Manbush Trail Tour
The Manbush Trail Tour is a 5-day trek around the central jungle and coast lines of Malekula Island that has been featured in Lonely Planet. Local trail guides lead visitors along the trail, sharing stories of local customs and traditional ways of living on Malekula. Hikers are welcomed into villages along the trail where the old customs are still practiced in everyday life. One the first day, transportation is provided from accommodations in Norsup or Lakatoro to the starting point of Unua. The first leg is 6 hours long and heads south along the east coast, stopping at Melken for a village tour. The final destination of the first day is Lambure, where lodging is provided at a local guesthouse. Day 2 is another 6 hour walk towards Mount Laimbele. The guests camp in a bush shelter on top of this mountain. Wide views of the Malekula’s interior are seen. It is possible to see the glow from the volcanoes of Ambrym from this camp. The third day is a 6 hour hike to Lebongbong. Many tropical birds, and perhaps wild cattle, will be seen on this leg of the tour. The guesthouse at Lebongbong will provide Nesowong, a special Manbush food made from bush banana, water taro and coconut milk. The fourth day is the longest hike, at 8 hours of walking time. There will be visits to a cave, waterfall and a nakamal. A nakamal is an important place in Malekula culture where local men gather to drink kava after a working day and where the chief mediates village disputes. Large banyan trees are found along this section of the trail. This leg of the tour ends at a Lawa guesthouse. The fifth, and last, day of the tour is a 3 hour boat ride up the west coast to Lambumbu, where transportation is provided back to guests’ normal accommodations in Norsup or Lakatoro. This is a tour that gives visitors a full picture of the life, customs and geography of Malekula.