Independent Schools Cultural Alliance - ISCA – Summer Programs in the UK

Fiji

The idyllic paradise of Fiji is an archipelago of 332 islands located in the South Pacific Ocean, famous for its palm-lined beaches, beautiful forests and endless stretches of intensely coloured coral reefs.

There are two main islands – Viti Levu and Vanua Levu – which contain the majority of Fiji’s population. Viti Levu is home to the capital, Suva, a port city with colourful British colonial architecture, restaurants, markets and the Fiji Museum. This museum details South Pacific culture and Fiji’s history. There are various displays including Indian art exhibits and artefacts which showcase traditional Fijian life, such as cannibal forks, shell jewellery and tribal weaponry. It is a great place to start your trip as you can get a sneak peek into the fascinating, and yet haunting, past of these magnificent islands.

From Suva go to Nadi, on the western coast of Viti Levu, and visit the Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple. This is a Hindu temple built in the traditions of ancient Dravidian architecture with wooden carvings of deities from India and incredibly colourful painted ceilings. It is simply majestic and not one to miss.

From here, go to the Nausori Highlands and explore The Garden of the Sleeping Giant.  This native forest and landscaped park covers over 50 acres of land and is filled with exotic plants and tropical flowers. This is the place to go if you love orchids as they thrive in Fiji’s jungle climate.

Now it’s time for some island hopping. First stop…the Mamanuca Islands. These islands are popular with water sport enthusiasts with world-class surf, soft corals and incredible marine life making it the perfect place for snorkelling and scuba diving.

If you fancy doing something a little more extreme, head to Beqa Island and go cageless diving with bull sharks and tiger sharks from the Shark Marine Life Reserve. This island is not only famous for its cageless diving, water sports and incredible scenery but also as being home to the Sawau Tribe. You can watch members of the Sawau Tribe walk over burning embers in their Fijian fire walking ceremony. This tradition started over 500 years ago and the descendants still use this as a tradition to gather strength.

Next stop is Vanua Levu, the second largest island, known for its reefs, rainforests and pearl farms. It has some of the best underwater worlds in the whole of Fiji so get your snorkel and scuba diving kit on and dive in for an unforgettable experience.

The final stop before heading home is Taveuni Island, known as “The Garden Island”. Head to Bouma National Heritage Park. This is an area covered in coastal forest trails with loads of opportunities for hikers and birdwatchers who like to explore the jungle. A popular hike is the Vidawa Rainforest Trail which ends at the beautiful Tavoro Waterfalls – the perfect spot to sit back, relax and have a swim. You will have earned it after hiking through the jungle in 30C heat!