New Guinea (PNG) is a dynamic and democratic country
in the Southwest Pacific, north of Australia. The capital
is Port Moresby. PNG boasts more than 800 distinct languages
and tribes and is home to a number of unique tropical
species. Tourist facilities outside major towns are
limited, and crime is a concern throughout the country
(please see the section on crime below). Read the Department
of State Fact
Sheet on Papua New Guinea for additional information.
Exit and Visa Requirements
the Papua New Guinea Immigration website, to enter the
country you must have a passport that is valid for at
least six months from the date of intended travel, an
onward/return airline ticket, and proof of sufficient
funds. You may obtain a tourist visa (valid for stays
of up to 60 days, with extensions available for an additional
30 days) and single-entry business visas (valid for
stays of up to 30 days) when you arrive at Jacksons
International Airport in Port Moresby. You must apply
for a visa in advance if you are traveling for other
than business or tourism. The Embassy of Papua New Guinea
is located at 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 805,
Washington, DC 20036; telephone: 202-745-3680. Visit
of Papua New Guinea website and the Papua
New Guinea Immigration website for the most current
you transit other countries en route to PNG, please
follow all necessary exit/entry procedures for the countries
that you transit. You may need to obtain visas or travel
authorizations for some of those countries, such as
about dual nationality or the prevention
of international child abduction can be found on
our website. For further information about customs regulations,
please read our Customs Information page.
Restrictions: The Government of Papua New Guinea imposes
HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors and foreign
residents. If you request residency or intend to remain
long term in Papua New Guinea, you are required to have
an AIDS test performed at a U.S. medical facility. Please
verify current procedures with the Embassy
of Papua New Guinea in Washington, DC before you
between communal or clan groups may result in local
conflicts involving bush knives, machetes, or firearms.
Consult with your tour operator or with Papua New Guinean
authorities for current information on areas where you
intend to travel.
a high degree of caution in Bougainville. Law enforcement
in this area is ineffective, and tourist and transportation
facilities are limited. Areas near the Panguna mine,
located on the southern part of the Island of Bougainville,
have been officially designated no go zones
by the Autonomous Government of Bougainville; we strongly
recommend that you avoid those areas.
ordinance and mines may be found in Bougainville, East
New Britain, and throughout the Papua New Guinea islands.
Exercise caution when walking or hiking off marked roads
Enroll in the Smart
Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up
to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter
- Bookmark the Bureau
of Consular Affairs website, which contains the
Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Papua New Guinea on Twitter
and visiting the Embassys
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747
toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via
a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal
security and checking for useful tips for traveling
CRIME: Papua New Guinea has a high crime rate. U.S.
citizens have been victims of violent crime, including
rape, carjacking, home invasions, kidnappings, and armed
robberies. Crime rates are highest in and around major
cities such as Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Mount Hagen,
and Goroka, but crimes can occur anywhere. You are at
a greater risk of violent crimes such as robbery or
sexual assault if you travel alone, especially if you
plan to hike in isolated rural areas. Pickpockets and
opportunistic bag-snatchers frequent crowded public
areas, including parks, golf courses, beaches, and cemeteries.
Bag-snatchers may try to open doors of automobiles that
are stopped or moving slowly in traffic.
tours booked through travel agencies remain the safest
means to visit Papua New Guinea, although on rare occasions,
even persons participating in organized tours have been
subject to violent robbery, assault, serious injury,
or death. In Papua New Guinea, avoid using local taxis
or buses, known as Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs). Rely
on your sponsor or hotel to arrange for hotel transportation
or a rental car. Road travel outside of major towns
can be hazardous due to criminal roadblocks near bridges,
curves in the road, or other areas where vehicle speed
and mobility is restricted. Lock your doors and keep
your windows rolled up. Avoid driving after dark, if
possible. Please consult with local law enforcement
officials concerning security conditions before driving
between towns. (See the Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
section below.) Travel to isolated places in Papua New
Guinea is possible primarily by small passenger aircraft
to the many small airstrips throughout the country.
Security measures at these airports throughout Papua
New Guinea are often inadequate. When possible, only
fly during daylight hours.
Trails: Exercise caution if you plan to hike the Kokoda
Track, the Black Cat Track, or other trails in Papua
New Guinea. Travel with guides from a reputable tour
company. Local landowners occasionally threaten to close
parts of the tracks due to local land and compensation
disputes. Check with your travel agent and/or tour operator
for contingency plans in the event that a track is blocked.
Hikers have been attacked even though they are part
of an organized tour, some sustaining serious injuries
or death. You are strongly advised to purchase appropriate
travelers/medical insurance, including medical evacuation
coverage, before arriving in Papua New Guinea. The Kokoda
Track Authority (KTA) has stationed rangers along the
track and at airports to collect fees from trekkers
who have not obtained a valid trekking permit. The KTA
can be contacted by telephone at 675-325-5540 or 675-325-1887
regarding payment of applicable fees.
OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim
of a crime abroad, contact the local police and the
nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
a stolen passport.
Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the
victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities,
and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
Help you understand the local criminal justice process
and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important
to remember that local authorities are responsible for
investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the 911 emergency
line in Papua New Guinea is 111.
see our information
for victims of crime, including possible victim
compensation programs in the United States.
Laws and Special Circumstances
PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Papua New Guinea,
you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal
systems can be vastly different from our own. Persons
violating Papua New Guinea laws, even unknowingly, may
be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for
possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in
Papua New Guinea are severe. Driving under the influence
could land you immediately in jail. If you break local
laws in Papua New Guinea, your U.S. passport wont
help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
are also some things that might be legal in the country
you visit, but still be illegal in the United States.
You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging
in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating
child pornography in a foreign country regardless of
the legality of these activities under that countrys
laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the
United States and if you purchase them in a foreign
country, you may be breaking local law as well.
notifications in host country: While some countries
will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested
in that country, others may not. To ensure that the
United States is aware of your circumstances, request
that the police and prison officials notify the nearest
U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested
or detained overseas.
Papua New Guinean customs authorities enforce strict
regulations governing firearms, certain prescription
drugs, wooden artifacts, animal products, food, and
sexually explicit material. Other products may be subject
to quarantine. You should contact the Embassy of Papua
New Guinea in Washington, D.C. for specific information
regarding customs requirements. (See the contact information
in the section on Entry/Exit Requirements above.)
Disasters: Papua New Guinea lies in an active seismic
zone. Earthquakes, destructive tsunamis, and landslides
can occur. There are active volcanoes in PNG with regular
eruptions around Rabaul, Bougainville, West New Britain,
and Manam Island. Ash from volcanoes in the Rabaul region
occasionally disrupts airline schedules at Kokopo airport.
Flights may be cancelled at short notice.
information about natural disaster preparedness is available
from the U.S.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Carry a copy of your U.S. passport at all times so that
you can demonstrate your proof of identity and U.S.
citizenship to authorities if asked.
TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad,
please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
RIGHTS: Same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in
Papua New Guinea. However, there are no known incidents
of the prosecution, of consenting adults. Papua New
Guinea is a conservative country and public displays
of affection are not welcomed. For further information
on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel,
please read our LGBT
Travel Information page.
While in Papua New Guinea, individuals with disabilities
may find accessibility and accommodation very different
from that in the United States. Papua New Guinea does
not have legislation that mandates access to transportation,
communication, and public buildings for persons with
disabilities. The road network in Papua New Guinea is
in poor condition and foot paths and road crossings
in most major towns are congested and uneven, limiting
access and movement for people with disabilities.
quality of medical facilities in Papua New Guinea varies
greatly between larger towns and remote areas. Medical
facilities in larger towns are usually adequate for
routine problems and minor emergencies. However, equipment
failures and shortages of common medications can mean
that even routine treatments and procedures (such as
X-rays) may be unavailable.
facilities may be inaccessible in some rural areas.
Although there is purportedly one hyperbaric recompression
chamber for diving emergencies located in Port Moresby,
it is routinely inaccessible or non-operational. Diving
injuries will therefore almost always require medical
evacuation to Australia, where more sophisticated facilities
are available. Medical evacuation companies may charge
thousands of dollars for transport to Australia or the
United States. If you anticipate the possible need for
medical treatment in Australia, obtain a visa or entry
permission for Australia in advance.
in Papua New Guinea are found only in urban centers.
Pharmacies are generally small and may be inadequately
stocked. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate
cash payment for medical services. Additional Health
and Medical Information is available on the Embassy
can find detailed information on vaccinations and other
health precautions on the CDC
website. For information about outbreaks of infectious
diseases abroad, consult the World
Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains
additional health information for travelers, including
country-specific health information.
SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Papua New Guinea,
you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly
from those in the United States. The information below
concerning Papua New Guinea is provided for general
reference only and may not be totally accurate in a
particular location or circumstance.
in Papua New Guinea moves on the left. Motor vehicle
accidents are a common cause of serious injury in Papua
New Guinea, especially to passengers sitting in the
open bed of a pickup truck. Whether the driver or a
passenger, you should wear a seatbelt at all times.
There is no countrywide road network. Roads, especially
in rural areas, are in a poor state of repair. Other
common safety risks on PNG roads include erratic and
drunk drivers, poorly maintained vehicles, and over-crowded
vehicles. During the rainy season, landslides occur
on some stretches of the Highlands Highway between Lae
and Mount Hagen. Vehicles often encounter criminal roadblocks
on the Highlands Highway during the day and widely after
roadblocks to check vehicle registrations are a regular
occurrence at night in Port Moresby. As a driver, you
should ensure that your vehicle registration and safety
stickers are up-to-date in order to minimize difficulties
can react emotionally and violently after road accidents.
Crowds form quickly after an accident and may attack
those whom they hold responsible by stoning and/or burning
vehicles. Friends and relatives of an injured party
may demand immediate compensation from the party they
hold responsible for injuries, regardless of legal responsibility.
People involved in accidents should not stop at the
scene of the accident, but rather go directly to the
nearest police station.
refer to our Road
Safety page for more information. For specific information
concerning Papua New Guinea driving permits, vehicle
inspection, road tax, road safety and mandatory insurance,
please call the Papua New Guineas Motor Vehicle
Institute Limited at 675-325-9666 or 675-302-4600.
SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air
service to the United States by carriers registered
in Papua New Guinea, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has not assessed the government of Papua New Guineas
Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.
Further information may be found on the FAAs
safety assessment page.
Department Travel Warnings
Information For PNG Travelers