Map of Vanuatu which highlights the location of Tanna Island.

Tanna | A Place to Remember.

Tanna Island lies in the southern group of islands, and is the centre of Tafea Province in Vanuatu. It's people have a distinctive cultural identity, and their adherence to their age old 'Kastom' is unrivalled in Vanuatu. In many ways their way of life centres around the dominance that Mt Yasur Volcano has over the island, which takes on a personality of its own and 'who' is affectionately referred to by local Tannese as 'Grandfather'. Because of the constant but the mostly benign activity of Mt Yasur there is much about the Tanna landscape that is unique; from the black sand and pumice beaches on the east coast, through to the lush tropical growth throughout the middlebush region, where extensive areas of coffee are grown.

Relatively undeveloped, Tanna offers travellers a unique insight into both its untouched tropical countryside, of lush bush, stunning views, massive banyan trees, and waterfalls fuelled by underground limestone aquifers.

'Man-Tanna' | The Tannese people, their rich culture, traditions and way of Life.

As fantastic as the topography and landscape on the island is, Tanna is perhaps better known for its people and their rich Melanesian culture. Tannese have a deep adherence to 'kastom', their belief system that has waned or disappeared on many of the other Islands of Vanuatu. As a people, Tannese are proud of where they come from, who they are, and their way of life. Always willing to discuss their culture to travellers, many communities will invite outsiders to participate in aspects of their social life. The people of Tanna are welcoming, interested in all who visit, and go out of their way to help travellers enjoy their island.

Tannese Lady carrying a heavy load of Pandanus leaves  along one of the Kastom trails, on her way to her local village for the village ladies to prepare and weave them into floor mats and carrying baskets.

Isso on a kastom walk along one of the kastom trails in the central region of Middlebush, Tanna Island.

Tannese Culture & Kastom.

Tannese people have strongly held onto the culture and 'Kastom' that has formed the pillar of Ni-Vanuatu life for centuries. However, added to this is an ardent Christian belief, with more than a twist of 'Jon Frum'. The later is stereotyped from the second world war, but actually has its roots in the early 1900’s, and has a much deeper philosophical basis.

Fanstastic view of Mt Yasur volcano erupting in the dusk sky on Tanna, Vanuatu.

Mt Yasur Volcano.

Mount Yasur is one of the most constantly active volcanos in the world. What sets it apart, is its ability to be continuously erupting in a relatively well defined manner, making it ideal for observation by travellers. It’s spectacular “show” has been in action for centuries, but is fairly easily reached being only 360 above sea level. While Mt Yasur is administered by a government appointed company, just getting there is an adventure in itself.

Traveller  at the base of the Lenuanatuaiu (first waterfall) located neat the east coast of Tanna in middlebush.

Eco-Tours | Waterfalls & Tropical Rainforest.

Tanna possesses authentic walks through some landscapes that have existed in harmony with mother nature for hundreds of years. Local communities have recognized the importance of the land and have nurtured and developed growth of local flora to provide what they need to sustain their way of life, in a manner which has enhanced and protects the survival of local habitats. The landscape is interspersed with spring fed waterfalls.

In Tanna, Bungalow accommodation provides visitors with a greater appreciation of village life and provides them to see a participate in local activities.

Tannese Bungalow Accommodation.

While prestige accommodation is available on Tanna Island, going to experience resort living defeats the purpose of going. The best travel experience is often found close to where the local communities are, and bungalow accommodation is generally run by the kastom land-owners themselves. Often the highlight of any visit to Tanna is being amongst the local communities, talking to the people, eating their food, and experiencing their lives.

One of the fantastic activities to do on tanna is to visit the Blue cave on the northern tip of the Island. A trip by boat along the western coast provides travellers with a good view of the coast.

Soft Adventure + Melanesian Culture.

Vanuatu as a destination, offers a diverse blend of 'soft adventure' that can be enjoyed by both the 'fit and active', as well as recreational travellers who want to take it a bit easier. What makes Tanna Island unique, is the mix of culture and adventure that fit easily together. A wide selection of adventure awaits visitors, and Tanna offers a range of distinct activities for travellers.

Kastom and Jon-Frum Ceremonies play a central part of culture on Tanna Island.

Ceremonies and Traditions.

Tannese people have embraced a vibrant brand of Christianity but include it in their lives, along with their traditional kastom way of life, and often more than just a smattering of 'Jon-Frum'. The result is a diverse and colourful social calendar and, at various times of year major ceremonies take place. Generally visitors are welcome and are often encouraged to participate.

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For more information on Tanna Island, Vanuatu, go to the Tanna-Adventures website.

Tanna-Adventures | Accommodation & Tours.

Tanna Adventures is one of the top accommodation providers and tour operators on Tanna island. Owned and operated by Isso and Rachel Kapum, Tanna-Adventures is well known and respected on the island. As well as providing a number of unique tours to Mt Yasur, the Blue Cave, and Yakel Kastom Village, Tanna-Adventures specialises in providing great authentic cultural adventures. Isso and Rachel provide unrivalled 'insights' into village life on Tanna, walking 'Kastom' Trials, and participating in village life such as making 'Lap-lap', the local culinary experience.

Click | for more on Tanna-Adventures.


Image of the Blog Page which has extensive articles on authentic travel on Tanna Island, Vanuatu

BLOG | Authentic Tanna Island.

Have a browse through the extensive number of Blog posts on Tanna island. You will find a great selection of articles surrounding Tannese people, their culture and traditions, Mt Yasur and the many things to do there, as well as transport, accommodation, weather, and the best time of year to go.

Click | for Blog Articles on Tanna Island


Image of Vanuatu Blog that includes all blog articles on Vanuatu, which include a diverse and comprehensive selection of articles on the Melanesian Country of Vanuatu.

BLOG | Authentic Vanuatu.

Have a look here at our BLOG Articles on Vanuatu. Why re-invent the wheel, have a read and it might just heighten the great moments of your journey, and reduce those horrible moments you would like to forget.

Click | for Blog Articles on Vanuatu.


Morning view of Mt Yasur Volcano on Tanna Island, Vanuatu, on a clear day and an amazing dawn sky.


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