Fiji is a popular destination for Australians, especially during school holiday times. Only a three hour flight from Sydney to Nandi, where the international airport is located, it’s not long before visitors get into holiday mode, especially after receiving the traditional “Bula” welcome. Fiji offers a large range of accommodation, available in all price categories, from luxury private islands to resort hotels and serviced apartments.
Families flock to Fiji, as the variety of activities available appeal to all age groups, from lagoon cruises, swimming, snorkeling, shopping, sightseeing to a game of golf.
One fun activity that should not be missed is the award winning Sigatoka River Safari. Celebrating its 8th birthday in April, the tour has truly lived up to its tag line ‘Simply Unforgettable’. As the first jet-boat safari tour of its kind in Fiji, it has become one of the country’s most popular tours, winning the 2008 Best Fiji Experience and 2007 Best Adventure Tour at the annual Excellence in Tourism Awards. The half-day adventure into the heart and soul of Fiji, aboard custom-built safari jet boats, travels along the Sigatoka River, visiting authentic Fijian villages, allowing passengers to experience a day in the life of the real ‘kaiviti’ (Fijian).
Founded by Australian Jay Whyte, who fell in love with Fiji when he was a child, “I visited Fiji for the first time in 1991 and met Fijian, Pita Matasau. Pita took myself and my family high into the Fijian interior to his village of Draiba. It was from this experience that I decided other people should see that area of Fiji. The next year I visited New Zealand and that’s when I thought of combining a jet boat ride up the Sigatoka River with a visit to a real Fijian village, just like I had experienced.It didn’t happen overnight, in fact it wasn’t until ten years later that I decided to put my plan into action”said Jay.
Beginning fromasmall home office and a staff of four, Sigatoka River Safari now has a staff of 40 and two retail shops in Sigatoka Town. Their one boat has expanded to four.
One of the company’s most exciting developments was starting the new Off Road Caves Safari tour in 2012. Mr Whyte said “Off Road Caves Safari is Fiji’s only off road safari and takes passengers to the Naihehe Cave, Fiji’s largest Cave system. I’m extremely proud of what I have achieved and when passengers return from the Sigatoka River Safari and tell me how much it has really touched them, then I know I’m achieving what I set out to do. I love living in Fiji, working with my incredible team and helping the villages we work with”.
The Sigatoka River Safari is one tour that should not be missed when visiting Fiji.