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Travel Insurance Vanuatu


Vanuatu Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Asia & Oceania
Full Name: Republic of Vanuatu
Capital City: Port-Vila (on Efate)
Language Spoken: local languages (more than 100) 72.6%, pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama) 23.1%, English 1.9%, French 1.4%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.7% (1999 Census)

Vanuatu Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

16 00 S, 167 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: Tabwemasana 1,877 m

Land boundaries

0 km

Natural hazards

tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanic eruption on Aoba (Ambae) island began 27 November 2005, volcanism also causes minor earthquakes; tsunamis

Natural resources

manganese, hardwood forests, fish

Land use

arable land: 1.64% permanent crops: 6.97% other: 91.39% (2005)

Environmental current issues

a majority of the population does not have access to a reliable supply of potable water; deforestation


Subtropical. Trade winds occur from May to October. Warm, humid and wet between November and April. Rain is moderate. Cyclones are possible between December and April.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+11


208,869 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 32.6% (male 34,804/female 33,331) 15-64 years: 63.7% (male 67,919/female 65,138) 65 years and over: 3.7% (male 4,027/female 3,650) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 23 years male: 23 years female: 23 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

1.49% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

22.72 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

7.82 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 1.1 male(s)/female total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 62.85 years male: 61.34 years female: 64.44 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.7 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Business meetings are generally casual. Business is conducted in Pidgin English or French. Office hours are typically 0730-1130 and 1330-1630 Monday to Friday.


Violent crime remains rare in Vanuatu but the overall economic decline brought on by the Asian financial crisis and Vanuatu's own internal problems have resulted in an increase in petty crimes such as thefts.


Vanuatu has three international-standard resorts, The Radisson, Iririki Island Resort and Le Lagon. There are smaller resorts with simpler facilities on Efate, Tanna Island and Espiritu Santo.


Telephone IDD is available for incoming calls and the country code is 678. There are no area codes. Outgoing international calls must go through the international operator. There are public telephones at airports and post offices. Some hotels have fax facilities. Telex/telegram service is available at the Central Post Office in Port Vila and at main hotels. Post offices are located on the main streets in Port Vila and Luganville, on Espiritu Santo. Post office hours: 0715-1130 and 1330-1600.


is 220 volts AC, 50Hz and uses the Australian 3-pin plugs. Electricity 240 volts AC. Australian three-pin plugs are in use.

Plug Types


Food And Dining

There are many restaurants in the main tourist areas. Seafood features strongly on hotel and restaurant menus in Port-Vila and the main towns. The numerous ethnic backgrounds of the inhabitants of Vanuatu are reflected in different styles of cooking. Chinese and French influences are the strongest. Food is generally excellent everywhere. French cheese, p?t?s, bread, cognac and wine are available in Port-Vila?s two major shops. Local fruit is excellent.
National specialties:
? Lap Lap - grated yam, banana or manioc smothered in coconut cream and cooked in an earth oven.
? Coconut crab. National drinks:
? Kava, a soporific drink made from the root of a plant related to the pepper tree. Vanuatu kava is the strongest in the world. It is non-alcoholic but is intoxicating.
Not expected or encouraged, as it goes against local tradition.
Port-Vila has several nightclubs with music and dancing. There is also a cinema. Evening cruises are organized with wine, snacks and island music. Traditional music and dancing take place at various island festivities to which visitors are welcome, and some hotels put on evening entertainment and dancing. Details are available from the Vanuatu National Tourism Office (see Top Things To See & Do).

Entry departure requirements

Visa immigration information


Passport valid for a minimum of four months beyond date of arrival required by all.


Required by all except the following, provided they are in possession of confirmed onward travel documents and have proof of sufficient funds for visit, for stays of up to 30 days:
(a) nationals of countries listed in the chart above;
(b) nationals of Commonwealth countries, and dependencies of the United Kingdom;
(c) nationals of Bermuda, Brazil, Chile, China (PR), Cuba, Hong Kong (SAR), Korea (Rep), Kuwait, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States), Morocco, Norway, Palau, Peru, The Philippines, Russian Federation, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Vatican City and Zimbabwe;
(d) transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft, provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.

Types of visa and cost

Visitor (for tourist and business purposes): VUV2500.


A maximum of 30 days with the possibility of extensions of up to four months in any period of one year.

Application to

Principal Immigration Officer, Private Bag 9092, Port-Vila, Vanuatu (tel: 22354; fax: 25492).

Application requirements

(a)Passport valid for six months at time of application. (b) Two passport-size photos. (c) Proof of sufficient funds and/or accompanying business letter. (d) Return or onward tickets, and other necessary documents for onward destination.

Working days required

1 to 2.

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax

VUV400. Children under 12 years of age are exempt. The departure tax must be paid in cash and in local currency (Vatu) only. Note: The departure tax is often included in airfares: please check with your travel agent when booking. A separate departure fee has recently been launched which charges visitors and locals VUV200 from any Shefa province domestic airport. This applies to every leg where a passenger departs from the following domestic airports: Bauerfield- Port-Vila, Swio Airport- Emae, Pele Airport- Tongoa, Valesdir Airport- Epi and Laman Bay Airport- Epi.


Honorary Consulate of Vanuatu in France

9 Rue Daru, 75008 Paris, France
Tel: (1) 4053 8225.
Visitors are advised not to travel to the island of Ambae, where in November 2005, the Mount Manaro volcano became highly active resulting in 3000 people being evacuated from the center of the island.
Caution is advised when considering travel to the islands of Ambrym and Tanna, which are also currently affected by volcanic activity.
Vanuatu is in an earthquake zone and suffers frequent tremors and shocks. Three earthquakes measuring between 6.2mw and 5.6mw hit Vanuatu on 25 and 26 September 2005. No serious injuries or damage were reported.
Most visits to Vanuatu are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Violent crime is increasing and travelers should avoid visiting isolated locations alone.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.

US Department of State



Vatu (VUV) = 100 centimes. Notes are in denominations of VUV5000, 1000, 500 and 200. Coins are in denominations of VUV100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Australian Dollars are also accepted in some shops and restaurants.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import or export of either local or foreign currency.

Banking hours

Generally Mon-Fri 0800-1500, except Westpac Bank: Mon-Fri 0830-1600. Bureaux de change open Mon-Fri 0800-1730/1800, Sat-Sun 0830-1600.

Currency exchange

Exchange facilities are available at the airport and trade banks. It is advisable to exchange foreign currency after arriving in Vanuatu. Australian Dollars are accepted by many shops, restaurants and hotels in Port-Vila, but rarely outside major towns. There are ATMs at the ANZ Bank and supermarket.

Credit cards

MasterCard and Visa are quite widely accepted, American Express and Diners Club less so. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques

These are widely accepted.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Banks385+ 2 digits
Efate23+ 3 digits
Epi24+ 3 digits
Luganville36+ 3 digits
Maewo383+ 2 digits
Malekula484+ 2 digits
Port Vila22+ 3 digits
Shepherds282+ 2 digits
Tanna686+ 2 digits
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Reasonable, routine dental care is available in Port Vila from European dentists

Medication Availability

Supplies of international medications are generally available from private pharmacies in Port Vila.

Blood supplies

Screening is inconsistent in Vanuatu, therefore blood supplies should be considered as unsafe

Medical facilities

Medical facilities are limited. The nearest reliable medical facilities are in Australia or New Zealand. Medical conditions resulting from diving accidents may require medical evacuation to Australia or New Zealand. Malaria incidence is high in some areas of Vanuatu.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. Hazards to bathers include corals and jellyfish, poisonous fish, and sea snakes.


Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne illness: Dengue fever - occurs Dengue hemorrhagic fever - occurs Filariasis - prevalent Malaria - common Food-borne and water-borne illness: diseases such as the diarrheal diseases, the typhoid fevers and helminthic infections are common. Hepatitis occurs. Biointoxication may occur from raw or cooked fish and shellfish. Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported. Influenza risk extends throughout the year.

Entry requirements


Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

Vila Central HospitalPrivate Mail Bag 013 Port Vila Efate Vanuatu

Vanuatu's only TV channel was established with the help of Radio France Overseas (RFO) and broadcasts in French and English. Radio Vanuatu runs a shortwave and mediumwave (AM) service, and a commercial FM station. Vanuatu Weekly is a Government newspaper, existing alongside a handful of privately-owned papers.
">Press: Port Vila Presse is published daily in English and French, the Vanuatu Daily Post in English and the Vanuatu Weekly in English, French and Bislama. The monthly Pacific Island Profile is published in English and French. For tourist information, see the quarterly publication, Hapi Tumas Long Vanuatu.
TV: Television Blong Vanuatu is run by the state-owned Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC).
Radio: VBTC operates Radio Vanuatu.