Fiji is an archipelago in the south of the Pacific Ocean including 332 coral and volcanic islands. The largest ones are Vanua Levu, Viti Levu and Kandavu.
The main sources of income of this country, apart from agriculture and gold mining, are tourism and diving. You will find wonderful beaches and well developed tourist infrastructure in Fiji: great diving boats and experienced specialists are at your service. In tourist areas there are both luxury hotels and clean and safe guest houses with Internet access at accessible prices. There is a well developed chain of dive shops with all the major international systems. Here you will find all you need for a safe and proper diving experience regardless ofyour level of ability.
The most popular diving regions in Fiji are in the Beqa Lagoon of Viti Levu Island. There are a few dozen dive sites around the lagoon and a famous dive show which includes shark feeding also takes place here. The great dive sites in Namena Marina Reserve are suitable for beginners. Such islands as Wakaya, Gau, Taveuni, Kandavu, Koro and Makongi are destinations for multi-day safaris.
Most of the dive shops are located on the three largest islands: Vanua Levu, Viti Levu and Kandavu. They are easy to find online or locally. Safaris lasting more than one day are generally booked in advance. Dive shops provide equipment for rent, sale, sometimes repair, as well as training and guiding services. Large companies have comfortable ships fully equipped for diving and resting.
Spring is the low tourist season in Fiji, with heavy rains and storms being frequent in March and April. The air temperature is about +30 °C and the water temperature is between +27 and +29 °C. Diving season is all year round but the peak is in May.
Summer is the high tourist season when rains are rare, there are no storms, the air temperature is between +31 and +33 °C and water temperature is about +30 °C. The visibility is almost always perfect, up to 40 meters but there are exceptions.
In October the peak season ends and November brings rains and cyclones. The air and water temperatures stay +28 to +30 °C. However, the visibility can be worse because of the waves, and in some places the decrease is significant.
Winter is even hotter but there is also more rain. The air temperature may drop to +19 or +23 °C, water warms up to + 28 °C. The diving season doesn't stop, although the visibility in some places is significantly worse.
The most popular dive sites in Viti Levu Island are in Beqa Lagoon. There are great sites near Wakaya Island, Gau Island, Taveuni Island and in Namena Marina Reserve which is home for marine turtles and more than 400 species of coral. Yellow wall dive site with six large tops covered with corals is at the Great Astrolabe Reef near Kadavu.
Healthcare is rather good in Fiji, however, in case of serious injuries or diseases you will need to be evacuated. Prior to your trip, you should vaccinate yourself against measles, parotitis, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid, A and B hepatitis. Be careful: there was an outbreak of meningococcal disease in the country.
Fiji is generally safe, standard safety measures are necessary, however, driving at night is not recommended because of bad lighting and poor road conditions.
The waters of Fiji are home for silvertip sharks, lemon sharks, tiger sharks, reef sharks, bull sharks, hammerhead sharks and nurse sharks. All of them are potentially dangerous so diving with the sharks and feeding them is only for experienced divers. There are also pterois, moray eels, sea snakes, triggerfish and several species of toxic corals.
Fiji's national cuisine is based on seafood, different roots and coconuts.
The dish offered by locals to all tourists is called Kokoda. It is tender white fish, pickled in lime juice, mixed with fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, several kinds of pepper, spiced and dressed with coconut milk.
A lot of dishes are cooked in lovos (underground ovens). Lovo is also a name of the delicious dish: meat pickled in garlic sauce with onions and taro leaves and roots is dressed with coconut cream, wrapped in foil and baked in lovo for 2 or 3 hours.
One of the famous drinks is kava. It is made from the kava root which has the same effect as alcohol. It is healthy and can be bought everywhere. It is recommended to drink only bottled water in this country.