Use Normal Level of Caution

The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation of more than 80 islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The population is about 272,000 people. Prior to the 18th century, there were many waves of colonizers to the islands, and as a result, this small nation has more than 100 local languages.

Formerly known as the New Hebrides, the islands were jointly administered by the French and British from 1906. After a movement for independence developed in the 1970s, the islands gained independence in 1980 and adopted the name, Vanuatu. The government is a parliamentary republic with a president as chief of state and a prime minister as head of government.

Much of Vanuatu is covered with tropical rainforests. There are several active volcanoes. The area is at risk for earthquakes, tsunamis and cyclones. In 2015, Cyclone PAM caused much devastation.

Coral reefs, caves, and one of the largest shipwrecks in the world provide scuba diving opportunities. Visitors can enjoy eco tours, fishing, hiking trails, kayaking, and beautiful beaches.

Currency VUV: Vanuatu vatu
Language Bislama; English; French
Capital Port Vila
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Vanuatu. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Vanuatu through contaminated food and water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Vanuatu.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Vanuatu, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Dengue Fever

Outbreaks of dengue fever may occur in Vanuatu.


There is a risk of exposure to malaria throughout the islands.

Zika Fever

Zika virus occurs in this country.


Rabies has only been reported in wild animals and perhaps in bats in this country. Most travellers are at low risk.


Tuberculosis occurs in this country. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Vanuatu.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A in this country. Therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country. Therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies should be considered only for travellers who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals due to their occupation.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Vanuatu.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended medications are atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Vanuatu

Emergency Numbers

112 Public ambulance
115 Private medical ambulance

Personal Safety

The crime rate is low in this country, and most travellers have no trouble. However, petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, or other theft is increasing and can occur in any crowded area or tourist destination. Take precautions for your personal safety as you would anywhere. There have been some reports of attacks against tourists, however, these were in remote or isolated areas. Avoid walking in isolated areas or alone at night.

Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never leave your drinks out of your sight.

Road travel outside Port Vila and Luganville can be unsafe. Roads may be in poor condition, and vehicles may not be in good repair.

Sharks are common in waters around Vanuatu, especially around Malekula and Espiritu Santo islands. Check with the local authorities before swimming.

Drug offences bring penalties of fines and possibly prison.

Vanuatu is a conservative country. Therefore, follow a conservative mode of behaviour and dress. Although homosexuality is not illegal, open displays of affection between same-sex partners may offend some people and bring unwanted attention.

If you enter non-public areas, including beaches, you may be charged an access fee by the landowner. Always get permission from the local landowner before going onto their property.

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