Rivers Fiji is a company founded by a Californian who sought whitewater here about 25 years ago. When he scouted out the Upper Navua River, he asked a local chief (ratu) for permission to run his business in the area, and he sourced his employees from the village.
Moses, our rafting guide when we did the tour a few weeks ago, is one of the original guides of Rivers Fiji. He was 17 when he volunteered to learn how to become a guide, and he continues to enjoy his job, even though, as he said, he could’ve taken a higher paying gig with a logging company.
I’m glad Moses stuck around because he’s a great guide: engaging, full of information and a good storyteller. He’s a cultural ambassador of Fiji.
I highly recommend doing this day trip if you’re on Viti Levu. It’s an adventure-filled day, starting with a rugged bus ride up a ridgeline, then a brief hike to the river, where you’ll get into inflatable rafts for about a 2-hr. paddle. There’s a break for a picnic lunch by a waterfall before getting back on the river for another 2 hr.
The rapids range from Class I to III, but there’s no need to be intimidated. Truthfully, the guide does most of the work of navigating and paddling. It’s great fun, and you’ll experience the beauty of a remote tropical jungle while on the water between canyon walls lined with waterfalls. (For those who follow the Eco-Challenge expedition race series, you might recognize this conservation area, where part of the Fiji race took place.)
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