VITI LEVU, Fiji Fiji’s growing soft-adventure options are fast
altering the destination’s old reputation as a place fit only for
beach-snoozing and colorful-cocktail-sipping. One dependable and
professionally run adventure operation is perched on the north
coast of Viti Levu, the “main” island of Fiji where most clients
will arrive on international flights.
Safari Lodge offers fishing, sea kayaking and sailing
expeditions for all budgets. Director Warren Francis is an engaging
sandy-haired fellow eager to show visitors the humble magic of the
Fijian people his tours employ.
“We have spent the last 10 years learning about their culture,”
Francis said, “and now we wish to introduce others into the natural
Fijian way of life.”
A two-hour drive from the airport in Nadi, Safari Lodge offers
clients who opt for overnight adventures the choice of staying in
its own basic Fijian bures (bungalows), or in nearby more luxurious
The three- and seven-day fishing trips show the kind of
non-destructive tourism Safari Lodge is selling. On each day of the
trips, different local reefs are visited, and each reef is fished
only once or twice a month. That way, there is no danger of
depleting local fish stocks or engendering ill will among local
Trips set out from the lodge’s Ellington Wharf and include
two-hour lunch breaks with food supplied by the lodge’s own Coconut
The company uses three different types of boats, depending on
the type of fishing clients chose. For big-game fishing, they have
a Bertrum 21-foot craft, powered by a 150-horsepower engine and a
30-horsepower auxiliary engine.
Each fishing day starts around 9 a.m. and includes a two-hour
lunch, usually on a local beach where snorkeling or napping is
available. The seven-day trip includes two days of accommodations
and fishing at Viti Levu Bay Eco-Tourism Resort, a short jaunt
along the “Sunshine Coast.” On the three- and seven-day trips,
clients can choose from a variety of fishing styles, including
hand-line, sport and game fishing.
Prices for 2004 are $1,241 for the seven-day trip, which
includes airport pickup, accommodation, lunches and all equipment;
$540 for the three-day trip (no air transport); and between $56 and
$223 for one-day trips. Agents receive 15 percent commission.