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With rugged mountains and thick forests, Malekula is a nature lover’s dream, with plenty of opportunities to hike, swim, bird watch and push your way through untamed vegetation.

The island has a rich history too, with warring tribes, cannibalism, ancient traditions and incredible food. Each village is like its own universe, one vastly different from the next, and visitors will be overwhelmed by the sheer magic of it all.

Don’t Miss

  • Sharing home traditional cooked food alongside stories from the locals
  • Exploring Uri Island’s marine life
  • Swimming in remote rivers beneath waterfalls

How To Get There

There are regular flights leaving from both Santo and Port Vila that will take you to Malekula. We suggest you check out the domestic schedule at www.airvanuatu.com. There are two airports in Malekula. Norsup is in the north (closer to the Dog's Head trail) and Lamap is in the south (closer to the Maskelyne islands).

Useful Tips

Make sure you have a pair of sturdy shoes. If they’re made from a quick-dry material, even better! If you really want to get in touch with the wilderness of these islands, you’ll need to wade through rivers and climb over slippery rocks, so it’s best to be prepared.
Pack yourself some hiking poles and come prepared for steep sections if you’ve got hikes on the itinerary.
Keep drinking water. The humidity will have sweating, so make sure you’re constantly staying hydrated. 

Day 1


Once you’ve landed in Norsup and made your way down to Lakatoro, it’s time to get up close and personal with some of Malekula’s wildlife. Hopping on a boat to Uri Island, just off the coast of Laketora, will take you to Nanwat Bungalows. Here you’ll have the opportunity to take a boat trip with the owners to explore the Uri Narong Marine Park. You can snorkel through the underwater world of Vanuatu and even see some giant clams and turtles!

Spend the night with a Tusker (a Vanuatu beer) in hand as you watch a beautiful sunset over Malekula Island.

Day 2


On your second day, your host at Nanwut Bungalows will organise a guide for an adventure to the Losinwei Falls in central Malekula. You’ll be guided on a fairly easy walk up the river, crossing water and clambering over slippery stones to reach the falls.

The walk takes around an hour, but the deep turquoise pools and crystal clear streams that snake through the tropical rainforest on the way are hypnotic. If it’s particularly warm (and it most likely will be!), don’t be afraid to ask your guide if you can stop for a while and jump in.

When you arrive at Losinwei, you’ll be able to crawl underneath the cascades and climb up to different platforms, where you can overlook the valley or jump into the pools below. Your guide will provide some fresh coconuts, mangoes and bananas to help you refuel for the journey back, so don’t worry about your hunger levels!


Grab your transfer back to Norsup and stay in the Nabechel Bungalows to get ready for your adventures tomorrow.

Day 3


This morning you’ll need to hop on a transfer from Norsup airport to Atchin (it’s pretty fun to ride in the back of the ute if the weather is nice), where you’ll meet your guides for the Dog’s Head Trail. The trip to Atchin takes about an hour.

The Dog’s Head Trail is named after the shape of the island of Malekula, as it looks like a sitting dog. The head of the dog is the northern part of the island and is traditionally owned by the Small Nambas and Big Nambas tribes. Over the course of this trek, you’ll come across both the Small Nambas and Big Nambas.

You’ll begin with an easy walk, before you venture into Small Nambas territory and then continue on to stop in Botco village. In Botco, the locals will share their food and their history with you. Be ready to sit under the mango trees and enjoy the coconuts and homemade lemon juice, as they tell you all about their lives and the Christian missionaries that have influenced them.

After your meal, you’ll set off again for another hour of walking through more tropical terrain. You’ll need to cross a river in this part of your journey, so make sure you’re wearing sturdy shoes. Going barefoot is not recommended.


Once you’ve conquered a short, steep climb, you’ll arrive at Kalele Village, where you’ll be staying the night. Before sunset, take a swim in the river, visit the local school and explore their church – the locals are more than happy to show you around! Before you eat dinner with the villagers, sit with the chief and share in their ceremonial drink of kava. It’s much stronger than the kava made in other Pacific islands, so be prepared!

Tonight, you’ll be staying in a small hut in Kalele and enjoying all the glories of a bucket shower.

Day 4


Yesterday’s relaxing terrain is a thing of the past, as today your walk is a little more challenging. Along the way, you’ll come across plenty of small villages, as well as farmland. Once you’ve crossed another river and climbed another hill, you’ll find yourself in the village of Womul.

Sit with the people of Womul, as you enjoy some lunch and hear their stories about what it’s like to live in such a remote village – the challenges can be many, especially when it comes to getting around the island!


After lunch, you’ll cross into Big Nambas territory, where you’ll explore their ancient warrior culture and cannibal history. Don’t be too worried, the last recorded case of cannibalism was back in 1969.

Just 35 minutes away, on a track that takes you back under the beautiful canopy of the forest, you’ll have the opportunity to take a dip in a small river pool, before arriving at the village of Metkun. Here you can meet teachers and kids at the French primary school and learn more about life in their village.

The last hour of your trek is spent winding your way down towards the coast and the village of Tenmaru, where you end your exploration of Malekula. It’s a steep, rocky trail, so be cautious! Once you arrive in Tenmaru, you can stay in the Big Nambas Bungalow which sits upon a huge rock and overlooks the impossibly blue ocean and black sand beach. This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the west coast of Malekula.

Day 5


In the morning, on your final day on Malekula, take some time to soak up the view before heading back to Norsup via a 4WD transfer. The trip back to Norsup takes about 2.5 hours and can be a great adventure, especially after heavy rain.

If you have some time to kill, stop in at Lakatoro on the way to explore the handcrafted goods on offer, right next to the market at the handicraft centre. Otherwise, hop on a flight back to Efate and treat yourself to a massage on arrival. Try the Thai Massage opposite The Grand Hotel and Casino on the main street, you deserve it!