I'm a mother to three, living in and loving Fiji for the past 13 years. I also do wedding, event and portrait photography under my business, Island Encounters Photography, based in Nadi, Fiji. www.islandencountersphotography.com
Published October 6th 2013
A Fijian Eco-Adventure
My family recently spent three days on the east coast of Viti Levu at this charming retreat. It is not for everybody, but if you're looking for an authentic Fijian experience, this is it!
The resort, one hour from Suva (with a view of the island of Ovalau) is comprised of 4 bungalows that can cater to a couple or a family (our bungalow slept 6 people). Meals and accommodation are included together in the set rate.
We had a group of 10 and for the most part we had the resort to ourselves, which was perfect. It felt to us like we were at a rustic camp in our bungalow of pine wood overlooking the sea. We enjoyed card games, a bonfire, walks by the sea, and plenty of time to relax. It was a personalized experience, quite different from staying at a resort with hundreds of other guests.
If you want electricity, hot water showers, a pool, a menu, air-conditioning and TV, this is NOT the resort for you. If you want an eco-adventure including sleeping under mosquito nets, eating food cooked over the fire, hiking to a waterfall, snorkeling and boating out to see the spinner dolphins, then this is the place for you.
The dolphins are what drew us to this resort in the first place. The resort offers a day trip out to Moon Reef (for an additional fee), where the dolphins hang out every day. We weren't allowed to swim with them, but we got a great view of them swimming and spinning up into the air. After the thrill of the dolphin ride, we also got to snorkel off the reef, which was really beautiful. (Note: bring your own snorkel gear if you can because what the boat had to offer was mouldy and in poor condition).
The waterfall was a nice surprise, as well. It's about a half an hour hike, and my 3 year old was able to do it mostly on her own. There is a vine to swing out into the pool, and the waterfall is a sort of rock slide to slide down. It's beautiful, cool and refreshing. We liked it just as much as the dolphins!
The food at the resort is Fijian and you don't have any idea what you'll be eating until it is served. It's cooked over a fire, Fiji-style. It was quite good, and the staff were friendly and wonderful hosts.
If you know what you're after, and this sounds like the place for you, contact Jay at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking. Boat with the dolphins, jump from a waterfall and sunbathe on the black sand at Takalana!