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Fiji Marine Conservation & Diving

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
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How To Apply

Simply fill in our no-obligation application form and we will get back to you with full project details

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CoPE Qualification

Boost your UCAS application and earn 70 points with our Certificate of Personal Effectiveness.


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BTEC Qualification

Apply for one of our unique internationally accredited BTEC courses and give your CV something exceptional.


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PADI Qualification

Get trained up to Advanced Open Water on many of our marine conservation projects.


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Find out more about Fiji

Start your adventure now by reading our country guide for Fiji!


Frontier Group Project

Working in collaboration with institutions and NGOs with the country, projects are research-based, creating sustainable and biodiverse programmes.

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Frontier Research Publications

The Society for Environmental Exploration has published one or more research reports related to this project.

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The Fijian archipelago lies scattered lazily in the achingly blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, bathed in the radiant antipodean sunlight. Its towns and villages are veritable melting pots of cultural influences.

Fiji's irresistible shores are fringed with picture-perfect palm trees, and the azure waters that surround the islands are inhabited by an astonishing array of marine creatures; over 1,200 species of fish including clownfish, triggerfish, blue tangs, 12 species of whales, dolphins, anemones, soft coral and much more.

Enjoy fragrant sun drenched days and exotic nights of delectable food cooked in a traditional underground oven. Fiji will enchant you with its infectious, chilled out "Fiji time" lifestyle, its heavenly beaches and surrounding mountains of rainforest– the perfect paradise location for your Frontier adventure!

      

  

 

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Help to preserve Fiji's marine and coastal biodiversity
  • PADI scuba diving courses and qualifications available
  • Make lifelong friends and return with incredible soories, photos and memories
  • Dive at some of the best dive sites in the world and study their health
  • Extend your experience in tropical marine and coastal conservation field work

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Intermediate level of English
Airport Pickup Camping Beach Community Emergency Ground Transport Hotel Meals Research PADI Qualification Wildlife Marine Coastal Snorkelling Encounter Free Time Beach Breakfast
FAST FACTS
Location The South Pacific Island of Beqa, Fiji
Activities
Scuba diving
Dive and snorkel on beautiful coral reefs
Using under water visual census methods, dive and snorkel to study and conserve the various marine life living on coral reefs; including indicator and commercial fish.
Study and work to conserve a wide range of invertebrate species 
Explore mangrove forests, dense sea grass beds & productive intertidal areas
Study species that live on the Island of Beqa
Dive and snorkel to study the health of the coral reef habitats and relate that information to species conservation
Record observations of the feeding habits & behaviour patterns of a range of marine life
Take part in critical habitat mapping
Work with local communities to increase their awareness and appreciation of the marine environment.
Transport

Free airport pickup and transfer to the island is provided for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of each month. For volunteers arriving on different days airport pickup, transfers to the island and hostel accomodation for the first night can be arranged at a small additional cost

Accommodation Communal cast away style camp a few minutes walk from the bay, with timber frame house

WHAT'S INCLUDED
Before you go Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training FREE for 10 week+ volunteers (£80 per person for those participating for less that 10 weeks)
In-Country
Cast away camp accommodation & food
Local orientation & comprehensive project training
Project equipment & camp diving equipment
Research materials
24 hour in-country support
International HQ emergency support & back-up
Free airport pick-up and transfer to the island for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of each the month. Optional airport pickup, first night accomodation and transfers to the island can be provided for an extra cost for those arriving on different dates.

Diving projects: Dive training to PADI Dive Master courses available & FREE use of Frontier project dive equipment, including tanks, BCDs, Regs, weights, compressor & all air fills, boats, outboard engines (personal dive kit, including mask, fins, snorkel and wet suit not included). Scuba dive courses available subject to availability, confined water dives may be done in Suva. 

PADI Open Water Diver £250
PADI Advanced Open Water £230
PADI Emergency First Response  £100
PADI Rescue Diver  £300
PADI Dive Master   £600

Dive kit available for rent in Suva (please contact Frontier for details)

Night dives, fun dives, shore dives, recreational dives and speciality dives available at extra cost based on volunteer interest and skill

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

The aim of Frontier-Fiji Marine Conservation Project is to better understand the marine resources of the island of Beqa, and to provide teaching and training to enable local communities to make informed decisions regarding the management of their coastal ecosystems.

To achieve this mission, we conduct scientific baseline data surveys of reef areas. Once a long-term data set is obtained, patterns of resource use can be identified and work with local communities can begin to build awareness of the value and vulnerability of their marine environment.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

The marine research and conservation programme is run in association with the University of the South Pacific. The work aims to provide the local stakeholders, research organisations and government bodies with the information they need to design and implement management plans for the future protection of Beqa island and lagoon marine ecosystem.

To gather the data needed you will be diving to locate and map the extensive coral reefs and study the various communities living on them (if necessary you will learn to dive first). To do this you will deploy a wide range of newly learned research skills and scientific techniques including: underwater visual census of reef and commercial fish such as triggerfish and parrotfish, indicator species (both fish and coral), assessment of algal and coral cover to determine the extent of coral bleaching and damage, and line intercept transects for benthic life and indicator invertebrate species such as nudibranchs. With so much to learn it's worth noting that those joining for only a few weeks will be training most of the time and may not get to do a lot of surveying. You may record observations of the feeding habits and behaviour patterns of a range of marine life. You may even get to study the impact of artisanal fishing on the coral reefs or report the effects of Global Warming on marine communities. The type of fieldwork underway will depend on the time of year and the content of the research program when you join up and how long you are joining for.

Whilst diving, you'll see an extraordinary array of animals from turtles to rays, sea cucumbers to feathery starfish, spiny urchins to octopus and jellyfish. When you motor out each day on the Frontier boat to distant dive sites you may even encounter flying fish, sharks and dolphins.  By the end of your project you will be expert at identifying vast numbers of colourful and patterned reef fish as well as being an experienced and competent diver. Although the work is intense and challenging you'll get immense satisfaction from having survived and from having made a valuable contribution to the conservation of this untarnished marine wilderness. You will return home with the new friends you've made and a wealth of fascinating stories and memories.

You'll find your team to be a fun, dynamic mix of ages and experiences, with members who all share a passion about travelling in developing countries and saving endangered life. Your staff will be young, friendly individuals who are highly experienced in their field and many have volunteered on a Frontier project earlier in their career.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

Free airport pick up is provided for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of the month. You will be welcomed by a Frontier representative at the airport and will be transferred by bus from the airport along the coral coast to Pacific Harbour (approx. 3 hours), from where you will catch a boat for the 1 hour journey over to the famous Pacific island of Beqa. If your flight arrives too late to make the last boat over to the island you will stay with Frontier staff and other volunteers on the mainland and transfer to the island the next morning.

If you are arriving on any other day, no problem, we can either arrange your airport pickup, boat transfers and accommodation on the mainland for the night (if needed) for a small extra cost or we can provide easy to follow instructions for you to make these arrangements yourself.  Please inform us of your arrival details and your preferences as soon as possible (and at least 1 week before arrival) so we can make the necessary arrangements for you and help your journey to your project be as smooth as possible.

 

 

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

During the project you'll live in our simple but comfortable timber frame house on a cast away camp about 5-minutes walking from the Bay 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 up a short hill 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 an outdoor stall from the local stream and runs 24 hours a day. We have a western style bucket flush toilet and camp-style gas hobs to cook on. Prepare for the basic, cast away, virtually footprint-less lifestyle! 

As well as the diving and 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.

 

FRONTIER CAMP LIFE

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Camp food is simple and consists largely of rice, lentils, split peas, pasta, tinned tomatoes, potatoes, onions, curry, rolled oats, freshly baked bread, and any fruit or vegetable grown on the land (pumpkin, eggplant, papaya, banana, mango, cassava, bele leaves, etc. depending on season). All food is 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 seafood. A delicious Fijian speciality is a lovo feast, which is a meal cooked in a hole in the ground – unusual but very tasty!

BULA BULA VINAKA!  | 14 Sep 2016
My journey to Fiji started off with a 25 minute rickety old 10 seater propeller powered plane jou...

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AMAZING TIMES ON BEQA  | 16 Oct 2015
Before arriving in Beqa I was nervous about being away by myself, however after meeting the staff...

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“EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME!”  | 8 May 2015
Having spent the last couple of months on this project I can honestly say it has been one of the ...

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THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE  | 2 Feb 2015
My time at camp has been amazing, creative and revitalising. You realise how little you ...

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FIJI TIME!  | 2 Feb 2015
I arrived in Fiji to see the unfamiliar, extremely tanned face of Kris waiting to welcom...

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UTTERLY FANTASTIC  | 26 Jan 2015
Taking part in the Fiji Marine Project has been an utterly fantastic experience. From da...

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I'VE LEARNED SO MUCH ALREADY IN FIJI  | 22 Jul 2014
The project itself is all about surveying and recording all the different fish in the area that i...

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I COULDN'T HAVE ASKED FOR A BETTER EXPERIENCE  | 21 Mar 2014
Being at the Frontier camp on Naviavia beach, Fiji has been amazing. It's only been 4 weeks s...

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EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS!  | 17 Feb 2014
Having arrived from New Zealand winter, the first impression of Fiji was the heat, however, this ...

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DIVING IN FIJI !  | 20 Nov 2013
Two weeks into the project I couldn’t be happier that I decided to volunteer. The scenery i...

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1 to 10 next >
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ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

The Frontier-Fiji camp is fun and in your spare time and weekends off you'll have opportunities to swim and snorkel, play volleyball or even attend local church ceremonies. Alternatively you may enjoy a traditional kava session with the locals, play a wide variety of fun card games from poker to bridge, chess or backgammon, or join in a camp quiz night. After a long hard day of diving you may prefer to relax and sit and chat to your new friends beside a roaring campfire, under a sky lit up by millions of stars.

For those of you with extra energy additional, higher level dive courses or speciality dives are available at discounted rates.

Dive courses run monthly commencing on the first Monday of the month on request

Single Day Snorkelling £10

Single Day Dive £30

Double Dive £50

4-dive package £100

10-dive package £200

courses*

Discover Scuba Diving £65

Open Water Dive Course £250

Advanced Open Water £230

Emergency First Response £100

Rescue Diver £300

Dive Master £600

*Medical certificate is mandatory for participation in dive courses.

Night dives or fun dives can also be provided at the extra cost of $35 per person per dive. Just ask staff in country and they will be happy to arrange it for you. If you do intend to complete a night dive don't forget to bring a dive torch.

Modern conveniences

Suva

  • Banks / ATMs; ANZ bank, Westpac bank
  • Bars / cafes
  • Bureau de Change
  • Cinema
  • Dentist
  • Department store
  • Hospital
  • Internet cafe
  • Laundry services
  • Mobile phone shop
  • Pay phones
  • Pharmacy
  • Post office
  • Supermarkets
  • Traditional markets and cafes
  • Western style restaurants
  • Western Union

Navua - 40 min boat journey at own cost, 1 hour journey from Suva

  • Banks; ANZ bank, Westpac bank
  • Internet cafe
  • Market stalls
  • Media centre
  • Mobile phone shop
  • Pay phones
  • Restaurant
  • Supermarket
  • Western Union

COSTS

1 week £ 1,095

2 weeks £ 1,295

3 weeks £ 1,455

4 weeks £ 1,555

5 weeks £ 1,755

6 weeks £ 1,955

7 weeks £ 2,055

8 weeks £ 2,155

9 weeks £ 2,255

10 weeks £ 2,355

20 weeks £ 3,755

Extra week £ 250

PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water training £480 PADI Advanced Open Water training £230 (At least PADI Advanced Open Water training necessary for marine surveying)

 

DEPARTURE DATES

First Monday of the month for escorted groups meeting in Nadi International Airport or weekly departures from Suva every Monday. 

Alternative dates available on request.

DURATION

You can join this project for a minimum of 1 week

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier T-shirt
  • UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training FREE for 10 week+ volunteers (£80 per person for those participating for less that 10 weeks)

in country

  • All field camp accommodation & food
  • Local orientation & comprehensive project training
  • Project equipment & camp diving equipment
  • Research materials
  • 24 hour in-country support
  • International HQ emergency support & back-up
  • Airport pick-up for first Monday of the month arrivals (an airport pick up service is available for alternative arrival dates at extra cost)
  • Internal ground transfers and first night hostel accommodation for first Monday of the month arrivals 
  • Boat transfer to the Island of Beqa
  • Diving projects: Dive training courses available. PADI Open Water (£250), PADI Advanced Open Water (£230).  Courses available in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov). Course costs include PIC cards, PADI membership & use of Frontier project equipment and dive equipment (tanks, weights, BCDs, REGs etc), personal dive kit, (wet suit, fins, mask, snorkel etc) not included, recreational dives, speciality dives available at extra cost
  • Dive kit is available for hire locally 

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Nadi (NAN)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact Frontier’s dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisors will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.