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Tafea is a province of Vanuatu.


There are only three islands in Tafea with services:

A fairly large island, Aneityum itself has not been modernized or developed. However, there is a nearby island called Mystery Island, which has an airport and is developed to some extent.
Aniwa is a very small island with five villages and an airport. It is not far from Tanna.
This island is larger and more developed. There are several restaurants and hotels on the islands, particularly in the seaside town of Lenakel, but the most interesting attraction is Mount Yasur, an active volcano.

There are also the islands of Erromango and Futuna, which do not have any services and consist of a few small villages. Erromango is larger island, though, much like Tanna in size.

Mt. Yasur on Tanna island


Map of Tafea

For the most part, Tafea is not densely populated. Most of the people live in small villages, although there is a settlement on Aniwa which includes a hotel. Tanna is somewhat more developed, with a road going around much of the island, along with several hotels.


  • Aneghowhat
  • Mystery Island


  • Itamotou
  • Imalé
  • Isavaï
  • Ikaokao
  • Namsafoura


  • Port Narvin
  • Unpongkor


  • Iasoa
  • Ipao
  • Isia
  • Marae
  • Nakiroa
  • Napua


Other destinations[edit]

Mystery Island is the location of an airport and eatery. It is near the island of Aneityum.


It includes the southern islands of Tanna, Anatom, Futuna, Erromango, Aniwa, and Aneityum, from which the district gets its name.


The province has a population of 32,540 people and an area of 1,628 km. The main island, though second to Erromango in area, is Tanna, with some 80 percent of the province population, with the provincial capital of Isangel, and the largest village of Lenakel, both close together on the southwest coast.

The three larger islands are Melanesian, but the smaller two, Aniwa and Futuna, also known under the collective term Erronan Islands, are Polynesian outliers. Futuna is sometimes called West Futuna to distinguish it from Futuna Island, Wallis and Futuna.

The island of Tanna has the world's most accessible volcano, Mount Yasur, with 1,084 meters the highest peak of the province. Aniwa Island is the only coral island, the other four are volcanic and reach much higher elevations than Aniwa.

Anatom is the southernmost island of Vanuatu (not counting the remote, tiny and uninhabited Matthew and Hunter Islands, 280 to 335 kilometres (174–208 miles) to the southeast, which are disputed with New Caledonia, but which are considered by the people of Anatom Island part of their custom ownership). Its southeastern cape Nétchan Néganneaing is the southernmost point of land in Vanuatu, more southerly than the southern satellite islet Inyeug. The latter, however, is surrounded Intao Reef, that extends even further south, albeit submerged, thus being the southernmost feature of Vanuatu.


Unlike the other provinces of Vanuatu, the territorial integrity of this administrative unit has been unchanged since the times of the Condominium, when it was called Southern District, or Tanna after the main island. Only the capital moved from Lenakel to nearby Isangel, less than two kilometers more southeast.

A secessionist movement began in the 1970s, and the Nation of Tanna was proclaimed on March 24, 1974. While the British were more open to allowing its holdings in Vanuatu independence, it was opposed by the French colonists and finally suppressed by the Anglo-French Condominium authorities on June 29, 1974.

In 1980, there was another attempt to secede, declaring the Tafea Nation on January 1, 1980, its name coming from the initials of the five islands that were to be part of the nation (Tanna, Aniwa, Futuna, Erromango and Aneityum). British forces intervened on May 26, 1980, allowing the islands to become part of the newly independent nation of Vanuatu on July 30, 1980.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]


  • Mt. Yasur on Tanna island. Mount Yasur is an active volcano, 361 m (1,184 ft) above sea level. The glow of the volcano was apparently what attracted Captain James Cook to the island in 1774. The volcano can be climbed up to the rim and provides some stunning photo opportunities. Because of the variability of the eruptions, the local government has created safety levels: Level 0 - Low activity, access to the crater allowed; Level 1 - Normal activity, access to the crater allowed; Level 2 - Moderate to high activity, lava bombs may land beyond the crater rim, access to the crater is closed; Level 3 - Severe activity, access to the summit zone is closed; Level 4 - Major eruption, all access closed.

Beware that a few people have been killed by lava bombs in the past. A Tour Guide must be used. The entry fee is 2250 Vatu.


See Mantanna Marae Resort. It's completely custom and maintains the culture of the Ni-Vanuatu people.


  • Mantanna's Restaurant. Five-star dining with international selection. Best place to eat on the Island!


  • John Frum Kava Bar, local drink. The root of Kava is chewed, usually prepared in the Nakomal by virgin boys.


  • Friendly Beach on Tanna Island is located 6km away from Mt Yasur Volcano right on the quiet secluded sand beach of Lowelkas Cove, on the other side of the island from the airport.

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Port-Vila is the main city and capital of Vanuatu.
This region travel guide to Tafea is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!