Adventures while in Navua

A tour guide with tourists on a bamboo raft on the upper Navua River. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

IN the mid 1800s an Englishman, John Humphery Danford discovered, lived and took part in the tribal wars along the Navua River in the province of Namosi.

He survived and had many descendants who still live in this wilderness by using waterways as a means of access to areas downstream.

The Navua River in the province of Namosi is famous for its scenic views.

It’s home to many villagers who use it for transport and a livelihood and today sightseeing adventure for tourists and visitors.

The direct descendants John Danford have continued his legacy and now thrive at Raiwaqa Village in that province where most of them stay to this day.

They operate one of the most exciting adventure companies in the country by giving tourists a taste of paradise along the banks of the Navua River.

“We were born here, we know the people and the history and every year we share its wonders and enjoyment with sightseers and adventurers from all over the world,” shared Lionel Danford, who owns Discover Fiji Tours.

“We show them another side of Fiji filled with treks up the mountains, whitewater rafting, a village tour, even river tubing and an adventure to see the magic waterfalls.”

Discover Fiji Tours has established a solid reputation for excellent service since they started in 1988. Some of their packages include trekking and rafting where you have the option of trekking the Namosi and Serua highlands. Other products include kayaking, rafting, and abseiling.

If you’re coming from Nadi, the Coral Coast or Suva then you will have to travel to the Adventure Capital of Fiji, the river town of Navua, where the company is located.

Morning tea or coffee is provided before everyone goes to the riverbank to board the motorised long boat to ride up-river. One of the main attractions of the tour is Navua River’s biggest waterfall, located about one hour upriver and includes a five-minute walk, into the wilderness to get to the first pool.

Another highlight of the adventure is the chance to board the “HMS Bilibili” AKA, the “HMS No Come Back” — a raft made from bamboos.

The ride is a chance to show visitors how iTaukei villagers travelled the famous waterway in the old days without the use of motorised long boats.

The beauty of the rainforest and mountain ranges is what stands out during the boat ride. This, along with the knowledgeble tour guides who took the visitors up.

Their funny tales and stories of adventures kept tourists entertained throughout.

Special mention goes to Tomasi Bolo and William and Douglas Danford who are the sixth generation descendants of John Danford.

They were instrumental in keeping the day entertained.

One can only hope that this beautiful piece of paradise is not touched or spoiled by the growing development that is slowly increasing in various parts of the country.