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Tonda Wildlife Management Area, Western Province

"The remote and sparsely populated South-Western corner of Papua New Guinea is home to our most isolated Wilderness Lodge - Bensbach. Unlike most of the country there are no towering mountains, no waterfalls, only wide, sweeping flood plains abundant with all forms of wildlife.

Bensbach is the premier wildlife location in PNG. The grasslands teem with herds of deer, wallabies, snakes and monitor lizards and the flood plains are a vital stopping point for migratory birds on their incredible journey between their breeding grounds to the North and their feeding areas in the Southern Hemisphere. Curlew Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstones (which breed in Arctic Siberia) and Yellow Wagtails (which breed in Eurasia) are some of our more special visitors found here.

The wetlands are also home to massive flocks of pelicans, pygmy geese and sea eagles and other raptors hunt fish from the skies above. A complete list of 191 different species of birds that have been recorded at Bensbach Lodge.

Life at Bensbach however, is not only abundant above the water. Bensbach is a sport fisherman's paradise -renowned as one of the Barramundi capitals of the world. Catering to the serious angler as well as those who just want to experience catching one of these magnificent fighting fish, Bensbach practices sustainable catch-and-release fishing and only what is needed for that nights meal is kept.

Stands of malaluca (paper bark eucalypts) provide building materials for the local people and the bark is used as insulation in traditional ovens. Sago and yams are the staples of the Bensbach people, storing their yams for up to six months at a time in yam houses, this seasonal crop is the life blood of the Bensbach people.

Bensbach accommodates up to sixteen guests in two separate wings, each linked to the main lodge building that houses the dining area, a well stocked bar and comfortable lounge. The lodge is built entirely from local materials, adapted to the tastes and comfort of its visitors with 220V electricity, ceiling fans and hot and cold water. The dinner menu features delicious freshly caught Bensbach barramundi and venison purchased from local hunters.

Birding, fishing and cultural touring is done on small power boats with experienced skippers and accompanied by knowledgeable local guides.

Bensbach Wilderness Lodge is accessible only by Charter Aircraft from Mount Hagen, Port Moresby or Daru."

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