Bula!, a word you hear many times a day in Fiji, means “hello” and is always pronounced with a smile.
The Island Nation of Fiji is located in the South Pacific and consisted a total of 330 Islands and 2/3 of which are uninhabited. Blessed with palm fringed white sandy beaches surrounded by azure blue waters.
Fiji is known to be the Hub of the South pacific and developed into a premier travel destination that boasts of a unique cultural heritage and sights. Moreover, it has been a curious melting pot of cultures as varied as Melanesian, Ploynesian, Indian and British colonial throughout history.
The group of islands stans today as one of the most beautiful and exotic places on earth.
Fiji covers a total area of some 194,000 square kilometres (75,000 sq mi) of which around 10% is land.
Fiji is the hub of the South West Pacific, midway between Vanuatu and Tonga. The archipelago is located between 176° 53′ east and 178° 12′ west. The 180° meridian runs through Taveuni but the International Date Line is bent to give uniform time (UTC+12) to all of the Fiji group. With the exception of Rotuma, the Fiji group lies between 15° 42′ and 20° 02′ south. Rotuma is located 220 nautical miles (410 km; 250 mi) north of the group, 360 nautical miles (670 km; 410 mi) from Suva, 12° 30′ south of the equator.
Fiji consists of 332 islands (of which 106 are inhabited) and 522 smaller islets. The two most important islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, which account for about three-quarters of the total land area of the country. The islands are mountainous, with peaks up to 1,324 metres (4,341 ft), and covered with thick tropical forests.
The Fijian economy is largely agricultural, and the main cash crop and export is sugar cane. Tourism is the largest foreign-exchange earner and clothing exports grew rapidly from the late 1980s. Other significant activities are gold-mining, fishing and timber production.
One of the reasons for Fiji’s popularity as a holiday destination is the beautiful climate of this region. Temperatures are always between 26 to 31 degrees with the favoured time of year for travel from around April to October, those being the cooler months. There is always a cool tropical breeze and the water temperatures are always perfect. The wet season occurs from December to March and can bring heavy rain. Tropical cyclones have also been common in recent years around this time. Visit our Fiji Weather page for more details.
The majority of Fiji’s islands were formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago. Today, some geothermic activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Fiji has been inhabited since the second millennium BC and was settled first by Austronesians and later by Melanesians, with some Polynesian influences. Europeans visited Fiji from the 17th century, and, after a brief period as an independent kingdom, the British established the Colony of Fiji in 1874.
Fiji became an independent sovereign state on 10th October 1970 when its colonial status was abrogated.
Cultural Ceremonies, The LOVO
This is a magnificent feast, cooked in the earth. It’s like a barbeque, only a little more smoked, and a very efficient way to cook large quantities of food at the same time. To make your own you’ll need;
Music is woven into the fabric of Fiji and the Meke embraces traditional song and dance to tell of legends, love stories, history and spirits of the islands. It can vary from a blood-curdling spear dance to a gentle and graceful fan dance.
One of the great things about this Pacific paradise is that everyone speaks English as well as Fijian or Hindi – although there are a few idiosyncrasies.
Any word with a ‘d’ has an unwritten ‘n’ in front of it – Nadi is pronounced ‘Nandi’ and the delightful cold, marinated seafood dish kokoda, is ‘kokonda’. You put an ‘m’ before the ‘b’ in words like Toberua (Tomberua). Sigatoka is ‘Singatoka’, Naigani is Ninegani’. And a ‘c’ is pronounced ‘th’, as in the Mamanuca Islands.