Before a village is accepted as a participant in FijiBure.com we establish that the village meets minimum requirements in food and accommodation. This includes your own room, western-styled beds and bedding, flush toilets and (cold) showers. All food is traditional and delicious. In every case we have met with the Chief and mataqali (village elders) and gained their support in allowing guests to stay at the village. In fact, as a portion of the money you pay to your hosts goes back to the village fund you are treated like royalty. Hosts and villages participating in FijiBure.com will not accept travellers who just arrive at the door and expect to have a bed. In the best case scenario hosts will take you in but not at a discounted daily rate, more commonly you will be told that, as you have not booked through FijiBure.com, they cannot help you. It is imperative that you pre-book through this website. Only small numbers of guests stay at a village at any time - Fijian Village Homestays are a highly personal and unforgettable adventure!
When you arrive at a village you will be met by the hosts and welcomed into their home. If you are taking a local boat (to the villages of Namuamua, Naiseuseu, Malevu and Matacawalevu) or local road transport (to the village of Nadrau) you will be met at the pick up point by your hosts who will accompany you back to their village (More on transport options and costs at this link). On arrival at the village you will be shown your living quarters in the family's house and given a book with information about that village as well as the activities (free and chargeable) (More on village activities at this link). In most villages you will then participate in a traditional sevu-sevu (you will need to take a kilo of kava with you - it can be bought for about F$20 all over Fiji). At this traditional ceremony you will get to meet the villagers and be welcomed into their community for the duration of your stay. Take this link for more on kava
It is up to you to advise your host about the activities you would like to participate in. Your host will organise everything and let you know if something of interest in happening in the village. In the evenings you will sit down with the family and have a traditional Fijian meal (vegetarian meals can be catered for). The food (including breakfast, lunch and dinner) is excellent. While you can bring your own liquor keep it in your room or take it with you in a bag when you go for a walk. Do not offer any to the villagers - this is taboo.
We have never had anything stolen from our hundreds of guests - the village community is tight knit and the disgrace brought down on a man or woman who commits a crime is the greatest deterrent. Having said this do not be silly about your valuables - keep them in your room. If you want to take gifts for the village bring second hand clothes, books, pens and paper for the kids and balls or toys.
If you have young or teenage children they will have the time of their lives. The naturally gregarious Fijian children will embrace them into their games and play the moment they arrive.
Check out: Ten quick facts about Fijian Village Homestays
If you want to spend time alone that's fine - go for walks along the beach with your partner or go snorkeling together. The villagers will respect your privacy and you will have the freedom to go for lengthy walks or swim in the world's most beautiful reefs without competing with any other travellers commonly found in large tour groups or at hotels. Alternatively if you want to join the women in the kitchen, or spend a day in a class at the local school - do so. You are part of the Fijian family. The emphasis is on making you part of the family... after all this is the basis of Fijian culture.
To demonstrate just how much fun Fijian Village Homestays are for a wide range of people - check out a sample of feedback in our guest's gallery (with pictures) at this link.
Walking, kayaking and rafting treks at this link
On-line enquiries at this link