From the moment you set foot onto Ambrym, you will sense the magic in the air. Famously known as the Black Magic centre of Vanuatu, Ambrym Island is home to two towering giants; Mt Benbow and Mt Marum. Each ingrained within the identity of Ambrym, visitors flock to the island for its uniquely spiritual, black magic experience.
The fierce and fiery volcanoes, Mt Benbow and Mt Marum, are cemented deeply within the spiritual and black magic beliefs of the island. Take up the opportunity to embark upon a 6 hour journey to the crater of each volcano through lush rainforest and ash fields, and stay overnight if you have the chance. Dropping a white chicken into the crater is thought to avoid bad luck, so you may witness a spiritual sacrifice on your journey.
In and around the villages of Ambrym, particularly in the Northern area, traditional custom beliefs are highly evident and remain very strong. Each village is decorated in sculpted tam-tams made from tree trunks and is used in ceremonial rituals, such as the famous and sacred Rom Dance. Held every year, the secretive event is performed by the male villagers who wear facemasks and traditional outfits. You may be able to purchase smaller carvings from local carvers and listen to ancient stories about tradition and custom. Be warned though, these stories hold a sacred value to the locals, and permission may be required to take photographs of the sand drawings!
Whatever your reason for a visit to Ambrym maybe, you can be assured of a truly magical experience. “The Black Island”, as it is known, is definitely a must visit. Flights to Ambrym take just over one hour from Port Vila and is serviced by two airports. You will have to stay in traditional bungalows for accommodation, as there are no hotels – but hey, we aren’t complaining.
Visit Ambrym for a truly authentic experience!