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Message from the Director

Cola Vina!!

Sigatoka River Safari - Managing Director : Jay Whyte

We are now at the end of another year and moving into 2017... Where has the time gone? I wanted to first of all thank all of our friends and families for their tremendous support in 2016, helping to further establish Sigatoka River Safari as the Must Do Activity in Fiji and solidifying our position as the Number 1 Outdoor Activity in Fiji as according to Tripadvisor.com Pg 02

To say that I am proud of our achievements to date would be an understatement, as it really continues to amaze me that from my first experience in Fiji at the age of 13, enjoying time in Draiba Village with my friend Pita Matasau would now be known over the globe as the best thing to do in Fiji is quite humbling and extremely rewarding knowing that not only do our friends from overseas get to discover for themselves what makes Fiji so special, but our friends in the 15 villages we work also enjoy the interaction and positive developments that come from the shared success. In March 2016, we celebrated 10 yrs of operations. Throughout the year we continued to develop our site in Nakaracia, which has really helped improve the experience for all our friends and of course the wonderful Safari team. The building which encapsulates all aspects of the activities we provide, with the storage of life jackets, personal effects, toilets and the ability to relax, unwind and watch what is happening down on the river, Off Road of Water Blob has really raised the bar, so to speak. Our team goes from strength to strength, with the recent addition of new team members. Two new faces are Vanessa & Amelina who move into our Sales Team, and joining them is our new Graphic Artist Nilesh, who we welcome with open arms!! All three have joined the Safari family, bringing their own skills and qualities that enhance and complement the existing array of talent that exists here. I am sure that in time you will come to know them as they move around Sigatoka and Fiji. In 2017, it is our intention to continue our efforts to provide world class activities, which focus on professionalism and expertise. We have since inception, been at the forefront of what we do, which has enabled us to be the originals. We are proud that in ten 10 yrs we have been able to add great value to the Fijian experience with many visitors choosing to venture into the Sigatoka Valley with us. So on behalf of the entire Sigatoka River Safari/Off Road Cave Safari/Waterblob Fiji/River Jets Fiji team we wish you and your families a Happy and Safe New Year. See you all in 2017


Meet the Sales Team Sigatoka River Safari team welcomed new members to their sales team. All three bring with them wealth of knowledge and experience in the tourism industry and they all hail from Sigatoka, thus have a great passion for this province and sharing the rich history of its interior!!

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Clare Ann & Vanessa in high spirits

Amelina, Vanessa, Fijian Bula Man & Clare Ann welcoming guests

With our friends at Rosie Holidays from left : Clare, Aunty Buna, Vanessa, Amelina


Meet the Sales Team Clare Ann Steele

Clare joined the Safari family in 2014 as the personal assistant to our Managing Director. She later moved into Sales Team in early 2016. Clare has become a favourite with many of the agents and wholesalers she works with, all praising her lovely personality. Always ready to make any visitors experience "Simply Unforgettable", Clare is your point of contact for bookings on the Sigatoka River Safari. Email : sales@sigatokariver.com Phone: +679 650 1721 I Mobile: +679 999 3578 | Fax: +679 650 1723

Amelina Doughty

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Amelina has joined the Safari family in November 2016, assigned as our Sales & Marketing Groups Co-ordinator . Amelina has extensive experience within the tourism industry, serving in various sales & marketing roles, guest services & reservations throughout her working career. Amelina or Vua as she is otherwise known, is ready to assist any and all group enquiries. Armed with a wonderful sense of humour and beautiful Fijian smile, she will be ready to welcome your groups into the "Heart & Soul of Fiji" Email : safari@sigatokariver.com Phone : +679 650 1721 I Mobile: 999 9004 | Fax: +679 650 1723

Vanessa Steele

Vanessa joined the team as the new Off Road Cave Tour Sales Sales & Marketing officer. Having recently spent 6 years with Outrigger Fiji and the majority of this time being in sales & events, she brings to the position an excitement and determination to see Off Road perform to its highest capacity. Always willing to learn and expand her horizons, we are sure you will all enjoy getting to know Vanessa. Email : sales@offroadfiji.com Phone : +679 650 1721 I Mobile: 998 6525 | Fax: +679 650 1723


Off Road

loved

by Ignite Travel

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Off Road Cave Safari welcomed the team from Ignite Travel Australia earlier this month. Apart from the busy itinerary with travels, site inspections and famils at nine different resorts locations from Pacific Harbour to Nadi. Off Road Cave Safari was fortunate enough to be the only activity for the group. Steered by group leader Amanda, who has been on tour three times. Amanda mentioned after her first visit she fell in love with the tour its rich history and the beautiful Fijians. When preparing for Fiji famil tour I (Amanda) made it my business to get the new recruits to experience this outstanding tour Speaking to the group most were impressed with the history of the caves & mostly being able to experience and see real Fijian way of living.


An Honour Bestowed on a son of Navosa

Traditional Naming Ceremony

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28th November 2016 – A special moment for Managing Director Jay Whyte when he was traditionally welcomed into the chiefly house of Naraunivuga, when Ratu Napolioni Nakibo on behalf of his mataqali and vanua, gave a name from his ‘house’ to Jay. It was declared in front of all those present that from this day forward Jay Whyte would now be known as Jay Whyte Henibua. This amazing, generous act also coincided with the traditional gifting of land to Jay Whyte Henibua whereby a parcel of land, measuring 20 acres was given to him by the vanua as appreciation and acknowledgement for the service to the vanua in the operations of Sigatoka River Safari. During the official presentation, the spokesman from Keiyasi Village, the chiefly house of Lodoni, Nasaunivalu recalled a prophesy of the belobucobuco or white heron who, legend foretold would visit the valley to bring prosperity for the vanua in the Sigatoka Valley. This legend they believe has come to pass with the advent of the Sigatoka River Safari and it was made known that Jay Whyte is the ‘belobucobuco’. It was stated that there is no mistake why the last name is Whyte When asked about this honour and inclusion within the chiefly house, Jay Henibua was simply speechless and stunned by the tremendous generosity and magnificent honour that was bestowed upon him. After leaving Australia in 2005 armed with only a dream, it was extremely fitting that Jay’s father was also in Fiji to witness the adopting of a new son into the chiefly house Naraunivuga. Many tears were shed and a huge amount of happiness was shared by all those who were there. The final aspect to this Fijian protocol of gifting and receiving land will be the “Valutu ni Qwele” in which Jay will need to present his 5 tabua (whale’s tooth), kerosene, rolls of cloth and 1 large pig. This will be received by the vanua as official transfer and gifting of the land. It is expected that this will take place in the next fortnight following Christmas.


Eloise gives back to the Villages

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This is a special story about 9yr old Eloise from Melbourne, Australia who visited Sautabu Village on our Sigatoka River Safari. After visiting we received a lovely email asking whether we could help Eloise help the children. It was our pleasure to assist Eloise in her goal and as you can see the children of Sautabu were very happy with their gifts, Vina Valevu djina Eloise.


Captain Leps Employee of the year.

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As we come to the conclusion of another year, we wish to celebrate the success of our team. Awarded for his high level of service & dedication Lepani Sulua was given the Employee of the Year reward. Having been with our Safari family for 9 years. Lepani started in 2007 as an engineering assistant working his way to the skilled Jet Boat Captain he is today. Capt. Leps was overwhelmed with the prize crediting his success to support of the team & managing director Jay for always pushing him through his rough years and motivating him never to give up. Lepani will be watching the Sydney 7’s in February accompanied by Jay.


White Christmas @ Nakaracia This year our team hosted partners from Rosie Holidays, Pacific Destinations & ATS Pacific at our base in Nakaracia. It was a great opportunity for our industry friends to visit our base, meet the staff and most of all to Get Wet ☺ ☺. The afternoon started with activities from Water Blob, insanely fun games. We ended the festivities with a dance off competition, hats off to Coral Coast’s “PSY” Salen Kumar from Rosie Holidays taking the dance floor by storm.

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Looking Back @ 2016 Community Work HOOL

T SC DISTRIC S E IMARE NAQAL RLDVENTUR F THE O O W G T IN R UNVEIL RPOSE COU U MULTIP

RETE

POURING CONC

KING

GROUND BREA

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TOGA CHURCH PROJECT

UGBY vs

DERS R THEW FLIN

MAT

OWING

UNIC

FOLL EF VISIT

STON

TC WIN

T

U DISTRIC

NAMATAK


Looking Back @ 2016

QASITA

UP

AD GRO

OFF RO

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OT ON

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THE SA

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INS G

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Reviews “Well & Truly.. "Simply Unforgettable"” Sylvia N

From the start to the finish time, everything is extremely awesome. Friendly & helpful staff , very well equipped. Breath taking views as you go up the Sigatoka River on the exciting jet boat ride. A wave and Bula is a must as you pass local village children by the river that's an added excitement and joy to the whole journey. Your boat Captain keeps you well informed about the Historical events that took place in past at each pit stops before you arrive to the village and are greeted with a warm welcome by the local villagers. The Traditional Fijian welcome, tour of whole village & farm, with heaps of singing , dancing, fun and meals with the locals before they bid you goodbye. The whole Safari experience for us as a team was totally extraordinary and I would highly recommend for anyone who would ever want to feel the true Fijian Hospitality and experience to take this journey of a life time wen they are in Fiji. It is indeed "Simply Unforgettable". A Big Vinaka (Thank You) To The Sigatoka River Safari Team & The Vunarewa Villagers for making our trip a memorable one.

“The "Real" Fiji!! Amazing!!” Steve Romijn

My wife I and two children aged 1 and 3 went on this tour. From start to finish, just awesome! The four wheel drive trip through the villages was great. All the kids come out and greet you, they are all so happy to see you. My boys loved giving them high fives. Certainly very humbling to see and hear about the villages from our guides (sorry I have forgotten their names!) The scenery along the way to the cave is mint, plenty of photo opportunities. Before going to the cave, you need to do a kava ceremony with the priest, this was great experience. Love the kava, had a few bowls!! Onto the the cave, it is huge, I did not expect this. Our guides were great, they give you so much information about the history. The BBQ lunch afterwards was just what you need, so much food! My oldest boy got to ride a horse with one of the priests sons while we were having the BBQ, he loved it. Was also nice to interact with the priests family. Must do tour, get to experience some real Fiji culture, see some parts of the country you would not normally and learn some great history. The guides were great value, they know so much about the history and are very passionate. Pg 10

“Amazing experience!!” Karl & Kat (Brisbane, Australia)

We all had an awesome time on the Sigatoka River Safari Jet boat and village visit. What a great way to visit and experience local village life. Captain Leps was such an awesome driver and so knowledgable about the surrounding villages and the river itself. We were all amazed at the stories he told us. The 360 spins were so much fun on the drive back and yes we all got wet! The village itself was very welcoming and it was great to experience the local custom and traditions including the Kava ceremony. You could tell the food was made with pride and we had a lovely lady sit with us while we ate and chatted to us making us feel very welcome. The bus drive from the office base was lots of fun and informative too. Lesley also known as "Lady Gaga" was an amazing tour guide and so very funny! Shout out to the bus driver "Spongebob" too. We felt very safe throughtout the whole experience. Our trip was after some very heavy rain so the walk from the boat to the village was quite muddy, would reccomend enclosed shoes. It was also a very hot and sunny day so lots of sunscreen and a hat and lots of water is very important. Although it is not expected we took some gifts for the children to the village. At the base office inside the souvenir shops you can buy these or you can bring them with you. Would totally recommend this for all travellers who want to experience local village life with an awesome fun jet boat tour of the Sigatoka River. Thank you for making our family feel so safe and welcome while we were with you all.

“A.M.A.Z.I.N.G .. A M.U.S.T D.O!” Destinations 1211 (Melbourne Australia)

We did a last minute booking and we are so glad we did it. It rained fit to drown a duck on that day and luckily our tour did not get canceled otherwise it would have been a bummer specially after a 2hr drive from our hotel in Nandi. The rains in fact made it an even better experience.. boggy roads & big water splashes.. a true off road experience. Our guides on the day were Ace and Tia and they were truly fantastic.. very knowledgeable about the caves and fijian history attached and made it a fun experience. They take you through a village and kids of not at school will run out from their homes and give you a hifive with a big Bula. You will say Bula more than a 100 times in 4 hours... its FUN! After the Kava ceremony Tia took us to the caves while Ace prepared a barbecue lunch for us in the rain . Will definitely go for the river tour next time... LOVED IT!!

“Well organised trip to Fijian village ” Julie C

A lovely jet boat ride up the Sigatoka river and then a short walk to a village. N'lembalemba village was so welcoming to us. We felt like honoured visitors and not as though this was just another group of tourists passing through. A warm and insightful visit. A great jet boat ride. This felt like the real thing!


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ON SAFARI December 2016 Issue  

Sigatoka River Safari Tours Fiji - Monthly Newsletter

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