Vanuatu

capital Port-Vila
Government parliamentary republic
Currency vatu (VUV)
Area 12,200km²
Population 196,178 (July 2002 est.)
Language English, French, creole (known as Bislama or Bichelama) official; plus 100+ local languages
Religion Presbyterian 36.7%, Anglican 15%, Roman Catholic 15%, indigenous beliefs 7.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 6.2%, Church of Christ 3.8%, other 15.7% (including Jon Frum Cargo cult)

 

 

Vanuatu a step back in time

Vanuatu is a culture rich and diverse group of elands. The prehistory of Vanuatu is obscure; archaeological evidence supports the commonly held theory that peoples speaking Austronesian languages first came to the islands some 4,000 years ago.

Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 kilometres.

The first island in the Vanuatu group discovered by Europeans was Espiritu Santo, when in 1606 the Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandes de Queirós working for the Spanish crown, spied what he thought was a southern continent. Europeans did not return until 1768. In 1774, Captain Cook named the islands the New Hebrides, a name that lasted until independence.

To see

Yasur Volcano on Tanna,

Mount Yasur is an active volcano on Tanna Island, Vanuatu, 361 m (1,184 ft) high above sea level, on the coast near Sulphur Bay, southeast of the taller Mount Tukosmera, which was active in the Pleistocene. It has a largely unvegetated pyroclastic cone with a nearly circular summit crater 400 m in diameter. You can walk right to the rim in the right conditions and at night is it breath taking, the biggest fireworks show on earth.

 

Land diving in Pentecost

Nagol Land Diving – This is perhaps the cultural tradition of the in-Vanuatu which has made the nation famous all over the world. Said to be the pre-cursor of modern bungee jumping, Nagol land diving sees local men of the southern part of Pentecost Island jumping off wooden towers from heights of up to 98ft with only tree vines tied to their feet as part of a coming-of-age ritual. Previously held once a year, the tradition now takes place every Saturday from April to June to accommodate tourists who want to witness this death-defying ritual of the locals.

Mele Cascades

You can walk these alone or with a guide.  It is a simple waterfall walk and a guide is not needed – can be a bit slippery but it is worth the effort the a water pools along the way to help you cope with the heat.

To do

Diving

The scuba diving in Vanuatu is superb and offers reef and wreck dives for the novice and experienced divers. Vanuatu is, of course, home to one of the worlds most sought after dives, The President Coolidge. The ‘Coolidge’ is off the island of Espiritu Santo and, as it is recommended only for the experienced divers who have several days to explore.

Fishing

The waters in Vanuatu are deep and we have some great canyons and drop offs – favourite hang outs for Blue Marlin. There is also a number of FAD (fish aggregating devises) that we can use. There is a streh of water called the Marlin highway – for good reason

 

Special

Bislama

Bislama is a highly simplified form of a language that originally arose where people with no common language came into contact with one another and were forced to communicate. Some of these ‘pidgins’ later evolved into sophisticated, fully-developed languages (these are technically known as ‘creoles’, although the term ‘pidgin’ has persisted or Bislama).

basket blong pikinini (“basket for child”) womb
bata nus (“butter nose”) mucus
bed blong spaeda (“bed of spider”) web
dakdak sus (“duck shoes”) flippers/fins
glas blong hariken (“glass for hurricane”) barometer
haf ded (“half dead”) unconscious
hok naet (“hawk night”) owl
rabis mit (“rubbish meat”) tumour
sel blong fingga (“shell of finger”) fingernail
smok blong solwota (“smoke of saltwater”) sea spray
smol faea (“small fire”) purgatory
smol hariken (“small hurricane”) squall
smol rat (“small rat”) mouse
titi blong wil (“titty of wheel”) valve

 

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