World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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Map of Australia and South Pacific

Papua New Guinea
Travelling Guide
Papua New Guinea Travelling Guide

General background: The eastern half of the island of New Guinea - second largest in the world - was divided between Germany (north) and the UK (south) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Australia in 1902, which occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to administer the combined areas until independence in 1975. A nine-year secessionist revolt on the island of Bougainville ended in 1997, after claiming some 20,000 lives.

Area comparative: Slightly larger than California.

Climate: Tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation.

Terrain: Mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills.

Population: 5,172,033 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian

Religions: Roman Catholic 22%, Lutheran 16%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1%, Presbyterian/Methodist/London Missionary Society 8%, Anglican 5%, Evangelical Alliance 4%, other Protestant 10%, indigenous beliefs 34%

Language: English spoken by 1%-2%, Pidgin English widespread, Motu spoken in Papua region
note: 715 Indigenous languages

Government type: Constitutional monarchy with parliamentary democracy

Capital: Port Moresby

Legal system: Based on English common law

Economic overview: Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the population. Mineral deposits, including oil, copper, and gold, account for 72% of export earnings. The economy has declined over the past two years and will probably continue to falter in 2002. Prime Minister Mekere MORAUTA has tried to restore integrity to state institutions, stabilize the kina, restore stability to the national budget, privatise public enterprises where appropriate, and ensure ongoing peace on Bougainville. The government has had considerable success in attracting international support, specifically gaining the support of the IMF and the World Bank in securing development assistance loans. Significant challenges remain for MORAUTA, however, including gaining further investor confidence, specifically for the proposed Papua New Guinea-Australia oil pipeline, continuing efforts to privatise government assets, and maintaining the support of members of Parliament.

Communication/Telephone system: Services are adequate and being improved; facilities provide radiotelephone and telegraph, coastal radio, aeronautical radio, and international radio communication services.

Places of interest:

Travel tips: There have been reports of robbery, mugging, rape etc. recently. The best advice is to simply use your head and take reasonable care.