Tafea Province

Last updated
Tafea in Vanuatu Tafea in Vanuatu.svg
Tafea in Vanuatu

Tafea is the southernmost of the six provinces of Vanuatu.


The name is an acronym for the five main islands that make up the province: Tanna, Aneityum, Futuna, Erromango and Aniwa.


Mt. Yasur on Tanna island Mt. Yasur Eruption.jpg
Mt. Yasur on Tanna island
Flag of Tafea Province Tafea Province Flag.svg
Flag of Tafea Province
Flag of secessionist Tanna nation Bandera Tanna Vanuatu.svg
Flag of secessionist Tanna nation
Flag of the secessionist Tafea nation Tafea Flag.svg
Flag of the secessionist Tafea nation

Unlike the other provinces of Vanuatu, the territorial integrity of this administrative unit has been unchanged since the times of the Condominium, when it was called Southern District, or Tanna after the main island. Only the capital moved from Lenakel to nearby Isangel, less than two kilometers more southeast.

A secessionist movement began in the 1970s, and the Nation of Tanna was proclaimed on March 24, 1974. While the British were more open to allowing its holdings in Vanuatu independence, it was opposed by the French colonists and finally suppressed by the Anglo-French Condominium authorities on June 29, 1974.

In 1980, there was another attempt to secede, declaring the Tafea Nation on January 1, 1980, its name coming from the initials of the five islands that were to be part of the nation (Tanna, Aniwa, Futuna, Erromango and Aneityum). British forces intervened on May 26, 1980, allowing the islands to become part of the newly independent nation of Vanuatu on July 30, 1980.


The province has a population of 32,540 [1] people and an area of 1,628 km2. The main island, though second to Erromango in area, is Tanna, with some 80 percent of the province population, with the provincial capital of Isangel, and the largest village of Lenakel, both close together on the southwest coast.

The three larger islands are Melanesian, but the smaller two, Aniwa and Futuna, also known under the collective term Erronan Islands, are Polynesian outliers. Futuna is sometimes called West Futuna to distinguish it from Futuna Island, Wallis and Futuna.

The island of Tanna has the world's most accessible volcano, Mount Yasur, with 1,084 meters the highest peak of the province. Aniwa Island is the only coral island, the other four are volcanic and reach much higher elevations than Aniwa.

Anatom is the southernmost island of Vanuatu (not counting the remote, tiny and uninhabited Matthew and Hunter Islands, 280 to 335 kilometres (174–208 miles) to the southeast, which are disputed with New Caledonia, but which are considered by the people of Anatom Island part of their custom ownership). Its southeastern cape Nétchan Néganneaing is the southernmost point of land in Vanuatu, more southerly than the southern satellite islet Inyeug. The latter, however, is surrounded Intao Reef, that extends even further south, albeit submerged, thus being the southernmost feature of Vanuatu.


Land Area
Population [2] peakheight
Tanna Lenakel 56528,799 Mount Tukosmera 1,084

19°29′15″S169°19′50″E / 19.48750°S 169.33056°E / -19.48750; 169.33056 (Tanna)

Aniwa Ikaokao 834142

19°15′01″S169°36′04″E / 19.25028°S 169.60111°E / -19.25028; 169.60111 (Aniwa)

Futuna Ihsia 11513 Tatafou 666

19°31′47″S170°13′08″E / 19.52972°S 170.21889°E / -19.52972; 170.21889 (Futuna)

Erromango [note 1] Potnarvin 9751,950 Mount Santop 886

18°48′50″S169°07′22″E / 18.81389°S 169.12278°E / -18.81389; 169.12278 (Erromango)

Aneityum [note 2] Anelgauhat 162915 Mount Inrerow Atahein 852

20°11′18″S169°49′34″E / 20.18833°S 169.82611°E / -20.18833; 169.82611 (Anatom)

Tafea Isangel 1,72132,549 Mount Tukosmera 1,084

19°30′S169°30′E / 19.500°S 169.500°E / -19.500; 169.500 (Tafea)

Related Research Articles

Air Vanuatu National airline of Vanuatu, founded in 1981

Air Vanuatu is an airline with its head office in the Air Vanuatu House, Port Vila, Vanuatu. It is Vanuatu's national flag carrier, operating to Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and points in the South Pacific. Its main base is Bauerfield International Airport, Port Vila.

Flag of Vanuatu National flag

The flag of Vanuatu was adopted on 18 February 1980.

Provinces of Vanuatu

Vanuatu has been divided into six provinces since 1994. The names in English of all provinces are derived from the initial letters of their constituent islands:

Tanna Island island in Tafea Province of Vanuatu

Tanna is an island in Tafea Province of Vanuatu.

The nine South Vanuatu languages form a family of the Southern Oceanic languages, spoken in Tafea Province of Vanuatu.


Aneityum is the southernmost island of Vanuatu, in the province of Tafea.

Futuna is an island in the Tafea province of Vanuatu. It is the easternmost island in the country.


Erromango is the fourth largest island in the Vanuatu archipelago. With a land area of 891.9 square kilometres (344.4 sq mi) it is the largest island in Tafea Province, the southernmost of Vanuatu's six administrative regions.

Aniwa Island Island in Tafea Province, Vanuatu

Aniwa is a small island in the southernmost province of Tafea, Vanuatu.

Isangel Town in Tafea Province, Vanuatu

Isangel is a town in Vanuatu.

Anejom̃ or Aneityum is an Oceanic language spoken by 900 people on Aneityum Island, Vanuatu. It is the only indigenous language of Aneityum.

Vanuatu, officially known as the Republic of Vanuatu, is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 500 kilometres (310 mi) north-east of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea. The nation's largest town and the capital Port Vila is situated on Efate Island.

A by-election was held in the constituency of the Southern Islands in Vanuatu in December 2009.

Lenakel, or West Tanna, is a dialect chain spoken on the western coast of Tanna Island in Vanuatu.

<i>Emoia caeruleocauda</i> Species of lizard

Emoia caeruleocauda, commonly known as the Pacific bluetail skink, is a species of lizard in the family Scincidae.

Jocelyn Naupa is a Ni-Van advocate for gender equality and women affairs in Vanuatu.


Inyeug Island is a small uninhabited island in Tafea Province of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean. "Inyeug" means "Small Island" in a local language. Inyueg is also called Mystery Island by the cruise ships that regularly visit the island.

Vete Manung

Vete Manung, also Vetemanu, formerly Goat Island, Île Rocher, Île de la Chèvre or La Chèvre, is a small uninhabited island in Tafea Province of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean. Vete Manung Island is located 5.6 km northeast of Pointe Bodiroua on the north-east coast of Erromango Island.

Victoria-Vanuatu Physician Project

The Victoria-Vanuatu Physician Project (ViVa) was a Canadian non-governmental organization of physicians and their families from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. For 24 years it supplied a medical doctor to the island of Tanna, Vanuatu.




  1. including Vete Manung (Île de la Chèvre, Goat Island) (5.6 km northeast, 0.12 km² area) and Vete Manung Island (15 km northeast)
  2. including Inyeug Island (0.6 km southwest, airport of Anatom), but without the remote Matthew and Hunter Islands, which are considered by the people of Anatom Island part of their custom ownership

Coordinates: 19°30′S169°30′E / 19.500°S 169.500°E / -19.500; 169.500