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Local Information for Port Sandwich, Malekula, Vanuatu

By Sue Richards last modified Sep 11, 2010 11:41 AM

Published: 2010-09-11 11:41:03
Countries: Vanuatu

In 2007 the local people of Port Sandwich created the Lamap Environment and Tourism Committee to protect the local environment and promote tourism to benefit the community. This committee has since been responsible for a number of interesting works including, environmental education, waste management, conservation areas as well as an annual art and culture festival and monthly island nights. They are currently focused on expanding the amenities offered to visiting yachts.

Here is some useful information about the area:

The friendly people of Lamap are mainly francophone and Catholic though there are many English speakers and at least 4 other churches in the area. They are of the small nambas tribe of South Malekula, they speak a unique local language that is related to the dialect in the Maskelyne Islands and Ambrym. They first made contact with Europeans in 1774 when Captain Cook landed in Port Sandwich naming it after his benefactor Lord Sandwich.

Levis Store: the biggest store around. It's twenty minute walk from the wharf heading North East on the main road. You can't miss it as it's the only place with a sign. They sell benzine, mazout, kerosine, fresh bread, food, beer, wine, clothes, etc. They also have daily transport to Lakatoro and the most reliable guesthouse around.

RV Store: the second biggest store around. continue North East on the road to central Lamap village. Located next to the bright red digicel shack. They sell benzine, mazout, kerosine, fresh bread, food. They have the best nakamal in the area that opens at 5pm where dinner and snacks are also frequently served.

Please Contact Tito or Stephanie for more info (see below).

Island Nights
Once a month during the yachting season, May-October, the tourism Committee hosts an Island Night which features a Melanesian feast, live string band, fresh kava, and cold Tusker for 800vt per person. This takes place at the "Yacht Club" down by the wharf. The following day a tradional dance display is offered at a local nakamal for an extra fee. Alternatively if you have a group of 8 or more the committee can organise an island night for you on any weekday.

Traditional Dance
There are two traditional dance groups in the area that are ready to perform on any week day for a group rate of 10,000 vt.

Annual Yacht Festival
The first week of August is the Annual Port Sandwich Art & Culture Festival which features traditional dance, drama, traditional food and food making techniques, history, local artwork and a chance to make friends with the locals.

Hiking Trails
There are local guides ready to take you on hiking trips to explore the area. You can go for a short hike into the bush to the Limangao Cascades for a fresh water swim. Or you can go for a week long hike to South West Bay and back. (The guides have sleeping, cooking, and camping gear).

Other Important information
Sharks: There was a meat packing business at the Port Sandwich Wharf in the 70s and 80s. Because of this there is increased shark activity in the area. It is strongly advised that you do not swim near the wharf. However swimming in Lamap, Penap, or Dravaii village is safe. And of course outside of the Port Sandwich inlet is completely safe. When in doubt ask the locals. There are in fact some great snorkeling sites, large families of dugongs and even a sunken WWII airplane.

Safety: Lamap is a very safe place. The villagers are very trustworthy but when there are many strangers around as when cargo ships are at the wharf, it is best to lock everything up. Don't leave anything that could be stolen in your Dinghy when you come to shore. As in all paces in Vanuatu and the world for that matter it isn't advisable for women to walk alone at night. If you have any problems there is a Police station in Lamap village, The policeman's name is Henry. There is also a Medical Center with a nurse on call, Samuel, in Lamap Village. If you have any major medical Emergency they can help you arrange to fly to Norsup Hospital or Vila Hospital.


Tito Luan
President of the Tourism Committee (francophone)
Mobile:678 543 6814

Stephanie Blaufarb
Peace Corps Tourism Adviser (anglophone)
Mobile:678 561 8096

Levis Store: 678 48594

RV Store: 678 48470

Stephanie Blaufarb