly, as a way to provide a direct benefit to the people, villages and communities along the Track. IKA members have lived along the Track for generations and the depth and knowledge they have is unsurpassed not only because of the direct experience of guiding trekkers for generations, but also because the Track is their home.

The goal of Indigenous Kokoda Adventures is to empower local landowners as well as the guides and porters by operating a business owned and managed by the local people not people from outside of Papua New Guinea. Proceeds from tour fees go right back to the villages funding school and medical clinic upgrades and other village infrastructure in need of maintenance and upgrading.

Indigenous Kokoda Adventures has also set up a fully registered charitable foundation – The IKA Foundation, to specifically address the desperate need for education beyond primary school the children that live along the Track have. Educating children past the Grade 8 level is extremely difficult as the expense of sending their children to the city for high school and especially for university is almost always too much for most families in the villages. With the support of local business, government and tourists, the IKA Foundation hopes to provide a means for dedicated students to achieve their educational goals, and in turn, provide the means for an independent life, with the ability to support family and provide for the future.

The IKA Foundation Ambassador, Ms Yalinu Poya is from Papua New Guinea and is in the final stages of completing her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Glasgow. She is a wonderful role model for the children not only along the Kokoda Track but for all of Papua New Guinea.

There is also an Advisory Board and it is comprised of a cross section of members from both the public and private sector. The board members share IKA’s commitment to making a positive difference for the people, communities and villages along the Track as well as Papua New Guinea in general.

Indigenous Kokoda Adventures offers a 1:1 porter to trekker ratio with experienced guides, porters and historians, all fully trained and certified in first aid. Varying expedition packages are offered with the degree of difficulty correlated with the length of the expedition. IKA can also arrange for expeditions to Lark Force Track in Rabaul for those that are interested. Papua New Guinea offers many opportunities to take advantage of the natural environment such as world class scuba diving, surfing and exotic bird watching and there are also many other cultural events that occur throughout the year and IKA can assist in making arrangements for these as well.

With modern society continually encroaching on the worlds’ Indigenous populations, the preservation of the culture and traditions of the Indigenous peoples of Papua New Guinea and in particular of the Kokoda Track, are increasingly at risk. Now is the time to put Papua New Guinea on your radar for an absolutely authentic adventure travel experience. Indigenous Kokoda Adventures is opening its arms and welcoming the adventure travel world to their home.

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