VESA’s humanitarian and conservation projects aim to provide direct action support to communities in parts of the world overlooked by traditional charities and aid organisations.Learn more
Fiji is the ultimate picture of island paradise. Think white beaches and turquoise water, lush tropical mountains and laid back locals. “Fiji time” is a common saying with a simple meaning: life’s not meant to be rushed. Here time is slow, stress is a foreign concept and city living is traded in for sun, sand and slow-moving palm trees.
Also known as the jewel of the South Pacific, the Fijian Islands cover around 1.3 million square kilometres, but less than 1.5% of this is dry land. While Fiji has over 300 islands, only 110 are actually inhabited. The largest Fijian island is Viti Levu, also home to Fiji’s capital, Suva. Suva is Fiji’s largest city with a population of around 175,000. While English is widely spoken in Fiji, the official languages are Fijian and Fijian Hindi. Fiji’s richest wildlife is found in its crystal clear oceans. There are hundreds of species of hard and soft corals, seas fans and sponges. The tropical fish of Fiji are breathtaking and wildly diverse. In the warm waters of Fiji’s coral reefs, Finding Nemo is a simple task! Turtles cruise the shallows off the beaches, as well as numerous large pelagic and reef fish. Fiji’s population is a vibrant mix of indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians. While Indigenous Fijians are more likely to live in traditional villages with strict hierarchy, the minority Indo-Fijians are more prevalent in the larger cities. Fiji is a predominantly Catholic society with a significant Hindu minority. Women play an important role in the Fijian economy and society and visiting female travellers rarely, if ever, experience any trouble in this friendly and welcoming culture. Although a fortunate country in many ways, Fiji is still a developing nation. Average wages for unskilled workers equate to about $50 per week with this figure even lower in remote communities. Tourism has brought prosperity to some fortunate Fijians, however many of the large resorts and operators are foreign operated and profits are delivered directly overseas. Despite economic hardship, the Fijian people remain endearingly optimistic and welcoming. The lucky few travellers that are granted access to traditional village life in Fiji experience this generosity and warmth first hand, forming lifelong connections and memories.
Fijian Dollar is the currency used in Fiji
is the first language spoken in Fiji, however English is the most common language
people live in Fiji, mainly on the two major islands - Viti Levu and Vanua Levu
species of sea life can be found in the waters surrounding Fiji
“Amazing trip. Loved the villages and proud of the work we did.”
Daniel Pott – St. John York University
“The village stay was beyond anything I could have hoped for. I learned so much about Fijian culture and everyday life. I will never forget my stay with my second family.”
Alex Sferrazza – McMaster University
“I had the best time of my life in Fiji!!! An experience that I’ll never forget.”
LeAnna Kalvi – Lethbridge University
Find out everything to know about the Fiji Islands Discovered project.Learn more
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