For people wanting to visit Tanna Island to see Yasur volcano and experience the true tradition of the locals; you must stay at Yasur Camping Site. This is located at the Base of Yasur near the entrance to the volcano. You can’t get any closer.
We arrived on Tanna in the afternoon and were met with our Host Jackson. After loading our gear and ourselves in the back of a 4x4 Ute, we were ready for our 90 minute journey through the jungles of Tanna. Not a very smooth ride but quite enjoyable. Jackson kept us informed through out the drive of all the interesting things this Island has to offer including its culture and their many traditions. We knew we were getting closer to our camp as we passed through the ash plains of Yasur. We finally arrived at Yasur Camping Site and were greeted by Jackson’s family.
The tent looked quite cosy and turned out to be quite comfortable also. We could see and hear the volcano from our tent. That was a real buzz.
We put our gear in our tent and prepared for our trip up to the volcano. A coat is a must as it gets a little chilly up there and don’t forget your flashlight. You will need it. Also don’t forget to get your camera, as we nearly did due to our excitement in getting up there. Our guides Philip and John jumped in the back of the 4x4 with us and we drove up towards the rim. We could see steam and gas coming out from the sides of the track. The drive took about 10 minutes to reach the car park located on a semi flat area. From here we walked the rest of the way towards the rim of the volcano. It is quite steep so take you time. I was so excited that I quickly walked up and found myself a little out of breath. Philip and John stayed with us at all time looking out for our safety.Yasur was a category 2 with the occasional what I described as a 2.5. “Wow”. There was activity every 2 to 3 minutes.
It is quite spectacular at night but it is also awesome during the day. Staying at Yasur Camping Site near the entrance allows you multiple visits as the travel time to the volcano is only 10 minutes.This is a great advantage as most people who visit Tanna usually arrive in the afternoon, get on the back of 4x4 Ute for the 90 minute drive to the volcano, see the volcano, then get driven 90 minutes back to their accommodation for a sleep, and then fly straight out the next day. There is nothing wrong with that, as there are many other accommodation sites much closer, but Tanna has a lot more to offer than just the volcano.
Back at our camping site, Marry served us our dinner in the dinning hut. We sat on a woven mat laid on the floor with a kerosene lantern as our light. There is no electric power on Tanna and only a select few have generators. There are no flushing toilets or any running water at the camp site. That’s an experience in itself. Don’t forget your flashlight. Our dinner was traditional village food. Chicken and rice with sweet potato and lemon water to quench our thirst. My plate had enough food for two. It was a real experience. However you can bring your own food and drink if you wish. While lying in our tent we could hear the volcano and sometimes feel the rumbling through the ground.
In the morning, Jackson showed us how to light a fire by rubbing two sticks together. He also shows us his bow and arrow. He uses this for hunting birds and other small animals.
There are many sights and activities you can see and do on Tanna.
Horse riding, Cultural tours, Hot springs, and much more.
Jackson or Phillip can arranged guided tours or sight seeing to fulfil your adventure. Visit the volcano in the morning and see the sun rise.The activities are numerous so if you’re looking for that adventure holiday, Yasur Camping Site might be for you.
It was for us.
If you are keen on a camping adventure of a life time and would like to stay close to Yasur
we recommend Yasur Camping Site.
Jackson 678 5645081
Charlie 678 5470496
Fondest memory: We miss the simplicity of life and the people of Tanna.
We brought with us bags of lollies and threw then out to the children while driving through the villages. The children are so happy and cheerful as they ran out to collect their lollies.
Jackson's family are always in our conversations, and we cant wait to go back.....
Favorite thing: I loved the villages in Vanuatu and especially at Tanna Island. They had a cyclone (Ivy) hit only a couple of months before we arrived so a lot of the houses and huts had damage but there were also a lot that had been rebuilt or saved from the cyclone. They all look so great and the people that build them really put a lot of love into their homes...
Hehe...if you need to use the toilet while on the volcano tour, just wait till you get to the top of the volcano... We laughed when we saw a little hut at the top of the volcano and joked that it was a toilet...when we stopped our guide asked if any of us need to go and we laughed even more! ;)
It was definitely an experience and the view from the loo is great (there is no door). ;)
The General Store in the village of Lenakel is in a big building used for different things. They sell a variety of things but it is nothing like a general store here in Australia of course.
The 'best before' dates on food should be checked before you buy anything as some things are well over their due dates...although our chocolate still tasted fine...hehe...
The local people on Tanna Island are fantastic. I'm not sure if they dress up especially for the tourists going to the volcano or not but they looked great whatever the reason. :)
They all smile and wave and the kids yell out hello etc from the roadside. The kids also run alongside the car/truck saying hello.
Favorite thing: I think we expected too much of the Blue Hole...it was said to be some of the best snorkelling on Tanna Island but we were a little disappointed. I sprained my ankle there when coming out of the water with my flippers on so maybe that is part of it. ;) Still there were some beautiful fish... Just be careful of the coral when walking backwards...
Favorite thing: Lenakel is the main town on Tanna Island...it isn't huge but does have some shops and things. Around 1000 people live in Lenakel. They have markets which are open on Monday, Thursday afternoon and Fridays.
Favorite thing: The kids on Tanna Island are great (like the rest of Vanuatu)... They were running along side our truck (with machettes in hand!) yelling out hello etc. The younger ones were in their mothers arms just watching...
Favorite thing: We spotted this mechanic shop while driving around a village on Tanna. There were a few guys working there so it's obviously a good business! :)
Favorite thing: The locals homes are great to see...they are very well built and very well looked after. The locals really care for the things that they have and it shows.