Namuamua (literally meaning "where two rivers meet") is a small village with about 250 inhabitants. The village lies on the junction of two beautiful rivers, the Wainikoroilova and Wainitonuve inland from the Coral Coast on Viti Levu (see map). ("Wai" means river). Namuamua is a poor, almost third world village and accommodation reflects this at this time. Like the villagers, visitors will sleep either on a very basic double bed or on mats on the floor. With the money received from visitors in these early days a few "upmarket" bures will be built on the river banks below the village. Despite its shortfallings from accepted "western" standards its isolation from our "western ways" makes it the most unspoilt of all the villages on FijiBure.Com and is our personal favourite because it is so unique in character. Neither mobile nor Internet work at Namuamua.
In April 2004 the village was hit with over 400mm of rain in just seven hours - going underwater! The bure you sleep in was completely submerged - but has been restored to its former glory. Take this link for more on the flood.
Up until 2003 the village life of Namuamua was only seen by visitors on a
very popular day tour, which won the Fiji Excellence in Tourism
award in 1999. Your personal mentor will be Ema Vokula, a village
elder. Ema has been successfully looking after the
day tour visitors for years now. Thanks to Ema
, and the blessing of the chief, you can now stay
here among the villagers. Namuamua's two largest buildings are churches
- a Roman Catholic and Methodist church. Both churches are very active among
this devout community. The community has a large school which you are welcome
to visit during your Fiji holidays in the village.
When going to Namuamua you will meet Eramasi, the man who is your guide from the inland village of Nakoro. Eramasi's family was granted land by Ema's family generations back after Eramasi's family came to their aid in a fight with other cannibals back in the 1800s. (It has been many generations since the Fijians gave up cannibalism. The society is now firmly founded on Christian beliefs).
Each house at Namuamua has an outside flush toilet, water tapped directly from the river is purer than that you find bottled in stores and the community showers for washing hair etc are in the open. The nearby rivers are the best place to have a scintillating all over bath.... the cool and crystal clear mountain waters are pure magic on the skin once you get over the initial resistance of the cold. It is important to note that Fijian villagers are offended by bikinis or scant clothing worn in the village area - be safe and wear clothing that covers the knees and shoulders.
However, if you go out on a river adventure by yourselves go skinny dipping in the most private paradise on earth!
There is electricity in Namuamua - 240v from a generator which is switched on each day between 7pm and 10.30pm. All houses have power.
Fijian villagers are very healthy and believe that cleanliness is next to Godliness.
We assure you that this will be the most incredible and memorable holiday adventure that you could embark on (see the on-line links below). At Namuamua you will, from the moment you step into our village, be accepted into our community. You will, in true Fiji-time, be able to participate in traditional ceremonies, like Kava drinking in the "vale ni so qo" (or large community hall), dancing and singing as well as exploring the rivers and banks, bare-back horse riding, swimming, relaxing and visiting the beautiful and isolated Wainuta 30 metre high waterfall just 20 minutes walk from the village (image right). The wind created by the water falling down the rock face at Wainuta is so strong it will gently tug at your clothes. (All these options are available to visitors at no extra cost). If you enjoy fishing the two rivers provide an excellent fishing playground with trout, travelli and fresh water prawns etc...
Alternatively, you can just go off on your own and experience privacy in a beautiful, natural wonderland. If you are thinking about getting married in a totally unique setting - you have arrived!
It is important to note that the "man is boss" in the traditional Fijian community so you will find the village women doing all the household work, cooking, etc. Tourists to the village are welcome to participate in the kitchen, washing etc... but this is entirely optional although you will enjoy chatting to the women about their experiences at Namuamua. All food, washing etc.. is done for you by the women in the village - and these costs are included in the cost of accommodation. You might also enjoy joining the men either to watch or participate in their traditional farming practices on the river banks where they cultivate taro (a potato-like vegetable), Kava or a form of giant asparagus known as Dromo-Dromo. Once again you are not expected to do anything but relax and do what you wish, but for those who want to take a step back in time this is an unforgettable experience well worth considering.
The Namuamua choir would have published many music CDs if it had not been for their isolation in Fiji. (The beautiful and talented Ema, FijiBure's guide, is the lead soprano in the choral pieces you will hear.)
Their ukelele and guitar bands are excellent as well and participated in the creation of our first music CD.
Click on the image right to preview the FijiBure.com music CD they participated in.
You can order the CD on-line from this link.
If you have children this will be a holiday and experience of a lifetime as they are immediately welcomed into the fold by Fijian kids of all ages - nearly 100 of them! The "village green" which separates two rows of houses at Namuamua is perfect for a game of cricket, soccer, rugby or other ball games that the Fijian kids just love playing. (Bring a small rugby ball with you and your kids will be kept occupied for your entire stay! Simple things like balloons and sweets are a firm favourite.) You might want to just go swimming or for a soaking bath in the beautiful Wainikoroiluva river (right)!
Children might also like to spend some time joining the Fijian children in their well-presented classrooms to see how Fijian teachers go about their work - again this is totally optional.
While the local Namuamua Fijian dialect may be spoken by villagers we all speak English. (Fijian translation of common greetings can be seen at this link).
Namuamua is the ultimate backpacker adventure. You are in a safe environment, welcomed into a friendly community from the moment you arrive but have a natural playground, centered around two beautiful rivers, to explore.
When you arrive at Namuamua there is a very simple traditional ceremony that you will be expected to participate in. The villagers gather in their community hall soon after you arrive and welcome guests at a Kava ceremony. An elder from the village will welcome you and the man or male spokesman for your group, at this time, is expected to make a short speech and provide a small gift to the village (like 1kg of powdered Kava which cost about F$20). Once these formalities are over your guide Ema will keep you informed of future Kava celebrations, entertainment or other activities taking place during your stay. (A big wooden drum is often beaten to alert villagers of celebrations, church services and other community activities).
More on kava at this link
Payment for accommodation is made to Emma when she meets you at Navua Town. There are plenty of ATM machines on the way to Namuamua - they can be found at Nadi, Sigatoka, Pacific Harbour and Suva.
Gifts and Village Funds:
If you are thinking of bringing gifts consider bringing practical things like books, notepads, pencils, rubbers and sharpeners that can be used in the school. If you have children consider bringing a gift of a rugby ball, tennis balls, cricket gear, balloons etc for the village... a great ice breaker and your kids will have a great time. This option is entirely up to you and is not expected.
There is also a village fund which has been set up at the request of past guests. The village fund is contributed to by guests, but it is important to know that donations are voluntary and you are NOT expected to donate to the funds. The funds are administered by the village mataqali (or elders) without any outside influence.
The two village funds are:
a building fund which is used in identified projects that help the entire community; and
micro-financing - a fund which is used to finance small enterprises that individuals or groups of villagers in each village want to set up. The money is loaned interest free and with no strings attached. The recipient is morally bound to return the money once he has started earning an income from his enterprise so that the money can be used again to help someone else in the village.
There will be a poster in your guest room in the village which tells you more about the village funds, alternatively you can discuss them with your host.
The visiting couple featured in this web page have travelled the world and,
after going on the one day tour to Namuamua, decided to get married there
in March 2003. They had waited for the perfect spot - the meeting of two
symbolic rivers in an unspoilt environment and the happy, friendly disposition
of the Fijian villagers being the basis behind their decision
It was a qualified risk as they knew nothing more than the happy memories of a few hours being entertained by the villagers during an earlier day tour. Their memories are now documented on the Internet in a comprehensive travel-diary. View these for yourself and see why the adventure and the memories will remain with them forever.
The Story of Us - a couple's personal experiences of life at
The people at Namuamua are so happy, so content, they might live what we westerners would call an impoverished existence but this is our perception of value - so many values that I have enjoyed here cannot be found in our western society... the community, the sense of kinsmanship, family, church, laughter, acceptance. We will most certainly be returning and staying here again. It is an experience I would whole heartedly recommend to anyone who has a sense of adventure and would love to do something totally different. For any young couple who want to be welcomed into an amazing tribal community and experience the lifestyle of Fijians - Namuamua is definitely the place to be.
A tourist's experiences of Namuamua
(Image gallery only)
challenge participant's experiences
Fijians are incredibly hospitable and have been cheering on every team with a hearty ‘Bula’ as they pass by.
Moon Handbooks -
Fiji Travel Guide
I spent a night in Namuamua about 20 years ago after hiking down from Balea on the Cross Island Highway via the rivers. I've got to get back there soon!! I know Namatukula but have only seen it through the window of a bus (many times). Luckily, it's marked on the map in my Fiji guide (page 175). I'm now preparing a new edition of Moon Handbooks Fiji and will certainly mention your offerings.
of adventure rafters at Namuamua
One is easily drawn to the conclusion that what they are seeing today is what they might have seen nearly a century ago. It is places like these that give the term "timeless" true meaning and remind us of what debatably must be a simpler and ultimately healthier existence.
memories of Namuamua
“The people are self sufficient eh. They live off the land. If you look on the hillside see where bits of land are cleared up that's where they grow their food. Root crops like taro, tapioca, sweet potato, fruits, vegetables. They do their fishing in the river, they catch a lot of fish in the river as well OK. There is fresh water travelli, silver perch, tilapia, eels, fresh water prawns up at the waterfalls. They go hunting for wild pigs in the forest eh.”
Extract: "Foreign no more" (Drury University)
It was a visit to the highland village of Namuamua in the Viti Levu interior (main island of Fiji) that may have had the greatest impact. It was here that the students came face to face with the true richness of Fijian life and the villagers' utter lack of material possessions. Sony playstations and Nike sneakers were no where to be found. But neither was starvation.