OUR MISSION STATEMENT:
To enhance visitors and indigenous peoples' awareness of, and appreciation for the culture and environment by providing activities that promote conservation and preservation through socially responsible and environmentally sensitive interaction with the people, landscape and ecosystems which make the Fijian Highlands so distinct and unique.
HOW WE GOT HERE:
During our first visit to Fiji as tourists in 1993 we were amazed by the beautiful beaches, azure seas, and spectacular coral reefs. However, after a few days of sun, sand and surf we became restless and began searching for the hidden Fiji. Excited about the possibilities of what lay beyond the white sand beaches and into the depths of Fiji's tropical rain forest, we planned another trip for the following year. On our subsequent returns in 1995 & 1996, we came well prepared with inflatable kayaks, maps and plans for exploration. It was during those journeys that we ended up exploring two very different but equally beautiful rivers: the Wainikoroiluva and the Upper Navua. In 1997, we received our approvals from the government to begin operating commercial river trips, and in the spring of 1998, we began training guides and promoting a whole new dimension to Fiji's tourism offerings.
WHO WE ARE:
While we might be relatively new to Fiji, Rivers Fiji is not new to whitewater rafting. The formation of the company has its roots firmly established in both the outfitting and whitewater water equipment manufacturing industries. This unique blend of commercial river outfitting and inflatable boat / equipment manufacturing spans a period greater than 30 years and brings to Fiji a multidimensional partnership whose focus is on the development of the entire whitewater industry not just river trips.
WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING:
During our first year we trained our first crew of Fijian Guides for the 'Luva River. We worked our guides through an extensive guide-training program lasting over 3 months. To keep everyone up with the latest, training and review of skills and techniques is continuous. In addition to the obvious guide training responsibilities, we have also completed with our guides an internationally recognized swift-water rescue training program and first aid and CPR. Guide training for the Upper Navua guides was completed, with 4 new graduates all doing an excellent job.
Wherever possible, Rivers Fiji works with locally owned/operated businesses to assist with our programs (e.g., truck and boat shuttles, food purchases). We work hard to ensure that our business does not detract from services already in existence by duplicating services. Rather we encourage the development of support businesses by contracting these services wherever possible.
In addition to the obvious benefits associated with employment opportunities with Rivers Fiji, we also pay a user fee to the native land owners to provide benefits directly to village life and in an effort to encourage their support of sustainable tourism products by protecting their pristine landscapes and waterways.
Rivers Fiji has worked closely with the University of the South Pacific to conduct an impact analysis of our tourism program on the local communities. We used this information in the development of policies and best practices in the areas we operate trips. We also hope that this information is used as a model for future developments inspired by local villagers in the region.
Rivers Fiji is honored to have helped bring Eco-Challenge 2002 to Fiji and to have assisted in creating the most challenging EC venue in history. During the race, Rivers Fiji was responsible for the transport of the hundreds of inflatable kayaks that the individual race participants used on the Upper Navua River, logistical coordination for the river component of the event, supplying raft trips for the media covering the event and safety support for the mountain bike crossing of the Navua River. The Eco-Challenge name and logo are registered trademarks of J. Mark Burnett.
Rivers Fiji has won 5 of Fiji’s “Excellence in Tourism Awards” for Environmental Tourism and for Best Adventure.
As of 2007, our very own Upper Navua Conservation Area was given the international designation and protection of a Ramsar site.
In 2010, Rivers Fiji was awarded the Prime Minister's Exporter of Year Award for Tourism Services.