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Fiji Beach Conservation

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
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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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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 shores are fringed with palms and mangroves, 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 including humpbacks, dolphins, anemones, soft coral and much more.

  

  

 

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Help to monitor & conserve coastal sea shore environments and spot marine wildlife
  • Swim and snorkel and explore the crystal clear ocean
  • Make life long friends and return with incredible stories, photos and lifelong memories
Airport Pickup Camping Beach Emergency Ground Transport Meals Research Wildlife Marine Coastal Snorkelling Free Time Beach Breakfast
FAST FACTS

 

Location The Pacific Island of Beqa, Fiji
Activities Swim and snorkel off the beach to locate and explore near shore environments
Environmental education days in the local schools and community groups 
Swim and snorkel out to observe the various coral reef communities
Beach clean ups and raising community awareness of the importance of litter free beaches
Discover beach and littoral zone organisms
Swim and snorkel to find reef & commercial fish 
Learn about the feeding habits & behaviour of a range of marine life
Mangrove surveying
Discover the effects of global warming on marine communities
Transport Airport pick-up first Monday of month, for those arriving on other dates we can arrange airport pick up for a small additional charge
Boat transfer to the Island of Beqa if arriving on the first Monday of the month
Accommodation Communal cast away style camp, a few minuites walk from the bay

 


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 (extra cost applies)

In-country

All camp accommodation & food
Local orientation & comprehensive project training
Project equipment & camp equipment
Research materials
24 hour in-country support
International HQ emergency support & back-up
Airport pick-up available for those arriving on the first Monday of the month
Internal ground transfers for those arriving on the first Monday of the month  
Discover scuba dive training courses (extra cost applies) subject to availability & to length of stay  
Free park & reserve entrance fees & research permits if applicable
CoPE qualification available (confers UCAS points) subject to time constraints
Snorkelling and swimming off the diving boats(extra cost applies)
Discounted advanced dive courses may be available (you will need to rent your own personal dive kit including wet suit, fins, mask amd snorkel)  

PADI Open Water diver £350

PADI Advanced Open Water Diver £330

PADI Emergency First Response  £100/

PADI Rescue Diver  £300/

PADI Dive Master   £500/

 

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

The aim of Frontier-Fiji Reef Conservation Project is to better understand the marine resources of the island of Beqa. We conduct scientific baseline data surveys of reef areas, mapping the sea grass beds and mangrove fringes of the region. 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 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 snorkelling to locate and map the extensive coral reefs and study the various communities living on them (if necessary you will learn to dive first). You will also explore and record the organisms that inhabit the luxuriant mangrove forests, dense sea grass beds and productive inter-tidal areas. 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 field work 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 snorkelling , you'll see an extraordinary array of animals from turtles to manta rays, sea cucumbers to feathery starfish, spiny urchins to octopus and jellyfish. When you motor out each day on the Frontier boats to distant dive sites you may even encounter gigantic manta rays, sharks, humpback whales or flying fish. 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?

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 £25/$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.

FRONTIER CAMP LIFE

Check out our video on Frontier Gap Year TV from Frontier-Fiji, showing you volunteer life on this beautiful island.

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!

UTTERLY FANTASTIC  | 9 Feb 2017
Taking part in the Fiji Marine Project has been an utterly fantastic experience. From da...

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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 £350

Advanced Open Water £330

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 weeks £ 699

2 weeks £ 849

3 weeks £ 999

4 weeks £ 1,149

5 weeks £ 1,299

6 weeks £ 1,449

7 weeks £ 1,599

8 weeks £ 1,749

9 weeks £ 1,899

10 weeks £ 2,049

20 weeks £ 3,349

Extra week £ 150

Conduct scientific baseline data surveys of reef areas, mapping the sea grass beds and mangrove fringes of the region.

DEPARTURE DATES

First and third Monday of the month.

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 (extra cost applies)

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

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.

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.