Vao Island Cultural Tour

Beterehi Nasara on the beautiful small island of Vao off the coast of North Eastern Malekula is a fantastic place to learn the intricacies and magic of Small Nambas Culture. This 1 ½ – 2 hour cultural tour gives an insight by way of demonstration and experience of many ancient cultural practices including hunting for wild game, house construction, living by the moon calendar, weaving from a variety of natural materials, and traditional communication systems. You will also learn about details of marriage proposals, acceptance and bride price. You will hear the beats of the giant standing tam tam drum and try your hand at traditional tools used in preparing coconuts for meals. The carvings of Vao are numerous and each unique. Surrounding the Nasara are a variety of fascinating carved figures in hardwood and black palm including a ‘Giant Standing Man.’ Come to be enlightened in this engaging and educational tour.

Fitness Rating: Easy

Typical tour programme:

  • Meet your tour guide and boat across to Vao Island from the Mainland (10 minutes)
  • Walk 20 minutes across the island through villages and gardens
  • Welcome by your tour guide to the Nasara
  • Sand-drawing demonstrations
  • Weaving of ropes for outriggers and mat weaving by the Women
  • House wall construction using coral lime
  • Wild animal trapping techniques
  • Bow and arrow making and shooting
  • Living by the moon calendar
  • Traditional communication methods
  • Marriage proposal, acceptance and bride price
  • Use of namele leaf in kastom tradition
  • Beats of the Tam Tam
  • Processing coconut
  • Fire-making
  • A chance to purchase carvings
  • Tropical refreshments
  • Walk and boat back to the mainland.

Half-day tour operates by request. Total tour time is approximately 3 ½ hours including travel. Bookings in advance are essential. Does not operate on a Sunday.
Price: 5,000 VT per person.
Tour fee including refreshments.
​Boat is additional and must be paid directly. Transfers can be arranged – we are happy to quote on enquiry.