- Things to know before you visit Fiji
- Shangri La Yanuca Island Fiji: great for romantic and family getaway
- Fiji Airway Business Class Review: A330 Hong Kong to Fiji
- How to Explore the Best of Fiji in 4 Days with Captain Cook Cruise
- Grand Pacific Hotel Suva Fiji: A Historic and Luxurious Stay
- Sigatoka River Safari: A Cultural and Thrilling Adventure in Fiji
- Fiji River Tubing: a cultural fun time
- Fiji itinerary: 10 days, 7 days, or shorter adventures
If you are looking for a fun and relaxing way to explore Fiji’s nature and culture, then you might want to try river tubing in Fiji. This tour will take you on a river tubing adventure an hour west of Suva in the Namosi Highlands, where you will visit a traditional Fijian village and a waterfall. It is a great way to enjoy the scenic beauty and see the filming location of Anaconda 2.
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History of River Tubing in Fiji
River tubing is a relatively new activity in Fiji, but it has a deep connection to the country’s past. The tour is family-owned by William Rock Danford, a direct descendant of John Humphrey Danford, the lone Englishman who lived in the Namosi Highlands amongst the cannibal hill tribes in the 1800s.
John Humphrey Danford was a trader and a missionary, who befriended the local chief and helped to spread Christianity and peace among the warring clans. He also married a local woman and had many children, who became the ancestors of William Rock Danford.
The Namosi Highlands are a remote and rugged area, where the locals still live a simple and traditional life. The area is also rich in natural resources and biodiversity, and it was the location where they filmed Anaconda 2, the movie about giant snakes (don’t worry, there aren’t any anymore).
River Tubing in Fiji
Riber tubing takes place along the Navua river. It’s only an hour from Suva but it would be 3 hours from Nadi, so if you want to travel from Nadi prepare for an early wake up call!
It’s a day trip that’s on the shorter side with a trip to the local village, waterfall, lunch, then river tubing for a while and getting back on the speedboat to base.
What to pack for River Tubing
River tubing is a wet and sunny activity, so you need to be prepared for that. Here are some things that you need to pack for river tubing:
• They’ll give you a plastic bag to put your things, but you might want to bring a dry bag for your electronics, just in case. You can leave the bag on the boat during any of the excursion, so I don’t bring many valuables except your phone and some spare change.
• Wear flip flops with ankle straps or sandals, as you will need to walk on the river bank and the rocks. Avoid wearing shoes or sneakers, as they will get soaked and heavy. Regular flip-flops actually make for a great paddling tool if you want to do that!
• Wear swimwear, as you will get wet and splashy. You can also wear a rash guard or a t-shirt for extra sun protection.
• Bring a change of clothes for afterwards, as you will want to dry off and get comfortable. There are changing rooms and showers at the river tubing base.
• Apply sunscreen, wear sunglasses, and a hat, as the sun can be very strong and you will be exposed for a long time. You can also wear a bandana or a buff to cover your neck and face.
• Bring a bottle of water, as water is only available at lunch. You will need to stay hydrated and refreshed.
• Cover up for your knees if you are a lady when visiting the village (or a towel will do), but preferably a sarong as it is hot.
The first stop on the trip is a village visit. After settling in on the long tail boat ride, we zip off upstream to the village.
It was a long and sunny ride, so definitely remember your sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. We had to get off at one point for the boat drive to navigate the rapids!
Our village guide was there to greet us at the village, and it was a short walk where he showed us around the village and explained the different aspects of their life. They also installed new toilets for tourists to use!
You can also bring some sweets and stationery for the kids, as they will be very happy and grateful to receive them.
The waterfall visit is a quick stop on the way back down to lunch. It includes a short walk through the forest to reach the waterfall, which is a beautiful and refreshing sight. You can take some photos and videos of the waterfall, and also dip your feet or your whole body in the cool water. The waterfall visit is a nice way to cool off and enjoy the nature.
The buffet lunch was served at where we set off river tubing, where we had a delicious lunch buffet.
The staff will serve the food to you and it’s a quick meal while the staff set up for river-tubing. You can also enjoy some fresh fruits and drinks, such as pineapple, watermelon, and juice. I particularly loved the pumpkin!
The river tubing ride is the main attraction of the Sigatoka River Safari, and it is a lot of fun and excitement. It is simultaneously slower and faster than I thought.
It wasn’t a particularly long journey and the guides each take a group and help paddle you down. There are 2 sections of rapids that were extremely fun – I managed to film on my Insta360, but I had to keep an iron grip on it!
The rapids are not very dangerous or difficult, but they are very thrilling and splashy. If you don’t hold onto your group-mate, you might end up drifting down yourself! The rapids are also very scenic and beautiful, as you will see the river and the forest from a different perspective.
The river tubing staff had someone taking the photos along the way, and you have to pay a one-off fee of 20FJD for the entire album of you and thirty or so strangers. But it is a lovely memento to keep.
There are places to change at the center, but no showering facilities. Although there was a man selling fresh coconut for 3 FJD which was a nice treat.