Tanna Adventures has the exclusive 'Kastom' Walk to Esso's

Tanna - Adventures .... Vanuatu Traveller feet logo

A tropical travel experience of untouched scenic beauty & cultural insight.

Traditional dancers with Tanna Adventures Painted girl in Kastom Colours with Tanna adventures

Tour 1 - The Classic Mount Yasur Trip.

Tour 2 - Port Resolution / Shark Bay Trip.

Tour 3 - Mt Yasur Volcano- "THE BIG DAY OUT"

Tour 4 - Blue Cave Trip.

Tour 5 - BlackManTown / Giant Banyan Trip.

Walk 1 - Second (Lenuingao) Waterfall & Beach Walk

Walk 2 - 'Kastom' Trails Walk to Esso's.

Walk 3 - 'Kastom' Trails Walk to Black Magic.

Walk 4 - First (Lenuanatuaiu) Waterfall Walk.

Walk 5 - Central Highlands River Pools & Cascades.


Home Page >> Tanna Adventures - Great Island Tours & Inspring Walks >> Walk 2 - 'Kastom' Walk to Esso's


By Greg Watt avid traveller and author of travel websites and blogs. Read Greg's thoughts on Vanuatu Travel at www.vanuatutraveller.com & on 'Real Travel', travelling, and World Destinations at www.traveller-info.com

Tanna - Adventures, a Travel Experience

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Tanna Adventures-Coffee logo ..... NAKAMALS.


A 'Nakamal' in terms of village life is a place of meeting and is generally a 'mens' only area where all matters of significance are discussed, men of importance met by the village, presentations and a substantial number of ceremonies held. Generally, all villages have their own 'Nakamal', and the custom trails which dissect the countryside and define the bounties between villages is the first part of a village entered by visitors travelling the custom trails.

Namakals are generally always situated under a large tree, where the tree (usually a large Banyan or similar) has the side facing the flat ground cut away producing a “lean to" effect. The men from the village gather to talk about current issues affecting their village, whether they are political, social or land disputes. Often the chief will use this time to think, reflect or make judgment on village disputes. This method of reconciliation and mediation, especially if an issue has escalated into violence, has helped steer Vanuatu into being a very peaceful nation, when compared to its Melanesian neighbors.

Looking back on custom , a 'Nakamal' is is deeply traditional and still embedded within Tanna society, however throughout the rest of Vanuatu its function and interpretation has become more loosely applied. Today both in Vanuatu and overseas, the word 'Namakal' is tossed around a lot in the Kava Scene, but with little adherence or respect for its original function or purpose.

In Port Vila, there are a lot of “nakamals" or more correctly "kava bars" where people go to buy kava, and are really retail outlets in the same way that bars are to buying a drink ( alcohol). Such nakamals have nothing to do with custom and have sprung up in the main centers for purely social reasons, for both Ni-vanautu and increasingly local expatriates.


boys carrying mangos along a kastom trail on tanna, with tanna adventures



finding bananas along a kastom trail on Tanna with Tanna adventures



Taro at a village along a Tanna adventures Kastom Trail









Travel Inspiring Walk 2 - 'Kastom' Walk to Esso's

[Updated 12th April 2017]

Take a special kastom walk to Essos Place with Tanna adventures

Throw yourself into the amazing scenery and culture that is embodied in a unique 'Kastom' walk to Esso's place ........

Inspiring Walk Overview from Esso's Nima:

• Very few travellers get to experience 'kastom' trials, as they are an old traditional social and transport network. in the more developed areas of vanuatu, Kastom trails have been replaced ( or more correctly, have been 'supplemented') by roadways which have been contructed more to do with land topography and directness from point A to point B, than village boundaries and land ownership. As everywhere in the world roadways are impersonal and all interaction follows a more western philosophy ( although less so on Tanna Island). Walking along 'Kastom' trials is different, and you can walk across the island using such trials without coming across any major sign of western influence. This is an experience in life on Tanna how it has always been.

• 'Kastom' trials have their own protocol, in regard to entering villages, acceptance of food and general interaction. It is always advisable to go with a guide on a kastom trail to ensure that you do not offend anyone or unknowingly abuse a system which has provided amazing service to Melanesian society over many of years.

• The Kastom Trails promoted by Tanna adventures are not a fabricated attraction to suit travellers, but the real deal. they are used by villages in their everyday life.

• The 'Kastom' trial to Esso's Nima, begins by being dropped off at the roadside, along with you guide. From here you wind your way through tracks from village to village, passing stands of reed, wild fields of food such as banana paw paw, island cabbage, taro and sugar cane which are free for all travellers to use while on the trail.

• After passing through a number of villages, the topography beomes more rugged and the trial more remote, bringing the traveller more deeply into a more ancient rainforest. A stretch occurs along a stream lined with moss and bracken, with large tree ferns overhead. Fresh water prawns can be seen in the stream. Depending on time, a travellers pass a waterfall entrenched deep in the bush.

• At the end, a climb up medium hillside covered in bush brings the traveller up into the sunshine of Esso's Nima which is situated high up on a plateau overlooking the coast with Mount Yasur smoking in the background.

Added Overview Travelling from the Whitegrass Coast :

• If the tour is taken from any of the accommodation along the whitegrass coast, then approximately 1 hour can be added to the tour time (half an hour each way), for transport to the location and back to you accommodation on the whitegrass coast.

'Kastom' Walk to Esso's Travel Timeframe:

• Approximate timeframe is 3.0-3.5 hours from start of walk to arriving at Esso's Nima. This depends on road and walking track conditions, as well as the weather and walking pace of participants on the tour.


Tanna Adventures - make sure you go on a Kastom walk
Tanna Adventures- walking a kastom trial along a stream in Tanna
Tanna Adventures Accommodation - marvel at the many large tree ferms that abound in Tanna
women making lap lap on tanna Island for a special occassion

Tanna adventures-Coffee logo Ways to Book Tanna Island Tours & Walks.

Check out our 'no obligation' Personalized Booking Service which will give you a number of personalized options from us, to suit your requirements. Click the buttom below to be taken to our booking queries page.

Check Out Our Personalized Booking Service

If you would like to know about our booking process, and all the options which are available to you - have a look at our Making a Booking Guide.

Tanna adventures-Coffee logo Tour Rates - Kastom Walk to Esso's.

Tour rates are in Vanuatu Vatu for the following Participant numbers. You will pay the rate in Vatu as shown - the displayed amount in AU$ is indiicative (* see below) and the actual rate will be based on the exchange rate at the time of booking.

Please note that the Single Participant rate applies if there is only one person on the Walk ( person must be over 18 yrs old). If a single traveller does the tour when there are other Participants, then the rate will reduce to that of the two or more Participant rate.

• ONLINE BOOKINGS - Rates specified in table below apply. A deposit of is required at the time of booking, with the balance paid in Vatu (Cash) to Esso at the time of departure.

• CASUAL (IMPROMPTU, NON-ONLINE) BOOKINGS - Rates specified in table below PLUS a 15% surcharge apply. Full payment rquired in Vatu (Cash) to Esso at the time of departure.

• TOUR START/FINISH POINT - Rates apply from Departures from Esso and Rachel's accommodation. Other localities incur additional pickup/dropoff costs).

- per Adult. [18 yrs and older] Vatu 2,400 (AU$ 32.00)
- per Adult. [13 yrs and older with
adult 18yr or older]
Vatu 2,000 (AU$ 27.00)
  - per Child. [5 yrs - 12 yrs ] Vatu
27.00 )
  - per Infant. [5 yrs and under]
(not reccommended)
---- )

Great waterfalls throughout Tanna island when you are with Tanna adventures


Yes - I want to make a Booking please

* Approximate equivalent rates are given in Australian Dollars to provides prospective guests with an FX comparision. Australian FX Rates given here are per Average of ANZ Bank and Westpac Bank Published Rate Dated 12th April 2017 ( 1 AU$ = 75.80 Vatu).