Captain Cook christened it the New Hebrides when he visited in 1774, but the indigenous people of this South Pacific nation chose to call their home Vanuatu—“our land forever.” The name rings true: once you step onto the sheltered, sandy shores of the archipelago, you might never want to leave. The Havannah Vanuatu claims all the qualities of a remote island sanctuary—private villas overlooking the ocean; exquisite local cuisine served in the setting of your choice; and a wealth of activities for adventure-lovers and tranquility-seekers alike. Yet, Vanuatu’s largest city lies but a short distance away, and traditional Melanesian communities flourish nearby, practicing ancient rituals in the depths of the jungle. Tinged with mystery and rich with tropical treasures, The Havannah Vanuatu is nothing short of paradise.
Tucked away from the world as it seems, The Havannah Vanuatu forms an integral part of the social and economic fabric of Efate, providing employment to residents of the nearby village of Tanoliu and spearheading island-wide community development projects. During the devastating cyclone of 2015, many of the lodge’s employees lost their homes, and Tanoliu’s infrastructure was badly damaged. The Havannah Vanuatu was forced to close its doors for nearly five months for repairs, but the owners continued to pay their local staff. They also donated funds for emergency food supplies and supported the reconstruction of the village school and medical clinic. Today, guests can make a direct contribution to the lodge’s community efforts through the “Pack for a Purpose” program, bringing along much-needed school supplies in their luggage.
Each of our lodges has created a special complimentary experience offered exclusively to guests who visit through a National Geographic expedition. At The Havannah Vanuatu, guests are invited on a personalized tour of Chief Roi Mata’s Domain, Vanuatu’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. Learn about the life of legendary Roi Mata, the islands’ most influential chief, from one of his descendants. Or, set out on a guided visit to a turtle sanctuary on Moso Island, where conservationists are working to breed and release the critically endangered hawksbill turtle.
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