This Fijian village and Navua river tour was an authentic experience, allowing us to learn about the life and culture of the Fijian people.
Being exhausted after 10 amazing days in New Zealand, we canceled most of the excursions we had pre-planned for Fiji. But we still wanted to visit a Fijian village, see some waterfalls, and experience a kava ceremony. In the lobby of the Uprising Resort are a variety of pamphlets for local tours that we scoured through. A resort employee pointed out that the “Fiji village tours” on the flyers were staged and asked if we wanted to visit a real Fijian village, “Heck yeah!”
We handed over some cash, then nameless housekeeper gave us instructions to meet in the lobby the next morning where a bus would be picking us up along with other tourists from neighboring resorts. Back at the room, Kari pointed out we just handed several hundreds of dollars to a stranger, to go on an excursion at an unknown village in a foreign country, with no recipe or way to review what we were getting ourselves into… ADVENTURE.
The next morning a beat-up minivan (Fijian taxi) took us on a sketchy back road drive that included several cash payouts to people at various checkpoints along the back-country road. Eventually, we arrived at the Nauva River and were greeted by our longboat captain.
It was around 12-15 miles to the village. We stopped to take a dip at a waterfall and rode on a traditional bamboo raft, journeying about 2 hours to reach the village.
Namuamua Fijian Village
As we traveled up the river, we arrived at the place where two rivers meet. Namuamua Village translates, “Where two Rivers meet”. There are roughly 250 inhabitants in the small rural community which are primarily Christian.
We gathered with the chief and other villagers in the large community hall (Known as vale ni so qo”).
It was such an amazing time getting a glimpse into life in a Fijian village. Not only were we blessed by their hospitality, but it also changed the way we look at poverty. These people had very little in terms of material possessions, but their rich village life and abundant resources would make it difficult to ever consider them poor.
- Inquire at your resort if there is a real Fijian village available to tour.
- Bring stickers, candies, or other small toys to hand out the the village children.
- Bring extra Fijian dollars to purchase local handmade souvenirs to support the village.