Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fijian Mythology

Traditionally, Fijians have attributed unexplained phenomena to gods, spirits, or witchcraft. In Fijian mythology, there are gods and spirits that bring prosperity and misfortune, along with those for the afterlife. They would pray to these gods for things such as victory in a war, successful fishing, and healing of an illness.

These are some of the aspects of Fijian mythology:

Bulu is a name for the "world of spirits", assumingly the underworld, or afterlife. During a month called "Vula-i-Ratumaibulu" in Fiji, the god, Ratumaibulu, who is in charge of agriculture, comes to the Earth from Bulu to grow the fruits from breadfruit and other fruit trees.

Of the recognized gods in Fiji, Degei was the most important. According to mythology, he lived on the slopes of the Kauvadra Mountains near the Ra Coast, which is also said to be around the location where the Fijian people originated. Besides being considered the origin of the Fijians, he was also said to be a giant snake that resided within a cave at the highest peak of the mountain range. However, he took no interest in his people's affairs, and thunder and earth tremors were said to be his uneasy turning and movement inside the cave. Traditionally in Fiji, snakes have also been highly regarded because of Degei.

Burotu is the name of the paradise-underworld (equivilent to "Heaven" in Christianity). This is the place where the "good" newly-dead souls, who are judged by Degei, will go.

Murimuria is the "darker" part of the underworld (similar to "Hell" in Christianity). The souls who do not go to Burotu will be thrown into a lake and will eventually sink to the bottom where Murimuria is located. There, they will be rewarded or punished accordingly.

Nabangatai is the name of a village in the underworld that is inhabited by dead souls. It is said to be found on the road to Bulu.

According to mythology, Ravuyalo was the "soul-slayer", probably found in or around Murimuria, whose purpose was to club departed spirits. Different methods had been thought up to outwit him.

Dakuwaqa was the god of fishing communities and seafaring, though he was also considered to be the god of adultery. He was said to manifest himself as a large shark that resided in a cave on Benau Island. To gain his favor, all sharks were saluted when they were seen, and people in canoes would throw pieces of food and cups of Yaqona, the traditional Fijian drink, into the water when they passed by areas of sea that Dakuwaqa was said to frequent. It was also considered taboo in Fiji to eat shark flesh.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Land Activities in Fiji

The great land activities attract visitors to Fiji just as much as the water activities do. You can choose to go out on your own or take part in a chosen activity(s) on a tour or through a resort. The many beautiful areas and wide variety of wildlife on these islands also make your experience more interesting and memorable.


The national parks and hilly terrain in Fiji offer trails that are excellent for hiking. As you make your way, you can also take in various sights, including lush tropical rainforests, awesome mountains, clear blue waters, and lovely waterfalls. The Koroyanitu and Sigatoka Sandunes national parks on Viti Levu offer scenic hiking trails, as well as a number of day and overnight walks, camping, and lodge accomodation. Bouma National Park on Taveuni is home to three gorgeous hiking areas: Vidawa Rainforest Hike, Tavoro Waterfalls, and Lavena Coastal Walk. On the Lomaiviti Islands, there are also some wonderful rainforest-surrounded trails on the mountains behind the historic town of Levuka on Ovalau where you can experience beautiful Fijian nature up close.

The Koro Sun Resort on Vanua Levu, Qamea Island Resort on Qamea, Matangi Island Resort on Taveuni, and the Wellesley Resort on Viti Levu are a few of the island resorts that offer hiking trips, and on many of these you can even visit traditional Fijian villages.

Mountain Biking

Because Fiji is made up of mostly dormant volancoes, it has a hilly and mountainous terrain that is excellent for mountain biking. Many of the hiking areas are also great for cycling, though you should make sure you are permitted to bike on a trail, especially those in national parks, as they may be for walkers only. If you are up for some real adventure, you can try biking Mt. Tomanivi, Fiji's highest peak, on Viti Levu.

A few resorts that offer great quality mountain bikes and trips are the Wellesley Resort on Viti Levu, Maravu Plantation Resort on Taveuni, and the Namale Resort on Vanua Levu
(Most trips also offer the majority of spare parts and other necessary items, though you should try bringing your own just in case, especially because of the wide variety of bike models).

Horseback Riding

Horseback is a unique way to explore the beauty of these islands. No matter what your level of experience, you will be paired up with a horse right for you, and if needed you will be taught the basics of communicating and controlling your mount.

4-hour trips are offered into the scenic Nadi hills, and you can also go horse-riding everywhere from tropical rainforests to the beautiful white sandy beaches.

The Turtle Island Resort in the Yasawas offers free horseback riding, and the Maravu Plantation Resort on Taveuni and the Namale Resort on Vanua Levu are a few of the other island resorts that offer this great activity.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Best Resorts on Kadavu

According to ratings on TripAdvisor, the following are the top-rated four hotels located on the Fijian island of Kadavu:

Matava- Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort

This lovely resort blends in with its natural tropical rainforest environment. It consists of traditional thatched Fijian bures, which can accomodate up to 22 guests and offer comfort and privacy, as well as a gorgeous ocean view. It is also near the Great Astrolabe Reef, which is an excellent spot for scuba diving and kayaking, as well as many other activities.

Papageno Resort Fiji

At the Papageno, you can choose to stay in a traditional oceanside bure, which offers a wonderful view of the Malawai Bay, or you can choose to stay in a garden room only 30 seconds away from the ocean where you can enjoy the serene beauty of orchards and gardens. The area offers a variety of water and land activities, as well as day and overnight trips for activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and sightseeing. Delicious food and entertainment from local bands playing traditional Fijian songs are other highlights of staying at this resort.

Tiliva Resort

At this eco resort, you stay in a bure that is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and has a secluded beachfront with a beautiful view across the bay to Ono Island. All fruits and vegetables are organically grown in the kitchen garden and from gardens in the village, and guests are able to watch and even help cook their meals in the traditional lovo. You can also enjoy a variety of activities 10 minutes away at Astrolabe Reef and Waismo Reserve.

Nagigia Island Surf Resort

Renowned as a Fiji surfing and diving destination, this resort offers accomodation at oceanside bures, each of which has a private sun deck that overlooks the ocean. Each bure also offers stunning mountain views, and at some you can even see the nearby breaks. The area is excellent for surfing, with five nearby ocean breaks that are great for beginners and offshore reefs that curve around 270 degrees for the more experienced. The remote location also ensures uncrowded surf. Besides surfing, the area is great for diving and fishing, and you can also snorkel and kayak at the private sand beach across the bay available for guest use.