After clearing Customs on board ahead of our first stop in Fiji, National Geographic Orion guests were treated to a very special afternoon at the rarely visited village of Waitabu on the island of Taveuni. This is the third largest island in Fiji, and it is known as the garden island thanks to its lush and extensive forestation. Villagers conducted a ritual kava ceremony for us, and we were told that the schoolchildren practiced for three months ahead of their exuberant performances today. There was time to stretch our legs on the walk to a photogenic waterfall in Bouma National Heritage Park for a refreshing swim in the river.
National Geographic Orion
Guests onboard National Geographic Orion were treated to a small pod of spinner dolphins welcoming us to Taveuni whilst we enjoyed a light breakfast in the outdoor café. As we made our way to the island in the Zodiacs, we admired the lush green forest that covered the hills, and it soon became apparent why Taveuni is known as the “Garden Island of Fiji”. Arriving at Waitabu village, we were witnesses to a traditional kava ceremony followed by cultural performances from the local school children. We then had the opportunity to spend time with the locals, learning a variety of handicrafts and getting to enjoy some of their local food they had prepared for us all. It was a beautiful day, and we finished our morning on the Island with a short walk to an incredible waterfall in Bouma National Park to cool off with a refreshing swim before heading back to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the reef in Waitabu Marine Park with a snorkel from the Zodiacs.