Where to see dugongs in Vanuatu

Did you know that Vanuatu is famous for dugong encounters? Many of the islands are surrounded by large seagrass beds, creating an ideal habitat for these gorgeous chunky mermaids. Here are the best places to see dugongs in Vanuatu.

Aore Island and Tutuba Island, Espiritu Santo

Explore the seagrass meadows around Aore Island and Tutuba Point for your best chance to spot dugongs. June to September is the best time of year to spot them. Aore Island Resort and Aore Adventure Sports & Lodge are both great places to base yourself for snorkelling and diving the fringing reefs and seagrass beds of Aore Island, while both Pacific Dive and Aore Adventure Lodge run dive day trips to Tutuba Island.

6 aore island resort espiritu santo vanuatu paddle boarding

Havannah Bay, Efate

Havannah Bay is a 40-minute drive from Port Vila and provides a tranquil setting to explore the fringing seagrass beds on the hunt for dugongs. The vibrant and diverse fringing reefs of Moso Island, a short boat ride away, are also well worth checking out. Tranquillity Island Eco & Dive Resort is located on Moso Island and is also home to a small turtle sanctuary.

Big Blue Vanuatu dugong face 1024

Paradise Cove, Efate

Dugongs are often spotted by divers in Paradise Cove, a short drive from Port Vila. Base yourself at boutique dive resort South Pacific Memories, or go in search of dugongs with Big Blue Vanuatu. The resort has a pretty house reef and is also convenient for some of Port Vila’s best dive sites, including the Cathedral and the Semele Federesen wreck.

Dugongs with coral Maskelynes Islands Vanuatu

Maskelyne Islands

The remote Maskelyne Islands are located off the coast of Malekula Island. Here, dugongs often appear in large pods, providing a magical experience for lucky snorkelers. Accommodation here is pretty basic, in local bungalows and guesthouses.

Dugongs Maskelynes Islands Vanuatu

Lamen Bay, Epi Island

Epi Island is also not far from Malekula Island and can be visited on a day trip (by air) from Port Vila with Air Taxi. Dugongs are often spotted in the seagrass meadows that surround the island. Day trips can combine a trip to Pentecost Island to witness land diving, or a flyover three active volcanoes.

Epi Island Vanuatu

Vanuatu Environmental Science Society has put together guidelines to ensure a respectful experience for both divers and these magnificent creatures. Be sure to have a read – or watch the gorgeous, animated video featuring a character called Daisy the Dugong, created by local agency Konnect. It is the very first 3D animation conceived, created, and published in Vanuatu.

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