Bunuba Country Kimberley Safari Experiences

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Bunuba Culture

Fitzroy Crossing, home to one of the longest continuous cultures in the world, Bunuba Culture.

Kaluwan’s experienced Aboriginal guides have a wealth of cultural and contemporary knowledge of the social, economic and historical history of the Kimberley. Taking people on Country and sharing knowledge gained from Elders both past and present.

46,000 Years of history

Fitzroy Crossing

Fitzroy Crossing is located 400kms inland from Broome. Bunuba country is made up of 650,000 ha / 6,500 km2 and includes places such as Bandilngan (Windjana), Dimalurru (Tunnel creek) Danggu (Geikie gorge) Yuwulurru (Lennard gorge) Banjay (Sir John gorge) Bandaral Ngarri (Fitzroy River), Jijirrgi (Dimond Gorge), Miluwindi (King Leopold Ranges) Malaraba (the Erskine Range), Dawadiya (Trig Hill).

Historical Fitzroy crossing township


Bunuba Muwayi’s

Bunuba is the language that is spoken, and this language unites Bunuba people from different Muwayi’s or clan estates. A muwayi is an area, and it is also each Dawangarri who are responsible for it. Dawangarri and muwayi are inseparable.

Dawangarri are the groups of Traditional Owners who identify with a particular muwayi. When Bunuba people speak and name their muwayi as a people, they are also talking for the muwayi from which we come. Although Bunuba is made up of many muwayi, they are all interconnected through language and social kinship systems.

Danggu muwayi is the clan estate of Joe and Rene, it is who they are as a people. Since time immemorial, their ancestors have had responsibilities to Danggu – to manage, to protect, to maintain and to connect with Danggu. These responsibilities are to places and sites of ceremonial significance, and to the entire landscape.

It is the coming together of all Muwayi’s that makes for Bunuba Country. Our connection to Country was laid down in the Laws of ngarranggani, the creation time. Each hold an obligation to Country, and for all the human and non-human beings that belong to each muwayi. They have cared for this Country since time immemorial and continue to do so today. Whilst each of have an obligation to their Country.

More About Bunuba

Map depicting the Bunuba Native title determination area (purple shaded zone). covered by Kimberley pastoral leases

Map credits Kimberley Land Council

Joe and Rene, will ensure your Kimberley journey becomes a memory of a lifetime, filled with local Bunuba knowledge and discoveries. Kaluwan provides a personal touch for all Safaris and custom made tours.

Bunuba Seasons

Kaluwan Aboriginal Guides have a rich cultural connection to the Fitzroy Valley, a remote outback part of the Kimberley region in Western Australia.

Kaluwan Safaris are available during the dry season, late Girinybali, Maurri and early Barrangga.



Mid February – mid April

After the big rains, country is alive and active. Baniy (goanna) are growing fat and ready to be hunted. It is the nyalalanggarra (male), who has been feeding on frogs, that we target at this time.i s when we start using winthali (fire) to look after and manage country.

Night photo of boab tree under the Milky Way


Mid April – July

As the afternoon sky lightens into biyi (shades of pink & purple), and the munbu (stratus clouds) streak across the sky, we know that cold weather has come. The milky way brightens as we burn thalngarri (Snappy Gum) which keeps us warm throughout the night. Maurri is the season for (bush turkey), one of the tastiest of our bush meats.

Baby crocodile hatching from egg


August – mid December

Barrangga is build up time. It is hot and humid, with thalangu (dust & storms), and walangu (gales) whipping across country. The hot weather signals a big shift for our reptiles as the jungurra (olive python) and walaganburu (rock python) wake up from their cold weather sleep. The flowering Bandiran (silver-leaf paperbark) tells us that the gayi (crocodile) are now laying their eggs.

Thalangu storm


Mid December – mid February

Bulurru is the time of the monsoon rains. Everything is green and it is the best time for hunting and harvest. The air is thick with the scent of barrala (shiny black spinifex wax), which we use for healing. The call of the yidiyidi (cicada) lets us know that it is time for ceremony to begin.

Personal service from your hosts Joe and Rene

Joe Ross

Joe Ross is the CEO of the not-for-profit Bunuba Cultural Conservation Institute (BCCI).

BCCI acts in the interests of the Bunuba community; preserving and advancing the traditions, laws, language and customs. BCCI are involved in conducting projects that address the wellbeing, economic, social and cultural aspirations of Bunuba people.

Joe spearheaded the development of economic capacity of Bunuba people through the preservation of culture and history and community connection.

Joe Ross - Kaluwan guide

Rene Dingo

Rene is a Bunuba Man who works in the alcohol or other drug (AOD) sector as an Aboriginal specialist.

Rene has extensive clinical experience and expertise in working with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal clients. As a Bunuba Man, he is a Traditional Owner within the Fitzroy Valley. As such, he has a thorough social and cultural connection with his people, the local Indigenous population, and the regional network of service providers.

Rene Dingo - Kaluwan guide

Suggested Further Reading and Viewing

If you are interested in learning more about the Indigenous cultures of the Fitzroy Valley before the tour.
Here’s our list of relevant reading and viewing material.