The origins of the name Naiseuseu are based on recent fables that when the current villagers settled the land on the sea just over 40 years ago the people staying there before them fled in such haste when they arrived that they "kicked up the sand as they ran away" (naiseuseu). It is a small to medium sized village just a few kilometers from the Marlin Bay Hotel - known for its scuba diving.
Your host at Naiseuseu is Viliame Soko (Bill) who speaks excellent English and is a well respected member of the village.
Image right: Bill standing outside his house
The village is on Beqa Island (pronounced Benga) just 10 kilometers from the mainland of Viti Levu and Pacific Harbour (see map). Beqa Island is famous for its fire walkers - although no fire walkers live at Naiseuseu. There are less than 200 people living in Naiseuseu. You will see run down village houses made out of corrugated iron overlooking beaches who's location would cost millions of dollars in the western world. For tourists visiting Naiseuseu there are proper beds on offer with your Fijian hosts.
There are some fantastic traditional activities that are unique to Naiseuseu including wild pig hunting and deep sea diving to enhance your Fiji holidays. Your host, Ben, is an accomplished deep sea diver who can dive to forty feet and stay underwater for up to five minutes without the benefit of scuba diving gear. Other activities include lovely relaxing walks around Beqa Island. As you will see on the activities page the fascinating island is normally off-limits to tourists and even the local inhabitants.
Only certain houses in the village have generator driven electricity. This is normally turned on in the evenings. Water is tapped directly from an island stream and is purer than the water you find bottled in stores.
Fijian villagers are very healthy and believe that cleanliness is next to Godliness.
Image right: the toilet at the host's home
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.
However, if you go to the beach away from the village treat it like any other - and get a great suntan in a bikini!
Image right: The beautiful beach at Naiseuseu
There are no telephones in Naiseuseu but mobile phones work fine.
You will enjoy the most incredible and memorable adventure holidays in Fiji whether walking along the secluded beaches, collecting shells, or enjoying some of the unique activities on offer. At Naiseuseu 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, 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, relaxing or visiting the nearby Marlin Bay Hotel - just a short walk away. Alternatively you can just lie under the moon and watch the sea break gently at your feet.
Image right: the crystal clear waters off Naiseuseu beach
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 Naiseuseu. All food, washing etc.. is done for you by the women in the village - and these costs are included in the cost of accommodation. 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.
The Naiseuseu choir would have published many music CDs if it had not been for their isolation in Fiji.
Their ukelele and guitar bands are excellent as well and participated in the creation of our first music CD.
Click on the image right to preview the FijiBure.com music CD they participated in.
You can order the CD on-line from this link.
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 - about 50 of them! (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.)
While the local Naiseuseu Fijian dialect may be spoken by villagers English is understood by the villagers. (Fijian translation of common greetings can be seen at this link).
Naiseuseu is the ultimate backpacker adventure. You are in a safe environment, welcomed into a friendly community from the moment you arrive - and you have the island of Beqa to explore.
When you arrive at Naiseuseu there is a very simple traditional ceremony that you can participate in. When the villagers gather in their community hall they welcome guests at a Kava ceremony known as a "sevu sevu". 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 host Ben 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 organised directly with your taxi driver when he collects you either from the hotel or airport. The water taxi fare of F$15 per person is paid to the pilot, Marika, at Navua Town, as a guest of FijiBure.com you get the special local rate. Payments for accommodation are made to Bill who will meet you at the ferry. 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 Viti Levu - they can be found at Nadi, Sigatoka, Pacific Harbour and Suva. (Simon, who can collect you in his taxi, will help you here).
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.
Music samples of the Pacific Nations