Travel Advice for Papua New Guinea

Crime Threats to Travellers

Crimes against travellers to Papua New Guinea (PNG) are not common, but can be serious in nature. The capital of Port Moresby has the highest amount of serious crime, with the cities of Lae and Mt Hagen also noted areas with a significant crime problem. Weapons used in assaults and thefts include handguns and bush knives (also known as machetes.) Robberies, bag snatching, and assault (up to sexual assault) occur. Criminals like to strike at banks and cash machines.

Rape and sexual assault are problems that exist throughout PNG. Victims of violent crime, especially rape, are encouraged to seek medical attention immediately. PNG has a higher than normal rate of HIV/AIDS and seeking attention immediately helps to prevent the spread of the disease.

Steps to Prevent Being a Crime Victim

The first and easiest step to becoming a crime statistic is to not voyage outside the resort/hotel at night. Crime is most prevalent after sunset, and hotels/resorts have security to prevent the majority of crimes from affecting you. During daylight, it is wise to travel in groups or a caravan. Many roads that connect the larger cities are patrolled by crime gangs that will set up roadblocks in order to loot vehicles and attack occupants. Using a security escort also is strongly suggested when using your family car hire in Papua New Guinea. Travel along roads in PNG is much safer when travelling in groups.

Additional tips to ensure preventing crime from affecting you is to avoid the squatter (also known as “settlement”) areas in cities. Settlements are mostly tribal areas and infighting among the tribes can lead to violence, which spreads out to the public areas. Avoiding settlements, protests, large crowds, and other gatherings is wise, as violence can start and escalate rather quickly.

Entering Papua New Guinea

British travellers must hold a valid passport for entry into PNG. The passport must not expire within six months from your entry date into the country, even if only staying for one week. Upon landing in PNG, British nationals and tourists both must obtain a visa for entry into the country. Visas can be gained upon arrival into PNG. If you have any questions or concerns with entry requirements into PNG, the Papua New Guinea High Commission office in London is available to address any concerns you may have.  The British Commission office in Port Moresby can produce emergency travel documents for exiting PNG if a medical or other emergency should arise.

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