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For Fiji-bound clients seeking more adventure and local culture
than a beach chair can provide, you might want to book them on a
rafting trip with Rivers Fiji.
A subsidiary of O.A.R.S. a U.S.-based adventure company in
business for more than 30 years Rivers Fiji opened in 1998 and is
the only company allowed to operate trips on the Upper Navua and
Luva rivers. With offices located on the Pearl Resort’s property in
the Pacific Harbour about an hour outside of Nadi, Rivers Fiji
offers a range of adventure options, from short day trips to
two-day kayaking camp-outs.
My mom and I opted for the Luva River journey that also includes
a trip to a local village, a popular choice for those looking for
calmer kayaking combined with a more authentic Fijian cultural
We meet our guides and group at 8 a.m., and ages ranged from
mostly teenagers to my nearly 60-year-old mother. While the trip
was about an eight-hour commitment, the bus ride to the river
occupied most of the morning.
Bouncing in an open van for two hours through the narrow
backroads of the Namosi Mountains proved more intense than kayaking
the Luva. While the tour operator is working on acquiring a more
comfortable vehicle, prepare clients for a bumpy ride.
We stopped once along the road to snack and take in views of the
rainforest which was worth the bumps, as was the village visit to
meet the chief. As we walked through Nakaviki, children popped out
of houses and greeted us by waving and shouting greetings of bula.
The chief greeted us warmly inside his home and was anxious to hear
our impressions of Fiji; we shared stories and a couple of rounds
of kava (a traditional Fijian drink made from a root) before
boarding the bus.
Upon reaching the Luva, we geared up with helmets, paddles and
single-seater, inflatable kayaks. Not everyone in our 10-person
group including me had kayaked before, and the guides gave a
thorough lesson before we were let loose to explore.
The river was only a Class II, and after a few trips down some
tame rapids, I soon felt comfortable paddling past forests, cliffs
and crevices in the rocks sometimes pausing to swim through
waterfalls. It felt like we had the river to ourselves not once did
we encounter another group.
We also stopped for lunch along the way, and the guides prepared
a spread of sandwiches, cookies, juice and fresh fruit. While we
ate and rested up, some travelers took the opportunity to do a
little cliff jumping.
After a few hours on the river, we returned to the bus for a
45-minute ride to Pearl Harbour. After arriving at the resort at
about 5 p.m., I was ready to get back to the beach chair.
P.O. Box 307
Pacific Harbour, Fiji
In addition to the Luva River trip for $115, Rivers Fiji offers
other one-day trips, including Beqa Sea kayaking for $130, the
Upper Navua rafting trip for $150 and coastal sea kayaking for $55;
the two-day Luva River camping trip costs $285. Transportation from
Nadi, Vuda Point and Suva is available for $23-$35.
What to Wear: Tell clients to pack sunscreen, a
swimsuit, comfortable shoes that will stay on and clothes that can
get wet. Clients might also want to take along dry clothes for the
bus ride home.
Commission: Agent commission is available.
Agents also receive a 50 percent discount off the rack rate.