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Staying in a Fijian Village is one of the most memorable experiences many tourists take home. Indigenous Fijians live a communal and very sharing lifestyle within large extended families. Their houses - bures - are traditionally single room buildings with bamboo woven walls and thatch roofs. Families eat, sleep and work in these single rooms. Kitchens are separate from the main building and are simple covered structures with firewood ovens on the ground. The loo is a covered pit in the ground somewhere out the back. There are many picturesque villages around Fiji.

If you are interested in over-nighting in a Fijian Village, there are several traditional landowner communities taht can arrange authentic village experiences. However, be prepared to rough it a bit, often without electricity and hot water, generally with unorganized tineraries and sometimes lacking in general hygiene both in bedding, food preparation and in litter polution which is a growing problem in rural Fiji. Staying in a village offers a great insight into Fijian culture and a chance to explore the local environment. This is an excellent way to experience Fijian culture whilst at the same time providing some financial support for the local people and village projects. The Fiji Governemnet actively promote this interaction with the local people as do many of the resorts who offer day trips to their local village. When exploring, tourists should always be accompanied by a local villager so as not to cause any insult to the local landowners and should follow village protocol including modest dress, no hats and no alcohol.

Navala Village in the highlands of Viti Levu is the most scenic village in Fiji and is well worth the two hour overland drive from nadi. Alternative venues include the pottery village of Nakabuta along the Coral Coast or chiefly Veseisei Village just north of Nadi. Yaqona ceremonies should be included in any organised village visit.

net fishing

underground oven

waitabu village

rotuma village

Village homes are without defined boundaries and doors are seldom closed. It is unusual to find a Fijian family living on land outside of a village. Subsistence farming, fishing, gathering firewood for cooking and hand-washing make up the normal days chores. At night, if not at church, Fijians will be drinking Yaqona, discussing village affairs and playing guitars. Most village people live without material goods, and many villages have no electricity and running water. Money to buy essential provisions and to pay for school fees is obtained by selling excess root-crops (dalo, cassava and yams) and vegetables at the town markets.

navala village

village scene



Women do most of the work around the house from collecting firewood for cooking to weaving mats for the floors whilst the men fish, plant and above all else, drink yaqona , the traditional drink of fiji. The village playing field is the centre of activity at sundown when all men relax playing touch rugby.

Fijians are very hospitable people and often invite guests to stay in their homes. Presenting a gift of Yaqona roots is the customary gratuity but donating at least F$50 per person per night will help pay for food and leave a family with some much needed monetary benefits. Some tourists take advantage of this hospitality and we stress it is not ethical to simply turn up at a village expecting accommodation.

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