There are three flights per week from Santo to Mota Lava. You will arrive on a grass airstrip at a tiny airport. You will be met by your host from the accommodation at the airport, who will take you to your bungalow by 4WD transport. Sometimes your hosts are late, but you can get a coffee or meal at small kitchen right beside the aiport while you wait. Be patient, you are in Vanuatu. Mota Lava and Rah are famous for their custom dance called the Snake dance, and custom fishing on Rah is magnificent to experience. The white sand beaches, Sleeping Mountain, Rock of Rah are must-see attractions. Charter a boat to Reef islands or Vanua Lava for the day. Experience canoe fishing, snorkelling, or spear fishing by bow and arrow. The Banks Islands used to use shell money in exchange for goods. You can visit the site of the ancient "shell money bank" on Rah Island, and there are still a few women on islands who know how to make shell money.
Trek to Sleeping Mountain on Mota Lava
About Tour: About 30 minutes guided walk from Ngerenigman village (right opposite Rah Island). Climb for about 1 & a half to 2 hours to the top of the mountain. The guide will relay the legend of “father, mother and two daughters” on the way up. The Chief and children of Avar village will surprise you with a warrior welcome in their custom dress, then lead you the rest of the way while singing custom songs. You will be ask to close your eyes just before you get to the top, a ceremony to prevent a mountain snake spirit from harming you, the guides will hold your hands for the few metres you need to take to the top. Opening your eyes reveals the magnificent view of southwest Motalava and the whole of Rah Island. The villagers sing a beautiful custom song and perform a custom dance, and refreshments are provided at the top of the mountain.
Duration of the tour : Half day.
Things to bring: Sun block,
hat, insect repellent, trekking shoes, camera, bottle water.
Rock of Rah
About Tour: Huge volcanic rocks on the northern side of Rah Island. These huge rocks must have been flung here from a nearby island during a volcanic eruption long ago. Now the rocks are covered by a large Banyan tree. There is a small cave underneath of the rock, where people from the surounding islands used to bank their shell money. You can either stop here and return, or if you are fit and adventurous you can climb to the top. It's not easy, but guide can take you to the top. If you fall, you are gone. So, be carefull!! The guide or father Luke will tell you the legends of “Octopus”, “Giant&rdquo and more...
Duration of the tour : 2 - 3 hours.
Things to bring: Insect repellent, walking shoes, bottle water and camera.
Snake dance on Rah
About tour: Man paint themselves in black and white as sea snake, and dance around a drum. Very interesting to see how they dress and decorate themselves. Young boys are painted with mud, coloured in brown.
Duration of the tour : About 1 hours
Things to bring: Camera !.
Other tours on Rah
- Woman's dance
- Shell money demonstration
- Spear fishing by bow and arrows
- Boat charter to near by islands
- Canoe ride
- Canoe race around Rah Island - Dates TBA
- St Andrew's day on Rah - Custom fishing, volcano baking - 30th November every year.
- Christmas day on Motalava - carol singing on eve, custom dance by many villages (not to wear custom dress), drama performance at night.
Rah Paradise Beach Bungalow
bungalow: There are two transport pickups on the island as of late last year. The bungalow is about 45 minutes by vehicle from the airport, follwed by a 3 minute canoe ride. On your arrival you will be welcomed by a string band and dancing children. There is only one village on Rah island. The community supports tourism, and everyone on the island is very friendry. The bungalow is owned and managed by Father Luke and his wife Rona, and are situated on the white sandy beach. It has the best view of Vanua Lava.
Bungalow Facility: Communal dining room, cold water shower, flush toilet. All meals and laundry is included.
5 bungalows - 2 x Double, 2 x Single, and 1 with two rooms of 2 singles.
Room Facilities: Bed, Mosquito net, table, chairs, battery-operated light.
Activities: All tours are available, and some require advance booking.