Mendi Travel Guide

Discover the hidden gem of Mendi. Indulge in its rich cultural heritage and natural wonders as we take you on a journey through the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Introduction to Mendi

Mendi, located in the Southern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea, is a hidden gem that boasts a vibrant culture, stunning views and natural wonders. It is known for its high elevation and cooler climate, making it a perfect destination for outdoor adventurers and culture enthusiasts. In this comprehensive travel guide, we will take you on an exciting journey through Mendi, detailing all the top attractions.

List of Places to Visit in Mendi

Mendi is full of surprises, from its museums and historical sites to natural attractions like waterfalls, mountains, and gardens.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Mendi is a cultural hotspot, and there are many museums and historical sites that educate visitors on the rich traditions and customs of the highlands. Some of the places to visit in this category are:

  • Kumin Museum: The Kumin Museum boasts a vast collection of ancient artifacts and heirlooms of the Mendi culture.

  • Baiyer River Sanctuary: The Baiyer River Sanctuary has a collection of ancient artefacts and a cultural center that showcases traditional Mendi craft.

  • Mineral Resource Authority Cultural Centre: Located in Komo-Magarima, this cultural center displays the customs and traditions of the highlands.

Natural Attractions of Mendi: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Mendi boasts some of the most beautiful natural sceneries in Papua New Guinea. Discover the adventure and thrill that awaits you at the following natural attractions:

  • Lake Kutubu: It is known for its serene surroundings and customary practices such as fishing, water skiing, and swimming.

  • Ambua Lodge: Surrounded by beautiful mountains and jungles filled with exotic birdlife and pathways for trekking and hiking.

  • Lake Nombe: This beautiful freshwater lake is a perfect place for relaxing and sightseeing.

  • Kewabi Waterfall: Visit the Kewabi waterfall, a magnificent spectacle of nature that falls from a height of over 100 meters.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Mendi

Mendi is known for its excellent hiking and biking routes, which offer picturesque views of the highland mountains. Outdoor enthusiasts have the luxury to explore the following routes:

  • Managalas Plateau
  • Hagen Sepik walk
  • Pari-Uluwa loop
  • Wamli- Ambua trail
  • Xui River-Asaro- Kassam wig walk

Best Things to Do in Mendi: Activities and Tours

Mendi offers various activities and tours that cater to all kinds of travelers. Some of the top things to do or experience include:

  • Traditional village tours and cultural dances.

  • Bird watching in the pristine forests of Ambua Lodge

  • Visit the Paniai Fish Market and experience the daily trade and local life.

  • Visit the cave systems of Subkaranga

Week-Long Itinerary for Mendi

Visiting Mendi for a week allows you to maximize your time and enjoy all the attractions it has to offer fully. Here’s a week-long itinerary you should consider when traveling to Mendi:

| Day | Activities |
 	| Day 1 | Arrival and Check-in Ambua Lodge |
 	| Day 2 | Hike up to the Managalas Plateau |
 	| Day 3 | Bird watching | 
 	| Day 4 | Tour the traditional villages of Mendi and experience cultural dances. |
 	| Day 5 | Visit Kewabi waterfall and go swimming |
 	| Day 6 | Enjoy a boat ride at lake Kutubu|
 	| Day 7 | Visit Baiyer River Sanctuary and return to Port Moresby |	 

Food and Drink Scene of Mendi

Mendi presents a unique dining experience that brings together the flavors of Papua New Guinea with Western cuisine. Here are some dishes to try during your visit:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Mumu: A traditional dish consisting of boiled vegetables and meat cooked in an underground pit with hot rocks, leaves, and banana skins.

  • Sago: A popular staple that is extracted from the stems of sago palms.

  • Pangi: A meat dish made of lamb or pork that is cooked in coconut cream.

Local Beverages

  • Roast coffee: Papua New Guinea is known for its excellent coffee that is roasted locally and served fresh.

  • KumulSip: Made from a blend of spices, tea leaves, and ginger, it is a popular drink in the highlands.

Where to Stay in Mendi: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Mendi offers various accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. Some of the popular choices include:

  • Ambua Lodge: This eco-friendly lodge offers a luxurious stay and provides scenic views of the highland mountains.

  • Pausa Guest House: This budget-friendly guest house offers comfortable and clean rooms with basic amenities.

What to Buy in Mendi: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Mendi offers various local products that make for perfect souvenirs to bring back home as gifts or memorabilia. Some of the popular souvenirs are:

  • Hand-woven baskets: The baskets are made from bamboo and other natural fibers.

  • Shell jewelry: The highlands have lovely shell jewelry, which is beautifully made and can form a perfect souvenir.

Local Culture and Customs of Mendi

Mendi is a melting pot of cultures, and it offers visitors a chance to learn about the various traditions and customs of the highlands. The people of the highlands are friendly and hospitable and will happily share their customs with visitors.

Best Time to Visit Mendi

The best time to visit Mendi is during the dry season, which lasts from May to September. The weather is stable, and the outdoor activities are more enjoyable during this time.

Do’s and Don’ts of Mendi


  • Respect the local customs and traditions.

  • Learn a few basic phrases of the local language.

  • Try the local cuisine


  • Do not take photographs of the locals without seeking permission first.

  • Do not litter.

  • Do not wear revealing or skimpy outfits in public places.

Safety and Health

Safety in Mendi

Mendi is generally a safe place to visit, and the locals are friendly and hospitable. However, visitors should take precautions to avoid possible safety problems.

Health in Mendi

Before visiting Mendi, you must consult with a medical specialist about necessary vaccinations. Avoid drinking tap water and ensure all food and drinks are from reputable sources.

Getting to Mendi: Transportation Options and Logistics

There are several ways to transit to Mendi, and each has its unique advantages and challenges.

Airports Near Mendi

Mendi Airport is the popular airport near Mendi, and it facilitates several internal flights in Papua New Guinea.

Bus Stations Near Mendi

There are no bus stations near Mendi, making air travel or hiring a private car your best options.

Other Options

Hiring a private car is the most flexible and convenient option for traveling to Mendi.

How to Get Around in Mendi

Public transportation is not reliable in Mendi. Hiring a private car or using an agency to organize for your transportation will make your travel around Mendi seamless.

Where to Go Next from Mendi: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Once you explore Mendi, there are several other places around that you can travel to. Some of the popular destinations near Mendi include:

  • Kokoda Track: A historic destination renowned for trekking and hiking tours.

  • Mount Hagen: A popular highland destination known for its scenic views and rugged landscapes.


Mendi is a hidden gem that promises to give visitors an unforgettable experience. From its beautiful landscapes, cultural heritage, to its hospitable people, visitors can enjoy outstanding and memorable moments. Make Mendi a must-visit destination on your travel bucket list.