Port Vila

Birds eye-view of Port Vila
Photo by: PhillipC, Creative Commons

Port Vila is the capital, commercial and economic centre of the island nation of Vanuatu, situated in the island of Efate. The majority of the country’s population resides in Port Vila. The main industries in the region are agriculture, fishing, and recently, tourism. It is also a veritable tax haven for businesses that have made their home here.

Vanuatu itself is an archipelago. Made up of 82 islands, the country is primarily volcanic in origin, yet 65 of the islands are inhabited. Threats of earthquakes and volcanic activity do occur. The islands have a very rough geographic profile, a majority of them too steep for human settlement. It was once estimated that only 9% of Vanuatu’s total land area is suitable for agriculture. Agricultural produce feeds 65% of the country’s population. However, the country is quite rich in marine resources, with fishing making up a large portion of the economy.

Tourism also contributes a lot to the economy. Many tourists come from first-world countries, most notably from Australia and New Zealand. Since the filming of the Survivor series reality shows, the government increased their efforts to promote tourism.

Port Vila has an interesting mix of culture and ethnicities, with Melanesians making up the majority, and the minority groups composed of Westerners, Polynesians, and Asians. Bislama is widely spoken, although English and French are also commonly used.

The University of the South Pacific, a public university co-owned by several Oceania nations, also makes it home here. More importantly, there are many tourist outfits that offer every outdoor fun. There are some things that are a “must-do” in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Zorbing. Visitors can go inside a wet, transparent ball and launch themselves into steep ground for intense fun and excitement.

Small Nambas Tribe Tour. Tourists are given the opportunity to go to a local tribe wearing Kastom dresses, learn about the cultural and mingle with the inhabitants. Guests can also swim in a crystal clear lagoon afterwards.

Nafonu Tatoka Tribe Tour. Another indigenous tribe in the main island of Efate has welcomed visitors for years. As well as learning the culture, guests are allowed to trek to the rainforests somewhere along the tour.

Buggy Rides. There are several buggy rental shops in the city that allow you to drive buggies into the urban area and the surrounding forests.

Kayaking. Of course, what is Vanuatu without its coral reefs? Aside from the many scuba shops in the city, there are some services that offer kayaking for the tourists. If you don’t swim, you can take a kayak and still see the open water.

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