Papua New Guinea has kicked off the year with the Port Moresby Riots 2024, again bringing in the question of if it is safe to travel to PNG right now. The answer as always as along the “its complicated” line.
And while January tends to be the off season for tourism in Papua New Guinea, there are still people passing through the country, such as 5 pioneers fresh from the Least Visited Countries Tour.
So, is it currently safe to travel through Papua New Guinea?
Port Moresby Riots 2024
The Port Moresby Riots 2024 were caused when the police were either accidentally, or intentionally underpaid. Thus, resulted in protests outside parliament and beyond, which seemed to result in a stalemate for the cops.
Said police then went “on strike” meaning the city, which is already one of the most dangerous in the world now had zero immunity from criminal gangs. People then went on the rampage largely just looting stores and blaming the Chinese for their woes.
This of course escalated into further violence, both sexual and physical with at least 17 people now thought dead and millions of dollars in damage to both Port Moresby and the city of Lae.
The situation though is now apparently mostly in control again.
End to the 2024 Port Moresby Riots
The riots came to an end when police were drawn in from outside of Port Moresby, back pay was promised and of course certain actors got what they wanted.
The government have now also put a curfew into place that means that people need to be home by 11:00pm, with out of state police, as well as the actual army seeing that the curfew is adhered to.
Is it safe to travel to Port Moresby in January 2024?
Port Moresby is a sprawled city, with the main hotels not only being in absolute compounds, but also far from the areas that suffered so much from the Port Moresby riots.
As such flights to and from the capital of PNG never stopped, with all main hotels including the Crown and Hilton still offering their shuttles.
As of January 13th, the city has been safe enough that certain driving tours of Port Moresby have resumed, but with that being said things are still more dangerous than normal and normal times are more dangerous than other global cities.
Papua New Guinea while lovely is in many cases a mess, where people do get robbed, so do always be careful when here.