Vanuatu holiday resorts and visitors guide


Wildlife Experience in Vanuatu

Get closer to exotic species in this tropical island destination

A man standing next to a creek in Vanuatu.

Taking a well-deserved holiday in Vanuatu can be an excellent opportunity
to experience wildlife in this beautiful flora and fauna destination.

The island nation of Vanuatu, located in the South Pacific Ocean, comprises around 83 separate islands that form a north-to-south line under the Solomon Islands. Vanuatu is situated to the east of Australia, the northeast of New Caledonia, and the west of Fiji. It is a magical region with undersea shipwrecks, many secret bays and beaches, waterfalls, and more.

Here, you can explore the lush tropical islands, magnificent volcanoes, warm people, ancient art and dance, and great food. And if you're in search of unique wildlife, you'd be happy to learn Vanuatu has plenty of excitement waiting for you. Embarking on a wildlife experience in Vanuatu is a fantastic opportunity to pick a destination that brings you close to exotic species in their natural habitat.

About the wildlife in Vanuatu

Vanuatu is a biodiversity hotspot in the East Melanesian Islands, with several endemic species such as dugongs and sea turtles. There are no large mammals, venomous snakes, or spiders native to the area. The flowerpot snake, which can only be found on the island of Efate, is one of the 19 native reptile species. There are 11 bat species (3 of which are unique to Vanuatu) and 61 land and waterbird species. With over 4,000 species of marine mollusks, the region is rich in ocean wildlife.

The best wildlife experience in Vanuatu

The charm of the species, spontaneity, witnessing something for the first time, close encounters - all of these factors and more contribute to the most unforgettable wildlife experience in Vanuatu. Surprisingly, fantastic wildlife encounters don't have to be exotic. The highlights can also be endangered birds and unique sea species. We have prepared a list of the best wildlife experiences in Vanuatu to make your trip one for the books.

'The Reef' Vanuatu Zoological & Wildlife Sanctuary

When we talk about the wildlife in Vanuatu, the first that needs to be mentioned is the Sanctuary. Located close to the capital Port Vila, this unique space will allow you to interact with and learn about the islands' most unique and endangered species. They offer personal tours with local guides and work hard to protect the sea life and Vanuatu animals. Some of their programs include:

The turtle program

The endangered sea turtles native to the South Pacific waters are one of the key focus points of the Sanctuary. This includes Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles. They aim to raise awareness by educating both the natives and international visitors on how important each animal is to the ecosystem. You might even get to see a turtle hatch while you're there!

A brown turtle in the sea.

Once the turtles reach a size where they have a better chance of survival,
they are returned to the wild.

The reptiles

As we mentioned, there are 19 species of native reptiles in Vanuatu. The program works hard to protect them, especially the Fijian-banded iguana, which is on the verge of extinction. With a breeding program, they hope to increase the numbers and restore their previous glory, now limited to only one island.

Fish and sea life

The Sanctuary is located next to a lovely reef with fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. A reef walk is included in the Sanctuary tour, where you get the chance to observe starfish, tropical fish, corals, eels, and other marine life in its natural habitat.

If you are passionate about the animals and the ecosystem, the wildlife could always benefit from a pair of helping hands. Since Vanuatu is a bit remote, experienced international movers such as those at could help you on this journey.

Rainbow Parrot Nature Park in Port Vila

If you enjoy bird-watching and have a soft spot for parrots, this should be a must on your itinerary! Here, you will get the opportunity to observe colorful parrots and other exotic birds flying over you. More than thirty local species of birds, crabs, reptiles, fish, and mammals will be there, just a step away. The parrot house also offers a closer look at the birds, with emerald doves as a special part of the experience.

Two parrots on a branch.

Birdwatching in Vanuatu is one of the popular wildlife experiences that attracts
groups of visitors coming to Vanuatu islands.

Diving and Snorkeling

One of the primary reasons why so many people visit Vanuatu each year is to enjoy the superb diving opportunities. Because of the warm water, accessible dive spots, and excellent visibility, Vanuatu is regarded as one of the top diving destinations in the world. The variety of diving spots is only one of the reasons Vanuatu is a hotspot for this activity. But its rich marine life is what makes the experience unforgettable. Under the warm seas that encircle these beautiful tropical islands lies a scenery that strangely mimics the island's geography. There is aquatic life all across this diverse terrain.

A coral reef with fish.

As a tropical destination , Vanuatu is very appealing to scuba divers who enjoy
its rich and colourful underwater life and many great diving spots.

When you end up loving the wildlife in Vanuatu...

Once you visit these islands, you will undoubtedly fall in love with them, especially if you love nature and the wildlife. But, beware - you might even want to move here. Take a walk on the wild side and contribute to the conservation of Vanuatu's protected species and habitats while helping the local community! There are many unexplored possibilities for developing ecotourism based on this natural wealth. There are many opportunities to help preserve it, as well.

This country also offers a lot of allure for people who want to experience a relaxed lifestyle while still working remotely. And for those who simply want to enjoy their retirement years in a beautiful place! The warmth of the locals will instantly make you feel at home in a new country. So, if you decide to move to Vanuatu, you will surely not regret it.

Hopefully, this guide has given you some insight into the rich wildlife of this beautiful island archipelago. A wildlife experience in Vanuatu is an excellent reason to visit (and maybe stay). Welcome!

Images used: by Unsplash and Pexels

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