It is recommended that you book well in advance (at least a month or two) ahead of time. The total amount due will be based on the number of days you wish to stay with your accommodation being paid in cash on arrival at the village. It is important to note that there is a limit of fourteen visitors to Matacawalevu at any time so we cannot guarantee that there will be places available if you are already in Fiji. There is a deposit payable to secure your booking.
Image right: the village of Matacawalevu on Matacawalevu Island
The initial communication leading up to a firm booking will be made via email on this web site (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by completing the on-line enquiry form. Once your confirmation has been received by fijibure.com we will fax or email you a confirmation booking slip which will provide details of taxi pick-ups and confirm the dates of your stay.
The costs of accommodation, inclusive of meals, at Matacawalevu are well below budget costs at recognised hotels - namely F$105 per adult per day and F$80 per day for children under 13 years of age. (eg a family of four with two adults is just F$370 per day inclusive of all meals). There is a small upfront booking deposit payable for your village homestay holidays in Fiji.
Please note F$1 is worth about 55 cents (US) an international currency converter is available at this link
The lounge in one of the
A typical bedroom -
The row of modern guest houses
The oldest concrete house in
Basic - thongs, shorts, t-shirts, open necked shirts, traditional Fijian dress, sarong, be modest while in the village area. Bring your bikinis but keep them for swimming away from the village - Fijians are modest and religious (there is a Church in the village and an excellent choir) and will be offended if scanty clothing is worn in public in their village. Do NOT wear hats in the village area.
The villagers would welcome any second hand clothes that you bring for distribution among the less-advantaged there.
If you are on medicine ensure that you have enough supplies to cover the entire length of your stay at Matacawalevu. The nearest doctor is at Nacula Island - about 15 minutes by boat from Matacawalevu. Fijians usually practice traditional medicine for dealing with their own ailments.
There are also no poisonous snakes on Matacawalevu, however, it is recommended that you take some insect deterrent with you to Matacawalevu.
The pure air and water at Matacawalevu Village is cleaner and fresher than anywhere in the western world. Water is tapped direct from the river springs and can be drunk without any danger.
Please read this important advice on health related issues in Fiji
All food is included in your package. Meals are prepared by the family hosting you and is normally served in traditional Fijian style on a small cloth on the floor. Food is eaten after saying grace with knives and forks or with the hand. The food served includes traditional foods like taro (a type of potato), dromo dromo (a large asparagus type vegetable), pineapple, guava, rice, meats, fish etc. Vegetarian meals can be catered for by prior arrangement.
There is one small store at Matacawalevu owned by the man who "killed the cannibal".
Image right: Eramasi in his store
Many houses in Matacawalevu have outside toilets, all have water tapped directly from the river that is purer than that you find bottled in stores and showers for washing hair etc.
The home used by visitors at Matacawalevu has flush toilets. Public cold showers are outside the guest house. (A long dip in the sea is my preferred option!).
There is a generator providing 240v power points in the evening to some homes in Matacawalevu (not the guest house).
Image right: The church at Matacawalevu.
The village has a Methodist Church and the church choir can be heard each Sunday.
The famous missionary, Thomas Baker, who was cannibalised on Viti Levu was the first Priest to visit Matacawalevu Island - not long before his untimely death.
The village offers a range of activities - more at this link.
You will find that most of the villagers are inter-related in some way so be very careful not to inadvertently offend someone by speaking negatively about another villager who might be related to that person.
Matacawalevu is located in a natural, unspoilt environment and has many areas to explore - such as miles of island beaches and small hills. Alternatively, you can get Setoki's family to act as your guide for a day - there is little of this island that the villagers do not know.
There is no shortage of unique adventures for you to plan and enjoy. Remember to take your digital camera and lots of memory or film - even if it is just to capture the villagers at play, the rising sun in the morning and sunset at night over the water, the incredibly bright night sky or full moon above or the sunsets... consider bringing a notebook computer so that you can keep downloading pictures. Some visitors have taken over 500 digital images on a three day stay!
The adventures that you will experience and the hospitality that you receive from the villagers will remain with you forever.
Practical gifts are always welcomed by the villagers and their children but are entirely optional and not expected. Simple things like a bag of balloons will bring large smiles to the faces of the village kids, a small bag of second hand clothes for the children and adults are a winner. There is absolutely no need to feel that you have to bring gifts - you are not expected to - but they would be appreciated.
Don't forget to bring 1kg of powdered Kava with you as a ceremonial gift to be given to the villagers on your arrival.
The experience of previous visitors to Matacawalevu is that your kids will have the best holiday of their lives. From the moment you arrive the natural friendliness and curiosity of the youngsters in the village will entertain and play with your children. It is highly likely you won't see them most of the time you are at Namatakula (or outside school hours).
Theft is practically unheard of at Matacawalevu. It is recommended that you do not flaunt your comparative wealth and keep money and valuables in your luggage in your house at Matacawalevu.