WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?
An airport pick-up service is offered to volunteers arriving on the first Monday of the month only, whose flights land before 2:30pm local time. All other volunteers must make their own way to the project site. We will provide you with easy to follow instructions prior to your departure to enable you to plan your journey. If you are arriving into Fiji before the first Monday of the month but wish to travel to the project site with the main deployment group on the first Monday of the month, the overland arrival meeting point is at Nadi international airport arrivals hall. Please make sure that your intended arrival/travel plans have been arranged and confirmed with the project field staff a minimum of 1 week before your project start date.
If you are travelling to a marine project on Beqa island, you will only be able to travel to the island on the same day if your flight arrives before 9am on the Monday (due to limited boat timetables). However, you are more than welcome to spend one night with us at our homestay family in Suva, or you can choose to stay in Nadi or Suva for a night, in preparation for your journey to Beqa the next morning.
You will travel from the airport along the Coral Coast of the Island of Viti Levu to the town of Navua. Following this you will take a local boat for the one hour journey to the spectacular and famous south Pacific island of Beqa.
If you are an independent traveller arriving on any other date you are welcome to join the project on any Monday, (please discuss your intended arrival date and duration of stay with our travel advisers, especially if you need to book a dive training course, to confirm availability), and please be aware that you will need to organise your own transfer between Nadi and Suva and first night hostel accommodation in Suva at a cost of US$42/$40. We will arrange for you to transfer from Suva to Beqa the following day at your own cost where our field team will be ready to welcome you to the Frontier house and camp. Again, you must confirm your exact arrival time/date with in country staff at least 1 week before arrival.
WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?
During the project you'll live in our simple but comfortable timber and sheet metal house on a cast away camp on the south Pacific island of Beqa. We aim to provide you with an authentic and memorable living experience. The Beqa house and camp has been constructed by local craftsmen, using traditional building techniques and locally sourced building materials. The camp is situated five minutes away from the shore through the rainforest. Camp life is very simple, unsophisticated and fun. You will be staying in communal house near to the local communities. Your "shower" consists of a pipe that runs into the house from the local stream and runs 24 hours a day. We have the luxury of an actual toilet that you flush with a bucket and camp style gas hobs to cook on. Prepare for the basic, cast away, virtually footprint-less lifestyle! On occasions you may have to travel further from your beach camp to reach a distant dive site, and then you might stay in a “satellite camp”, usually a mosquito net pitched on a beach.
As well as the marine conservation work you may be asked to help with the scientific data entry and will need to help with daily camp maintenance, taking turns to cook, tidy and clean the camp, rinse dive kit, and help with a wide variety of other important and essential camp duties.
WHAT WILL I BE EATING?
Camp food is simple and nutritious and consists largely of rice, split peas, pancakes, flatbreads, tinned fish, pasta and fruit, all of which are purchased in-country or made on camp in order to help support the local economy. Luxuries such as sweets, biscuits and drinking chocolate have to be brought over to the island from Suva, so make sure you stock up before heading to the camp! Part of your role on camp will be to help with the cooking, so get your cookbooks out now and start practising! Also, with luck you'll be invited to local feasts and festivals – a great way to integrate with the local communities in the nearby villages and absorb the fabulous and welcoming local culture.
Some local dishes to look forward to include taro, taro leaves, breadfruit, sweet potato, cassava, and cassava chips, coconut and fabulous shellfish and seafood. A delicious Fijian speciality is a lovo feast, which is a meal cooked in a hole in the ground – unusual but very tasty!