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Tanna map

Tanna Map, Vanuatu

Tanna Island is Vanuatu's most famous island, site of the most accessible active volcano in the South Pacific. Yasur Volcano belches fire and brimstone around the clock, yet you can walk right up to the crater rim from a parking lot in 20 minutes. At night, the red hot lava and exploding fireworks in the crater are truly spectacular.

Tanna's Jon Frum cargo cult originated at Sulphur Bay, in the shadow of Yasur Volcano. Explanations of the cult's roots vary, but the arrival of American troops during World War Two seems to have been pivotal. Jon Frum's symbol is a red cross, copied from the crosses on military emergency vehicles. Today the cult followers await the return of John from America who will distribute boundless wealth to the Tannese.

Tanna is also home to the custom people, who live in traditional thatched housing around Yaohnanen village in central Tanna. The long-haired men wear a sheath called a namba in place of pants and the women dress in grass skirts. Tourists are often taken to Yaohnanen to tour the "primitive" village and see custom dancing. There's also a Prince Philip Cult on Tanna, which harks back to a visit to Vanuatu by the Prince in 1974.

Although Tanna Island lacks large hotels, there are a couple of small resorts near the airport and around Yasur Volcano. Tanna's administrative center is Lenakel, but it's little more than a cluster of small general stores. Most visitors arrive on brief package tours from Efate. Traveling on your own can be challenging as there's no public transportation and Tanna's wily taxi truck drivers are also seasoned cargo culters.


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