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Introducing Telefomin

The remote station of Telefomin was established in 1948 and remains one of the most isolated communities in PNG.

The local MAF pilots and pastors give excellent advice on local walks, including a three-hour trek to the source of the Sepik. Between 1912 and 1914, Richard Thurnwald walked some hard yards following the Sepik to this stream, found not far from Telefomin.

Children can guide you to Oketemp Cave (1½ hours return) and Songitin eternal flame (two hours return). Bring your matches to light the natural gas that seeps from the ground as the rain will have put it out.

Missionaries are very active here and traditional ways are dying out. Men no longer wear ‘Telefomin trousers’ (penis gourds) for which the area is renowned other than at singsings, Christmas celebrations and Independence Day. The town’s generator kicks in at 6pm and finishes at 10pm – provided it has fuel.