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Treading Lightly on Tanna

Tread lightly and leave no trace. The Nusumetu community invites you on a storytelling adventure where culture and kastom meet pristine nature on an ecotourism tour through the lush rainforest.
Only 3% of the world’s land remains ecologically intact with healthy populations of original animals and undisturbed habitat. With Earth’s population growing exponentially each year, it is very important to safeguard our wildlife so that they may continue to thrive into the next generation. With our wild places under increasing stress, it is very important that we act responsibly towards the conservation of these areas. Ecotourism businesses promote sustainable and responsible tourism because they help conserve our natural environment and at the same time, allow visitors to enjoy unique sights and attractions. One local tourism business that helps protect an undisturbed part of our country is the new Nusumetu Ecotourism Tour located in the north of Tanna island in Greenhill. Most people view ecotourism as a tour through natural conservation areas. However, ecotourism is so much more, and Nusumetu Ecotourism Tour is a great example. It’s a combination of conservation, community effort and sustainable tourism that plays an important role in creating a sense of environmental awareness, responsibility and respect for nature in all those who visit. Tanna island is famous for Yasur Volcano and its kastom, but there is much more to experience on this island. The Nusumetu Ecotourism Tour shows a different side of Tanna to what most visitors know. The tour takes place in a natural conservation area, the Nusumetu Protected Area, that was created over 30 years ago and which spans over 200 hectares. In April this year, along with the assistance of Live and Learn and industry partners, the Nusumetu Ecotourism Tour was officially launched. It combines a hike through ancient old-growth rainforests which are kept protected from as much human impact as possible and a cultural tour to learn of the Tannese traditional botanical knowledge. During the full day tour, visitors will trek up hills, visit a river where fish feeding
activities take place, hike through different checkpoints where they are taught about the traditional uses of an endemic palm tree, and learn about other endemic species of birds and plants. Then, after scaling a mountain, guests are rewarded with a view across to the Yasur Volcano. After a few more stages of the tour, visitors arrive at a beautiful natural waterfall and pool where lunch is served. The opportunity to plant trees and be a part of the Nusumetu Protected Area’s conservation efforts are just some of the rewards for visitors to this tour. The stories shared throughout this amazing tour are full of depth and meaning and give great insight into how the community of Nusumetu came to settle in this area. Visitors who wish to stay overnight surrounded by timeless nature, ecolodges built from local materials are also available. The full day tour costs Vt2,500 per person, which includes refreshment and lunch and features beautiful views, visits to historical sites, a dip in a waterfall surrounded by lush greenery, horse riding and not one but three kastom dances. The tour has 12 stops altogether along the way. During the 12 stops the guides will share culture, kastom stories and myths and beliefs of their ancestors. This tour supports the whole community while also helping to preserve the forests, plants, and animals that reside within the protected area. To get to the Nusumetu Ecotourism Tour takes approximately 40 minutes by road from Lenakel to Green Hill. Book your tour now on 5417975, or via their Facebook page NusumetuEcotourismTour. Brought to you by the Vanuatu Tourism Office — supporting domestic tourism #SapotemLokolTurisim