How to get to Papua New Guinea

Language, Health Requirements, Time Zones, Guides & Safety
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A cultural show on Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea
A cultural show on Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea (courtesy, Papua New Guinea Tourism)

Language
Although there are over 800 distinct languages spoken in Papua New Guinea, English is the official language of government and business and is widely spoken throughout the country. Pidgin is also prevalent, particularly in the New Guinea part of the country, while Police Motu is common in the southern region.

Dress
Lightweight, casual clothing is the norm, with a sweater for cooler evenings in the Highlands. Good walking shoes are a must.

Health Requirements
Although water quality in Papua New Guinea complies with World Health Organization standards, visitors are advised to drink bottled or boiled water in towns and rural areas. While the capital city, Port Moresby, is considered relatively malaria-free, Papua New Guinea is still classified as a malaria-prone zone, especially in the coastal wetlands regions. Travelers should consult with their health provider for precautions against malaria. For protection against bugs, use insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts, trousers, and shoes in the evenings.

Time Zone
Papua New Guinea is ten hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and is located in the same time zone as eastern Australia. There is no daylight savings.

Tourist Visas
Tourist visas are available upon arrival to citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and most European countries. Duration of stay in PNG is a maximum of 60 days.

Guides and Safety
Visitors should use local guides when exploring PNG, as these guides will be aware of issues such as local languages and customs, safety issues, and directions. Common sense should always prevail. Always ask for directions and information if in doubt.


Published: 9 Dec 2009 | Last Updated: 30 Mar 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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