Korovisilou (literally means "the village of the noisy birds") is a large village with over 400 inhabitants. The village lies on the Queens Highway on the Coral Coast on the main island of Viti Levu (see map). Visitors to Korovisilou can expect to sleep on proper beds in a large house with several bedrooms. Your hosts are a prominent family, Suliasi and Lavinia Susu (see image right) and the home one of the largest homes in the village. They also have a small blue shop in front of their home - see Lavinia in the shop here. Mobiles but not the Internet work at Namuamua.
It is one of the only homes in FijiBure.Com to boast a television set. Suliasi (known as Susu) is a regular policeman in the Fijian army and well known for his bravery awards. He has seen action in Lebanon and Israel. When not on active service he is a taxi driver - and can take you anywhere around Viti Levu at FijiBure.Com's special prices.
It is easy to find Susu's house if you go by bus during your holidays in Fiji. His house is right next door to the large yellow shop covered in "Maggi" soup signs on the main road to Suva. As you look at the shop Susu's house is on the right - there is a canteen currently being built by the family on their land near the yellow shop.
Image right: Susu's house next to the shop (click on thumbnail for pointer)
Korovisilou's largest buildings are two churches - a Roman Catholic and Methodist church and the community hall. The churches are very active among this devout community. The community has a large school which you are welcome to visit. Lavinia works as a teacher at a neighbouring village - teaching children under 5 with very basic teaching aids for people involved in education there is the unique opportunity to sit in and watch how the Fijian education system works with limited resources.
It is quite an eye opener to visit Lavinia's class and see how rudimentary the teaching system is.
Image right: Korovisilou as seen from the road to Waidroka Bay.
There is a small health centre at Korovisilou - very unusual but a welcome addition to village life.
The house at Korovisilou has flush toilets and showers. Water is tapped directly from the local river and is purer than the water you find bottled in stores.
There is a reliable source of electricity in Korovisilou with the powerlines leading directly into the village. All houses have power.
Fijian villagers are very healthy and believe that cleanliness is next to Godliness.
It is important to note that Fijian villagers are offended by bikinis or scant clothing worn in the village area - be safe and wear clothing that covers the knees and shoulders. Do NOT wear hats in the village during your Fiji holidays.
However, if you go to the beautiful secluded beaches at nearby Waidroka treat it like any other - and get a great suntan in a bikini!
You can only use mobile phones at Korovisilou..
You will enjoy the most incredible and memorable holiday adventures whether walking along the secluded beaches, or enjoying some of the unique activities on offer. At Korovisilou you will, from the moment you step into the village, be accepted into the community. You will, in true Fiji-time, be able to participate in traditional ceremonies "sevu sevu", like Kava drinking in the "vale ni so qo" (or large community hall), dancing and singing as well as swimming in the sea, snorkeling on the Coral reef, exploring the beaches or relaxing.
Image right: Afternoon tea at Korovisilou
Alternatively you can visit the nearby Crusoes Hotels for dinner - just a short drive away but with daily rates equating to food and accommodation at Korovisilou for up to a week! If you enjoy surfing this is the place for you - you can paddle out beyond the reef and catch the waves in Frigates Reef that have made Waidroka Bay famous.
It is important to note that the "man is boss" in the traditional Fijian community so you will find the village women doing all the household work, cooking, etc. Tourists to the village are welcome to participate in the kitchen, washing etc... but this is entirely optional although you will enjoy chatting to the women about their experiences at Korovisilou. All food, washing etc.. is done for you by the women in the village - and these costs are included in the cost of accommodation. Alternatively you might also enjoy joining the men - either to watch, or to participate in their traditional farming practices on the lands bordering the road where they cultivate taro (a potato-like vegetable), Kava and a form of giant asparagus known as Dromo-Dromo. Once again you are not expected to do anything but relax and do what you wish, but for those who want to take a step back in time this is an unforgettable experience well worth considering.
We get a lot of enquiries from school teachers from all over the world. Their common desire is to spend a few days in a Fijian classroom. Lavinia is a school teacher at a local school and qualified teachers staying at Korovisilou are welcome to spend some time in the classroom with her.
Teacher and class
The school at Korovisilou
If you have children this will be a holiday and experience of a lifetime as they are immediately welcomed into the fold by Fijian kids of all ages - over 200 of them! The "village green" which separates two rows of houses at Korovisilou is perfect for a game of cricket, soccer, rugby or other ball games that the Fijian kids just love playing. (Bring a small rugby ball with you and your kids will be kept occupied for your entire stay! Simple things like balloons and sweets are a firm favourite.)
Children might also like to spend some time joining the Fijian children in their classrooms to see how Fijian teachers go about their work - again this is totally optional - one thing for sure there is no shortage of activities for the family!
While the local Korovisilou Fijian dialect may be spoken by villagers they all speak English. (Fijian translation of common greetings can be seen at this link).
Korovisilou is the ultimate backpacker adventure. You are in a safe environment, welcomed into a friendly community from the moment you arrive but have a natural playground, centered around the Coral Coast to explore.
When you arrive at Korovisilou there is a very simple traditional ceremony "sevu sevu" that you can participate in. When the villagers gather in their community hall they welcome guests at a Kava ceremony. An elder from the village will welcome you and the man or male spokesman for your group, at this time, is expected to make a short speech and provide a small gift to the village (such as 1kg of powdered Kava - which cost about F$20 or US$10). Once these formalities are over your hosts will keep you informed of future Kava celebrations, entertainment or other activities taking place during your stay. (A big wooden drum is often beaten to alert villagers of celebrations, church services and other community activities).
More on kava at this link
Payments for transport will be made directly to the taxi driver - while payments for accommodation are made to your host Susu on your arrival at Korovisilou. Please do not tender credit cards to the village as they do not have those sort of banking facilities - cash is king. There are plenty of ATM machines on the way to Korovisilou - they can be found at Nadi, Sigatoka, Pacific Harbour and Suva. (your taxi driver, who will collect you, will help you here).
Image right: The main shop at Korovisilou
Gifts and Village Funds:
If you are thinking of bringing gifts consider bringing practical things like books, notepads, pencils, rubbers and sharpeners that can be used in the school. If you have children consider bringing a gift of a rugby ball, tennis balls, cricket gear, balloons etc for the village... a great ice breaker and your kids will have a great time. This option is entirely up to you and is not expected.
There is also a village fund which has been set up at the request of past guests. The village fund is contributed to by guests, but it is important to know that donations are voluntary and you are NOT expected to donate to the funds. The funds are administered by the village mataqali (or elders) without any outside influence.
The two village funds are:
a building fund which is used in identified projects that help the entire community; and
micro-financing - a fund which is used to finance small enterprises that individuals or groups of villagers in each village want to set up. The money is loaned interest free and with no strings attached. The recipient is morally bound to return the money once he has started earning an income from his enterprise so that the money can be used again to help someone else in the village.
There will be a poster in your guest room in the village which tells you more about the village funds, alternatively you can discuss them with your host.
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