*As seen in The Logbook
Fiji is truly a one of a kind destination that should be near the top of everyone’s travel bucket list. A beautiful land made up of aquamarine lagoons, lush rainforests, mountains and a thousand miles of white, sandy beaches wrapped around three hundred islands and scattered across 200,000 square miles of ocean. Laced with coral reefs amid tropical waters it is drenched with natural beauty.
Jay Whyte, the founder of Sigatoka River Safari visited the area in 1991 when he was 13 years and became completely enamoured with the location, the people and the atmosphere here. It was during this visit that he would meet Pita Matasau, a twenty three year old security guard at the resort where Jay and his family were staying. Through a story of incredible friendship, the two would eventually become business partners in 2005 and launch the concept of the Sigatoka River Safari.
People in Fiji are a rich blend of colours and culture, a mixture of Polynesian, Melanesian Micronesian, Indian, Chinese and European. The islands enjoy temperatures ranging between 24C and 32C degrees during the day with high humidity broken by a cooling ocean breeze.
A sheer paradise that has inspired many an island adventure book, it is a place to relax and enjoy this beautiful corner of the world. A world filled with birdsong and the beautiful Fijian language, revitalising fresh air and lush organic fruit and vegetables. Fiji is a country rich in traditional culture and uses a native language making it uniquely diverse. English speakers will find themselves comfortably understood as it is the official language but Fijian and Hindustani are also used.
The horseshoe-shaped collection of islands is in the same time zone as New Zealand and has a population of around 800,000 inhabitants, which is made up of 50% of Fijians, 47% of Indians and with South Pacific Islanders, Europeans and Chinese making up the remaining 3%. Casual dress is acceptable during both day and night so guests are advised to bring t-shirts, shorts, light cotton dresses and swimwear. It is advisable to bring a jacket for the cooler evenings.
THE RIVER SAFARI
Sigatoka River is the longest river on the island of Viti Levu and runs from the hills of the Navosa Province to the sand dunes in Kulukulu on the famous Coral Coast. The river is important to locals as it provides fresh water mussels (kai), fish, prawns, eels, water for agriculture and for drinking.
Offering a complete no-hassle experience of Fiji, Sigatoka River Safari doesn’t leave their guests to fend for themselves. Their mini coach driver picks up clients from their resort and transfers them to their base in Sigatoka town. From there they enjoy a 17 km scenic cruise into the Sigatoka valley, discovering the fertile area known as the “salad bowl” of Fiji.
Guests arrive at the departure point surrounded by Fijian natural beauty; here they are provided with life jackets and given a safety briefing by the jet boat captain before boarding.
The journey up the river is combined with the stories and history of the region, including its gruesome but fascinating cannibal past. Guests are given a warm welcome by the villagers and a visit to the village Chief’s bure (house) and a tour of the village before a lunch of fresh tropical fruit. Sigatoka River Safari is careful to visit a different village every day, to minimise the impact of tourism on the village lifestyle in this remote part of the world.
The village visit ends with traditional Fijian singing and dancing and then it’s time to board the jet boat again for the return trip.
Having been inspired by many travels in his youth, Jay was adamant that he wanted to offer an experience that would stand out in the memory of all included. This meant not only offering something that was visual and sensually vivid but filled with the historic details that gives flavour to trips such as this.
PRICING: see website: https://sigatokariver.com/pricing/
PHONE: +(679) 650 1721
ADDRESS: Sigatoka River Safari