Lap-Lap, Food Garden, + Lenaukas Village.
Experience life in a subsistence village with Lap-Lap making and village gardens.
Lap-lap is the mainstay of Ni-Vanuatu cuisine, the most valued, and perhaps the most intricate Ni-Vanuatu meal to make. Unlike earth pit cuisine elsewhere in the Pacific, lap-lap is prepared in stages in much the same way a detailed layered cake is prepared. A base prepared from either taro, yam or cooking banana is prepared followed by layers of leafy greens, smothered in copious helpings of coconut milk. Various versions abound and cooked meat if available can also be added. Finally, the lap-lap is bound up in a leaf similar to that of a banana leaf imparting extra flavour during cooking and put into the earth oven to cook for an hour or so.
Preparing lap-Lap is Social.
The process of making lap-lap is a deeply social process and important within village environments to reinforce relationships, discuss matters affecting the tribe, and organise village work for the days ahead. Making Lap-lap generally requires a communal effort, and village ladies will prepare it together. When cooked and opened, it is shared amongst a collective group.
Lap-Lap’s importance is highlighted by the fact that most villagers will partake only one formal meal a day, with breakfast generally being either leftovers from the night before or hastily prepared rice, while lunch will consist of pawpaw, banana and other fruit that can be readily accessed from village gardens. Villagers will arise early, eat individually and will be out working in the gardens before the heat of the day settles in.
In helping with making the lap-lap, visitors get to experience Ni-Vanuatu sociality and enjoy the happy banter that is associated with it. While the actual preparation is traditionally restricted for women, the men prepare the fire, heating the stones, and enjoying the time together roasting banana on the hot stones.
Subsistence Village Gardens.
Around 70% of all Ni-Vanuatu survive through subsistence living, and the hub of daily life surround the village gardens on which life depends. On the more isolated islands, an even greater portion of people rely on what they grow for sustenance, goods to barter with, and display of accumulated wealth. Yams are the king of stables, but generally require favourable soils and weather and consequently, taro patches are the mainstay of many village gardens. Taking a walk around a village garden will uncover a wide selection of vegetables & fruit, along with herbs and some spices.
More recently introduced vegetables such as cabbages, beans, broccoli, zucchini, bok choy, have found themselves being cultivated in the rich volcanic soils, and are slowly gaining acceptance amongst local peoples. A further development is intensive coffee growing that is occurring throughout the highlands region, and its uptake has seen the development of other cultivated crops. However, Cyclone Pam destroyed nearly all food crops in March 2015, and coffee production is only now coming back into significant production.
Most villages in Tanna are relatively small, possessing around 30-50 people in loosely related family groups. Nearby, villages will consist of related families and collectively will belong to the same tribe. Having a subsistence life means that villages appear poor to outsiders, mainly due to the fact that little of what they do enables them to earn money for western clothes, pay for school fees, or purchase equipment that would make their life easier. Despite this, Ni-Vanuatu are both proud and content with their way of life and provided the right introductions are made are happy to show visitors their world.
Lenaukas village is a poor village that centres around seven brothers and their families, with the surrounding land being the kastom ground of their father. The village possesses a substantial nakamal and consists of a collection of houses constructed from both traditional materials, along with corrugated iron and tarps. Visitors gain insights into the authentic way of life of Tannese people. Children, laughing & playing can be seen (when not at school), and their curiosity and mischief-making are a feature.
Lap-Lap, Food Garden, + Lenaukas Village Information.
Whitegrass Zone • Pick-up + Drop-off
|Price Details||Min 2 Adults||Children|
|AUD 102||AUD 20|
|AUD 26||AUD 5|
|AUD 8||AUD 8|
Middlebush Zone • Pick-up + Drop-off
|Price Details||Min 2 Adults||Children|
|AUD 44||AUD 20|
|AUD 11||AUD 5|
|AUD 8||AUD 8|
Let Us Help You.
See & Do Trips provide completely costed itineraries, which will take much of the planning worry out of your time on Tanna. Overall, they may also be a more economical proposition.
Take a look at our See & Do Trips
The duration of the tour takes approximately 6 hours.
Pickup and Dropoff from Accommodation.
Costs includes pickup and drop-off from accommodation within Whitegrass Zone, or from Middlebush Zone. For pickup and drop-off from accommodation in Lenakel Zone a small surcharge applies to cover the extra distance.
Fitness and Health Levels.
The tour is designed for people in relatively good health and moderate fitness. Tour involves easy walking through village gardens.
The Tour includes transport to and from accommodation (noting a surcharge from Lenakel Zone), and all fees. Lunch is provided as a part of the tour.
What to Bring.
Firstly, as always, water should be taken. Boiled spring-water is available at Rachels restaurant (but not flasks). As always, participants should dress to suit the weather. It is recommended that sunscreen is taken along with a cap or hat.
A suitable camera or mobile phone to take pictures of the day.
The Blue Cave Tour requires a minimum number of two(2) people for it to proceed.
Single travellers are able to be a part of tours that are proceeding, or where more than one single shows interest for a specific date, then we are able to make up minimum numbers accordingly. Single travellers should contact us directly through our inquiry form to organise.
Booking Cut-Off Period.
Online bookings are accepted up to 36 hours prior to the scheduled tour date under consideration. For example, a cut-off of online bookings occurs at midnight on Wednesday night for a tour commencing at lunchtime on the following Friday.
Where bookings are wanted to be made closer than 36 hours to the scheduled tour, these should be requested through our inquiry form. Such late bookings may or may not be possible and are dependent on communications on the island amongst other factors.
Bookings : Deposits and Final Payments.
All bookings can be confirmed with the payment of a booking Deposit or alternatively bookings can be paid in Full. Payments can be made by Bank Transfer (cleared funds) or Credit Card.
On payment of a deposit customers receive a booking acknowledgement, including a booking statement of all payments made and due. The remaining Final Payment shall be received no later than fourteen(14) days prior to the day of the booking. Once the Final Payment is received, customers are sent their Formal Documents in respect to their bookings
Alternatively, customers can choose to make Full Payment at the time of booking, and will be issued their Formal Documents immediately.
Prices are Contingent on Entrance Fees at 1st April.
Our Prices are made up from a number of items, attraction entrance fees included.
In recent years, the Mt Yasur Volcano administration has taken to increase entrance fees at extremely short notice, effective at 1st April year to year. Other Kastom owned attractions have subsequently followed suit, including the Blue Cave, and its associated boat trip. Consequently, our costs are "Contingent", and any differential in entrance fees + boat trip, either side of 1st April are payable as an extra to the booking.
Increases due to "Contingent" entrance fees affect very few people, and are only relevant to bookings that are made prior to 1st April for a scheduled date occurring after 1st April. The majority of bookings are made after 1st April and are not affected in any way.
Full Terms and Conditions of Making a Booking.
Full Terms and Conditions regarding making a booking with Vanuatu Traveller are available here and all customers should take the time read and be comfortable with them. Should you have any questions please contact us via the contact form.