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Vanuatu Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of Vanuatu consists of a group of volcanic islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

Port Vila, on the island of Efate, is the capital and the main port.

The islands are of volcanic origin and very mountainous.

The climate of Vanuatu is tropical with southeast trade winds between May and October.

Environment
There are over eighty islands in the archipelago of Vanuatu. The largest islands are Espiritu Santo and Malekula, followed by Efate. Of the thirteen largest islands, nine have active volcanoes.

Most of the islands are mountainous and rainforests cover much of the country. In 1994 a decision was taken to conserve the forests and wildlife of Vatthe on the island of Espiritu Santo. The Vatthe Conservation Area became Vanuatu's first National Park and in 2004 Vatthe was officially declared a Community Conservation Area.

Architecture
Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, is built around a natural harbour opposite the small islands of Ifira and Iririki. Its architecture is a mix of Colonial houses and modern buildings. There is also a French Quarter with houses in the French Colonial style.

Population
The population of Vanuatu was estimated at 224,564 in 2011. The majority of the population is Melanesian.

Languages
There are over a hundred languages spoken in Vanuatu. Official languages are English, French and Bislama (also known as pidgin).

Religion
Christianity is the main religion in Vanuatu. Christian churches on the islands include Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Seventh-Day Adventist. Indigenous religious beliefs often exist alongside Christianity.

Food
A variety of international food can be found in Port Vila. French, English, Italian, Indian and Chinese cuisines have all had an influence on food available in Vanuatu today.

The national dish is "lap-lap", either savoury or sweet, made from a vegetable porridge cooked in coconut milk.

Chicken, pork and fish are eaten. Manioc, taro and yams are staple foods. Island cabbage, plantains and breadfruit are also cultivated.

Local fruit includes guavas, grapefruits, limes, papayas, mandarins, mangoes and pineapples.

Coffee is grown and kava, made from the roots of piper methysticum, is the traditional drink of Vanuatu.

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