Vanuatu Ecotours has added sea kayaking and tailor-made adventures to its repertoire of bush walking, bike
riding, river kayaking and waterfall experience. The sea kayaking half-day tour is in Mele Bay where the company uses Blue Bay Resort as its base.
Tailor-made adventures include a one-day Efate combination of morning bush walking or mountain biking with
afternoon kayak or a four-day Efate allin-one where all half-day tours can be booked at a discounted price.
A new three-day Nguna and Pele Island tour explores extinct volcanoes and islands off northern Efate staying in
‘We aim to create off-the-beaten-track experiences that are not contrived,’ says Ecotours manager, Marc Giraud.
The tours are not scheduled, so departures are flexible, and the groups are small – five to 12 people. River kayaking has been the most popular – Ecotours has exclusivity on its section of the river so clients will not be running into other groups. The company’s kayaking base is set riverside in a garden where groups can swim and relax.
Forty different trails are used for bush walking groups with no two trips the same. Fitness levels of each group are assessed before departure, and the villages visited are not pre-notified of a visit.
‘It’s the most informative tour because we just pop in and see what’s happening in the village,’ says Giraud who pays 1000 vatu per guest to the landowners. ‘People might be working in their gardens, preparing food or building
The tour to Lololeima Waterfall drives guests through a cattle farm to the ‘middle of nowhere,’ says Giraud. ‘Then
it’s a two-minute walk to the waterfall which is very different to Mele Cascades.
It’s impressive, you can swim, and adults can walk up to a cave with bats and flying foxes. At the top is a natural jacuzzi.’
Vanuatu Ecotours employs two local Ni-Vanuatu guides and is looking to hire two more. It works as much as possible with local operators and is currently developing a multi-day bush walking tour of Tanna.
[Source: Travelink MEMO 11 September 2018 – issue 1136]