Stay Safe in Papua New Guinea
In certain circles (mainly Australian ones), the country is regarded as a hazardous destination, owing to the operations of criminal gangs (called in Tok Pisin as raskols) in major towns, particularly Port Moresby and Lae.
This is usually due to increasing internal migration from subsistence farming in the highlands to the closest urban center, which causes unemployment.
In the Port Moresby and Lae regions, there is no history of significant settlement. As a result, they are colonial towns with a tribal mix that promotes instability. With longer periods of habitation and more stable tribal homogeneity, Madang, Wewak, Goroka, Mt. Hagen, and Tari are more safer.
The communities are quite secure since the residents will “adopt” you as one of their own.
If you must, the most essential thing to remember is to keep current on the law and order situation in the areas you want to travel.
The majority of hotels in Port Moresby are safe and located inside complexes, with guards monitoring the perimeter. However, real shooting in the capital is thankfully uncommon. Make enquiries with your hotel or accommodation provider if you intend on taking a tour of any city, as many will be able to either walk with you or drive you to anywhere you want to go, or simply around the local region if that is what you want to do.
Avoid going out after dark, but if you must, be very cautious.
Flying in tiny aircraft may be very dangerous. Almost no year passes without at least one deadly accident (the most recent in August 2009 when 12 people were killed). While the aircraft are generally well-kept and the pilots are technically competent, the issue is the steep terrain. Many of the smaller airfields are in steep valleys. When there is cloud cover, aircraft have a tough time locating them and sometimes crash into a mountain. However, the state airline, Air Niugini, which flies internationally and to the country’s main cities, has a spotless safety record in 32 years of existence.
Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) are widespread in Papua New Guinea and may reach lengths of 7 m or more (although individuals over 6 m are rare). They eat people on occasion. They are as at home in freshwater lakes and rivers as they are in coastal waters. Swimming should be avoided unless at higher altitudes and in hotel pools. Papua New Guinea and Australia have the world’s largest and healthiest populations of big saltwater crocodiles.
Many active volcanoes may be found in Papua New Guinea, and many of the most popular treks include going close to or climbing one or more of them.
Stay Healthy in Papua New Guinea
In certain areas, tap water is hazardous to drink.
Malaria is also a risk, but many communities, especially those near industry, are routinely treated for mosquitoes. Take the necessary measures to avoid mosquitos and mosquito-borne illnesses.
Malaria medicine is available at pharmacies and, in addition to preventing malaria, will keep your stomach happy.